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"discreet" and is it ever ok to define it - Page 2

post #21 of 35
Since discretion is subjective it can't be narrowed down to one concrete definition.

I don't think the word has any place in lactavism, personally. I don't have a problem w/individuals defining it for themselves, but I don't want anyone imposing their definition on me.

I also agree that people who talk about discrete nursing have a problem w/breastfeeding in general, or they would be complaining about public dress, boycotting fashion mags, and not watching tv.

I don't know what the answer to your situation is but I would be willing to bet that even if you agree to nursing behind closed doors that down the line they will find something else to challenge you on. It sounds like they don't like people asking questions or disagreeing w/them.

post #22 of 35
Originally Posted by tanyam926 View Post
Since discretion is subjective it can't be narrowed down to one concrete definition.

I don't think the word has any place in lactavism, personally. I don't have a problem w/individuals defining it for themselves, but I don't want anyone imposing their definition on me.

I also agree that people who talk about discrete nursing have a problem w/breastfeeding in general, or they would be complaining about public dress, boycotting fashion mags, and not watching tv.
A lot of them do. Most of the people I know who push for discreet NIP (these people are mostly, like in the OP's situation, in a church setting) also believe strongly in modesty in dress and behavior for both men and women, and are usually not fans of pop culture. I don't buy the blanket notion that everyone who thinks that NIP should be "discreet" has a problem with breastfeeding. And if I were one of them, I imagine I'd be offended if I had people like some in this thread, insisting that they know what my real problem is. I don't like people trying to tell me what I'm thinking or feeling in general. Just my two cents for what it's worth.
post #23 of 35
My whole take on being "discreet" is that I really don't want other people seeing my boobs so I try not to show them.

That said, nobody, nowhere, nohow is going to stop me from feeding my baby. I just try to keep my boobs behind my baby's head during the process. I wouldn't wear a cover if you paid me and I never try to hide the fact that I am nursing.

It is not to avoid offending them, its to avoid giving them a peek. (is that arrogant?)
post #24 of 35
I would definitely not agree that most people who ask for less skin showing during BF are against BF in general. I find that the pro-BF community itself is very split on the issue of discretion, and that most people who want more modesty want it for all occasions and not just for BF. This was actually found to be a problem last time ND legislature was in session and we had a BF bill up for vote. A change was made to the original wording of the bill to include "discreet and modest" and the people who were in favor of the bill became divided. Part of the people thought the wording was fine, and part thought it was just awful, and the bill would best be killed rather than have the wording in it. I would agree that SOME people are grossed out by BF but have no problem with bare boobs in general (more men than women I'm guessing, especially young ones).
post #25 of 35
Part of the problem with a cultural concensus on modesty in the US, is there are so many different cultures we draw from! Everyone from Puritans to nudists make up the framework we're working with!
A friend who is very modest, but wanted to BF had problems with BF her first child because the little guy hated blankets. So I bought her a "hooter hider", though I would never use one myself. I personally try not to flash anyone, and am very careful around people that I know are uncomfortable with BF.
Any definition of "discreet" threatens the rights of BF moms to do what they need to. Supporting BF, means supporting the right for women to be topless, or wear a burka!
post #26 of 35
Just to clarify my above post:

When I said that I believe that most people who are insistent on discrete BF have a problem w/BF in general I meant that people who argue, insist, shame, etc. others into nursing the "correct" way, which in their mind is discrete, DO have some problem w/BF. Whether that be feeling uncomfortable bc they haven't been exposed to BF or openly against it for whatever reason. I wasn't referring to people that define discrete for themselves and practice whatever what their definiton of it is. I did not use the word against bc that's not what I meant.
post #27 of 35
Thread Starter 
I agree that requesting discretion doen't imply anything against breastfeeding, but in someways that makes it worse as it means people are telling me "I covered up"/"my wife covered up", therefore all women/babies can cover up.

So they don't have a personal disagreement with breastfeeding, but nor do they demonstrate a wider understanding of it.

But by having a very narrow frame of reference for it, it misses anything that goes beyond that.

E.g. I've been told that a nursing room available from 10-11 is adequate time to nurse a baby, which it is if your baby takes 20-30mins to feed and demands that before 10.30. But my first baby routinely took an hour to feed, for many months, not just early on, so unless he demanded at precisely 10am, the nursing room would not meet our need.

Having lived through medium term disability, I'm also much more aware of the needs of disabled parents, though I'd never claim to be able to speak for them, but I know there are many amazing women out there who breastfeed with great difficulty and for whom being able to breastfeed where they are, however they need to could make the difference between independence and dependence.
post #28 of 35
I wouldn't agree with defining "discretion"

One can never predict every situation. I do not believe it is appropriate to tell a woman how to nurse.
post #29 of 35
I don't think that anyone has a right to tell anyone what discretion means to them. I think our society in general is just very confused by this. When I was still nursing I was most definetly confused by this. i was very supported in bf my ds by both friends and family (who all bf I might add), BUT I remember having numerous conversations with people that you can be out in public and nurse without flashing to much breast? I was only able to nurse for the first six months so maybe I didn't get a good handle on it but there is no way I could nurse ds without breast being exsposed.
post #30 of 35
Honestly, I bristle at the term "discreet" when applied to breastfeeding. It seems to me that it is most often used by those who are not completely supportive of breastfeeding. The implication is that there IS something dirty about it and we should cover it as much as possible. There also seems to be the impression that there are all these "indiscreet" nursers out there waving their bare tits around in public...though rarely do those who suggest that's the case have actual personal experience of such women to back it up (at least in my part of the US...I've personally never seen one of these boob bearing breastfeeders in public LOL). And why should the sight of bare breasts in the act of nursing be so shocking anyway?

I personally prefer to nurse w/ my shirt down to my babe's mouth. I've used slings to nurse, but for comfort or mobility and not privacy. I've had around 6.5 years of nursing experience, including tandem nursing and older child nursing (my DD weaned at 5). At first I was so concerned w/ being "discreet." After awhile, I realized what a pain that whole blanket tent thing was and how I could easily nurse w/ a minimum of skin showing w/o any special nursing contraption. Personally, I prefer not to show my breasts in public. That feeling is no doubt shaped by my cultural experience. I've I'd grown up in a culture that routinely beared breasts for feeding or other reasons, I'm sure I wouldn't give a fig one way or the other. When it comes to other women, I fully support breastfeeding in whatever manner works for them whether it's topless and standing on her head or w/ a blanket (though I do scratch my head a little at the blankets and "hooter hiders" b/c it seems to me to often indicate that breastfeeding is somehow shameful). So, even though I wouldn't deliberately whip my entire boob out and latch my little one on, I think it's perfectly fine if a woman does so.

I think any legislation or policy that attempts to insert the "discreet" term is NOT really supportive of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is not dirty or shameful in any way. Covering up should be a matter purely for the mother's comfort and NOT dictated by puritanical concepts of modesty. While I personally consider modesty important, it is defined by a particular culture and there are no absolutes to the concept. Not only that, there is NOTHING intrinsically immodest about breastfeeding even in a culture that prefers the breasts to remain covered for the most part in public. The act of breastfeeding and the act of wearing a low cut, cleavage bearing garment are nowhere near the same thing...the intention defines the modesty of the act IMO.

When it comes to faith based reasoning for "discreet" nursing...I simply can't wrap my mind around the idea that breastfeeding a child is dirty in the eyes of God. It's not sexual by any stretch of the imagination. If a man finds himself overwhelmed w/ lust by a nursing woman...he needs a lot of prayer. Oh, I know the biblical passage about how we shouldn't lead others astray...but that can go too far. Should all women be locked away from men the moment they become sexually attractive to men? Perhaps we should shroud our entire bodies and faces to protect the delicate sensibilities of men. Please! Again, a low cut blouse is an entirely different matter than breastfeeding (breastbearing or not). As long as we teach folks that breastfeeding is sexual and should be covered up as such, we'll continue to give ppl excuses to force women into hiding breastfeeding. Folks need to disconnect puritanical sex views from baby feeding. Now, I'm a die hard Roman Catholic. I obey my church and I respect the concept of modesty. I don't see breastfeeding as immodest however it is done and I know the Church does not teach that it is immodest (though I have heard individual priests claim that it is somehow immodest or could lead others into lust). One need only look at the art w/ Mary bearing her breast for Jesus, especially in the Vatican to realize that breastfeeding is a normal, natural act. There's nothing dirty or shameful about any aspect of the human body or sex for that matter. Now, while the body may be generally covered for modesty and sex is a sacred and private act, breastfeeding is totally different. My opinion, but I feel my understanding of my faith backs this up.
post #31 of 35
Originally Posted by PatioGardener View Post
Food for thought: In Ontario a woman has the right to be bare chested where ever a man has the right to be bare chested (for example, in a park, but not in a restaurant). So if a woman wanted, she could be topless in those areas, breastfeeding or not.
Do want.

Seriously, that's amazing.
post #32 of 35
Well said NoraB!
post #33 of 35
Great thread!

I never cover myself while BFing, and I don't see why I would *need* to expose both breasts since I only have one nursling.

Frankly, I am offended by people showing BUTT cleavage, but I see it all the time in public. Do I see the point in pursuing a law about it? No. Then again, people don't feed babies with their butt cracks.
post #34 of 35
I completely dislike the word discreet, in conjunction with breastfeeding. Why in the world would one want to be secretive about feeding a child? Modest, perhaps, about one's body. But secretive? No.
post #35 of 35
It seems to me that discretion regarding breasts is primarily an issue when they are at "work"; when they are being decorative, there don't seem to be as many objections .
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