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Why is discretion such a hot topic?--Update#127 (pg 7) - Page 3

post #41 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharon, RN View Post
I bf'd my ds until he was 3.
It's a nipple, people. I mean, seriously. I'm sure someone, somewhere saw my nipple when I NIP. Nobody died. Nobody was scarred for life. Children did not go blind. Men did not turn into raging sex machines intent on having me right then.

post #42 of 145
Arwyn, feel free to use that!

I remember once, when Eric was still little, my sister was visiting from out of state. We were in a very BF-friendly toy store, and I sat down in the rocker to nurse. Although my sister had seen me bf before, I guess she'd never seen me do it in public. She kind of looked around. Then, she said:

"Is that legal?" This is a smart woman with a Master's degree.

I looked her right in the eye, pretended to be serious:

"Actually, I'm pretty sure I'd get sent to jail for not feeding him."

We both still laugh about that day.

Ha!
post #43 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharon, RN View Post
Arwyn, feel free to use that!
Thanks!
post #44 of 145
I don't understand why making everyone feel comfortable isn't a two way street. I am sure that the thought of seeing my nipple makes my FIL feel uncomfortable, but my in laws have always been 100% supportive of my breastfeeding. When my FIL sees me starting to get ready to latch the baby on, he discreetly averts his eyes until baby is latched on. I nurse as discreetly as I can (by positioning my shirt, I have never covered one of my babies with a blanket), and we are both happy and comfortable while we continue our conversation. I am aware that he is averting his eyes, while it is possible, likely even, that he has seen a glimpse of my nipple. It seems that if we can do that in close quarters (we lived with them for the first 10 months of ds' life), that it would be so much easier in a public place, such as a restaurant.

As for private residences... Well, of course my in laws have every right in the world to tell me not to nurse in their house. And, then, I would choose to not go there until it would not effect the health and comfort of my baby.

I did once go to a friend's house for a birthday party for her one year old. Ds was the same age. We were the only friends, everyone else there was her family. My friend was still nursing her son, but was VERY discreet about it. When we arrived, she showed me around the house, and very politely suggested that if ds needed to nurse, the glider rocker in her son's nursery would be most comfortable for us. I was more than willing to respect her boundries in her house and in no way felt the need to leave. She offered us a comfortable, private place to nurse in a way that would not offend her family. Why would I be offended by that?

Why does the onus of everyone's comfort lie directly on the shoulders of the breastfeeding mama? There are many things that I see in public that can and do offend me. Should I have the right to tell all those people to stop doing/wearing/saying whatever it is for the sake of my comfort? Especially when it affects the health and nutrition of a baby?
post #45 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by purple_kangaroo View Post
But, for instance, would people here see a problem with a restaurant bringing out a lovely decorative screen to shield a nursing mom and baby from the rest of the guests? Would that violate her rights or harm her or the baby in any way? It doesn't seem to me that it would.


"But, for instance, would people here see a problem with a restaurant bringing out a lovely decorative screen to shield an interracial couple from the rest of the guests? Would that violate their rights or harm the couple in any way? It doesn't seem to me that it would."

As a NIPing mom and part of an interracial couple I'd find that "lovely decorative screen" offensive if used to hide me for either reason.

Quote:
Why do some people seem to think that asking someone to be discreet is exactly the same as asking them not to breastfeed?
As has been pointed out several times, discretion is subjective. There have been many posters here who have shown NO SKIN but have been "asked" to cover up or leave. It seems either that covering up doesn't count unless it is with a blanket or the real issue is actually with breastfeeding; people don't want to know what is going on "under there."
post #46 of 145
Here's how I look at the whole "discretion" thing:

Being discreet is very subjective, as many PP have said. I do make an attempt to not expose any part of my breasts when I NIP, but that's because it's what I'm comfortable with (I stopped using a cover when DD was about 2.5 MO and I finally felt brave enough to try NIP... never looked back!).

If someone is staring at my breasts long enough to see a flash of nipple (and really, that's all they would see – a millisecond of nipple exposure), then I suppose they deserve to see it. If that makes them uncomfortable, then that's unfortunate. They shouldn't have been staring at my breasts in the first place. Which begs the question... when did it become socially acceptable to stare at a woman's breasts?
post #47 of 145
Thread Starter 
OK, I'm trying to understand here . . . really I am. I posted because I want to understand this better.

But I'm having a hard time getting around this topic, and here's why: A lot of people whom I love dearly and whose comfort is very important to me would be uncomfortable to get a glimpse of my breast. I care about them, and I don't feel that it hurts me or harms my breastfeeding relationship to at least make some small effort to accommodate their comfort. I'm not willing to miss out on large parts of an event, risk my baby's or my own safety, or make my baby or myself highly uncomfortable to do it. But within reason I would try to do what I could to keep them from having to see my breast.

I guess my thought is this: If I can raise the comfort of 6 other people in the room by 5 to 15 points each by making some small adjustment that would lower my own comfort by, say, 2 points and not affect my baby's comfort at all, why wouldn't I choose to do that out of courtesy for my loved ones?

Honestly, it's a stretch for me--and most of the people I hang out with--just to be nursing in the same room as the rest of the group even if I'm not revealing any breast in the process. That's about as much lactivism as I can handle at the moment. Doing just that is, I feel, stretching the comfort level of the other people in the room enough so that next time they see a mother breastfeeding, they will be slightly more comfortable with it then they were this time. Any more might be more likely to backfire.

For me, it's much easier for me to NIP in front of strangers or around just other nursing mothers and children than it is to nurse in front of people I know and love, but whom I know are uncomfortable.

I've nursed walking down the grocery store aisle with one hand pushing the cart and grabbing groceries and the other holding a baby propped on the shopping cart handle, with just my T-shirt for cover. In my mind, anyone else is highly unlikely to see anything but the baby as we pass each other, and any exposure would be momentary and incidental. That really doesn't bother me.

But what really bothers me is when I'm sitting holding a conversation with someone while nursing, and they are too uncomfortable to make eye contact with me when they speak to me. The person holding a conversation with me is basically sitting there staring at me the entire time I'm nursing, and is far more likely to see a breast in the process. If baby decides to pop off and look around, it's almost unavoidable that someone sitting across from me having a conversation with me will see it.

Maybe that doesn't make sense . . . I'm still trying to figure out why I feel that way. It's almost like the difference between an incidental, accidental result versus the inevitable result of someone who sets up a situation a certain way on purpose, knowing that a particular result is likely to happen.

If I choose to sit across from someone and breastfeed in a way that they are likely to see a breast while making absolutely no effort to attempt to minimize the chance of exposure, then I'm basically choosing to expose my breast to that person. There's no "surprise" or "accident" about it. If I know my LO is going to be popping on and off the breast and I then choose to purposely sit in someone's direct line of vision, I almost may as well just purposely flash them my breast when baby isn't feeding, too. To me there seems to be very little difference.

It's similar with someone sitting across from me at a restaurant. They're basically a captive audience unless they're willing to abandon their dinner. And I don't know about others here, but I don't go to a restaurant because I want to interact with the other diners. It would be the height of rudeness to expect to sit and carry on a conversation with the people at the next table when they obviously just want to eat their dinner in peace and talk to the person accompanying them, not be accosted by some random stranger in a restaurant. So I wouldn't feel that a screen was taking away an integral part of my dining experience as long as it wasn't preventing the servers from getting my food to me.

Maybe a better comparison, though, would be going to a restaurant and having the host seat the family with a baby in a tucked-away corner so they won't disturb other diners. Does it really matter whether the reason is so the baby's noise won't disturb others, or so they will have a little extra privacy for any care needed for the baby? Is one reason any more or less discrimination than the other?

I really don't think a breastfeeding mother should ever be REQUIRED to cover up. But I can't understand why common courtesy wouldn't make her WANT to do what she can to make an uncomfortable person more comfortable if she can do so without significant inconvenience or discomfort to her baby or herself.

For instance, imagine a situation where a woman knows her father-in-law is highly uncomfortable with breastfeeding.

Why would she purposely choose to plop herself down directly in his line of vision and pop her entire breast out of the top of her blouse, if she could just as easily choose a seat that wouldn't cause her to miss any of the event but wouldn't be directly in his line of vision?

If there is some reason why this is truly necessary, that's one thing. But if not, I can only imagine that either she has absolutely no regard for his feelings, or she thinks that making him as uncomfortable as humanly possible will force him to be more accepting of NIP in the future and therefore is doing a favor to the rest of the world. Maybe she should squirt him with breastmilk while she's at it--that might help accomplish her goals even better.

I just don't see how being disrespectful of others and unecessarily disregarding others' feelings would be seen as the superior choice.

But maybe my perspective is this way because I do think that in our culture breasts are something that in general should be hidden. If it's unavoidable to expose a breast while nursing, then that's a necessary side effect that can't be avoided. But I wouldn't feel it appropriate to just walk around with my breasts exposed because I felt like it.

I guess I would consider someone purposely and unnecessarily exposing their breast while nursing in full view of my guests to be equivalent to someone arriving to my home wearing a blouse that exposed a large part of their breasts--either one would make me uncomfortable. I probably wouldn't ask the person to do anything about either one, but I might gently and privately mention it to them later. I'm not really sure whether I would say anything or not--it would really depend on the situation.

But that's because I come from a culture where most people would never consider coming to a dinner party in a bikini top to be appropriate. I don't think I would feel so uncomfortable if I was visiting in a culture where women routinely went topless, but having someone from my time and culture appear topless in my home would seem strange and would probably feel disrespectful to me.

Some people truly believe that nudity should not be at all inappropriate and that the best way to desexualize the human body is to walk around nude. But if someone showed up to a dinner party at my house in the nude, I don't know what I'd do. You can bet I'd be uncomfortable.
post #48 of 145
Thread Starter 
For those who see no problem with a woman not attempting to avoid exposing her breast while nursing, would you also have no problem with a woman walking around topless while not nursing? I'm curious. Is there a difference? Why or why not?

If a restaurant has a "no shirt, no shoes, no service" policy, do they still have the right to not serve a woman with no shirt if she is breastfeeding? Or does the breastfeeding negate the "no shirt" rule? If she was more comfortable breastfeeding with her shoes off, would that negate the "no shoes" rule too?

I read once about a woman who sneaked a baby onto a ride at a theme park in a duffle bag, then once the ride got going she took the baby out of the bag and removed her shirt (yes, completely) to nurse the baby. When security guards informed her that babies were no allowed on the ride because it was too dangerous (this had nothing to do with her breastfeeding or being topless; it was a safety issue), she went ballistic.

She was escorted out of the theme park screaming that they would be hearing from her lawyer because they were breaking the law by interfering with her right to breastfeed her baby "anywhere the mother otherwise had a right to be", as the law stated. This story was shared by one of the theme park's employees.

Should her right to breastfeed her baby anywhere she wants force the theme park employees to violate safety rules and risk the baby's life by allowing her to bring the baby on the ride and breastfeed there?
post #49 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by purple_kangaroo View Post
I read once about a woman who sneaked a baby onto a ride at a theme park in a duffle bag, then once the ride got going she took the baby out of the bag and removed her shirt (yes, completely) to nurse the baby. When security guards informed her that babies were no allowed on the ride because it was too dangerous (this had nothing to do with her breastfeeding or being topless; it was a safety issue), she went ballistic.

She was escorted out of the theme park screaming that they would be hearing from her lawyer because they were breaking the law by interfering with her right to breastfeed her baby "anywhere the mother otherwise had a right to be", as the law stated. This story was shared by one of the theme park's employees.

Should her right to breastfeed her baby anywhere she wants force the theme park employees to violate safety rules and risk the baby's life by allowing her to bring the baby on the ride and breastfeed there?
You have got to be kidding me, that's just lunacy. This is soo off the spectrum of what is normal for a nursing mother that I'm not even going to attempt a response beyond this. Wowza.
post #50 of 145
Kangaroo-

This seems to be more about how comfortable you feel nursing in front of people you know. You don't feel comfortable with that. Maybe you had a bad experience NIP. Maybe you were raised with beliefs about what is considered appropriate social behavior concerning your body. Maybe NIP never came up before you had children and you are doing this because you believe you are making your family members more comfortable.

That's fine.

But, the theme of your posts seem to suggest that women who feel comfortable NIP and friends/family (and I nursed often in front of my in-laws, who had bottle-fed, with no problems) are somehow trying to make a political statement out of every feeding.

This is usually not the case. I usually thought, "Oh, Eric's hungry, let's eat!" vs. "Oh, what a great oppurtunity to whip out my ta-ta's and force everyone to watch me exercise my rights! Bring me the baby! My nipples await!"



The case about the woman with the baby on the ride, if that's even true, is so far from any regular NIP event that it doesn't even apply to this thread. I mean, come on. Hopefully CPS removed her baby to safety while she hunted down a lawyer to sue the amusement park!

And the no-shirt, no-shoes situation is also outside the realm of the usual. I mean, the idea of a woman walking into the 7-11 shoeless and topless with child hanging off her breast? I'd like a show of hands for everyone who has witnessed that!

I never NIP to make people uncomfortable. I did NIP at WIC (for a class) for pregnant women who were interested in nursing, but had never seen a woman nurse in real life. How freaking scary is that??

I am not trying to diminish your questions. But it seems to me that you have your beliefs about comfort levels and discretion. I don't think anything we say is going to change your mind.

But I'm pretty comfortable with my comfort levels... and that will include NIP w/family and friends. Not because I'm trying to change the world, but because I believe in bfing my child.

But, if I change the world while breastfeeding... That would ROCK!
post #51 of 145
Well said, Sharon RN....

Yeah Kangaroo i think you are getting a little extreme with your examples.
post #52 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by purple_kangaroo View Post
If I know my LO is going to be popping on and off the breast and I then choose to purposely sit in someone's direct line of vision, I almost may as well just purposely flash them my breast when baby isn't feeding, too. To me there seems to be very little difference.


I guess I would consider someone purposely and unnecessarily exposing their breast while nursing in full view of my guests to be equivalent to someone arriving to my home wearing a blouse that exposed a large part of their breasts--either one would make me uncomfortable.
Is this a joke?

Neither of these scenarios are even close to a comparison to what happens when nursing. How is purposely "flashing" your breast the same as incidental exposure when nursing your baby, which is for the purpose of providing your baby nourishment? And how do you "know" your LO is going to be popping on and off? My baby never gave me any advanced warning about that.

And as for someone arriving at your home in an inappropriate blouse being compared to nursing? That's offensive. The use of the phrase "purposely and unnecessarily exposing their breast while nursing" is an oxymoron. Yes, I purposely uncover my breast so my baby can access it. How is that in any way unnecessary?

I guess, OP, it sounds like you personally are uncomfortable with many aspects of nursing. It doesn't sound like that is going to be changed by anyone here. But I guarantee that your attitudes about nursing aren't doing any of us any favors. You are making it harder for women to feed their babies the way they were meant to be fed.

post #53 of 145
OP, it sounds to me like you are trying to understand why some bf'ing mamas are comfortable with things that you are personally not comfortable with. although posting to MDC will allow you to gain some insight into other perspectives, i think that this is a question that you will have to look inside yourself to answer.

my take on discreet: i will not stand up, take my shirt off, wave my boobs around at folks and say 'i'm gonna breastfeed now!' but no one, not even close family members, have the right to not be offended. i will, however, ask before i start: "my son is hungry. i need to breastfeed. if boobs offend you, you might want to look away now."
as far as other people's homes, i ask my host/hostess. "i am still breastfeeding." i gauge their reaction. if it seems that they are uncomfortable, i ask them if they'd prefer i go to a certain room. i do, however, explain that i brought my sling, and it will cover any boobage, like a blanket. *i* don't have a problem with incedental boobs, but i know some are unsettled . . . and if it's not a gathering i put together, i don't mind being more 'discreet' than usual.
however, i do not go anywhere that breastfeeding is unwelcome. i find out before i go, which makes it clear to the person inviting that my childs needs come first, and if i cannot fufill them, i will not go.
post #54 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimpmandee View Post
Is this a joke?

Neither of these scenarios are even close to a comparison to what happens when nursing. How is purposely "flashing" your breast the same as incidental exposure when nursing your baby, which is for the purpose of providing your baby nourishment? And how do you "know" your LO is going to be popping on and off? My baby never gave me any advanced warning about that.

And as for someone arriving at your home in an inappropriate blouse being compared to nursing? That's offensive. The use of the phrase "purposely and unnecessarily exposing their breast while nursing" is an oxymoron. Yes, I purposely uncover my breast so my baby can access it. How is that in any way unnecessary?

I guess, OP, it sounds like you personally are uncomfortable with many aspects of nursing. It doesn't sound like that is going to be changed by anyone here. But I guarantee that your attitudes about nursing aren't doing any of us any favors. You are making it harder for women to feed their babies the way they were meant to be fed.

All of this.

Frankly, Kangaroo's thoughts and actions make me very sad. I feel like she is making many erroneous assumptions about the motives of those who NIP when the only real motive is feeding the child.
post #55 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoNeedsSleep? View Post
Went on and on about how he was scarred for life. Bull pucky. He went to school and told all of his friends about the tit he saw over break and now they're hanging out in hospital waiting rooms looking for a peep show. OK, maybe not.
And would that be such a horrible thing? They might learn a little bit about what breasts are actually for.
post #56 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by purple_kangaroo View Post
For instance, imagine a situation where a woman knows her father-in-law is highly uncomfortable with breastfeeding.

Why would she purposely choose to plop herself down directly in his line of vision and pop her entire breast out of the top of her blouse, if she could just as easily choose a seat that wouldn't cause her to miss any of the event but wouldn't be directly in his line of vision?

If there is some reason why this is truly necessary, that's one thing. But if not, I can only imagine that either she has absolutely no regard for his feelings, or she thinks that making him as uncomfortable as humanly possible will force him to be more accepting of NIP in the future and therefore is doing a favor to the rest of the world. Maybe she should squirt him with breastmilk while she's at it--that might help accomplish her goals even better.

I just don't see how being disrespectful of others and unecessarily disregarding others' feelings would be seen as the superior choice.
.
lol, I am just hoping this is not related to the story that I posted about my FIL. If it is, then you definitely either did not read what I wrote very well, or are just hearing what you wanted to hear.
post #57 of 145
I just wanted to comment on the nursing screens in the NICU, as a pp had mentioned. It never really occurred to me at that point, but after you mentioned it it seems silly that some of us would been frantically searching all wings of the NICU for a screen that wasn't in use! Although I too was just pumping and not able to nurse my daughter yet and do agree somewhat that pumping seems to be a more private act than nursing....oops, gotta run, baby calls!
post #58 of 145
I'm not certain that screens (for more than just nursing) in NICU are such a bad idea. Certainly, the extreme lack of privacy would make that far more understandable than a restaurant, where you want to be out in pubic.
post #59 of 145
Ok, so I have certain preferences about what I like and don't like to see people do out in public. If you and I are in the same location, you must: anticipate what MY preferences are and give your time and attention to meeting my preferences. Never mind that you already are being perfectly polite, that doesn't matter because according to MY preferences, you aren't. I also do not care that you are very busy taking care of necessary tasks and have your hands full. You must take responsibility for meeting MY needs. I mean, simply accomodating MY idea of courtesy isn't going to cause you any undue hardship, right? Otherwise you are just being rude and I'm offended.






p.s. WWW.007B.COM
post #60 of 145
Lovely nursing screes, babies in duffle bags, no shoes no shirt no breastfeeding... this just might be the strangest string of examples ever.

Kangaroo -
I say this with as much love as possible...you really need to get yourself grounded to what is in the realm of normaily for NIP. I have yet to see, even the most confident, 'lactivist', nursing mother do any of the extreme things you are suggesting.
If a mother feels more comfortable herself to be seating in the back of a restaurant, facing away from the other patrons in order for her to feed her child...that's her own perogitive. However, I don't feel that this should expected or asked of her in anyway.
Really...this entire thread goes back to the fact that our society has pushed bf'ing so far away from anything normalized that women are unable to breastfeed even in front of those they consider 'loved ones'.
None of us are asking to dance on tables with a child attached to one breast while a tassel is attached to the other...we are just asking to do what is natural.
with much
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