MAJOR parenting difference. - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Where should a woman be allowed to breastfeed in public?
Out in the open: it's something to celebrate! 200 85.84%
In the open but discreetly covered up. 33 14.16%
In a public bathroom or somewhere out of the way. 0 0%
They shouldn't be allowed to breastfeed in public at all. 0 0%
Voters: 233. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, so it's true, I am writing this having just come out of an argument with my other half, but let's have it while my memory is still fresh. In fact I am going to make a poll, because he insists he is correct about this:

Apparently, as a woman, it is okay for me to breastfeed in my own home and is not pornographic when I am doing that. However, despite the law, he ways that in HIS opinion and in the opinion of the general public of America, breastfeeding in public is obscene and I ought to have to go into a public bathroom or other private area to do it.

Furthermore, if I had "any self respect" I would WANT to do this, apparently. FURTHERMORE, he thinks anyone who has the nuts to "do that" in the middle of a mall should be locked "in the can for a bit"

Oh. My. God. Seriously. We've reached a parenting impasse here I do believe (among other parenting impasses - but this is the worst). But no, according to him, things here in the states aren't the same as in Africa or England (where I'm from) and you can't "get away" with it here...

So I am making a poll. Sure, we're a crunchy site but there are quite a few of us aren't there - so let's all vote and show him that he might not be as enlightened as he thinks.

(Additionally nobody in his family has ever breastfed - his mom bottle fed all her children and his sister had to bottle feed his nephew, and then his own children were all bottle fed as well, so this isn't exactly a huge surprise...)

I hope this is okay to post here. I am just astonished right now that this opinion still exists in this strong way!

Mama to Josie , lost 10/10/08 at 37.4 weeks .
and my rainbow baby, Isobella Mai ...born 1/12/2010 ! in profile...
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#2 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 12:13 AM
 
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First at all... Congrats for the brand new Isobella and Vbac.
I'm sorry about the parenting different with your other half. Definitely many people still thinkig that nursing in public is obscene. There is too many misconception about NIP. Many not even notice when a nursing mom fed a baby. It's not like you take off you shirt... please!!.. I been nursing my baby for to many years and you need to have x-ray vision to see my breast. I never be discret all all, because my first priority is feed my LO.

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#3 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 12:17 AM
 
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Well, I voted out in public, it should be celebrated. It sounds like it's just too new to him? If he hasn't been exposed to breasfteeding as the norm and around other family members who have done it throughout his life, I guess I don't blame him for sounding so close-minded about it.

Hopefully, in time he will see it as the normal way to feed his/your child, and won't think of it as obscene.

It sounds like he needs to get over it, and realize that strangers in public aren't more important than his child and SO, yk? When baby needs to eat, baby needs to eat. Would he want to go sit in the car or the bathroom everytime he was hungry?

Best of luck getting through to him.

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#4 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 12:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am going to need all the luck I can get on this one..lol. He went as far as to say that if he can't walk down the street with his...*ahem*...hanging out then I shouldn't be allowed to "expose" myself.

You can imagine how I answered that one...

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#5 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 12:21 AM
 
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I nurse in public all the time, and see other mamas doing it as well (usually in the mall). I've never had anyone take issue with it, and nobody looks at me like I'm doing something obscene. Whether you're discreet about it or not is up to you, but if you are discreet, I doubt anyone other than another nursing mother would even notice what you're doing.

And well, it's your body, so he doesn't have much say in it anyway, does he?

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#6 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 12:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JayJay View Post
He went as far as to say that if he can't walk down the street with his...*ahem*...hanging out then I shouldn't be allowed to "expose" myself.


oh, no, he didn't!

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

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#7 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 12:22 AM
 
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You can in fact "get away with it here." I have breastfed my DD pretty much anywhere and everywhere since birth without ever using a cover. No one has ever approached me or said anything to me in a negative way. I've had a few positive comments, a few shocked looks, and a few people have been uncomfortable, but by and large, people have ignored me continued about their business. Once someone loudly and rudely commented about my bf-ing to a server at a restaurant, but the server deflected them beautifully.

Yes there are people who freak out about NIP, but I found w/ my DH the idea was scarier than the reality. He was apprehensive and uncomfortable at first, but once he saw how often dd needed to eat, how difficult always hiding would be and that NIP wasn't the boob flashing event he was imagining he got over it.

Honestly, w/ my DH, in our relationship, if he spoke that disrespectfully to me I'd bluntly say, "You don't know what you're talking about and you're flat wrong. You may not realize how difficult what you're demanding I do would make my life. They're my boobs so this is my decision. Get over it or get used to it, because this is how it's gonna be. I will nurse our child wherever and how ever I feel comfortable. You will be supportive or you will be silent."

ETA BFing is not and can not ever be pornographic. Porn is sexual. Breastfeeding has nothing to do with sex.

Kristy, wife to Josh proud mama to Katie: since 3/08 and Emma since 8/12.

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#8 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 12:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by KristyDi View Post

Honestly, w/ my DH, in our relationship, if he spoke that disrespectfully to me I'd bluntly say, "You don't know what you're talking about and you're flat wrong. You may not realize how difficult what you're demanding I do would make my life. They're my boobs so this is my decision. Get over it or get used to it, because this is how it's gonna be. I will nurse our child wherever and how ever I feel comfortable. You will be supportive or you will be silent."

ETA BFing is not and can not ever be pornographic. Porn is sexual. Breastfeeding has nothing to do with sex.
Boo ya. That's basically what I told him. Now he's sulking in the garage!

Mama to Josie , lost 10/10/08 at 37.4 weeks .
and my rainbow baby, Isobella Mai ...born 1/12/2010 ! in profile...
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#9 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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oh, no, he didn't!

I have no words. I'd probably kick him in his *ahem*.
Yeah he did - and a few other things besides! I really hope he gets out of the house a bit and talks to some of his friends and co-workers about this. Even his boss's wife told me (and him) at the work Christmas dinner last month to just not worry and get on with it right there! I think because of his own inexperience he simply chooses to ignore people like that and continue to live in a world of his own imagination where everyone is frowning and staring. Which they never have.

Mama to Josie , lost 10/10/08 at 37.4 weeks .
and my rainbow baby, Isobella Mai ...born 1/12/2010 ! in profile...
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#10 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 12:33 AM
 
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Been NIPing for almost 10 years now and never had any comments directed toward me other than a few older momma's telling me about nursing their own kids.

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#11 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 12:34 AM
 
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I voted 'in public' with no caveats, but I'm in Canada not the USA. We're known for our radical socialist beliefs up here, so I'm not sure my vote will carry any credibility with your DH!
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#12 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 12:36 AM
 
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Sorry you guys are dealing with this.

I absolutely think moms should be able to breast feed wherever, whenever. I nursed my son in public (without any sort of cover) until he was close to two years old.

I do also agree with your partner that some people are uncomfortable with it. In my experience, it really varies by region. I live in the SF Bay Area, and I never had anyone bat an eye. I traveled to the south with my DS twice while he was still nursing and people were shocked - they would say things to that effect and have weird looks when they saw me nurse. Put simply - I think you should do whatever you need to do to feed your baby. If you can minimize someone's discomfort while still meeting your baby's needs, I always tried to do that. I never breastfed my son in front of my 93 year old grandpa, for example....he would have been mortified and I have to say, I wouldn't want him to see my boob, either.
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#13 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 12:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I voted 'in public' with no caveats, but I'm in Canada not the USA. We're known for our radical socialist beliefs up here, so I'm not sure my vote will carry any credibility with your DH!
Only my DP's vote carries any weight with my DP. That is, until about 30 people come along with a different opinion and then he has to change his mind...lol

Mama to Josie , lost 10/10/08 at 37.4 weeks .
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#14 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 12:50 AM
 
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No restrictions.


Does he go shirtless ever? That would be a great time to freak out and tell him he is being pornographic and needs to cover up. Make him wear shirts to the pool and outside on hot days.

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#15 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 12:51 AM
 
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i notice you are in the midwest, and since i am (newly) there too, i am learning that people here aren't as comfortable with the public thing. I have to admit, i tell people I'm going to breastfeed now, and let them decide whether they want to stick around (at my hubby's job, church gatherings, etc). the biggest prob i have is my son is almost 8 mths now and in public doesn't pay attention and my boob gets COLD!

my husband was a little uncomfortable with the nursing thing at first, but as they said above, when he realized how often he needed to be fed and how he could just wait like we can, he became very insistent that i nurse where and when the babe wanted to eat.
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#16 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 12:57 AM
 
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In public, wherever you want, whenever the babe wants, however you want.

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#17 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 01:07 AM
 
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All over the world women nurse their babies in public. It's how babies eat. I don't eat in the bathroom and neither will my child. It puts an unreasonable burden on women to expect them to duck in somewhere every time the baby wants to eat. Seriously we could never go out the littlest ones.
Your DH just needs to get used to it.
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#18 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 01:10 AM
 
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I'm in New England. I've nursed both my children -- at home, in public, at church, during funerals, during weddings, at town hall functions, at restaurants, at work, at the park, at the mall, and while pushing a shopping cart at the grocery store. (Yes, that one was interesting. Didn't know I could do that.) I've gotten all of three negative comments in the 5+ years I've been nursing, all from people who struck me as either a couple bricks shy of a load or just miserable, cranky personalities in general. I can't count the number of encouraging, positive, uplifting comments I've received, even as a new mother flashing far more of my breast than I meant to at an entire room. (Learning curve!) I would estimate those positive comments to be in the hundreds, easily. So statistically, in my experience, the general public has been VERY encouraging of nursing wherever and whenever my children have needed it, without shame or limitation.
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#19 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 01:38 AM
 
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Just wanted to add.....could it be that your DH is simply feeling a little jealous/possessive? Maybe he just is uncomfortable with the thought of other guys seeing your breasts, but he doesn't want to come right out and say that?

Either way, you might want to just see how things go, and not make a big deal of it right now. I really don't see this as a major parenting difference--when I saw your thread title I thought you were going to say your DH didn't want you to breastfeed *at all*. When he sees how inconvenient it would be for you to run to the bathroom whenever your babe gets hungry, and how much of a nonissue it is to nurse in public, he'll come around. Probably.

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#20 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 01:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by KristyDi View Post
Honestly, w/ my DH, in our relationship, if he spoke that disrespectfully to me I'd bluntly say, "You don't know what you're talking about and you're flat wrong. You may not realize how difficult what you're demanding I do would make my life. They're my boobs so this is my decision. Get over it or get used to it, because this is how it's gonna be. I will nurse our child wherever and how ever I feel comfortable. You will be supportive or you will be silent."

ETA BFing is not and can not ever be pornographic. Porn is sexual. Breastfeeding has nothing to do with sex.

Amy-Mother of two (05/07) & (02/09)
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#21 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 02:00 AM
 
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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.

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#22 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 02:13 AM
 
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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.

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#23 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 10:40 AM
 
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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***

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#24 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 10:56 AM
 
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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.
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#25 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 11:04 AM
 
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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"

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#26 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 11:04 AM
 
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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)

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#27 of 47 Old 02-19-2010, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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!

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#28 of 47 Old 02-20-2010, 12:18 AM
 
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Just so you know... the PTB in Minnesota definately support your right to nurse in public.

http://www.ncsl.org/IssuesResearch/H...9/Default.aspx

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Minnesota
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.
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#29 of 47 Old 02-20-2010, 11:33 AM
 
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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.

Candace - Mama to Molly (02/06), Max (06/08) and Maggie (03/10)
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#30 of 47 Old 02-20-2010, 12:36 PM
 
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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!

Rachel, knit.gifwifey to 2twins.gif (3/06), tandem nursing mama toenergy.gif(7/08) & babyboy.gif (4/11) and missing brokenheart.gif (7/09, 2/10, 7/10) 
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