or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Breastfeeding › MAJOR parenting difference.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

MAJOR parenting difference. - Page 2

Poll Results: Where should a woman be allowed to breastfeed in public?

  • 85% (200)
    Out in the open: it's something to celebrate!
  • 14% (33)
    In the open but discreetly covered up.
  • 0% (0)
    In a public bathroom or somewhere out of the way.
  • 0% (0)
    They shouldn't be allowed to breastfeed in public at all.
233 Total Votes  
post #21 of 47
well your side is definitely going to win this poll contest LOL look where you posted it!

i voted option #1, no need to cover up. and i live that; i nurse whenever/wherever.

i have a super high energy 3 yo so we are frequently on the go and out and about.

i have found a super easy way to be discreet, and no one can even tell you are nursing a baby.

1. get a nursing tank top from target or walmart.
2. get a nursing shirt or wear something that you can easily pull down over your breast.
3. wear your baby in a moby wrap (or similar) and the fabric will cover the top half of your breast.
4. being that it's winter, i use my big black scarf (i believe it's called a pashmena (sp)) around my shoulders, and when it's time to nurse, i simply cradle DS in it, and wrap around to further cover up. the pashmena doubles as a coat for quick walks from the parking lot into the library, etc.

sorry that you are dealing with such backwards opinions from your SO.
post #22 of 47
In public, whenever and wherever you need to!

I'm in the midwest too, and yes people are a bit more uncomfortable with it here than other places, I think. Funny thing is, my grandma tells me that she remembers the farm women openly breastfeeding in church services in the 1930s and 40s, without anyone batting an eyelash. Breastfeeding certainly wasn't seen as sexual back then, and there's no reason for people to see it as sexual now either.
post #23 of 47
s jay!

of course you know how i voted

my first inclination is to come up there and smack h for acting that way, but i'll hold on to my aggression and try to put a positive spin on this. i want to tell you about my reluctant lactivist dh!

bill is my biggest supporter and wasn't new to bf when we had natalie. i had had 3 failed attempts at bf and was bound and determined to make bf work for us. i was also determined to feed my baby how and when my baby wanted and not try to conform to others or a schedule. bill was very supportive and was over joyed when i voiced my opinions and wishes because he was barely making the utility payments and knew that bf was the cheaper option

so i have the baby and things are going great with bf. better than i'd ever dreamed! she was such and easy bf'er that i thought surely i'd just been stupid the 3 previous times! she was born in december, so we stayed in quite a bit her first few months.

i never covered her or took much notice in how we bf so the first time i bf in public, i was a little awkward but felt like i did an excellent job of just bf my baby without being offensive or flashy/showy. we were in a corner booth in a popular cafe at one of the malls. bill was with us and i noticed that when natalie started to fuss, he started to get antsy. even though we were only half finished with the food, he insisted on going to pay the bill and started getting things ready to go. i told him we could wait it out and i'd nurse her and then we'd go.

he started getting noticable aggitated and began looking around and insisting that i hurry. i was shocked and felt slighted but decided to just wrap up nursing and discuss things with him further when we got home. turns out that there were several patrons in the cafe that we looking at me and whispering and one even pointed. i was so involved in caring for my baby (and let's face it, after 4 kids you get numb to comments and staring!) that i didn't notice.

i asked him what was bothering him about that. was it the fact that people were staring or was he mad at me for nip? at first he said that he was just mad at the people, but after we talked, he admitted that nip DID bother him simply because he'd always been told that breasts were private parts. his ex had always used a bottle or nursed in the car (mostly the latter) when out in public, so he'd never really been exposed to nip.

at the heart of his discomfort was the instinctive need to protect his mate and child, but there were societally imposed overtones as well. we are told from a young age that breasts are sexual and a woman's breasts either add to or deflect from her overall sexual appeal. true, but we've forgotten that 'sex appeal' directly relates to our biological desires to further the species and not just our desires to have a perfect body made for sexual pleasures.

so we sat and talked and came to the conclusion that nursing is normal and that viewing breasts as sexual is not. without millions of years worth of bf, we'd none be here today! dh is usually the first to defend a woman's right to bf how and where she'd like. he openly broaches the subject with his co-workers, friends, strangers at wal-mart, his family, the lady at the public works, etc. however, he still goes into 'protect and deflect' mode when i'm nip. sometimes when we're out in public, he literally pulls his jacket out and around us to 'hide' us and while i used to get incredibly peeved about his wanting to cover us, i know now that it's his way of protecting what's his.

maybe you could talk to h and try to get a feel for what's bothering him about nip. if he TRULY felt like bf was sexual in nature, wouldn't he take issue with bf as a whole? maybe he's parroting what other's have said and he's embarrassed by what they think and not necessarily having issues with it himself? this is tough...i'm sorry you are going through this! i wish we could all just get over the whole breast thing. i mean, cows have breasts that hang out in public AND we drink the milk from them and no one even bats an eye. but let a mama feed her baby and it's like the demise of our social system is at hand. ***ROLLING EYES***
post #24 of 47
Women don't need to be "allowed" to breastfeed in public, the people who are upset by breastfeeding should be granted permission to turn their head's away if they can give a good excuse for seeing a baby eating being a painful reminder.
post #25 of 47
You should be able to bf whenever, wherever. I like what boobs4milk had to say I went through the same with my husband but a milder version but yes he will hold up a blanket or coat if I am staying where I am at to get her latched on then he relaxes. He didnt even flinch when we got our family pictures taken and Maddie was nursing for almost every single one. This is our third bf baby so we have settled into a "groove" about it, rocky to start though. I saw a tshirt the other day that I loves, " IF breastfeeding is sexual then that bottle you are using is a dildo"
post #26 of 47
I voted the 1st one, because I believe women should be "allowed" to nurse whenever and wherever they want.

That said, in public I nurse covered up. I have not really practiced trying to get the boob out fast and discreetly without a cover, and DS does like to take breaks . . .anyway. I would not leave where we were to go to the car, but if that is where we are, or he is fussing on the way to somewhere, that is where I nurse (pulled over in a parking lot)

I think DH would probably be uncomfortable if I nursed uncovered in public. but if I had to and did, he'd have to get over it. Baby needs to eat, and that's where his food comes from. I've never gotten any weird looks or anything; but I have seen only one woman nursing completely uncovered (meaning boob out); one other had ruched up her shirt and you saw nothing. everyone else seems to use a cover.

I am in the south, btw, and I'm sure that makes a difference. I'm the only one I've seen that actually babywears with anything other than a baby bjorn (which I really dislike)
post #27 of 47
Thread Starter 
I blame it all on TV...

He's a lot calmer this morning. He'd had a couple of beers last night so I scolded him for that this morning - and we talked about it on the phone (he at work). It's not as though I am going to remove my top in the middle of WalMart and do an Irish jig while simultaneously flapping my boobs to and fro... So he overreacted.

And to everyone who thinks this is something he is simply going to have to get used to and isn't yet: you are so right. I think it's just not been a familiar thing - any of this childbirth lark - from the VBAC, to the attachment parenting, to the fact that I kept the placenta to bury under a tree in a kind of "welcome to life" celebration on my friend's farm. So he's done well I guess in the bigger picture

Anyhow must go feed my baby with my big flappy boobs!
post #28 of 47
Just so you know... the PTB in Minnesota definately support your right to nurse in public.


Minn. Stat. Ann. § 145.894 directs the state commissioner of health to develop and implement a public education program promoting the provisions of the Maternal and Child Nutrition Act. The education programs must include a campaign to promote breastfeeding.

Minn. Stat. § 145.905 provides that a mother may breastfeed in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother's breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.

Minn. Stat. § 181.939 (1998) requires employers to provide daily unpaid break time for a mother to express breast milk for her infant child. Employers are also required to make a reasonable effort to provide a private location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the workplace for this activity. (SB 2751)

Minn. Stat. Ann. § 617.23 specifies that breastfeeding does not constitute indecent exposure.
Good luck!
post #29 of 47
Originally Posted by major_mama11 View Post
In public, whenever and wherever you need to!

I'm in the midwest too, and yes people are a bit more uncomfortable with it here than other places, I think. Funny thing is, my grandma tells me that she remembers the farm women openly breastfeeding in church services in the 1930s and 40s, without anyone batting an eyelash. Breastfeeding certainly wasn't seen as sexual back then, and there's no reason for people to see it as sexual now either.
I'm in Iowa and I've found that people here are far more open to breastfeeding in public than other parts of the country. I've breastfed all over Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota without anyone batting an eye. I've only ever had problems in Arizona and Colorado.

That being said, a woman should breastfeed whenever and wherever she feels comfortable. He'll get used to it after he's seen it once or twice and realizes that it's just not that big a deal and that people really just don't care that much on the whole.
post #30 of 47
I've always NIP without covering - DD was a summer baby and is a little heater and so she would sweat and sweat if I even tried to use a cover. Besides, using a cover is SO frustrating when youare tryingto latch on and the baby is waving their hands around and it's just easier not to.

Fwiw, my mom BF all of us to at least 12m-3years and when I visited my family with DD at 3mo, she was shooing all the boys out when I nursed *rolls eyes*. So I don't know what was up with that. I definitely like the bottle/dildo concept!
post #31 of 47
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post

oh, no, he didn't!

I have no words. I'd probably kick him in his *ahem*.

I've nursed in public more times than I can count. I don't go out much, but I nursed H at the county building when we had to apply for his BC. Nursed out in the open at Six Flags, SeaWorld, the mall, restaurants, etc., and I don't recall getting dirty looks.

I wonder if it's just due to his lack of exposure. Is your area "crunchy"?
post #32 of 47
Up here in Canadaland, our right to breastfeed anywhere and anytime is protected by law. In Ontario (I don't live there though), women can walk around topless in any place a man can do the same, regardless of whether or not she is breastfeeding.

Not only do I believe in my right to breastfeed where/whenever I want, I am personally rather put off when I see women nursing in public bathrooms- that's doing us all a disservice by illustrating to those around you that it SHOULD be a private matter. Not only that, but I sure woudln't want to take my burger to the can to eat it, KWIM?
post #33 of 47
Well, I guess he's welcome to his opinion... but as the person who has to feed the baby, I think the decision on where to nurse comes down to where YOU feel comfortable.

Prior to having my son, I was pretty nervous about nursing in public and wasn't sure I'd do it. (Among other things, I have huge boobs, and there's really nothing discreet about my NIP!) But the moment I heard him crying for food in public, all of my personal anxieties and self-consciousness went right out the window.

We nurse on the bus, at the grocery store, at restaurants, at bake sales, in book stores, on park benches... basically wherever we need to. I'm not going to keep my kid (who is too young to understand the concept of "waiting"!) from his food because other people feel uncomfortable with my boobs. (I also always wonder-- wouldn't they feel more uncomfortable with the screaming baby? You can avert your eyes from breastfeeding, but you can't do the same thing with your ears.)

The idea that breastfeeding is somehow offensive or obscene to the American public always boggles me. The average American sees more bare flesh on TV every day. But naked boobs in a non-sexual context are offensive? Uh yeah no, I don't get it!
post #34 of 47
Originally Posted by JayJay View Post
It's not as though I am going to remove my top in the middle of WalMart and do an Irish jig while simultaneously flapping my boobs to and fro... So he overreacted.
Whenever my mom makes a comment about how "women should be discreet" I tell her "Well, better stay far away from me when I have kids. I plan on stripping my shirt off, sticking out my chest, shimmying it around for a good twenty seconds, then latching the baby on." She always laughs
post #35 of 47
My DH was pretty uncomfortable with NIP before we had children. He was like "you aren't going to be one of *those* women, are you, and do *that* in public?!!" I just said, "well, would you rather hear our child scream while he/she waits for a bottle, or would you rather me just nurse before it gets to the screaming stage? Which would draw more attention?" The first time I NIP, DS1 was 6 weeks old, we were in the middle of a packed restaurant, DH had NO idea that DS was even nursing. He later asked me the last time DS had eaten, and when I told him, he was like "No way!! I didn't even notice!" I said, "and you were right next to me. How many other people do you think noticed?" That was the end of that, and it's never been an issue since (almost 12 years later!). I think when they don't grow up with it, it is a foreign concept, and they just don't know what to expect. Once they see that it is a normal and discreet part of life, there is usually no problem, IME. Once you've NIP a few times, I bet your DH will be fine with NIP, and will probably even become your biggest supporter.
post #36 of 47
I'm glad that he's calmer about it this morning.

However, if it comes up again (especially when you're out somewhere), send him to the bathroom for 20 minutes whenever the baby needs to eat. And then feed the baby wherever you are. Let him see what kind of burden he's placing on you.
post #37 of 47
So thought I would add to this conversation by sharing my experience yesterday...

I was looking for a gardening magazine at Target and standing in the magazine aisle. I was actually standing next to the wingstack of sports illustrated. This month's cover, as every person could easily see by walking past the aisle, was a scantily clad lady barely covering her bare breasts with her arms/elbows crossed.

Ironically, DD decides she needs to nurse. So there I am standing NEXT TO sports illustrated, nursing DD. And although I fully support NIP of any kind, it did happen to be completely discreet b/c I was wearing my fave nursing shirt.

What do I get but, "You can't do that here! That's disgusting!"

I pointed to the magazine and said, "If that magazine can be here, I can be here."

post #38 of 47
I have nursed my (now 14 m.o.) DD all over creation and "gotten away with it." I prefer to wear a nursing tank top underneath a bigger shirt and that way no one can ever see my stomach. DD's head hides my breast, so it's not a peep show in the least. While she's latching on, someone might have caught a glimpse, but most people are polite and don't stare that much anyway.

Anyway, tell your husband that no one has EVER even given me a "bad" look. People have either ignored me or said nice things! To me, this is about family values -- support and acceptance of breastfeeding = support for the health and nurture of our children. It is a wonderful thing and something that many in our culture strongly encourage!
post #39 of 47
Jay, it is so hard when something crops up that you never thought would be an issue! I have to say though that my blood pressure went up as I read this and I'm ready to call your other half and give him an earful!

My hubby had a crunchy mom who nursed him til 2.5 years old, so he is wonderfully supportive of NIP. I NIP ds1 and felt more awkward about it at first, just cuz he's my first, but never covered up after the first month when my whole breast had to be out to get him latched (he was tongue-tied). Now, with DS2, I will tell you this: I could give a flying fig about who sees me NIP. I now know that I'm able to nurse without flashing, and if I do it's so brief that it would be VERY rare for anyone to see it. DH loves that I NIP, he loves breasts in general and always tries to get a look when I'm latching DS on. He is always (jokingly) disappointed that despite his best efforts he never can. Your man needs to get over himself; keep on keeping on and I know he'll change his mind.

love ya!
post #40 of 47
Nursing in a public bathroom, THATS obscene.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Breastfeeding
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Breastfeeding › MAJOR parenting difference.