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On Breastfeeding In Public...
by Beth Jones


April 14, 2005

I breastfed all three of my babies whenever they where hungry no matter where we where. I always tried to be discrete and most of the time no one even seemed to notice. If someone did I usually received a knowing smile from other moms and some people even made comments "like how sweet". Some did stare, mostly out of curiosity. You see there are many adults who have never seen a baby breastfeeding. I always tried not to expose my breasts because I was not seeking attention - just feeding my baby. (My gosh I'm too body shy to wear a swim suit in public) I take the chance that someone might give me a dirty look or a rude comment because I believe breastfeeding is important. I did not cover with blankets - first off it's hot, uncomfortable for my baby and a false sense of security if oops! the baby kicks it off. I also thought when I saw other moms using blankets that it drew more attention to them.

I will not nurse in the toilet, would you eat your lunch in there?

The first time I nursed in public I'll admit I was a little nervous and self-conscious. I had practiced at home lifting, latching and pulling my shirt down quickly to avoid over exposure. But I decided that a hungry tummy is much more important than a little embarrassment that some people might feel. If I don't stand up for my baby's rights and needs, who will? Breastfeeding is a gift from God, the perfect way to nurture our offspring and absolutely natural. Many times seeing a baby breastfeeding makes women uncomfortable because they did not choose to breast-feed. It makes some people feel embarrassed because they relate breasts only to sex. The breasts have more than one function. It blows my mind how some parents allow young children to watch MTV and Baywatch, yet run them out of the room when it's time to breast-feed the baby. Anyway it's not my job to educate the public but it is my responsibility to provide the very best possible care for my children - for ME that means breastfeeding, not just in the privacy of my home but whenever,wherever they need too.

If it bothers you please look the other way. If your husband stares, you need to talk to him about treating you with respect in public. If your children are looking, take the opportunity to educate them about why breastfeeding is so important. If you don't know why breastfeeding is important search online or read a book.

And if you don't mind, I'm offended that people eat cows! So could you please eat your steak in the bathroom or take it home where I don't have to watch!

Beth Jones
Lenoir, N.C. - USA


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