I Saw Her Boobs: Public Breastfeeding
Guess what day it is? It’s “Hot on the Titties” Friday! Literally, today. Which means I’m going to turn on the gas, throw a match and watch the eruption.
Actually, while not my total intent, I ‘m pretty sure this one will get a few mommys out there burning. Because it’s a subject that most women feel really strongly about, one way or another.
Let’s talk about public breastfeeding.
Did anyone watch Ricki Lake yesterday? That bitch is really starting to grow on me. She’s plucky, and provocative, and talks about some interesting subjects. The hole Oprah left in my heart has healed a little bit.
I’m going to start by saying that I am not an advocate for breastfeeding or against it. I am an advocate for choices. So that every woman is able to make the best choices for her family.
When I had my daughter, I breastfed for a few short days. There were many reasons why I didn’t continue. One being that I had to go back to work in a matter of weeks and that my husband would be taken over primary care duties. The thought of pumping and bottling just made me squirm. If I was going to breastfeed, it would be for the bonding and to try to do this parenting thing as naturally as possible. Natural, for me, did not include attaching some start trek device to my tits for hours a day and milking my self. The idea horrified me.
Also, I had a pretty drastic breast reduction years ago, before I thought I would ever have kids. The kind where the nipple is actually removed from the breast and they reconstruct it before putting the nipple back on. They look great, but the plumbing is a little fucked up. So I would have been supplementing every single feeding. For my sanity, I chose the formula.
My milk never really came to be anyway. My doctor gave me all these remedies involving cabbages and prepared me for the horror of my milk drying up. There were a few moments where I could literally squeeze a bit out, and I felt like maybe I should try again. Then I looked over at my husband and the twee Destroyer-To-Be, and left in alone. They looked so comfy.
THIS time, though, I’m ready to try again. My boobs feel like they’re filling up with porridge this pregnancy, and I’ve convinced myself that they are ripening with milk for my little Buddy in there. We’ll see what happens.
Here’s the thing. Will I whip out my tits in public and do it anywhere? I don’t think I will. WHAT? You’re probably wondering. This from the girl who would flash her tits for a free shot of tequila? SHE feels squirly about public breastfeeding?
The truth is that I do. Now, hear me out. If you choose to breastfeed, uncovered in the middle of wherever you happen to be, do it. I think that you have that right. I don’t think that breastfeeding should be a regulated act. Because as soon as you take a woman’s right to choose away, we are back peddling rapidly towards other significant choices for women as well.
But here’s the thing. I think that it is really easy to do what you have the “right” to do. Breastfeeding is a natural act. You are feeding your child the way God and nature intended ( if you are luckier than I was). I’m just wondering if it is a lot to ask that we be respectful of our environment and our audience and find a way to be discreet.
Because the bottom line is that is does make some people uncomfortable, and makes some people feel awkward. Granted, this is do to with their own ignorance and immaturity, but is it that hard to be considerate of someone else’s feelings, despite what your rights are?
I remember being a 18 year old waitress, and in the middle of talking to a woman when she blatantly pulled out her breast in front of me to feed her baby. No warning, nothing. I was 18. And I didn’t know how to react in that situation. It made me feel awkward. Do I react the same now, when a students parent does it in a lesson? Of course not. But I have a little more maturity behind me now.
So I don’t know. I’m sure this discussion could get a little hot. But I’d like to know if I am the only mother out there who still sees breastfeeding as an intimate act between a mother and her child that I’m not interested in intruding on. And that I don’t want to be intruded upon if I’m able to breastfeed more this time around.
Maybe it’ll bother me less one I experience it for reals.
But the problem is that there is at least 50% of the population out there who will never get to have this experience, so how do we change their perception?
Ok girls. Let’s hear it. I’d like to hear all sides of the argument, please. And try to be nice.