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

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Old 08-11-2010, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been surfing and bloghopping and what-not and happened to come across a nurse-in organized by a mama who was kicked out of an establishment. There were a few photos and one photo showed said mama nursing babe with most of the breast exposed.
I am somewhat ashamed to admit it but my first thought was, "wow, that would have made me uncomfortable too".
And in no way, shape or form am I justifying any establishment kicking out a nursing mama but I do wonder if we nursing mamas should also consider others when nursing our babes?
One part of me thinks, "come on, a breast is a breast. It's a body part that has the purpose of nourishing your babe" but another part of me (and it's the louder part of me) goes, "realistically, a breast is not just a breast. Some people do get uncomfortable by the exposure of other people's breasts and we should be mindful about it"

I dunno. I guess I am rambling. Just wanted to hear your thoughts on it. Maybe it'll make more sense in my head when I hear other people's POV.
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:44 AM
 
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Short answer?

No.

She's feeding her child!

If she needs to uncover her breast to feed her child then so be it.
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:57 AM
 
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I'm all for NIP. But yes, I do think there is such a thing as TOO MUCH exposure. And yes, it would make me uncomfortable.

I just think it's a matter of respect. Some people just are not comfortable with a woman with too much breast exposed while nursing. I am one of them. And I AM a nursing mom. I'm just as uncomfortable with someone wearing a top that is too revealing. So I know I'm not the only one. I am very discreet and respectful of others' comfort levels when I nurse in public, which I have to do quite often. I don't see why other moms can't do the same.

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Old 08-11-2010, 09:59 AM
 
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I might be crashing this forum, as I've never posted here before but your title caught my attention.

I have nursed three children everyhwere youc an imagine - waiting for my car to get fixed, restaurants, malls, bookstores, libraries, park benches surrounded by college students playing hackisack, etc. I think a mother should have the right to feed her child where ever she is. I don't usually cover my baby while nursing unless they are super fussy/sleepy and distracted. Covering for a minute usually helps them settle down and eat which leads them sleeping. I've seen moms nursing their 4 year olds at story time, toddlers while camping, and so on. We've not discriminated against nursing moms.

However.

I highly appreciate when mothers make an effort to only expose the necessary parts of the breast when nursing. My daughters have a full understanding of what breasts for (feeding babies!) but they don't need to see the breasts of every nursing woman we see. Some skin, sure. An entire breast exposed ... not totally necessary.

Please don't attack me. I like to think of others when I'm nursing. Maybe some other moms would rather that their children don't see strange woman's breasts. It's their right to protect their children from things the parents don't want the exposed to as well.

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Old 08-11-2010, 10:16 AM
 
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I'd have to see the pic...but I never covered while nursing in public. If I did, it was to cover a bare shoulder because I had pulled down a spaghetti top strap, but the baby and breast always remained in the open. I just made sure that my boob wasn't showing while latching on and off, but other than that, the baby's head always hides more than enough.

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Old 08-11-2010, 11:56 AM
 
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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.

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Old 08-11-2010, 12:11 PM
 
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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?
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Old 08-11-2010, 01:54 PM
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No.

It isn't mine or anyone else's place to determine what is and isn't the right amount of exposure. If the amount of breast that is exposed makes me uncomfortable then it is on me to figure out where that feeling is coming from and address it, not to force the other mom to adjust her level of comfort to accommodate mine.
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Old 08-11-2010, 02:39 PM
 
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Only if the same establishment would kick out a woman with a low cut top!

Kelly , mama to 4yo and 1yo ,
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:09 PM
 
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While I personally feel it's more appropriate to cover up while one nurses, I also respect a woman (and baby's) right to nurse wherever they are, and so whenever I see a NIPer, i usually smile let the mom know how awesome it is that they're nursing - because bottom line is that I'd rather see a little nursing-boobage than formula fed babies!
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:25 PM
 
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I'm going to jump in here with a gentle reminder on MDC's stance on this topic- while you are more than welcome to discuss this topic in terms of your own experiences, comfort levels, or reactions, we will not host posts that say "Everyone should nurse this way because this is the right way." As our User Agreement states, MDC hosts threads on "successful breastfeeding," and different mothers will accomplish that success in different ways.

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Old 08-11-2010, 05:28 PM
 
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Well i try to be as descreet as possible. I personally don't feel comfortable with having my nipples exposed. I basically have my breast at the top covered by a shirt and the bottom half covered by baby and nipple covered by my hand before latch and after.

I have seen women pop the breast out of the top of shirt where their entire breasts are exposed for several seconds at a time, esp when baby latches off during feeding. I understand she has a right to show her breast in public while nursing/pumping and the breast is there for the function of feeding babies but not something I think I or most people are comfortable seeing. It's showing much more than someone wearing a low cut top. esp when you are busty like me.

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Old 08-11-2010, 05:30 PM
 
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Along with my waistline my breasts have gotten a lot larger since I nursed my first child 13 years ago. When she was a baby and I was getting a handle on how to nurse I was just happy when we got a good latch regardless of how much skin I was showing. That being said because my breast were smaller not much skin ever showed but HAD my breast been the size they are now there would have been flesh showing all over the place! So basically I cant help but think of those moms getting a handle on things for the first time that have larger breast and everything is going to be hanging out more because their breast is way bigger than their baby's head... I think they should have the same rights to experiment and find the right nursing position for them and their little one the same as someone with smaller breast. Just my thought on it and why I wouldn't think twice about seeing breast exposed while a woman nursed.

Also wanted to add that also during my younger thinner days I showed TONS of breast in my regular everyday low cut shirts. No one ever says a word about that, so why would we if there is a baby attached?

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Old 08-11-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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I personally draw the line at the nipple. I personally think that when baby is not latched on, mom should make every effort to keep her aureola covered.

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Old 08-11-2010, 05:33 PM
 
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I have had that same thought, OP! but I fully agree, that I have a right to be uncomfortable, but she has a right to feed her child however and whenever she wants/needs too.

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Old 08-11-2010, 05:34 PM
 
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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.
I really like this answer.

I guess I was desensitized a long time ago, though. I studied abroad in Spain in college and hung out on the beaches there - topless of course. Adored having tan boobs, TBH.

Coming back to the U.S. was a bit of a reverse culture shock. I'd forgotten how anti-breasts this country is (in general).

By the time I had DS last year, I'd forgotten what it was like to be free and open with my body. It took several months of nursing to get comfortable being myself and doing what I needed to do - yes, I was one of those new moms with a fussy infant struggling to get a latch and cover up with a prefold or blanket at the same time. I assure you that THAT didn't last long!

I don't think we'll ever get to the point of NIP acceptance unless we push the envelope. I'm not advocating for women to walk around topless (yet), but to me it will always be a good thing for a mother to NIP.

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Old 08-11-2010, 05:38 PM
 
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I personally draw the line at the nipple. I personally think that when baby is not latched on, mom should make every effort to keep her aureola covered.
nak

that makes me really curious - why the nipple? What about it is offensive?
After all it's the bit that HAS to be out of clothing for nursing to happen. My breasts are a J, bigger than MY head, but i am able to keep most of one tucked in my top when i NIP, the only bit i HAVE to expose to get my DD2 feeding is the nipple.

I wonder if it's because lowcut tops expose everything BUT the nipple, so the nipple becomes beyond the pale?

If you don't want to elaborate then definitely tell me to get lost!
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:38 PM
 
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Not when the exposure is the breast. If the mom is taking off her pants to breastfeed, then ok, I could see where the problem may be.

I know a lot of moms who nurse by pulling their breast out of the top of their shirt. Yes, this exposes the whole top of the breast. But I don't see a problem with that.
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:46 PM
 
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nak

that makes me really curious - why the nipple? What about it is offensive?
After all it's the bit that HAS to be out of clothing for nursing to happen. My breasts are a J, bigger than MY head, but i am able to keep most of one tucked in my top when i NIP, the only bit i HAVE to expose to get my DD2 feeding is the nipple.

I wonder if it's because lowcut tops expose everything BUT the nipple, so the nipple becomes beyond the pale?

If you don't want to elaborate then definitely tell me to get lost!
I think for me it's just a matter of not being use to seeing it ever. if we saw nipple all the time in magazines, TV, etc then probably wouldn't be an issue for me.

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Old 08-11-2010, 05:52 PM
 
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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.
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:08 PM
 
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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 the double standard angers me. I dont understand it, esp since I have seen plenty of men with breasts

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Old 08-11-2010, 06:11 PM
 
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Not when the exposure is the breast. If the mom is taking off her pants to breastfeed, then ok, I could see where the problem may be.


just imagining how that would go over with my 3 month old. "Hang in there, little dude, mama's gotta take her pants off before we can nurse" That would not go over well with him at all! His patience is taxed when it comes to lifting up my shirt and undoing my bra strap!
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:13 PM
 
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just imagining how that would go over with my 3 month old. "Hang in there, little dude, mama's gotta take her pants off before we can nurse" That would not go over well with him at all! His patience is taxed when it comes to lifting up my shirt and undoing my bra strap!
lol!!! am I the only one who routinely takes of my pants to nurse?

Now that I'm pregnant, I can't stand the weight of the baby and the nubbiness of my jeans digging into me while nursing. I take off my pants first thing.

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Old 08-11-2010, 07:09 PM
 
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IMO, when women go over the top for a nurse in, and expose way more than necessary, that is doing nothing for the cause, and only more alienating.
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:25 PM
 
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You know it's funny, I nursed my son until he was nearly 3 and in this time we had a friend with a boy DS's age. I cannot tell you how many times I would look up while friend was walking around with both boobs unlatched from the nursing bra swinging to and fro. She would then say "Now where's my son?" and go look for him with boobs hanging out. In public, at home wherever. It always shocked me.

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Old 08-11-2010, 07:49 PM
 
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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.
I agree in theory and no amount of breast exposure bothers me, personally. Most of my friends and I have always changed clothes in front of each other, and in our homes, we nurse or even pump in front of each other as well without much effort to cover up. I think in your own home, regardless of who is over, you should be able to do whatever you want. In my home, I make it very clear that there is no covering up or room-leaving expected for nursing mothers and I've shut other guests right up if they even hint at objecting. I used to have a big breastfeeding poster in my kitchen, I should get another one.

That said, I do think if you're exposing the entire breast and nipple in public before/after nursing for no other reason than laziness or shock value or something, it's bizarre. I wouldn't do it. I wouldn't be offended by it, but I'd worry someone was really opening themselves up to harassment with that type of display.

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Old 08-12-2010, 06:54 AM
 
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Oh my, that is a complicated question. It's opens things up for judgments on both sides (Not saying that anyone here is judging! Just saying in general)

Ideally IMO if men can be topless, so can women. I actually really hate seeing men topless, it makes me kind of uncomfortable. Women would too, but that very very rare for me to see. So I guess in my world ideally everyone's clothes would be on But yes, equality would be nice. In NYS I believe woman can be topless.

Side note:
"New York is the only state in the country where women can be topless legally, after a 1992 ruling in the state's highest court. That means any woman can walk around the city at any time with no shirt on."

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/...#ixzz0wNYyRqT9



I guess my personal comfort level is baby's head/nursing shirt or whatever covers most things, but if there's a little bit more breast, or a flash of a nipple, not a big deal. But that's just me.
It's such a slippery slope, saying that women should be considerate of others. Some people don't want to see nipple, some don't want to see any breast, some don't want to even know a woman is breastfeeding,
so I think the laws are fine when they state that exposure from breastfeeding won't be considered lewd. Better to have "excessive exposure" legal than not even be able to nurse in public.

Personally, I'd be low-exposure I'll nurse in public, but no one is seeing my breasts.
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:14 AM
 
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It's such a slippery slope, saying that women should be considerate of others. Some people don't want to see nipple, some don't want to see any breast, some don't want to even know a woman is breastfeeding,
This. If you start saying a woman can't expose her whole breast, then where do you draw the line? How much is 'too much'?

I believe in modesty -- it's a moral obligation for me, though I'm sure I'm far from perfect in fulfilling it, I'm still learning. To me, the definition of modesty varies greatly depending on culture, gender, fashion trends, who you're hanging around, etc. In some cultures, feet are highly sexualized, and in those cultures I would make every effort to cover my feet. In our culture, it's breasts, so I carefully select my clothing to not expose more than necessary. But, I never nurse with a cover (DS would never tolerate it anyway!). I do choose where to sit sometimes depending on my clothing (like I might try to sit near a wall so I won't show too much stomach if my shirt isn't very long) and I don't like to pull my shirt down -- for me, pulling it up shows less, but I think that depends greatly on body type. Also, if I'm around my DH or all my mommy friends or at a LLL meeting, I just don't care much what is showing. In other situations, I'm a little more discreet. I have nursed in hundreds of places, most of them very public, but I don't think anyone (outside of DH & mom friends) has seen my breast. But if I needed to expose more so DS could nurse properly, then that's fine too. I just wouldn't deliberately show more than what I deemed necessary.

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Old 08-12-2010, 01:02 PM
 
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When nursing in my bathing suit, I have to pull the top down. Otherwise, I always go shirt up.

I nurse everywhere and I have yet to have anyone say anything to me. Maybe it's the look I have on my face. If you mess with me, you will regret it.

I always feel awkward when I see someone struggling under a Hooter Hider.
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:15 PM
 
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nak

that makes me really curious - why the nipple? What about it is offensive?
After all it's the bit that HAS to be out of clothing for nursing to happen. My breasts are a J, bigger than MY head, but i am able to keep most of one tucked in my top when i NIP, the only bit i HAVE to expose to get my DD2 feeding is the nipple.

I wonder if it's because lowcut tops expose everything BUT the nipple, so the nipple becomes beyond the pale?

If you don't want to elaborate then definitely tell me to get lost!
I have no idea what's offensive but I think that's the minimum modesty standard in most parts of the US and Canada and GB, and even in some cases the legal standard. I just think, it's considerate to TRY to cover up when the baby is not latched on. Obviously with a fussy babe that's not always possible, but I'm not talking on-off type stuff. I mean... baby's having a rest, pull your shirt down.

Otherwise it gives NIPing a bad name, like someone wants to show off their boobs and that's why she does it.

Basically, if it's illegal to show otherwise, then it should be covered when baby is not nursing for some time. That's my opinion. I wouldn't say anything about it.

ETA... saw the New York thing. If you think that would work and there is a need for the nipple to be out when babe is not latched on, go for it. I'm having a hard time seeing the need but then we had easy nursing relationships.

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I actually really hate seeing men topless, it makes me kind of uncomfortable.
You'd have been incredibly uncomfortable with the ladies and me at the park the other day when one mama gave a big ol' whistle at the topless (and incredibly ripped, I might add) jogger that went by.

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