So recently I have seen so many articles in the paper, on the internet and personal stories women tell me about their issues of breastfeeding in public. I just finished one in particular about a BF mom in Vancouver whose picture was taken off of Facebook because it showed her BF her 18 mth old (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/dailybrew/poster-promoting-breastfeeding-older-kids-nets-praise-health-202055832.html). It seems acceptable to society that a woman can walk around showing her breasts in her low cut shirt, but a BF mom can’t be moderately exposed when feeding her child. I had one woman tell me the story of how an older woman approached her and said “Go to the bathroom and feed your baby”. In shock, the woman replied back “Would you like to take your meal into the bathroom?” After it was phrased like that, the older woman apologized and had an understanding on a different level of what was happening. It’s not about a public display of breasts; it’s about the ability to feed our baby or toddler when they need it. It will stop turning heads when it starts to become the norm.
There are many of us that do not feel the need to go search out the nursing room, bathroom or closet that we can cram ourselves into when we have a screaming baby. Rather we choose to discreetly sit down on a bench in the mall, a corner of the grocery store, a bus shelter or on the lawn of park. Chastising a woman for that choice, is like chastising a person for choosing to wear a head covering, kippah/yarmulke, or any other religious choice.
I believe we as a society need to stop worrying about what others are doing with their personal choices, and start to self-reflect on our own.
If you feel you need support in your breastfeeding choices or as a mom, you should look into your local La Leche League groups. They are a wonderful source of information and more importantly support. Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information on LLL or for support in your breastfeeding.