Breastfeeding In Public

Breastfeeding in public has gained notable attention here in our county lately. Recently, a mother was told that she was not allowed to breastfeed her baby in the Victoria’s Secret dressing room in a local mall. I found that quite interesting being the type of store it is! You would think with the amount of concern Victoria’s Secret has over modesty, they wouldn’t have a problem with it..but evidently they did! Be it a county building or a public building, nursing an infant isn’t a crime as some would have us think.
Another mother recently made the news when she was asked to stop breastfeeding her baby at a local Recreation Center. The Rec Center said they have rules in regards to breastfeeding because some people are “uncomfortable” with seeing a woman breastfeed. Their policy is that if you want to breastfeed your baby…you must do so in the bathroom.
Both of these instances were with women who were discreetly, modestly nursing their infants. They were not exposed in an offensive way.
I personally do not have a problem with mothers feeding their babies in public. I nurse my baby in public when necessary. I do know that some gung-ho breastfeeding mothers feel they should be able to bare all and feed their babies how ever they want. I have seen these type mothers in public and find it very offensive for them to assume that everybody should just accept exposed bare breasts in pubic if a baby is attached to them. I do not believe bare breasts are acceptable public displays.
As nursing mothers, we have the have the responsibility to be discreet and modest. Thankfully not all public places harass breastfeeding mothers. Just recently, I was walking through a department store with my girls. Annabelle was fussing and I was trying to soothe her until I could find a place to stop and feed her. A kind woman who worked there walked up to me and commented on how precious the baby was. She continued, “I hope you don’t mind me asking a personal question, but do you breastfeed her?” I was a bit confused by her question but stated that I did. She said, “I just wanted you to know that if you needed me to open up a dressing room or direct you to a comfortable couch, I would be happy to help you.” I told her that I appreciated her kindness. I was thankful that I didn’t happen to run into someone who was “uncomfortable” with breastfeeding that night.

3 Comments

  • sarah says:

    My husband points out, “Doesn’t Victoria’s Secret know that is what their product leads to… babies?”

  • sarah says:

    Did you know that Oprah is very pro-breastfeeding? Miriam told me that she had a national sit-in at all the malls in America for breastfeeding moms after one woman was asked to leave a mall food coart. Whoever that happened to ought to contact Oprah. That is so ridiculous.

  • I find all the conflicting view points on breastfeeding fascinating. I agree that breastfeeding doesn’t equal bare boobies in public. And I think it all comes down to embarrassment.
    Some people are really embarrassed to see some one breastfeeding. I think that is mostly because they were not exposed to it growing up. Then there is me. I could not get comfortable breastfeeding around others and ended up alone in my bedroom a lot. I had so much anxiety about it, it eventually led to my milk drying up and having to switch to the bottle. I think I would have been fine now but I sure wasn’t at 18.

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