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Is there such a thing as too much exposure when it comes to NIP? - Page 3

post #41 of 107
I think we need to be culturally sensitive while we change the culture. In other words, NIP is fine, but flashing the whole breast unnecessarily makes others think that NIP is bad and that bf in general is bad, so yes, we should keep as much of our breasts covered as we reasonably can. Does this mean that we have to use blankets or bebe au laits? No, pulling the shirt over the breast is quite sufficient.

OTOH, if you're in a culture where nip while showing the breast is the cultural norm, there is no need to pull your shirt over your breast. People would look at you funny.
post #42 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
That depends on the size of the areola - i can remember reading the baby should have breast to at least the margins of the areola in the mouth for a good latch and laughing - mine are in proportion to the rest of the (j-cup breast) - WAY too big for a baby to fit in their mouth. After 6 months? sure. at birth? no WAY!
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. While I am not a J cup I am a triple D soooo same situation. At least we are proportional though.

That being said I think sometimes it is a lot harder for larger women to nurse in public for those reasons. I would LOVE to see some breastfeeding advocacy posters and such with larger breasted women nursing but you just dont really see it that much. I wonder if that has to do with the whole "how much flesh showing is too much" scenario that we are talking about. Same position with same size baby on two different women can look very very different.
post #43 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by SashaBreeze View Post
That being said I think sometimes it is a lot harder for larger women to nurse in public for those reasons. I would LOVE to see some breastfeeding advocacy posters and such with larger breasted women nursing but you just dont really see it that much. I wonder if that has to do with the whole "how much flesh showing is too much" scenario that we are talking about. Same position with same size baby on two different women can look very very different.
In my opinionated opinion, this is part of the 'war on fat' we have going in the USA. No matter *what* the activity is, it is less acceptable from a fat person. There is this attitude that we are gross for doing the same thing that a thin person does and it really really makes me angry. Yeah, when I nurse in public a lot of boob shows--that's what having E cup breasts means. A newborns head (ok, let's be realistic... a 4-5 month old's head) simply cannot cover all of my breast tissue. That does not mean it is indiscreet for me to nurse my child in public.

post #44 of 107
i personally am comfortable nip. i am a very out and about mama, so "duty calls" has arisen in all kinds of places. i prefer not to use a nursing coverup like a hooter hider because i feel it screams, "HEY! I'm breastfeeding right now, don't look!" i like to double layer a nursing tank under a regular shirt and just pull the top shirt up. 99% of the time, i can be talking face-to-face with someone and they have no idea what i'm doing. in fact, they only realize when they get in close to sneak a peek at the cute baby .

this is MY personal preference. while i do think it's quite easy to be discreet about breastfeeding and i do not fully understand why many women chose not to be, i fully support a woman's right to whip out her entire boob even though i don't think it's necessary. (holy run on sentence. sorry!)
post #45 of 107
It's definitely easier to nurse if I have my whole breast out. However, I only do that at home b/c I am not comfortable exposing it all. I am more concerned w/ keeping my stomach covered than w/ breast exposure, lol. I am of the opinion that if people do not like it, they can look away. It is NOT an indecent act, no matter how much flesh is exposed. It is feeding a child, no big deal.

FTR, I am disproportionate: a 34J. I am able to expose v little, if I choose. I don't layer tops in the summer & I have not used a cover up w/ dd2.
post #46 of 107
I draw the line at the other boob you only need one boob out at a time, per baby.

I don't like to show the top half when I nurse, but I wear a t shirt and nursing top most of the time so you can't really see anything. When I go top down, there is a LOT of chest showing. There are times when I wear a V cut and can't help but show the top.

I have found nursing a toddler with his hand up my shirt twiddling and 'flopping' the other breast makes people uncomfortable, but they will get over it.
post #47 of 107
I guess this just mystifies me. How much boob is "too much"? I agree with others that it is a slippery slope. Everyone has their own comfort level when it comes to things like this. Those comfort levels range from not caring one bit, all the way down to some individuals who would prefer not to see a mother nursing at all-- regardless of how much breast she is (or isn't) exposing. The bottom line for me is that a child's need to eat or be comforted completely trumps someone else's hang-ups about breasts, modesty, and sexuality. Perhaps that is just the selfish mama-bear in me coming out. But I suppose I'm of the mind that wherever my child and I are welcome, so should our methods of feeding and comforting be fully tolerated as well.

Personally, I nurse from the top of my shirt. There are various reasons for this. I've never thought anything of it until seeing it mentioned on a couple online forums as unnecessarily immodest. Honestly, I've always considered myself to be a fairly modest nurser (in spite of the fact that I never use a cover) because I'm only exposing a tiny bit of skin by pulling my breast out of the top of my (already low-cut) shirt, rather than exposing my whole mother-worn tummy area by pulling my shirt up to pull my breast from the bottom. I take care to cover my nipple until she latches. Once she is in place, her head covers my "exposed" breast area... and actually reveals less skin than before.

I guess I'm okay with any amount of skin showing. Whatever it takes to nurse your baby, ya know? Perhaps I would personally drawn the line at exposing the breast you're not using, for no other reason to expose it. But even though *I* personally make sure my nipple is covered at all times (which is only a very tiny portion of my whole breast) I wouldn't balk at seeing another woman nursing and not taking such care to cover her nipple during latching and unlatching. Every baby, body, mommy, situation, etc. is different. What may work for me or you might not work for some lady at our local family restaurant. KWIM?
post #48 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
That depends on the size of the areola - i can remember reading the baby should have breast to at least the margins of the areola in the mouth for a good latch and laughing - mine are in proportion to the rest of the (j-cup breast) - WAY too big for a baby to fit in their mouth. After 6 months? sure. at birth? no WAY!



But personal space cant be visually breached - is the theoretical NIPer leaning her bare breast into others faces? And if it's comfort level then WHY is there discomfort? People do not freak at an exposed elbow. The discomfort is BECAUSE of the sexual connotation, no?
Actually, I remembered my SIL's aureola is not covered during nursing. She has normal-sized bobs but HUGE aureolas. Enormous. Anyway.

I really think people are uncomfortable at things that are not strictly speaking sexual. The tummy comes to mind. I know people who look away.

Quote:
I draw the line at the other boob you only need one boob out at a time, per baby.
I meant my comment more along this line. If baby's not latched on, it doesn't need to be out there even if it's a nursing session going on.
post #49 of 107
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies. Really gives me something to ponder and reflect on.
Just to be clear, even though I have my own discomforts about exposure, I am in no way suggesting that measures be taken to ensure that mothers nurse discreetly.
I just wonder about nursing etiquette in the same way for example that we have dining etiquette (not chewing with mouth open, etc etc).
Obviously a little babe is not capable of having nursing manners just yet so I was wondering if nursing etiquette rests on the mother then?
post #50 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post
I think that most people who would have no problem with a bikini top or "Grammy night" cleavage will still be bothered the more they see of a nursing breast. I still feel that the primary objection is what the breast is doing than the degree of skin shown.

I also think that "hiding" the nursing breast perpetuates the problem of people being uncomfortable at the sight of one. Before I was pregnant with my first I had not been around nursing mothers so seeing my Bradley instructor nurse an 18mo felt weird, but afterwards I had been desensitized to the sight of other people's breasts and didn't feel weird about it. I don't want my children to grow up feeling uncomfortable at the sight of a nursing breast whomever it belongs to.

Having to constantly worry about others comfort contributes to the impression that breastfeeding is a hassle and that it may not be worth the effort to do it in an "acceptable" fashion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
My short answer - no. Well, i guess if a mama has deemed it necessary to expose her whole body to BF then that might be a little much, but up to and including the whole breast is perfectly fine IMO.

The most important comfort levels are those of the mother and the baby. Onlookers are onlooking by choice - they can avert their eyes if it's offensive to them. When i'm nursing i think of my baby, not someone across the cafe who can see if they stand close enough what i'm doing. How can the comfort level of a stranger be more important to me than that of my hungry baby?
post #51 of 107
I'm a fairly modest person and I do not want anyone to see my breasts except my immediate family. While NIP, I do my best to make that happen. If someone sees something in the process it really doesn't bother me. I am doing my best to be covered.

I was at the beach last week and still covered dd's head with a towel because I took my breast out of the top of my bathing suit. I would not have been comfortable with my whole breast out. Of course she was pulling the towel off the whole time and I'm sure the group of 20-something guys could have seen more than they bargined for but I wasn't worried about that.

In some ways I hope me nursing "in the open" at home is an example for my 2 pre-teen sons and of course my other daughter.

Honestly, I don't think I have ever seen a nursing mom NIP with anything exposed.

I'd also like to say that I would have used a nursing cover but was too cheap to buy one. It's not that I'm ashamed to be breastfeeding, but it's a two handed operation for me and I would have been more comfortable covering up to do all the "work" under cover.
post #52 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie T View Post
I am all for nursing in public and will give a smile to nursing mothers I see as if to say "good for you" but I have seen what I deemed more than I think is needed.

No one gets to decide how much of my body NEEDS to show except ME. If I want to flop my size G breast out of the top of my shirt and latch on my baby then that is EXACTLY what is deemed needed.

I don't think the nipple should be covered on the other breast. My 15 month old MUST play with my hair while she nurses. What if she were a twiddler? For her it is no hair, no food, even if she is ravenous. I can imagine there are other toddlers out there who may feel the same way about their Mama's nipples.

I don't care about how comfortable strangers are. If they don't like it, they can deal with their own cultural hang ups. Most important is my child's comfort, and my own. I MAY consider my husband's comfort or someone I had invited to spend time with me (like friends or family).

It's a breast, it feeds my kid. If you don't like it, leave.
post #53 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by kriket View Post
I draw the line at the other boob you only need one boob out at a time, per baby.
My 13 month old DS switches boobs SO often, about 15 seconds, switch, 15 seconds, switch... when I'm at home I just get them both out and let him do his thing, but when I'm out I have to get one out, put it away, get the other out etc etc. Its a bit frustrating sometimes but it would make me uncomfortable to have both boobs out in public.

He's also a twiddler but I wear fairly low cut tops and he can put his hand on the other nipple without pulling my top down. My stomach looks like a wrinkly deflated balloon so I'm sure that would offend more people than a breast. Well, I'd definitely feel more self concious anyway.
post #54 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
Honestly, it pisses me off that women are ever expected to cover up their chest when men can go topless mowing the lawn in their front yard. So, no, I don't think there's such a thing as too much exposure. It's a breast. Big deal.
Yeah, and men have nipples and areolas too, so it can't be that, can it? That can't truly be the offensive part, right? Because men show them all the time. In short, I don't agree with the nipple-and-areola-must-not-show argument. And like PPs, I know my SIL had huge areolas that were larger than a baby's head, so no possible way they could be covered while nursing 100% of the time.
post #55 of 107
i don't think there's any such thing as "too much breast", simply because sometimes, due to structural differences, it is absolutely NECESSARY for the mom to have a clear view of the breast and child, and trying to cover the top of the breast with one's shirt can impede that view.

i'm cursed with huge breasts (i was a 36J when i bfed my first, i'm a 40L now and only 18w pg) along with one flat nipple that sometimes inverts, and one nipple that's kind of deformed (not round, it's more like a greek Theta). the only way for me to see whether or not a baby is latched is to see the whole shebang, and because of the size of my breasts, i'm bound to show a heck of a lot more skin than an average person to do so. anybody who has an opinion of "too much breast" would hate to be in the same room as me when i'm bfing, but that's not my problem. my problem is figuring out how to get milk into my kid. everyone else can go away if they don't like it.
post #56 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post
In my opinionated opinion, this is part of the 'war on fat' we have going in the USA. No matter *what* the activity is, it is less acceptable from a fat person. There is this attitude that we are gross for doing the same thing that a thin person does and it really really makes me angry. Yeah, when I nurse in public a lot of boob shows--that's what having E cup breasts means. A newborns head (ok, let's be realistic... a 4-5 month old's head) simply cannot cover all of my breast tissue. That does not mean it is indiscreet for me to nurse my child in public.

I really think you have a point there - and it's obviously harder to be a "discrete" nurser (according to whatever standard) when you're bigger (breast, tummy, ...). I've heard quite some stories about women avoiding BF altogether because they were shy about their bodies for this reason.
post #57 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by SashaBreeze View Post
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. While I am not a J cup I am a triple D soooo same situation. At least we are proportional though.

That being said I think sometimes it is a lot harder for larger women to nurse in public for those reasons. I would LOVE to see some breastfeeding advocacy posters and such with larger breasted women nursing but you just dont really see it that much. I wonder if that has to do with the whole "how much flesh showing is too much" scenario that we are talking about. Same position with same size baby on two different women can look very very different.
I agree with this, too. I have read studies that show that large women are less likely to bf their babies. Some of this might be due to medical reasons, but could some of this be caused by shame about their bodies?

My thinking on this subject has changed over the years. I was a LLL leader in the 80's, and we were taught that discreet bf in public was a must, for we LLL Leaders were supposed to set a good example for others. But if undue concern with modesty is causing women to avoid bf completely, then it is society that needs to change, not the mother. So, the bottom line is: Bf your baby however you need to.
post #58 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by njeb View Post
So, the bottom line is: Bf your baby however you need to.
Yes! Whenever, wherever and however! We also need to work so that mamas who use an SNS/lact-aid feels comfortable NIP. Go breastfeeding mamas go!
post #59 of 107

no

As I gather my thoughts on this thread, please note- today is topless day! hmmmmmm wonder if anyone around here is meeting up for it... I might do it!

http://www.care2.com/causes/womens-r...g/topless-day/
post #60 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by kriket View Post
I draw the line at the other boob you only need one boob out at a time, per baby.

I don't like to show the top half when I nurse, but I wear a t shirt and nursing top most of the time so you can't really see anything. When I go top down, there is a LOT of chest showing. There are times when I wear a V cut and can't help but show the top.

I have found nursing a toddler with his hand up my shirt twiddling and 'flopping' the other breast makes people uncomfortable, but they will get over it.
Yeah, I draw the line at one boob per baby too. My son REALLY likes to play with my other boob while nursing (please stop baby!! It drives mommy nuts!!) and when we're in public I just can't let him do that!
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