Post # 1
My bridesmaids and I went dres shopping today and one of my girls brought her infant son. We were sitting in the middle of the salon when I turned around and saw my bridesmaid with her boob out, breastfeeding. It didn’t necessarilly make me uncomfortable since I’ve seen her do it before (in her home) but I still thought it was weird that she would just “whip it out” right there in the middle of the store. It definitely made other customers (it’s prom season!) uncomfortable since some actually left after seeing her. I could tell the employees weren’t too thrilled about it either, but legally she can feed wherever she needs to so they couldn’t do anything.
One of my other bridesmaids, who also has a new baby, couldn’t believe that our other friend would breastfeed in public. I don’t really how I feel about it. I mean I know the kid has to eat but society (obviously not all but some) shouldn’t have to be made uncomfortable either.
In speaking with my other friend (the non-public breastfeeder) she’s not comfortable with public breastfeeding and while she even has a feeding cover, she still won’t do it in public. I don’t have children but I can pretty much guarantee that I would never be comfortable doing this. There aren’t many places I’ve ever been where you can’t slip away and feed in privacy. The salon we were in provided ample space for her to not have do feed in public but she just chose to.
What are the thoughts of the Hive? Would you be uncomfortable seeing a woman breastfeeding in public? If you’re a mom, do/did/will you breastfeed in public?
ETA: While we were in a bridal salon, there were still a handful of men in there. One guy even looked like a linebacker and stared for far too long!
Post # 3
It doesn’t bother me at all. I’m a big believer in if the kids got to eat then whip it out. I’d much rather see a breastfeeding baby than listen to a screaming one.
Post # 4
Honestly, I would never whip it out myself, I’m fine with people doing it with a cover of some type though.
Post # 5
i don’t mind if it’s covered but if I see a whole boob that makes me a little uncomfortable. If you really want to show your whole boob, go to the bathroom and do it!
Post # 6
It doesn’t bother me in the slightest (although in the interest of full disclosure, I am an NICU nurse – helping people learn to breastfeed is part of my job). Would you rather hear the baby screaming?
I actually am really annoyed by the fact that people get judged if they choose NOT to breastfeed – but if they do it they better hide it? That is bullshit.
Post # 7
@mwitter80: Great point! I agree.
Much rather get a boob shot, than listen to a wailing, hungry infant.
Post # 8
Totally fine with it – the baby has to eat! If people are uncomfortable they don’t have to watch.
Although, I will add that I’ve seen mothers breastfeeding full-on toddlers in public (I’m talking over 2 years old, the kid could walk and talk) and that was a little strange to me. Not strange that the kid was bf-ing but that she chose to do it in public. If it’s an infant you don’t have much of a choice if you’re not pumping, but when the kid is older? She could have easily given the kid a sippy cup of juice or something.
Post # 9
@MrsSaltWaterTaffy: I totally agree. My friend didn’t even try to cover up. We actually suggested she cover up with his blanket and she said “would you want to eat under a blanket?”. Um…
But yea, pretty much everyone could see areola.
Post # 10
I agree that it is uncomfortable. But I feel bad for moms who breastfeed in the bathroom 🙁 public restrooms are so dirty. I have to admit, a lot of the time when my son was a newborn, I would go to the bathroom to do it and it was so gross. I wouldn’t touch anything.
I think covers are needed of course, also to go back in a corner or a private area is more polite. I still didn’t feel comfortable with a cover on in public…but maybe I was too modest? Usually I would pump before going out in public. I did feed my son in the back of the car a lot too (tinted windows).
Post # 12
Babies need to eat and the boob is the mechanism for that. I would never do it without a cover, but twice I’ve been at friends’ houses and not had a cover and fed my very hungry baby anyway. When your baby is screaming hungry and your boobs are full, you could really care less about who is watching. It’s a biological need for the baby and for the mama.
Really, how much boob can you see anyway? The baby’s head blocks almost everything.
I’m not a breastfeeding nazi, but I really do feel like people’s expectations are unreasonable.
I heard someone say that they were frustrated because they could hear a baby drinking in a restaurant (under a hooter hider) and that grossed her out. I can hear these people chewing, but that doesn’t make me confront them and ask them to leave the restaurant.
This really should be a non-issue!
Post # 13
I’m okay with breastfeeding in public. Personally I wouldn’t be comfortable being “exposed” at all while doing it.
I think beyond some women being comfortable with that, there are probably some times when the mom doesn’t have anyway of covering herself.
Plus you said you were dress shopping – I’d feel more comfortable in an environment full of women and wouldn’t stress about covering up as much in that situation.
If she’s comfortable and her baby isn’t crying then what difference does it make? Just look in a different direction. If you’re in a public place there’s a good chance you could be exposed to things that make you uncomfortable (offensive shirts, signage, tattoos, language) – why worry about something that is actually serving a vital purpose?
Post # 14
I’m ok with it and prefer it covered. I’ve seen people with it just hanging out feeding, and while I dont really care, I just dont think you should be flashing your boob to the world whether or not your feeding. I dont know a mother that would travel without a little burp cloth or something.. use that!
Post # 15
it’s natural and i don’t mind it. kind of a sad state of society when feeding your child means mothers are expected to stand in a bathroom or hide away somewhere to do so as if it’s something to be ashamed of (not saying that’s your opinion, Cait!)
Post # 16
@UpstateCait: I’ve breastfed in public and never made a show about it. 99% of people didn’t even know what I was doing. It’s funny that people are squeemish about it but are totally okay with seeing teens cleavage plastered all over Facebook and Victoria Secret models in bras during daytime TV and crawling all over the bed in doggy style position but can’t stomach a baby eating. lol The most you ever see is the top of the skin. Just like you would in a low cut shirt. It’s not like women sit there in public with their areola just out for everyone to see. Breastfed babies eat constantly. Sometimes you just have to whip it out and move on. One time a customer told me to go into the bathroom and I told her to go eat her lunch in the bathroom and she shut the hell up.
HOWEVER, I dislike women who do it in public and make a big deal about it. It’s not a production. Latch on and latch off. I always wore two shirts and carried a blanket with me because I hate people walking up to me to see what I was doing.
I wonder when breastfeeding became so taboo.