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MOMS TALK: Breastfeeding in Public

A weekly starting point for local parents to discuss hot parenting topics.

I’d have done it.

As it was, I bottle-fed my babies in public because I was unable to breastfeed. I packed powdered formula in one bottle, fresh water in another, and then, outrageously, egregiously, publicly, I combined the powder with the water, shook it up, and fed my babies.

No one was shocked.

Apparently the hunger pangs of infants do not offend society.

I did not throw a blanket over the heads of my feeding children. I didn’t hide them, stifle them, or excuse myself to go feed them in a bathroom. I fed them in restaurants, where other humans feed themselves without embarrassment. I fed them in the mall’s food courts, where everyone else with two legs eats when they’re hungry. I fed them on my own front porch, where I too, could have a snack and catch an outdoor breeze.

No one, ever, was disgusted, offended or angry when I fed my babies.

But if I’d breastfed my babies, I have no doubt I’d be telling a different tale right now.

You know what? That’s a shame.

If you have a problem with a breastfeeding mother’s lady parts, take it up with Mother Nature. The mom sitting on a bench in the mall didn’t make the evolutionary plan of having the most natural, accessible and healthful method of feeding her infant also be an objectified, sexualized and taboo one. That’s society’s problem, not the mother’s, and certainly, certainly not the baby’s.

Got an opinion? Weigh in below.

Katie July 14, 2011 at 10:20 AM
Very well said!!!
Robert Armstrong July 14, 2011 at 02:34 PM
I was on a plane recently and the lady sitting next to me started breast feeding her baby. I was engrossed in a book and heard a strange sound and looked over and there she was!
Joanna Franklin Bell July 14, 2011 at 03:51 PM
No doubt. And had the woman bottle-fed the baby, you would have seen the same action. And had the woman, herself, eaten something, no doubt you would have been aware. And had you, yourself, eaten something, I'm sure your seatmates would have noticed. And flight attendants hand out snacks and drinks for people, and no one gets upset...
Robert Armstrong July 14, 2011 at 04:41 PM
I wasn't upset. I figured the li'l guy had to eat too! I have been flying a little over a million air miles per year and believe me, that was one of the least distracting things I have been exposed to.
Joanna Franklin Bell July 14, 2011 at 05:35 PM
Awesome! Thank you for your comments!
Robert Armstrong July 14, 2011 at 07:53 PM
I worked with a guy that was 6'-4" and weighed about 240 lbs. When his first child was born I found in a magazine, a vest that had fake boobs in which you put the babies bottles so the father can breast feed the baby and promote Father/child bonding. I bought it for him kinda as a joke. He said that when he answered the door wearing it, it scared the Jeebeezus out of the Jehovah Witnesses!
Joanna Franklin Bell July 14, 2011 at 09:09 PM
Oh my goodness that's funny!
white iphone gal July 17, 2011 at 12:22 PM
If they are willing to share with the rest of us then I'm all for it

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