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10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Breastfeed in Public

admin December 31, 2015

I thought I’d go ahead and ring in the new year with a little fun. 🙂

Why not?

Apparently, some of our esteemed legislators are battling it out via public comments on public breastfeeding.  It seems one man thinks that if a woman likes to “whip out her nipple,” (um, who does that?) then she shouldn’t mind if he wants to “grab it.”

Well.  I’m not entirely sure where to start with that one.  Or, maybe it goes like this:

Public breastfeeding is not exhibitionism.  It is feeding a baby.  There’s a huge difference between opening your bra to feed your baby, and “whipping it out” for others to stare at.  Women don’t want you to look while they’re nursing — really.  And, the fact that you think that a woman’s breast being out for *any* purpose gives you permission to “grab” her is…scary.  Seriously.

Anyway.

I thought I’d just add to the conversation, and give you my 10 reasons why you shouldn’t breastfeed in public.  No, really.

10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Breastfeed in Public

1. You might make a full-grown adult uncomfortable

I mean…honestly?  You never know who’s around.  Someone might feel uncomfortable that you’re feeding your baby.  And that’s, just, like, taboo in society.  You can’t make someone feel uncomfortable.  Don’t you have any manners?

2. You might give an adult a sore neck, from having to look away so hard

If they’re uncomfortable, that adult might have to look away.  And that might cause a crick in their neck that could last for minutes.  How rude of you to cause them such pain!

3. You have to teach that baby that other peoples’ needs for “comfort” come before their basic right to eat

Your baby’s at least days old — she needs to learn that her needs don’t come first.  Empathy, darn it!

4. Your baby’s lungs need exercise and what better way to get that than by letting them scream from hunger

You know the old saying — babies cry to exercise their lungs.  And they need to, so they can breathe better.  Or something.  Or maybe so they can play the tuba when they’re older.  Regardless, the best way to make ’em scream a lot is just not to feed them.  So really, this is good for your baby…in the long run.

shouldn't breastfeed in public pinterest

5. You might accidentally flash some nipple and give someone a heart attack — that’s a public health risk!

You know that there might be some people out there who just can’t take the sight of a nipple.  And no matter how careful you are, as your baby is latching or unlatching, there might be a brief, split-second nip-flash.  That could give some people a heart attack.  You can’t be responsible for that, now can you?

6. Your baby needs to learn that his wants can’t always be met immediately

Come on now…life’s just not fair.  We can’t always get what we want.  The sooner your baby learns that his needs can’t be met immediately, the better.  For some reason.

7. You might put other parents in an uncomfortable position — maybe they’re not ready for “the talk” with their children (you know, about breasts)

Everybody parents differently, you know.  That means there might be children around who are curious about why you’re feeding your baby with the no-no parts of your body…and then other parents might have to actually explain that your baby is eating!  That could get really uncomfortable — who are you to force that on a parent before they’re ready?

8. It’s disgusting — I mean, breast milk is practically like pee, how unsanitary

Because you know — breast milk and waste products are the same things.  They both nourish a baby.  Oh wait….

9. You need to learn a lesson about planning your baby’s feedings better

Haven’t you heard of scheduled feedings?  Your baby should eat only every 3 hours, and you should plan to feed the baby before you leave (in private while staring lovingly into his/her eyes the entire time, because this is an intimate bonding moment!), and then not again until you get home.  And if baby doesn’t care and gets hungry too soon?  See #6.

10. You need to care a whole lot about society’s opinion of your parenting

This is really the most important one.  You’re supposed to really care what society thinks of you.  It matters a lot if they think you’re doing a good job as a parent or not.  I mean, your entire self-worth and all of your major parenting decisions should definitely be made by society at large.  How could you think otherwise?

Any other reasons why you shouldn’t breastfeed in public?

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38 Comments

  1. This post is amazing. So funny!!!! All children have the right to eat! Also, breastfeeding in public is nothing compared to the Victoria’s Secret storefront at the mall – I’d rather my son learn about the functionality of breasts rather than their sexuality.

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    • There is nothing wrong with a mother breastfeeding her baby. She is feeding it. It has every right to eat, just like us. It is not inn appropriate or offensive. It’s just people being stupid about seeing a woman’s breast. Breastfeeding is natural

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    • I strongly agree. Men are aloud to walk around with there shirts off and not a woman? I feel that breast feeding should be allowed in public because if the baby needs to eat it needs to eat. It’s human nature that is corrupted by society’s opinions.

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  2. Laughing out loud! I cover up because I want to, not because someone else wants me to. I’ll do whatever I d**n well please, as long as I’m not physically hurting anyone. Oh wait, you said something about heart attacks. Oh no!

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    • This is funny in some ways, but as a mother who has nursed eight babies in public and am pregnant with number nine (in other words, I am not new to this game) I think that not caring what anybody thinks makes more of a fight than there needs to be. As a Christian I am called to care about the concerns of others – yes that includes my baby. But I can be as discreet as possible. I do not have to walk around Costco nursing with no cover (as I have seen others do occasionally) just to prove that am free. I totally agree with the above comment that I would rather discuss breasts in the context of nursing rather than Victoria’s Secret. That said, I am usually able to feed my baby in a manner that is inoffensive to 95% of the population. There will always be a few that can’t handle even the most discreet mother, yes, but they really are the exception.

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  3. Sorry but is it really that hard to cover with a blanket? Women should totally be aloud to breastfeed in public but they should also have enough decency to cover up while doing it.

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    • Women should not have to cover with a blanket to make others comfortable. I don’t know of any women, personally, who breastfeed in an “indecent” manner (indecent, I suppose, being letting too much of their breasts show), but ultimately it isn’t anyone else’s business. They’re not showing off, they’re feeding a baby.

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      • Every woman I have seen walks through the aisles with her baby barely hanging on therefore showing her entire breast. I came around the corner the other day in Walmart and a young lady had her shirt pulled down feeding a baby on one breast with the other completely exposed. I’d hardly call that decent.

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        • I’ve never seen it being exhibitioned like that. The most I’ve seen is the discreet shirt up, bra down, baby’s head blockin’ the goods. Now, I don’t know if you’ve had a kid (I haven’t), but I feel like the amount of times I’ve tried the “quick change” at the beach has taught me that I am absolute shite at balancing a towel and my bikini. I don’t think I want to try that with a baby.

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        • Disgusting outlook to consider only your and your child’s feelings.

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          • That’s pretty rude. Do you think an adult who is hungry and considers their NEEDS is “disgusting?”

            Breastfeeding is about meeting a baby’s NEEDS. Those needs are more important than some stranger’s feelings.

      • Covering up doesn’t have anything to do with others comfort levels it’s about you taking pride in yourself and have some respect for your body. Breastfeeding or not your breasts shouldn’t be hanging out. Breasts are sexualized in the US and if that’s where you live then you have to realize that and be respectful of yourself. If you’re the type of person who says “why can’t I breastfeed openly but VS girls can show their goods” if you say that and yet continue to open breastfeed without cover that’s just stopping to VS girls level. Also there are sick people out there who get off to children latched to breasts and by not covering up you’re providing that opportunity for then to have those thoughts. That reason alone is enough to cover up. Think about your child and your self respect

        Reply

        • No, breastfeeding has nothing to do with “self respect” or respect from others. It has to do with a baby eating ONLY. It’s your opinion that people ‘need’ to cover up, but many don’t share it. And there’s no reason why they should.

          I can’t control the minds of sick people, and frankly, whether everything’s showing or they just *know* what’s happening because of the presence of a cover, their mind can wander and they can think sick thoughts. I cannot do anything about that, and choose not to spend my time worrying about it.

          Really, stop worrying about what others think and just feed your child in the way that is most comfortable to you.

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    • Do you know how HOT it gets under that blanket? Dang girl. YOu try to feeed under a blanket. Trust me, you will be pulling it off your face fast.

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      • My 1st baby refused to nurse if covered by a blanket. And he nursed on demand for 3.5 years. And i am not a home body, so basically that meant that i have shown a lot of nipple. Oh well.

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  4. I don’t care about your discomfort, my baby’s need do come before your discomfort. Breastfeeding is NATURAL and there should be nothing disturbing about it! Society says it should be kept behind closed doors, but it’s not SEX or anything. You don’t see your dog,cows, or any other mammals going to a breastfeeding room to feed. So Yes I will breastfeed in public unapologetically.

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  5. To be honest, I wouldn’t even care if it became normal for women to go shirtless or completely naked. Or men for that matter. Its a body. Everybody has one. If you can’t handle this fact, become a hermit.
    I personally do not care for flashing my boobs, but I do feed the baby in public. Yesterday he had a breakdown in the middle of a busy square, he would not stop crying, so I sat down by a fountain and fed him and all was good. If you let baby cry people talk, if you feed him people talk. People talk.

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  6. 8 & 9 are my favorites, lol!!!

    In my opinion, there are two types of women who breastfeed in public:
    1) mothers who are doing it to feed their child, and
    2) activists who are trying to provoke a negative response…
    Ok, maybe the second one is a bit harsh and I’m sure there are plenty of moms who fall somewhere in between, but I think we will gain many strides towards complete social acceptance if all mommas just keep public breastfeeding to the simple discreet task of feeding one’s child. By discreet, I don’t mean hiding in a corner with a sheet over your head, just simply that you don’t need to announce to everyone in a 20ft radius what you are doing, and you don’t need to take off your entire shirt and expose both breasts to feed your child! I think using a cover at all is a personal choice… Yes, I do believe in modesty, but I don’t know anyone who thinks a baby sucking on a breast is sexual in any way, shape, or form! Breastfeeding is completely natural and the more we, as moms, treat it that way (without getting in anyone’s face), the more people will come to accept it (even if they don’t completely agree)!

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  7. God bless you girl! I loved your blog on breastfeeding in public and quite understood the sarcasm. I’ve nursed nine children and did it very discreetly. Modesty comes with lessons learned at home. We skipped a whole generation of learning because of the bottle feeding our mothers did. They could pass off the baby to dad or anyone else. They were brainwashed by the formula companies and doctors of their age. The whole mothering “THING” was lost on a whole generation of women.But we can look past that, back to our grandmothers who knew how to nurture their children.Back when a women’s body was the lifeline for her children giving him/her all the antibodies that they won’t get from formula.
    I remember my mother telling me when she was a child in church…seeing the mothers with babies nursing them as they went up to communion. Of course she said they would be covered with a shawl or something,usually. She said people didn’t think anything about it because it was the norm at the time. Now, however it is considered disgusting by even other mothers!? It shows how far we’ve drifted from our “humanity”.
    I am a christian woman also. I believe this is what God meant for us to do as mothers.Our babies’ food is ready made, easy to travel, heated to the perfect temperature and contains all the best nutrients in a soft, warm and comforting container with non toxic PBA free nipples. If society can’t accept that…too bad. Lets start teaching our daughters when and how to be mothers, and we won’t have to worry about “breasts” being exposed and politicians interfering in family life.
    As for these men who want to grab at women because they think a bare breast is a free for all, sexual harassment, sexual assault,is the legal term and those perverts should be put in jail, along with the politicians who would pass such an insensitive and prejudicial law.

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  8. Right. and animals also play with themselves in public, mate in public, and also shit in public, so yes, lets do everything in public, disregarding everyone else!

    Just because you have a baby and you are breast feeding DOES NOT mean the world revolves around YOU and your baby.

    annoyed woman in cal.

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  9. […] small thing was that someone commented on a very tongue-in-cheek post I wrote about public breastfeeding at the beginning of the year.  The person identified themselves as “Annoyed” and […]

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  10. Many humans care too much about what others are doing instead of doing their own thing, and it is easy to blame and pick on others instead of fixing their own crap (no one is perfect) so yeah, those people have nothing more to do but waist and give away their energy, which is their own problem. Breasts are given by nature for feeding, humans oversexualized it and now there is an issue, it’s simply just sad.

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  11. i dont see why the baby has to be fed ‘immidiately’, and the mother cant wait a few miniutes to find someplace private to feed it. being a guy, i dont mind seeing a womans breasts at all, but from a womans point of view, i dont undersatnd why all women are so willing to expose their breasts and nipples for all the world to see. most of them do it so they can somehow ‘prove’ to the world that they can. and their husbands/boyfriends just have to live with it, cause we live in an amazonian society these days. i dont see public breatfeeding in most muslim countries, does that mean that all babies ‘do not eat’ there and just starve to death??

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  12. Men can jog/work/sit around shirtless, but if a woman feeds her baby she is indecent. That is sexism at its most ridiculous! I have been breastfeeding for a year, no plans to stop soon, and I’ve never had an incident. My boy will not nurse if covered, so there’s that. It is so uncomfortable nursing in public, but I do it anyway because… Duh.

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  13. I breastfed all my babies. My three-year-old daughter’s time breastfeeding got cut short due to the fact that I was in a head-on collision when she was three weeks old. But still, they were all breastfed and I think people who sexualize it are sick in the head. My husband is trying to get over his ignorance about it. He, too, had Snottish indignant feelings about it, and due to my six year old son being hella curious and fascinated by it. He knows it’s best for the baby but sometimes he thinks I should cover up in our own home. Also, there are idiots like the one from my home state of South Carolina, named Carly Clarke, who believes babies should be punched in the head for eating from their mother’s breast. I sent that horrible woman a picture of me breastfeeding to her Facebook. Some people act like breast milk is some sort of boob slime and that you’re forcing your boob into your child’s mouth and that the let-down reflex is some sort of orgasm…I understand the need for formula as a back up but to sexualize breastfeeding is just wrong.

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  14. I don’t think its wrong at all 2 breastfeed in public but not in a food establishment where people are eating. I know from experience that stuff can squirt!

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  15. I love the sarcasm the amount of people on here offended by breastfeeding is ridiculous. No one bats an eye at a mother bottle feeding although that bottle has a nipple seriously though, we need to make this normal. Ill never refuse my baby because it might make someone “uncomfortable”. Btw, for those who say to cover, you eat a meal under a blanket then get back to me…

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  16. Let’s feed our babies whenever and wherever they require it, and in whatever manner is comfortable for us. I was surprised at the ignorant thoughts people have about breastfeeding, and comparisons to animals and men aren’t helping. Sisters, just stick to your guns, nourish your children, and be as gracious as possible with idiots – at least up until the moment they imply there is some sexual gratification in nursing (and then you have my permission to kick them you know where). 🙂

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  17. I can really appreciate this article. I grew up in a very private and conservative family. No one breastfed their children. It was all about the bottle and modesty. I remember the moment I decided to breastfeed. I was big and pregnant with my first child and looking at the comparison chart put up in the maternity ward by the La Leche League of formula versus breastmilk. I talked to an alternative medicine doctor about it and decided the benefits were worth being different from generations of women in my family. Only one cousin before me had breastfed, and she was considered the ‘black sheep’ since she had her baby out of wedlock at 17. Her mom even called the baby ‘demon baby’. So my view on breastfeeding wasn’t supportive or positive, and no one had any experience to help coach through the newness of it. Long story short, I had my first and second baby only to discover they were special needs with low muscle tone and could not latch. I determined to pump instead. With my first baby, I had no training and no help. The nurses at the hospital urged me to pump around the clock the minute my baby was born. I pumped until I bled. I pumped so hard my breasts became super engorged, mastitis ensued, and I was bloodied and in terrible pain. Still, I pumped until I dried up 9 months later. I learned from that and pumped for nearly a year for my second child, drying up against my will just before his first birthday and weeping over the loss of a deep desire to nurse.

    Enter my third baby. A miracle. She latched early and nurses vigorously. I was overjoyed to join other moms in the nursing room at church. I was thrilled to be pulled on by my baby begging for ‘mil’ even out in public. I nursed discreetly as I’m still a private person, but it would have destroyed my fragile heart, DESTROYED IT, had someone come up and been nasty to me while I was joyfully soaking up every breastfeeding moment. My baby wouldn’t nurse under a blanket, so I would sit in dressing rooms or a nursing room (if it was available) or turn a chair around in a pharmacy area and enjoy the moments of bliss with my child.

    You never know what kind of journey someone has been on. Maybe she’s proud and ‘whipping it out’ because she had to fight to get to that point. You can’t know her history just based on seeing her sitting and nursing in the shoe department.

    I did receive a blow when my sister-in-law had her first baby. We had talked for awhile about nursing. She would be the first in her family to nurse, and I answered all her questions and offered her support. When the baby was born, she decided breastmilk was nasty (without ever trying to nurse), and it would be bottles all the way. When she brings her kids over to play, I have to go hide in my own house to nurse my little one because she ‘isn’t ready for the talk’. That has been hard and hurt me a lot. She clings to the ‘fed is best’ mantra and shames breastfeeding moms who believe that they are doing something very important and critical in sacrificing to breastfeed. She complains about cleaning bottles and the smell of formula. It’s been hard to handle since I had to work SO hard to NOT have bottles to wash and formula to smell. Nipple shields and blood and mastitis, well you know the drill.

    So if you see a woman nursing in public, don’t disgrace or shame her. You don’t know her story. You don’t know if she’s an exhibitionist or if she’s feeling a little lonely and isolated. You don’t know her. If you can’t acknowledge her kindly, then don’t say anything at all.

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  18. So my older kids ride horse and we are involved in a riding group. We had a long horse show in June. Some people were talking about my family “causing issues” at the show, so I confronted the president of the group about what the issues were. And to my surprise this is what she says…

    “I am not going to split hairs angie those were the complaints…
    The breastfeeding is dealt with and over with, Again I am for breastfeeding as were all of us when it was discussed, it was because you were sitting on our cooler. I guess I should be more clear it was the places you chose to breastfeed and again there were numerous complaints, I truly did not know how to even bring it up..your kids gotta eat,I guess maybe a cover up of some sort would have been better, Again it is done with….
    To be quite honest I really didnt know how to approach you on it.
    I dont feel anyone was against your breastfeeding,just the places..”

    Reply

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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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