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  • My life as a wife, mother, and child of God. I can tell a good joke, but only at my own expense. I can tell ya how to parent, but only by first failing. And I can tell you how to get to Heaven, but you gotta get there on your own.

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April 07, 2010

Comments

BethieofVA

I am a supporter of breast feeding absolutely, but always believe in discretion. I have been places where a woman LITERALLY laid her exposed engorged breast on the table where folks were dining while preparing the baby to latch on. I do not think that is appropriate. I also do not believe thinking that a woman should feed her child in a restroom is acceptable. I just believe it is a private moment and should be kept that way, if possible. It is sorta like, but not the same, as my four year old needing to potty today, so he dropped his shorts in front of the library to pee in their grass. I don't think so! Another private moment not to be shared. ;)

Reeve

You're hilarious. Thanks for the words of wisdom :)

Paula

Super post Amanda, you are a great writer and one that can certainly make her point.

mindy

LOVE the made-up story. I think you should have posted a "any similarity in actions depicted are purely coincidental.." because that sounds all too familiar. ;)
I have to agree with those who support breastfeeding in public. I don't get offended when a woman whips out the Playtex drop in system out in public, preparing to BOTTLE feed her child. If it makes people so uncomfortable, don't look. It is sad that the world has turned what is natural and beautiful into something vulgar and to be ashamed of.

Libby

Well said! That is ridiculous.

Renee

I'm totally for breastfeeding. When I did it, I tried to keep things covered as much as possible, although I rarely did it with a blanket, mostly I just used my shirt to cover the areas that would cause concern in some people. Most of the time you wouldn't even know what I was doing. BUT, sometimes its just impossible if the child is wiggly or a stinker. As a mom breastfeeding we do what we gotta do, baby comes first. It sucks (no pun intended lol) that those people got kicked out of the restaurant.

Lesley Yates

I can't believe people get this upset about a baby eating!!! There are plenty of people I don't want to watch eat, but I don't demand that they be kicked out of the restaurant! I mean really...grow up! I feel that people should be discreet, but sometimes life happens. And if you don't want to watch someone nurse...don't watch!!! I mean if you're worried about your kids seeing it...explain it to them! Really!! Really!!??

Bethany

That fiction sounds way too familiar. :)

Angien24

Bravo Amanda! I also,agree with the comment by Leslie, explain it to the kids if they question it. It's not something vulgar and most people are as discreet as they can be or the baby lets them be. That restaurant and any other, that doesnt want to allow it in their establishment should post a clear sign in the front and just see how many people choose to eat elsewhere.
Angie

LindaSue

just got back from Hawaii a week ago (LOVED it, want to go back NOW!) -- and applauded a mom who sat down on the floor towards the back of a gift shop at Volcanoes National Park to feed her hungry baby before the screaming stage was reached! Very quiet, very discreet, you could only tell if you really looked...or were in her position before! Hey, if someone ever complained to me when I was nursing, I'd have just handed over baby! Let THEM deal with a screaming, hungry infant who cannot be reasoned with! And my babies both refused to ever let anything be put over their heads, so while I was very modest when nursing, baby definitely wasn't hidden away.....

BJ_Mama

WHAT AN AMAZING POST!! I have a request though....post this on that forum you were referring to. I think a lot of people could use the education!
It still amazes me at how many people are offended by nursing. I mean, how do they think they got fed????
Did I mention I LOVE THIS POST!

MommyTopics.com

If I was out to dinner with my husband and my 8 year old son, and a woman was nursing her baby with no cover and NO discretion, just letting her boob hang out for any length of time, in plain site whenever the baby detaches... it would bug me. I wouldn't say anything, but if I could tell it was creating a "distraction" to my son I'd probably have him switch seats so his back was to her. And at a buffet, getting up and down and coming back to the table could create a challenge in trying not to be faced with her and her bare boob.

This mom "said" her baby "just wasn't cooperating with the blanket," but through my journey of breast feeding I have come across a few women and groups of women who are like feminists for the right to breast feed in public.

One of my friends who was breast feeding discretely under a blanket while in a mall was approached by one of these women and handed a card thanking her for breast feeding in public. A printed card. Clearly something this woman hands out often to people. But then the woman asked her to please remove the blanket. Hello!

I've had the same experience with a mother who approached me when I was nursing with a nursing cover and said, "What is that? A cape?" Confused, but trying to be polite I said, "Oh. Ha. Yeah. It's my nursing cover." Then the lady responded. "Why on earth would you do that? I never did. I just whipped them out no matter where I was and fed my child." She said it soooooo accusatory. Like I was a terrible mom for breastfeeding under a cover.

I'm thinking this mom must have been VERY IN-DISCRETE in order to have created so much of a problem that she was asked to cover up. And I trust that the couple probably was asked to leave NOT for breastfeeding in public, but for acting profane and beligerant when asked to cover up.

I've breast fed three babies, two of them for 9 months and my most recent one for a full year. However I do agree with doing it with discretion. I really feel that part of training our kids should include training babies to be cooperative and used to nursing under a cover or a blanket so that when we're in public nursing discretely can be achieved easily. Of course there are always those times when baby just decides not to cooperate. Been there, done that. And in my case, I've excused myself to the privacy of my car to finish nursing and then returned to dinner.

I'm not a fan of bare boobs in public in front of my family even if the excuse is breast feeding. I appreciate those who use covers or excuse themselves to nurse in discrete areas.

Kim @ Homesteader's Heart

I'd love to say that I can't believe it but I can. It's sad how people see things.

But I had to giggle at the picture you chose to represent a breastfeeding woman. Because she looks like a perfectly fit super model who has it all together and is breast feeding effortlessly. Does that really happen? LOL! Not when I was doing it, that's for sure.
Have a blessed day.
Kim

Kristin Smith

Love it! Thanks for bringing light to this story! Have a wonderful day!

Blessings, Kristin

Kristin

Good post. Benjamin still nurses (although not much in public anymore) and we have never used a blanket or cover. We are VERY discreet and cover fully with my shirt and have never had any problems or negative comments (except from in-laws :-( ).

Jana

I was once asked (by family) in a hotel room with only family, if I'd go into the bathroom to breastfeed my baby. To which I *wanted* to say "Why don't you go sit on the toilet and eat YOUR supper?!?"
I do agree with the person who said there are people WAY too far the other way who want to make a "point" and purposefully try not to be discreet. I definitely think there's a happy medium and a quick accidental flash is doing no one any harm.

Amanda Sikes

So cute! But so very true!

ClassiclyAmber

Ah man! People can REALLY be so dumb sometimes!! I remember with my first baby, I was sooooo nervous to nurse anywhere in front of people, and so I never did. NEVER. I always hid myself and Ethan so that he could nurse because I was so paranoid. By the time that Nolan came around, I was a lot more relaxed, but still overly cautious. Then when I had my 3rd baby, I would just nurse her anywhere and everywhere [and maintain that mindset]. Yes, I have nice nursing tops that - when you are nursing - it looks like you are holding a sleeping infant and nothing more.

I will never forget one time when we went out to eat with some friends at a big, busy restaurant and Gianna started getting hungry. She was probably about 4 months old. So I carefully put her up to nurse and [as always] was very discreet about it. However, this older lady way across the aisle had been watching me the whole time, before I was even nursing. Previously, she had been smiling and looking our way when I was just cradling Gianna, but there was no mistake the changed look on her face when I started nursing. She was absolutely outraged and it LOOKED as though she was keeping her husband from looking at all. At first, I thought that I was just imagining her looking at me like that all of a sudden because I had never dealt with it before...and then I watched the woman become impatient really fast and her hand went up several times trying to get a waitress over. I saw her complaining. I saw different waitresses coming to and from her table as if they were trying to scramble to please this person, and then I saw as the angry woman had to sit there and wait until both she and her hubby were relocated to the opposite side of the restaurant where we couldn't see them anymore.

No one ever came up to me and said a word. I honestly got a little nervous, wondering if they would. I have tried to nurse with blankets before and it's never really worked out. All of my babies have fought that from a very young age, so I don't even try. But I DO try to be modest and don't really even show any skin at ALL. To me, that's the way it should be done because how could anyone seriously argue with that??

I went and read that news story that you linked to. At first, I was so upset over it, but by the end of the article, you really just have to question the husband's actions on that one. If he went over the top and was cussing people out, etc., then there is a good chance that they deserved to get kicked out because of that. I don't care if he was acting that way over his wife innocently nursing their child, or if it were over another customer, or over the quality of the food....if he was a total jerk for ANY reason, then it is understandable if they were made to leave, KWIM?

Luciana

I can't belive it!!! The owner of that restaurant should be ashame...

Around here breastfeeding is a perfectly normal thing and if your baby is hungry and you're on a train on your way home, or in a coffee shop waiting for someone, you don't let a baby suffers, you just feed him!

Your post is great, the made up story was amazing, and you know just how to put things in perspective!

=)

Londa

I agree with the last comment...and the news article does state they were asked to leave because the fiance began cussing at people and became belligerent.
However, it was quite nervy of the restaurant to say something. I might encourage my four year old boys not to stare or I might give my husband a "boob alert" so he's not caught off guard. However, I would *never* disapprove of feeding a hungry baby! I always had to hide out in bathroom stalls with our daughter since we just couldn't get it figured out discreetly--not so fun when the lady in the next stall is having serious stomach issues, if you get my drift!
So...nurse on! And thank you to those who do it as discreetly as possible and respect the purity of the minds of men around them!

CFMama

Thanks for sharing this. I am pro Nursing in public. I don't like to drape blankets over the baby because it is difficult to get a good latch without being able to see your baby eating. I would use a cover up after I get baby latched but I would def feed a screaming baby with or without cover. As long as mama wears the right clothes (not even necessarily "Nursing clothes") there would be minimal exposure. I like layers personally. But then again Nathan hasn't nursed for many months now so I will have to get the hang of it again in August.

Samantha

LOVE THIS. JOB WELL DONE!

Michelle

I've read through some of the comments on this post and it seems that this issue is split in 2.

As for me - I'm certainly not opposed to women nuring their babies in public with or without a cover. To each their own. I personally (if I had a child who would breastfeed) would have used a cover in public just because I'm modest and would prefer it that way. Again, to each their own.

I do have a problem with people making a stink about women who choose to nurse in public. It's really none of their business when a woman is feeding her child. I've seen women breadfeed without a cover and they feel no shame in it. I look her in the face, smile and be on my way. I say, good for her! She's cofortable with her own body to do that. As for my children - we've never had a situation where this has become an issue, but if we did and one or both of them were curious about it, I'd simply explain to them about how babies get their food. I don't think there's any reason to make a stink about it.

ali

I'm all for nursing anytime, anywhere. I'm also for covering up. I'm also for looking the otherw ay when you see soemthing that offends. I'm also for keeping it to myself when someone does something against my own personal sensibilities in public. People are really uptight these days... and for some reason, most people think they have a moral obligation to let someone else know that they were offended... what ever happened to quiet dignity? I'm done.

have an awesome thursday :-)

ali

I also keep commenting as ali from my knitting blog, when I'm also ali from my family life blog, hehe... the 2 faces of ali...

maria

For some reason I'm inclined to believe that the husband DID in fact get too out of line, but hey I wan't there, and the waitress shouldn't have even touched the topic to begin with so I guess it shouldnt really matter. Anyway, I know my husband gets uncofortable with people nursing in public, heck, he gets uncomfortable with ME nursing in poublic. I know you can't always cover, or find a discrete place, but I do think just out of respect for others you should do your best to stay discrete. That said I nursed Haakon today in public with no cover in plain view of men.....

gianna

Okay, first I have to say that I had to go back and reread ClassicalyAmber's comment, because as i glanced over it, I thought she was talking about me. PHEW! Good thing she wasn't. That would have been a bit awkward as SHE isn't my mom (and I bet we are close to the same age anyway so that TOO would be weird).
Anyway, here's my two cents as a proud breast feeding mama!
Let me say it again. I am a proud breastfeeding mama.
However, I can understand people who don't get it. Before we had our kids, we were at perkins with some friends of ours who had a 3 month old. Chris and I were totally not parents so when our friend just started to nurse her baby across the table from us without covering up or asking if we were okay with it, it was a bit awkward. Especially for Chris.
So this is what I think. I think we need to talk about it. Sometimes covering up is impossible if your baby won't let something cover them. Sometimes you need to be open with people you are with and be frank with them. If you are not a breastfeeding family, and you are not with the people breastfeeding, just turn a blind eye.
There is NO NEED to make a big deal about it. One way or another, that restaurant is going to lose business. Ask questions. Participate in dialogue, but refrain from judgment until you have the whole story! (like your "fictional" story was perfect Amanda!)
And my little Reevie (who is all grown up now) found you! She is awesome!

jenney

Ah the joys of nursing. I hate having to nurse in public because I am just really that insecure...but you need to do what you need to do...or else never leave the house! Heck, my husband is on a traveling softball team that plays locally every week and tournaments every month. I've nursed in front of more IMMATURE men than I can count. I really should be over my insecurities by now I guess :o)
Along with that though, I have a super cool vover up thing for this baby (WHENEVER SHE FINALLY DECIDES TO MAKE HER APPEARANCE!!!!) that I am excited to use!

Ruth

Hmmmm.... I agree wholeheartedly with a mother's right to nurse and if you don't like it don't look. However, from personal experience I do know how easily a man who has been offended could seem beligerant and even somewhat frightening to other people. Respect goes two ways. Had they stayed calm and politely talked to the manager, the situation may not have turned out like this.

But I'm not sure why the employee interrupted in the first place. Maybe they need to read the laws more clearly?

Lisa

I hate when people say breastfeeding is private - really? Why? Is bottlefeeding private? Something to be done where other people don't have to see it? Because personally I am offended by bottlefeeding.

Missy @ The Marketing Mama

This whole situation just made me upset - that any store or restaurant person thinks it's okay to approach a breastfeeding mom EVER to ask her to stop or cover up - I can't believe it still happens! It never once happened to me and I breastfed both my babies what feels like millions of times in public - even when my youngest was a 2 year old toddler!

Of course I tried not to show everyone my nipples, but if a bit of boobage showed while I tried to get my act together, I tried not to panic.

Thanks for sharing your humorous take on it. :)

Telah

I am for breastfeeding and have breastfed my children. I don't mind when someone breastfeeds in public at all. no, I don't want my children or myself to see someone I don't knows breast hanging out.
We don't live in Africa or other countries where it is our culture to walk around without shirts on. Whether we want to admit it or not, look around this is a sex charged nation which is fed porn and sexy shows, ads and movies were women are the main attraction.
Women are painted as sexual objects, which isn't right but that is the way it is right now. Men are very uncomfortable with seeing someone's bare breasts in public family places. They probably feel guilty because they associate the boobs with pleasure and don't want to be perverts in front of their children and wives.
We live in scary times where discretion is important. I understand that it is a beautiful thing but if this is all right to do without discretion in public then why shouldn't a woman be able to walk into a public place topless. She may be proud of her body and may want to recognize that she may not be breastfeeding at the time but her boobs are capable of it and are amazing body parts.
I think to myself would it be appropriate to breastfeed and not cover up at church? Would it be appropriate to do it uncovered in front our your pastor or male congregation? Whenever the women at church did it including myself we would cover up or go to the nursery.

Liz

Amen to this!! People just like drama! AHHH!!

Margaret

After reading the story you linked...I would imagine that there were mistakes on both sides. The man probably did get loud and swear (mad folks often do, and think they are only standing up for themselves). Mom could have found a way to at least cover part of the feeding. Management could have offered to move the offended people, or they could have asked Mom if there was some way they could assist her instead of telling her to quit feeding her baby. Duh!
Having said all that, I would NOT want to see some chick plop out a boob while I'm trying to eat. I would definitely want her to try a little harder to not expose me to her boob....or any other body part that folks sometimes show, like folks who wear low riders and cropped shirts and sit down in front of me. And there is a way to not be so obvious without completely covering the baby.
Great post, Chicklet!

ElizaBeth

bet if there hadn't been any baby feeding involved NO ONE would have felt the need to say anything about a breast hanging out. It's hot here- some people let them hang out all the time.... Most people have the sense to keep those comments to themselves. Our society has twisted so many things because of the failure to use reason. I think moms should feed the baby anywhere, time the baby is hungry, personally have done it. I've done my best to be discreet, but I've also had that baby theat made so much noise while she ate, there was no discreet about it!

Carissa

I'll move to Africa. You are not asked to cover up while breastfeeding there.

I quit covering up while bf'ing my son. He'd pull the blanket off/cover up off or whatever it was constantly. It was more of a pain than anything. And going to the HOT overheating car in the middle of the summer is NOT appropriate. Neither is having to cover up because someone is ignorant and offended.

Tracie

I am tired just reading about that day...lol.
I am pro breastfeeding. However, I think it should be done modestly. Not because I think it is something to be ashamed of..but because you just never know who is watching you. I certainly wouldn't want my breast to be the first one that a curious preteen boy saw. And there are pervs out there that get pleasure from seeing breastfeeding. I looked it up...there are actual sites for them to go to.
My most public breastfeeding session was when I fed Tyler at a Celtics-Pacers game. By that time I was a pro at discreetly feeding him. It's still a funny story though.

Josanna

Some people just amaze me. Seriously, a baby's gotta eat and to remove yourself from everything that your family it doing to go hide and feed that baby is crazy.
When I was in Florida this winter, a similar thing happened. A mum was feeding her baby and the worker at the fast food restaurant brought her a large towel to cover the entire baby. (That way, the other patrons wouldn't see that there was a baby nursing) The mom calmly asked the worker to bring everyone else in the restaurant a towel too, as they were all eating and evidently needed to be covered as well. :) I loved that response and I loved that their corporate office issued a statement that "the situation was a learning experience for the employee (about laws and breastfeeding rights) and that mums are welcome to breastfeed in their restaurants any time."
It is sad to me that we live in a society that hungry babies and get such a bad rap for eating the food God created for them. I am very discreet when I am nursing, I wear lots of layers and he doesn't move around that much, so it is easy for me to stay covered. That being said, I don't cover him up because he thinks that it is a game - I cover, he removes. I think that causes more distraction than just quietly feeding the poor hungry lad!

Amanda

I can sympathize with that day. Oh, boy. It sounds like most of mine! Only add a child into the mix, and there you go. I am pro nursing, wherever, whenever, however. I am as discrete as possible, but hey, we are all fine with immodest clothing which showcases boobs. I figure, I am using them for their intended purpose, and if it bothers someone, that is their problem. I have never been asked to leave because of nursing, but I am pretty modest. If I can't do it discreetly, I go to the car. Now, I have been asked to leave by a lady in a coffee shop who felt the need to scream at and grab my toddler by the arm, but that is another story for another day.

Kristin

girl you crack me up! I have a very similar sense of humor so i truly get a kick out of reading your blogs!

Christy

I didn't read the article but reading just some of the comments have annoyed and even ticked me off the whole "I'm pronursing, but you should cover up", that's the point, we should never feel like we HAVE to cover up or feel ashamed. I have nursed with all 4 (soon to be 5) in public and only with Jordyn did I ever cover up. I do try to be discreet, because I don't want others to see my breasts, but if it happens, it happens. GOD didn't give us breasts for porn or a sex charged nation, sorry but making excuses like that makes a person just as guilty of that ignorance and only helps it to continue. God gave us breasts to FEED our children, plain and simple.

A few years ago a friend and I were in the shoppette at another post (think quick trip/gas station for nonmilitary) and we were in line with her daughter started to cry, so she of course started to nurse her (she was a pro of nursing/standing/walking) she wasn't exposing anything, and the cashier (a guy) asked her to cover up and I got so angry, as I'd just seen him checking out a girl who walked in with a BIKINI top on and make a comment on how "nice" she looked. (can we say mature 40 yr old pervert??) I said "funny you had no problem looking at the 16 yr old girls chest, but you have a problem with a woman feeding her hungry child, which is what her breasts are for? You realize you just ASKING her to cover up is against the law and we're going to report you unless you apologize and NEVER make an idiot of yourself by telling ANY woman to cover her nursing child up again?" My friend who was quite vocal herself normally stood there astonished because of how ticked off I was and how I put the guy in his place. (The manager came up when I was berating the man and made him apologize!!)

Why anyone, man or woman think they have the RIGHT to tell another woman how she should feed her child is beyond me and I'd dare any of them to say anything to me, they'd leave with their tails between their legs).

My kids have obviously seen me nurse their siblings and will continue to see that, GOD created our bodies to do this and it's a natural process. And those who think only in Africa it's appropriate or accepted to nurse in public, are very ignorant..they need to step outside of the US for a couple days and see that it's only in the US that nursing is judged so harshly. For us being such an advanced nation, we truly are so ignorant.

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