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Breastfeeding in public is not a crime.

July 21, 2010

Nor should it be.

Recently, (6 July) Lisa of the Russ and Lisa Live morning show, Lisa, who is also a mother and a conservative, spent about two hours blasting nursing mothers for nursing in public – discreetly! The mother she had seen nursing in a Chick-Fil-A (who she started railing about in the first place) was completely discreet and not obvious or exposed in anyway. But that was not good enough for Lisa, who believes that all breastfeeding mothers belong at home, or should nurse in the bathroom, sitting on a toilet if they “can’t restrain themselves”, or in a car in 100+ degree weather. Are you kidding me? She honestly believes that there should be laws “protecting the public” from nursing mothers.

There is nothing unnatural with breastfeeding. (Beyond going past age 2, ha ha.) It is a loving, caring, nourishing thing. Mary nursed Jesus. There was no formula back then. Humans have been nursing their young for as long as they have existed. Breasts are a practical body part, not just a nice aesthetic. No one thinks anything of slutty ads for underwear lines that are soft core porn. But an unexposed nursing mother raises the ire of a talk-show host? What the heck?! Are you kidding me?
If you are able to pump enough milk to feed your baby while you’re out, terrific. I know I have a hard time getting enough out when I pump, plus it’s next to impossible to pump with any sort of efficacy unless Danny is sleeping or otherwise entertained by someone else – pumping takes too long for him to be playing on his own while I do it. Luckily, I have not been met any opposition when I nurse in public. Perhaps I’m oblivious to the stares because I’m busy trying to keep my silly baby from playing peekaboo with my cover, or perhaps I really just have been lucky enough to be surrounded by people who accept what I’m doing for what it is – feeding my son. Every other person has the right to not have to eat in the bathroom or in a stiflingly hot vehicle (because, really, who can afford the gas to keep the ac on?), so why not my sweet baby, who brings joy to pretty much everyone he meets?
I’ve heard that in Europe, people are much more accepting of babies in public places than they are here. Children are celebrated and enjoyed, rather than chastised and hidden away. Babies cry sometimes. That doesn’t mean they’re bad, it means they have a need of some sort that isn’t being met – they have no other way to communicate, for crying out loud! If you couldn’t articulate what you needed, I bet you would cry, too!
Anyway, my point is this: There are still places in this great country of ours where it is perfectly acceptable for a mother to whip out her boob to feed her child. And then there are others where women are asked to leave. But as far as I know, every state has laws allowing for public breastfeeding. Protecting breastfeeding from indecency laws, lewd act laws, and the like. It’s not about “not showing restraint”. Just as I need to eat, as you need to eat, so too does my young son need to eat. And if he is not allowed to, or isn’t fed when he needs, he becomes a major cranky pants screamer.
So back off, lady. Breastmilk is certainly more natural than anything you’ll find on a Chick-Fil-A menu.

One Comment leave one →
  1. randi permalink
    July 21, 2010 11:59 pm

    Oh yeah. People in Africa are constantly nursing. No big deal. I agree that nursing in public is totally ok and awesome. At the same time, I seriously do not want to see anyone’s boob, regardless of what it is being used for. I think that it is possible to breastfeed in public without making anyone uncomfortable. And, if you are being discreet and people are still complaining, then too bad for them. Honestly, I didn’t breastfeed G but with my next baby I probably will and I probably won’t even leave sacrament meeting. I mean, jeez, I’ll just use a cover. I hate the smelly mother’s lounge.

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