Here is a link to a news story that was recently aired on a popular news station in my state. Watch the video. I am horrified.
First off, I’d like to say I can understand where the argument comes from in thinking that women should cover up while breastfeeding for their company’s sake. I thoroughly believe that if I’m standing somewhere, it is incredibly rude for someone to come up and start smoking next to me, repetitively swearing in front of my toddler, etc. I understand how someone may try to apply that same rule to breastfeeding in public. The problem here is that nursing in public is not a question of etiquette.
Breastfeeding is feeding a baby. Period. That is all. There is no question of someone getting uncomfortable about it because it’s not an issue of modesty or indecency. If someone is feeding a baby with a bottle, they are not asked to cover up. It is the exact same situation. A baby is eating. That. Is. All.
This is, once again, a problem of our society. Breasts are sexualized. This is something unique to our society. In other countries (beyond the “Americanized” nations) there isn’t a second thought given to nursing a child where ever they may be. It is only in our country where it is normal to have swimsuits that show nearly every inch of skin, but it’s not okay to breastfeed where anyone can see you. I’ve seen people go as far as to say that in my own home if someone is visiting, I need to leave the room to nurse. Are you kidding me?
This is absolutely disgusting to me that women in my state are being told that they’re being impolite by nursing in front of anyone beyond “their significant other and children” and possibly your mother and sisters. Are you kidding me? I know I’ve said that phrase multiple times in this post, but I can’t sum it up any other way. I feel that shell-shocked that such a prominent news company in my state would air such an outrageous story.
I am all for mothers having the option to cover up if that makes them more comfortable, but a woman should never be told that she has to cover up. You all know my story of Peanut kicking and hitting me when I tried to cover her when she was only 4 months old. If I hadn’t had the courage to nurse without a cover, I wouldn’t still be nursing today. I wouldn’t have even made it to six months.
What hurts me the most is that the women who gave me the courage to nurse without a cover are the ones that are shown nursing at the end of that story. Specifically I see a leader of the Salt Lake La Leche League that I remember looking up to as she so casually nursed both of her daughters while running the meeting. The first place I breastfed without a cover was in that meeting. That specific video a shot of the breastfeeding cafe. How dare they use video of the cafe to tell women that breastfeeding is essentially wrong. That is the exact opposite of the purpose of that event. I am literally typing in tears because I am so angry that they would do this.
Breastfeeding is not sexual.
Breastfeeding is not immodest.
Breastfeeding is not rude.
Breastfeeding is normal, natural, and the absolute best way to feed your child. Period.