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MsDrea
06-09-2003, 04:32 PM
Should women breastfeed in public?

jccamero
06-09-2003, 07:11 PM
I was never comfortable breastfeeding in public. But if a woman feels comfortable why shouldn't she?

senoj
06-09-2003, 07:16 PM
I can't speak for others, but I would never do it.

I have to be behind locked doors because I don't want other people staring at my boobs. I nursed 2 babaies each for at least the first 12 - 18 months. Starting with completely nursing and ending with formula/expressed milk.

When I went somewhere, I took expressed milk with me for the times that we were out in public or at family or friends house.

I also feel uncomfortable seeing other women do it also. I usderstand that they are feeding their children and it is as basic as any other survival function that we have, but I feel that with a little pre-planning, the child can be fed and no one has to be made to feel uncomfortable.

I think some women do it with an air of defiance like, "yeah I'm feeding my baby, say something. That's fine, you can cover with a towel or blanket, or find a bench inthemall around the corner over there where it's not so busy. WHy choose the bench right in front of the food court to make your statement. Feeding your child should not be a form of protest like you are carrying a picket sign.

Sorry if I have offended anyone here, just my opinion. I've been there and I chose to take a lesser route. Bottled expressed milk works in any forum.

Senoj

Genipha
06-09-2003, 07:19 PM
I breastfeed in public all the time. I feel like this: My child has got to eat or be comforted and I dont eat in the bathroom so why should he. Depending on the setting I will use a blanket to cover myself. Most of the time people see his legs sticking out and kinda just smile and turn away politely. No one has ever seemed disqusted and only once did I feel like someone was trying to sneak a peak.


Plus my son gets my pumped milk all week from a bottle...the weekend is thonly time he gets to be on the breast so I am not going to give up that time for someone else to feel comfortable.

Info
06-09-2003, 09:05 PM
I never did because there were always places here for moms who wanted to breastfeed in private but I don't knock any mom who does.

nappyfenix820
06-09-2003, 09:15 PM
It's only an issue b/c western culture has of course objectified women's bodies, and thus for a woman to do something that has been done for thousands of years (feeding her child) in public, people seem to take offense to it :rolleyes: . My mother breastfed me, grandma and big mom did the same. I feel that it's a family tradition that I would like to keep alive.

np :afro:

teekydawg
06-10-2003, 02:38 PM
It's crucial that women of color breatfeed their children and more importantly advertise that they are doing it. Breastfeeding is one of the best things you can do for a child. There should be no feelings of shame or embarassment in doing it in public. It's all beautiful. I initially would go to the restroom when I was at restaurants or the mall, but gradually became comfortable with doing it right at the table. It's not unsanitary and all of us have seen breasts at some time in our lives. All you mothers out there keep up the good work!

rockinlocs
06-10-2003, 02:47 PM
Originally posted by Genipha@Jun 9 2003, 03:19 PM
I breastfeed in public all the time. I feel like this: My child has got to eat or be comforted and I dont eat in the bathroom so why should he. Depending on the setting I will use a blanket to cover myself. Most of the time people see his legs sticking out and kinda just smile and turn away politely. No one has ever seemed disqusted and only once did I feel like someone was trying to sneak a peak.


Plus my son gets my pumped milk all week from a bottle...the weekend is thonly time he gets to be on the breast so I am not going to give up that time for someone else to feel comfortable.
I like that! "I don't eat in the bathroom so why should he."

However, I admit that I am a chicken to nurse in public. In the past with my first 2, I tried it and would cover them with a blanket. But they would be like "GET this thang off my face!" and YANK it off and I'd wind up in a sweat! :lol:

So, I started ducking to bathrooms or if in someone's home, another room. But nowadays, I rarely go into the bathroom, I will just go out into our van and nurse the baby.

MuthaErth
06-10-2003, 04:18 PM
i had a problem nursing in public with the 1st baby, but after that i was over my modesty ;)
i became such a pro at it that i could lift my shirt slightly work that nursing bra and feed baby without anything being seen not even baby :huh: lol

naturalhairlover
06-10-2003, 04:27 PM
I breatfeed in public but I always cover myself with a blanket. It's just not always convenient to go to a bathroom or sit in the car to nurse. I'm lucky, because in the community that I live in lots of moms also nurse theri babies in public, for example at the park. Sometimes you'll even see an entire mothers' group of women nursing their babies in a park or restuarant. AND with my second child I don't have a choice because she WON'T Take a bottle. The only place I feel most self conscious is at church. I know it makes people feel uncomfortable sometimes. I notice even family members seriously avoiding looking at the baby (in the direction of my breast) while I'm feeding her. One other thing is that it's no fun for the mom to be hold up in a bathroom or isolated for 30 - 45 mins. while she nurses.

MsDrea
06-10-2003, 05:36 PM
Interesting. I usually don't see women of color breastfeeding in public and I wish we were more comfortable with that.

Alken41100
06-10-2003, 06:03 PM
I see no problem with it. Women who aren't breastfeeding can walk around with their breast out why can't a woman have them out using them for their intended purpose.

Kdeuce001
06-10-2003, 06:40 PM
:D i breastfed my daughter. I know that when that milk comes in you would pay to express it. I was literally hurting until i got my pump b/w feedings, and once i had to take a flight and feed her in the airport :thumbsup: ! I think when people stop thinking of it as flashing or with sexual ignorance, it would be fine. I would much rather someone feed there hungry baby in public that to have that child hollering...you know they can be loud.

Just my 2cents

1 loc ata time
Kdeuce

Genipha
06-10-2003, 07:06 PM
Originally posted by naturalhairlover@Jun 10 2003, 04:27 PM
I breatfeed in public but I always cover myself with a blanket. It's just not always convenient to go to a bathroom or sit in the car to nurse. I'm lucky, because in the community that I live in lots of moms also nurse theri babies in public, for example at the park. Sometimes you'll even see an entire mothers' group of women nursing their babies in a park or restuarant. AND with my second child I don't have a choice because she WON'T Take a bottle. The only place I feel most self conscious is at church. I know it makes people feel uncomfortable sometimes. I notice even family members seriously avoiding looking at the baby (in the direction of my breast) while I'm feeding her. One other thing is that it's no fun for the mom to be hold up in a bathroom or isolated for 30 - 45 mins. while she nurses.
Where do you live bc where I live its like that too. I was in a new moms group and we would all breast feed together in the coffee house where we would meet.

MsDrea
06-10-2003, 07:10 PM
Originally posted by Alken41100@Jun 10 2003, 06:03 PM
I see no problem with it. Women who aren't breastfeeding can walk around with their breast out why can't a woman have them out using them for their intended purpose.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Ipanema
06-10-2003, 07:57 PM
Western culture has totally screwed this up. There should be nothing shameful about feeding a baby in public. I've seen women wearing blankets in public, looking totally embarrassed, and it's sad. Men are the worst, especially strange men. I could never get the hang of wearing a blanket when breastfeeding, so I bought a few of those nursing tops. They worked well, but I still felt angry when some people around me looked embarrassed when I'd breastfeed. But I have a thing about germs (especially in public), so I never went into a bathroom. Western culture has oversexualized women's breasts, and we as women need to change this.

MsDrea
06-10-2003, 08:04 PM
:nohuh: I agree. It's a sad thing that women have to go into a public bathroom to feed their children. I don't even like going into the public restrooms myself.

senoj
06-11-2003, 03:44 PM
Originally posted by MsDrea@Jun 10 2003, 08:04 PM
[i]...I agree. It's a sad thing that women have to go into a public bathroom to feed their children. I don't even like going into the public restrooms myself....[i/]
I agree, I would never advocate that a woman go in to a bathroom to feed her child. That's just nasty!!!!!!!!!!!

Even when in my home, I would never make anyone go to the bathroom. I do feel that out of courtesy to others, a separate room would be in order.

But again, these are my thoughts/opinions and I don’t feel that they are wrong, just different.

Granted my views are affected by western culture, but that is the culture that I grew up with. I have very large boobs, always have (right now they are a 42 DDD, but they have always been at least a D or DD cup not matter what I weigh). So I have always had attention given to them. I started getting this unwanted attention when I was about 11. So yes, I am uncomfortable with MY breasts and would never even try to breast feed in public.

Nursing was always a quiet time to share with my child, just her and me. I would sing softly, and coo and talk to her about how much I love her, the glorious person she would grow up to be, how wonderful God made her.

My children drank expressed milk during the day when I was at work, but as soon as I hit the door, it was just me and them.

My childhood still colors my views. I don’t think it is sexual ignorance or immaturity on my part at all (conditioning or even mental abuse in a way, because I felt very violated at a young age just having grown men looking at me in that way licking their lips like my boobs were pork chops). I’m not an ignorant woman, but yes, I have issues of a sort. We all do in some way or another.

On any given day, I catch my self crossing my arms over my breasts to hid them. I have finally gotten out of the slouching to hide them, or the baggy sweaters and shirts to hide them.

And I appreciate the views and responses of the women on this post. I think that all the views given were enlightening. Have I changed my mind, No. But I understand where everyone else is coming from. As I hope you understand my POV.

I can tell that I am the only one on this post that feels the way I do and don't expect any support for my opinion.

I still don’t believe that public nursing should be used as form of protest. Staring down those who walk by you. It should be a time of nurturing for you and the baby. And to do that, you have to be comfortable with your surroundings. For me, that’s not in a public surrounding. Even in a group of other women nursing, I would not be comfortable.

And for those that cover with a blanket or a nursing shirt (do they even have those in my size?), fine. I’m talking about the women who just lift shirt and bra so that you can see the whole boob except nip once they plop it in the babe’s mouth.

(And, no I don’t condone those women who for whatever reason walk around with their boobs hanging out of their clothes)

But hey, that’s one of the few benees of living in our country, you feel the way you feel and that’s alright.


Love and Peace

MsDrea
06-11-2003, 05:02 PM
Originally posted by senoj@Jun 11 2003, 03:44 PM
I appreciate the views and responses of the women on this post. I think that all the views given were enlightening. Have I changed my mind, No. But I understand where everyone else is coming from. As I hope you understand my POV.

I can tell that I am the only one on this post that feels the way I do and don't expect any support for my opinion.

I still don’t believe that public nursing should be used as form of protest. Staring down those who walk by you. It should be a time of nurturing for you and the baby. And to do that, you have to be comfortable with your surroundings. For me, that’s not in a public surrounding. Even in a group of other women nursing, I would not be comfortable.

I don't think there's a right and wrong. We're all free to express our opinions. I totally understand where you're coming from. I'm not totally comfortable with the idea, but the concept to me is beautiful. As I said I didn't do it the first time. I think if more people did it tastefully we could have some progression on the topic.

LotsOfLocs
06-11-2003, 05:54 PM
Originally posted by Ipanema@Jun 10 2003, 07:57 PM
Western culture has totally screwed this up. There should be nothing shameful about feeding a baby in public. I've seen women wearing blankets in public, looking totally embarrassed, and it's sad. Men are the worst, especially strange men. I could never get the hang of wearing a blanket when breastfeeding, so I bought a few of those nursing tops. They worked well, but I still felt angry when some people around me looked embarrassed when I'd breastfeed. But I have a thing about germs (especially in public), so I never went into a bathroom. Western culture has oversexualized women's breasts, and we as women need to change this.
:thumbsup:

Genipha
06-11-2003, 06:33 PM
senoj

I also have very big breast (38dd before baby and 42DDD now) I always wear a nursing top when I go out with baby in public and it only takes a small bib or something to cover the part that comes out of the nursing top. I am not trying to change your op but just saying I never really exposed my breast.

jacura
06-11-2003, 07:53 PM
I am not offended when I see women breast feeding in public...and I too would not mind seeing it more common place.

I saw a girl I went to highschool with, who waiting to get her children picture taken and one was under the "blanket"...and I was like ohhh let me see (out of ignorance), not knowing the babe was breast feeding, she was like "lift the blanket" however she was not embarassed by it and neither was I

SweetAfrica
06-11-2003, 10:16 PM
Originally posted by Ipanema@Jun 10 2003, 03:57 PM
Western culture has totally screwed this up. There should be nothing shameful about feeding a baby in public. I've seen women wearing blankets in public, looking totally embarrassed, and it's sad. Men are the worst, especially strange men. I could never get the hang of wearing a blanket when breastfeeding, so I bought a few of those nursing tops. They worked well, but I still felt angry when some people around me looked embarrassed when I'd breastfeed. But I have a thing about germs (especially in public), so I never went into a bathroom. Western culture has oversexualized women's breasts, and we as women need to change this.
Should women breastfeed in public?

Yes, women should feel comfortable feeding in public. I totally agree with the above. :thumbsup:

A friend of mine breastfed her daughter at the theater, when we went to see the Lion King. It was dark so most couldn't see what she was doing although they knew we brought the baby in. At intermission that's when everyone saw. People were coming up to us after the show in amazement, they were so surprised that the baby didn't cry or make a sound. It was because she was fed most of the time, and when she wasn't suckling she slept with the breast. My friend doesn't believe formula should be her baby's primary source of nutrition since she is healthy and her breast is producing nourishing milk, and I agree.

When I have children I will freely breastfeed in public when my child lets me know he or she is hungry.

happie2bnappie98
06-12-2003, 12:50 AM
I have breastfed in public before. I don't nurse in front of a lot of people because my son is easily distracted and he has to have his quiet nursing time. However, if I go to a restaurant I know that I know that I will probably have to nurse him, so I just ask for a booth and I have not had any problems. I did it just a couple of days ago... :) 99% of the time I have to feed him at the doctor's office and I just do it, no matter what type of 'doctor' he/she is.

If I am in an environment where I know the idea of breastfeeding will be an issue (whether men drooling or women eyeing me down) I simply either walk to a more comfortable environment or turn my back and do what I have to do.

NikkiG
06-12-2003, 11:42 AM
Yes, I think women should breastfeed in public. It is a very natural function and it is a shame that others are so embarrassed by what God created our bodies to do. Unfortunately, I have not seen hardly anyone breastfeeding around here at all. I see bottles so much, I rarely see the breast anymore. I did see one lady nursing her son at church and she was sitting in the bathroom and he had a blanket over his body.

Nikk

Genipha
06-12-2003, 05:51 PM
Sweet Africa

We take the baby to the movies all the time...he sleeps and nurses thru the whole thing...its the only way we would ever get to go...no babysitter!

Usually can only go to non-action flix

SweetAfrica
06-12-2003, 11:12 PM
Originally posted by Genipha@Jun 12 2003, 01:51 PM
Sweet Africa

We take the baby to the movies all the time...he sleeps and nurses thru the whole thing...its the only way we would ever get to go...no babysitter!

Usually can only go to non-action flix
:D

I'm sure I'll be doing the same when I'm a mommy. ;)

brackagirl
06-13-2003, 03:50 AM
Why Not should be the question. It takes so much more effort to pump, store and pack bottles then to just get up and go. I see no reason we should be afraid of what others will feel, say, do, should they happen to come across a mom breastfeeding her child. I've done it many times, my 1st ds for 17 months and am currently nursing my 2nd ds who is 17 months. It does get a little tricky as they get older, so I'm prepared for someone to get a lil peek, but who cares? Never had a problem when I was on the beach in bikini, so why start now?

Medusa Negrita
06-17-2003, 04:24 AM
I useto breastfeed under a blanket, but I had trouble keeping them up. I still do but now sometimes I just raise my shirt and put the baby there.

Sometimes other kids can be worse than adults. Children who haven't been exposed to the 'natural' reasons of what breast are for, but they think they are supposed to hang out and over skimpy outfits and shake in front of some camara or men's eyes. Then when they see a woman breastfeeding before, they they think it's odd you got your kids mouth on a 'private part' like that. I had some giggle, and go :o and what I was doing, then be curious and say "what are you doing?" I tell them I'm feeding the baby and they want to know 'how.' They really have nada clue that milk come out these things, or that that that's what supposed to come out. Then they have to go home and ask their momma and I guess she finally explains it it to them.

I really have had to much of a problem with breastfeeding in pub. I did have a butcher (meat sales person) see me breastfeeding in the grocery store, and he ask me if I get 'feeings' (arousal) from it like you would get from a man. :lol: :nohuh:.

I went to a NOI mosque once, and I don't think you're allowed to breastfeed there. I really didn't know and I breastfeed in church before, but I just kinda got this feeling that if I did breastfeed there, they would probably ask me to leave. They seemed strict on that kinda thing.

When I first started breastfeeding my first son while out in pub with my aunt, it made her visually uncomfortable. She kept looking around and thinking people were stairing at us and finally said "are you ccmfortable doing that out there like this?"

:) I'm thinking "I'm fine, how about you?" :lol:

2twisted
06-17-2003, 04:57 AM
Originally posted by MsDrea@Jun 9 2003, 10:32 AM
Should women breastfeed in public?
Should grown-ups eat or drink in public? Some of them are darn nasty and make folks like me uncomfortable, chewing with their mouths all wide open, smacking and crunching away, eating gross foods that can't possibly taste any good. Uggggghhhhhh!

Should women bottlefeed in public? Given that most everyone now admits that, ideally speaking, breastmilk is best, all that formula being consumed out there all in the wide open is kinda sending out the wrong message, doncha think?

Noone would ever ask either of the above questions, so why does anyone need to question bfip? No offense at all to the original poster, and I am really not a bf zealot, but it just seems sad to me that the question ever needs to be asked. Of course women should bfip if their children are hungry and that is their source of nourishment.

Bfip can be done as discreetly as one desires, regardless of size or location. While I am sure that there are those exhibitionist bf'ers out there, they are by far the minority. 9 times out of 10 you are going to have no idea what that mother and child are doing unless you are being nosy or looking for it. A snuggling or sleeping baby and a bf'ing baby look virtually the same. Loose clothing and roomy tops make an excellent "blanket" and are considerably less the expense of nursing tops, though I did have a couple of those as well.

I bf'ed both my children, until 17 months and 28 months. At the mall, the library, the restaurant, the store...whenever, wherever. If a lounge was available I would sometimes go there, or to another room or the car if the gathering area didn't feel like a conducive environment. But for the most part I just went with what was comfortable, and having folks staring at my exposed 36Ds would not have been comfortable for me. I cannot think of anything negative that was ever said to me, though there may have been side glances to which I was oblivious. I DID receive a goodly amount of positive reinforcement re: bf, in public or no.

I think everyone has to go with whatever their personal comfort level is, of course, and hopefully a good dose of common sense, regarding where and how they feed their children. But given everything else being done in public these days, I would think that bfip would be WAY far down the list of things for folks to be worrying about regarding what other people are doing. And more black women do need to bf their children, whether they do it in public or private or whathaveyou.

MsDrea
06-17-2003, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by 2twisted+Jun 17 2003, 04:57 AM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (2twisted @ Jun 17 2003, 04:57 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--MsDrea@Jun 9 2003, 10:32 AM
Should women breastfeed in public?

Should women bottlefeed in public? Given that most everyone now admits that, ideally speaking, breastmilk is best, all that formula being consumed out there all in the wide open is kinda sending out the wrong message, doncha think?

Noone would ever ask either of the above questions, so why does anyone need to question bfip? No offense at all to the original poster, and I am really not a bf zealot, but it just seems sad to me that the question ever needs to be asked. Of course women should bfip if their children are hungry and that is their source of nourishment.

I think everyone has to go with whatever their personal comfort level is, of course, and hopefully a good dose of common sense, regarding where and how they feed their children. But given everything else being done in public these days, I would think that bfip would be WAY far down the list of things for folks to be worrying about regarding what other people are doing. And more black women do need to bf their children, whether they do it in public or private or whathaveyou. [/b][/quote]
I am the original poster. You answered your own question, but let me clarify the answer for you. The reason why the question needs to be asked is because in your own words: more black women do need to bf their children. I think that if were done in public more than it would be more readily acceptable. I agree with everything you said and if you&#39;ll read my responces I wasn&#39;t questioning the act. I was really just trying to get us to discuss it.

2twisted
06-17-2003, 05:39 PM
Oh, Ms Drea, I know you weren&#39;t questioning the act. :) I think I just hate that question, phrased that way. You know, because asking if we "should" implies that there is a "shouldn&#39;t" side of things, and that bugs me on this topic. It&#39;s really none of anyone else&#39;s business whether a woman chooses to bfip, but that question implicitly says that it is other people&#39;s business. :mad: If it had been posed as how do you feel about it, or what are the pros and cons, or would you do it, etc., I wouldn&#39;t have commented on that part of it--the key word there being "you." Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but I am offended by the notion of others trying to police women&#39;s right to bf and when and where they can do it. Since there is a history of such in the US, I feel like asking "should" gives weight to the "shouldn&#39;ts," as if there was something wrong with doing it.

Sorry. I really wasn&#39;t trying to be *****y. I think it just irritates me when phrased that way b/c that is how people always ask it. You rarely hear it asked in any other way, and I have been a longtime participant in other parenting boards and groups where it comes up regularly, and usually in those same terms. To me, that shows that there is innate bias against it (not you personally, but societally). Much like many of the flawed statements about natural hair and race that are frequently discussed here.

I am more than happy to discuss bf&#39;ing, and do think we need to increase consciousness among black parents in particular (not just the women--the men need a wake up call FER REAL b/c they are NOT JUST THEIR TOYS! :mad: :lol: ), but this is one of those questions where I would respectfully submit that we need to think about how we broach the discussion, because we may unintentionally be reinforcing the negatives off the top.

mommytimes2
06-18-2003, 04:23 AM
I HAVE 2 KIDS AND I BREASTFED BOTH OF THEM. MY OLDEST (SON)SELF WEANED AT AGE 10 1/2 MONTHS AND THE YOUNGER CHILD (DAUGHTER) WAS WEANED BY ME AT 17 1/2 MONTHS.

I WAS SELF CONSCIOUS ABOUT FEEDING MY SON IN PUBLIC, SO MOST OF THE TIME I WOULD GO TO ANOTHER ROOM OR NURSE HIM IN THE BACK SEAT OF THE CAR. AS I DEVELOPED MORE CONFIDENCE, I LEARNED TO COVER HIM WITH A BLANKET AND FEED HIM DISCRETELY. MY HUSBAND ALSO FED HIM EXPRESSED BREAST MILK OR FORMULA WHEN WE WERE IN PUBLIC FROM AGE 6 MONTHS.

MY DAUGHTER EXPRESSED A PREFERANCE FOR THE BREAST AT AGE 3 WEEKS AND REFUSED MILK IN A BOTTLE (EVEN EXPRESSED BREAST MILK) UNTIL SHE WAS NEARLY 1 YEARS OLD! I LEARNED TO CUDDLE HER IN SUCH A WAY THAT YOU COULDN&#39;T TELL I WAS NURSING. I WORE JACKETS, NURSING TOPS, AND SWEAT SHIRTS TO COVER MY BREASTS DURING NURSING. I FED THAT BABY EVERYWHERE!! :P BENCHES IN THE MALL, DEPARTMENT STORES, RESTAURANTS, ETC. I FELT IT WAS BETTER TO FEED THAN TO HAVE THE BABY SCREAM. MORE PEOPLE STARED WHEN THE BABY WAS CRYING THAN WHEN I WAS NURSING ANYWAY :blink: .

I THINK IT&#39;S OKAY TO NURSE IN PUBLIC AS LONG AS YOU ARE MODEST AND NOT FLASHY ABOUT IT. IT&#39;S ALSO GOOD TO KEEP A PLEASANT LOOK ON YOUR FACE AS YOU&#39;RE NURSING SO IT&#39;S NOT OBVIOUS. I PERSONALLY FEEL BREASTS HANGING OUT IN PUBLIC IS TACKY. :nohuh:

MsDrea
06-19-2003, 02:21 PM
Originally posted by 2twisted@Jun 17 2003, 05:39 PM
I think I just hate that question, phrased that way. You know, because asking if we "should" implies that there is a "shouldn&#39;t" side of things, and that bugs me on this topic. It&#39;s really none of anyone else&#39;s business whether a woman chooses to bfip, but that question implicitly says that it is other people&#39;s business. :mad: If it had been posed as how do you feel about it, or what are the pros and cons, or would you do it, etc., I wouldn&#39;t have commented on that part of it--the key word there being "you." Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but I am offended by the notion of others trying to police women&#39;s right to bf and when and where they can do it. Since there is a history of such in the US, I feel like asking "should" gives weight to the "shouldn&#39;ts," as if there was something wrong with doing it.

Sorry. I really wasn&#39;t trying to be *****y. I think it just irritates me when phrased that way b/c that is how people always ask it.
OK ;)