Weighing in on Breastfeeding in Public

by API Blog on December 8, 2008

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I feel so lucky that I live in a place that is so open to nursing in public. I have never been asked to cover up, given funny looks, or asked to move to the bathroom to nurse my children. But I know so many mothers who are terrified of nursing in public because they have been questioned, given looks, and asked to move.

As much as those stories infuriate me, today I feel there is cause to celebrate…and to weigh in. Some of you probably already have accounts on Opposing Views because they seem to cover quite a few topics (spanking among them) that AP parents care about. Today they launched the debate: Should Women Breastfeed in Public?

The reason we should celebrate is because it’s not even a debate–no one stepped up to take the “No” position on this one. I choose to make this mean that we’re winning the battle against ignorance and I commend the three wonderful experts who spelled out all the many reasons to support nursing in public. But your votes still send a strong message to any dissenters (and as long as neanderthals people like Barbara Walters are around, there will always be dissenters on this topic), so go on, vote to support a baby’s right to eat in public.

While you’re there, you might also want to vote on these two:

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API Blog (52 Posts)

APtly Said, Formerly API Speaks launched in April of 2008 as part of Attachment Parenting International's larger effort to offer interactive content through their newly-redesigned web site: http://www.attachmentparenting.org. All contributors to APtly Said, as with so many of API's staff, are volunteers who donate their time and energy to promote Attachment Parenting world wide.


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

justine December 9, 2008 at 11:32 am

I am also blessed to have never been given a hassle about nursing in public. It has also occurred to me that I may have simply ignored any judgmental glances and misinterpreted any rude comments…or perhaps it is my all consuming passion and confidence that just sends off a “don’t you dare” vibe to would-be nay sayers…whatever it is, I have enjoyed nursing my babies “Anytime, Anywhere”

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MARY ANN December 15, 2008 at 2:04 pm

If someone had a problem with me breastfeeding in public, I’d give them the riot act. How dare anyone get in my business about how I tend to my child. The US is just so far behind in so many ways. The simplest, most natural acts of life cause such a flurry. Geez people. MYOB.

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Manar March 3, 2010 at 10:25 am

I think breastfeeding in public is different for everyone! I know it is natural but I have always gone to the bathroom to nurse my baby. I’m not ashamed, just not comfortable having my boobs out for the public to see. When I do see women nurse in public though, it doesn’t bother me. It’s their choice and I don’t think anyone should judge them for it.

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Paula March 25, 2012 at 8:00 am

When a woman in a restaurant told me that I should feed my baby in the ladies room, I said, “You think my son should eat his lunch in the bathroom? He’ll have his lunch in the bathroom when you do.”

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kerry lee May 23, 2012 at 1:06 am

We need to remember not everyone in your space is share this loving maternal moment, to some ( if not most ) this is simply a naked breast in public..I am one of those people. I think the argument is on the level of discreteness, not the right to fed a baby anywhere, obviously that is not the issue. I has nothing to do with being ashamed and it is a natural process yad yad yad..it is about mutual respect to everyone. I saw a woman on the subway during rush hour..only when her baby fell asleep was when i realized she was nursing. She wore a sort of bib (very loose with the side free, cotton) device which her baby was happily feeding under.

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Chia Ruble August 22, 2012 at 11:41 am

I beleive that a womans breast are solely for their child, having said this I also believe in being discreat. When I nurse is public I always cover up. I use a soft blanket and my babies seem to be very comforted by it. Many times a friend has come up to me and ask where my baby is. I smile and look at my chest. They always laugh and say, I couldn’t even tell. I feed my baby while grocery shopping or eating out, but because of the way the US has sexualized everything, I do stay covered up.

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