I’m guilty of that thing. That thing where you judge something, and don’t understand it until it directly impacts your life. Then all the sudden you about-face. It’s what John Stewart makes fun of House Republicans for all the time. That’s me on the topic of public nursing.
It’s off-putting, seeing someone breastfeed in public. Because it’s a boob and it’s just there out in the open.
But here’s a fact – if you can do it (and not every human body can) it’s the best way to feed your kid. Moms today are really, really pressured to breastfeed. I know women who have gone to ridiculous, painful, expensive lengths just to be able to naturally nurse their babies. I resent, but understand the pressure. We want what’s best for our kids. I fought, physically fought to breastfeed. It was sometimes excruciating, but it is what is best for the baby.
So here’s the rub: If I want to leave the house, 9 out of 10 times I have to take my baby into a stinky public restroom and hover over a toilet to feed her.
Why? Because it’s off-putting to see someone breastfeed in public.
I’m too embarrassed to do it. I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. So me and my baby smell other people’s waste while she eats, because maybe I needed to go to the store. Or a restaurant. The nursing covers don’t work for us, we’ve tried, and it’s a non-starter. So, this video really hit home with me:
I don’t think that we can just flip a switch and change our thoughts on this as a society, but man, I wish we could. This is literally the only reason women were given breasts. Not for beer ads. Not for Victoria’s Secret. For feeding babies. Imagine a cow with a bikini top on it’s udders. Sorry, but…really.
It’s just one of those sneaky “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenarios that women deal with – sometimes without even recognizing the unfairness. Choose not to breastfeed – BAD MOM. Choose to breastfeed in public – WEIRD HIPPY SHOWBOAT SCARRING FUTURE GENERATIONS OF BEER AND VICTORIA’S SECRET CONSUMERS.
Solution = Stay home all the time and breastfeed. WAIT, NO, YOU CAN’T BE A STAY AT HOME MOM EITHER, WE HAVE OPINIONS ABOUT THAT.
Super solution – Write a cutting poem about the whole thing and have it picked up by the Huffington Post. Seriously, watch that video. Hollie McNish really nails it.
Note: I want to mention IKEA, a company that provides a nursing area for visiting families. It’s so simple, but so important. It literally makes me want to shop there forever. Also, a chair in a handicapped stall is also appreciated. I think little modifications are a great step towards progress.