Celebrity Booby Trap: Bethenny & Rachael Ray Frown on Public Breastfeeding

Written by Bettina Forbes, CLC

Bethenny is a mixed bag when it comes to breastfeeding.   On the one hand, we love that she has been outspoken about how rewarding (though challenging) breastfeeding was for her, and were glad that she brought her star power to Ameda’s I Breastfeed Because . . . campaign for World Breastfeeding Week last year.    She also stood up for a lot of moms when she commented that Gisele Bundchen’s statement that “breastfeeding should be a law” was “absurd“; and we couldn’t agree more, since moms don’t need more pressure.   What should be illegal are the booby traps, like poor healthcare practices that keep moms from breastfeeding!

Yesterday, however, we saw the flip side of Bethenny during her appearance on the Rachael Ray Show, and it makes us think that Bethenny isn’t really an advocate for moms.   An audience member was invited to ask a question.  

 Shea:  “I’m expecting my second child and strongly thinking of breastfeeding.   What are your rules for public breastfeeding, like where is it appropriate?”

Bethenny:  “I think, unless you are Pamela Anderson, you shouldn’t be showing anyone your breasts besides your husband and your baby.”

Rachael Ray:  “Exactly.”

Bethenny:  “I really do. I think you should find a corner, or there is always a back room, I just think it makes other people uncomfortable.   When you are a mother you think everyone is ‘in on’ what you’re ‘in on’, [. . .] but they’re not.  Because I didn’t know anything about [breastfeeding] until I was pregnant and I was sensitive to the fact that it would have flipped me out.  So I think, just keep it private.  But definitely breastfeed and do things your own way,  but in that one way, I would keep it a little bit private. Whipping out your boob at the dinner table is a good diet tip for everyone else. 

On some level I understand where Bethenny is coming from.   I’ve shared openly that when I was pregnant, I was freaked out by breastfeeding, and probably at that point seeing someone breastfeed in public would have made me uncomfortable too.   (And I’m sure, living in New York City, I did see people breastfeeding, I just didn’t notice it.)

Bethenny shows more boobage in this magazine photo, viewed by millions, than any woman I've ever seen breastfeeding in public. And her skinniness makes me feel guilty! (LOL)

But what Bethenny doesn’t realize is that the reason breastfeeding makes people uncomfortable is because they don’t see it enough.    In coming around to the other side of this issue, as a woman who once thought breastfeeding was gross, I have come to realize that the best thing for the health of our children, ourselves and our society would be to see MORE breastfeeding.  Seeing breastfeeding in public normalizes it (see PhdinParenting’s 50 reasons for breastfeeding anytime, anywhere).   Not only that, but it is extremely instructive for women, because we all learn by watching; and if we want to change behavior, the most powerful thing we can do is NOT TELL other moms what to do, but to be role models for other moms.   It’s like learning to ride a bike:  if you’ve never seen someone do it, you can’t imagine doing it yourself.   But if you’ve watched your friends go whizzing by on their shiny two-wheelers, you’re going to be motivated to get through the fear and the occasional skinned knee, especially if you have someone who has already mastered bike-riding by your side, cheering you on and coaching you.   Breastfeeding is exactly the same.   If young women see other women nursing in public, going about their normal lives, enjoying dinner with friends AND enjoying their baby, they will be motivated to get through the learning curve and the first few challenging weeks to reap the rewards.  If they have role models cheering them on and coaching them, they will succeed faster and be able to achieve their personal breastfeeding goals.

I get that Bethenny is trying to be a breastfeeding moderate and avoid being branded as a breastfeeding extremist like Gisele.    Unfortunately, her advice to the pregnant woman on Rachael Ray goes to the other extreme; it undermines women because it perpetuates several awful stereotypes that are completely false:  that breastfeeding is disgusting (when actually it is amazing and beautiful);  that breasts should be private unless they are put on display like Pamela Anderson’s (sexual breasts are okay but functional breasts are not); that women “whip their boobs out” (when actually most of the time they show far less skin than Bethenny herself).    By nodding her head and chiming in “exactly”, Rachael Ray furthered the damage.   Both of these women are powerful and influential and should be using their voices for good:  to cheer moms on to achieve their personal breastfeeding goals, whether for 2 days, 2 years, or not at all, and to help break down the cultural barriers that keep breastfeeding from being embraced and celebrated, much like exercising, eating healthy, or any other positive lifestyle decision.    Imagine if I said, eat your salad, Bethenny, but do it in a corner?  
What’s especially sad is that the pregnant audience member who asked the question is African-American, and the African-American population is at greatest risk for not achieving their personal breastfeeding goals and for suffering from diabetes, obesity, heart disease or asthma.  These are diseases that breastfeeding is associated with protecting against, and one reason why resources such as Blacktating and the Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association are so important.    Unfortunately, this woman looks up to Bethenny and it would have been great if Bethenny had applauded her and told her to breastfeed whereever and whenever she needed to and to be proud of it!  It would have been great if Bethenny had explained that it’s perfectly easy to “compartmentalize” the way we use breasts, the same way as we compartmentalize the way we use our hands, as Christie Haskell pointed out so brilliantly.   Instead, she hung her out to dry.
I hope Bethenny will read consider adhering to the Best for Babes Credo:   

ALL moms deserve to make a truly informed feeding decision and to be cheered on, coached and celebrated without pressure, judgment or guilt. ALL breastfeeding moms deserve to achieve their personal breastfeeding goals without being undermined.

 What advice do you have for Bethenny on how to be a better role model and advocate for moms?

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198 Comments | Last revised on 02/10/2011

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198 Responses to Celebrity Booby Trap: Bethenny & Rachael Ray Frown on Public Breastfeeding

  1. I believe that breastfeeding is acceptable anywhere…but it is true that we have just not been exposed to it enough to have that comfort level with it. This is a sad fact.
    My only reason for seeking privacy is that feeding is a time when I felt very close with my own children and my grandchild. They were all bottle fed for medical reasons.
    I think there is a closeness with a child when they are feeding that is best experienced when you are alone with your baby. These are such precious moments that you should cherish.
    Of course there are those times when you cannot share this time privately and that is certainly okay. But enjoy all those moments not matter where they are.
    Celebrities have so much influence when they open their mouths…it is a shame that we even listen to some of the things they utter especially in areas that they know relatively little.

  2. Maegan says:

    Ya know…I used to really like RR…but I started to hear these sort of snipey comments about parents or kids on her show. I know she does something with kids to have them eating healthier…and I think that’s great. But one day she was discussing it, and getting kids to try new things and said, “I think parents make their kids picky eaters…” and told a story about working in a grocery store & having parents tell their kids, “No, you don’t like that” when she’d offer the kids food. First, I don’t like for strangers to offer my kids food. It’s possible parents that did that were just trying to be nice about it. Second, a kid could have been allergic, and saying they didn’t like it is just the best way to discourage the child from eating something dangerous.

    Also…I’ve had a picky eater for FIVE FRIGGIN’ YEARS. I’m pretty sure I’ve NEVER ONCE said, “you don’t like that”. I want her to try everything POSSIBLE.

    RR isn’t a parent…she doesn’t quite understand the quirks that come up with your OWN children. I babysat & nannied for YEARS. Having my own children was infinitely different. Yes, I had tantrums & picky eaters with the kids I babysat…but I was technically a stranger, so they were always better behaved for me than for parents.

    As for breastfeeding…I’m kind of tired of seeing comments about being ‘discreet’ or covering up. Cover up if you want…but quit acting like you’re doing society a favor by feeling like you SHOULD cover up. I’m not advocating for walking around topless & latching your kid on without stopping. BUT…I have HUGE boobs. Huge in a way that dwarfed my newborns and made it possible for my toddlers to hang on to them like flotation devices. I had a nursing cover, but my babies did not want their faces covered. It was poncho-style, so I could turn the short side around to leave their faces exposed, but as a result, that meant if they moved or wiggled, boob showed, too. I’m not apologetic about that! I liked the cover to keep my belly covered…and depending on the shirt or situation, sometimes by BACK. But my boob? I didn’t care if it peeked out or if my infant popped off for a second to burp or coo at me. And I didn’t care of others were uncomfortable with this. Why? B/c I cared more about my infants…and their health & wellness. I could not walk & nurse (unless I was assisted by Moby, and then only until my child was a certain size)…so I always had to find a seat. This meant sitting in one spot, while people could walk past all voyeur like. Or sit across from me and stare. Any embarrassment I initially felt about this was soon overshadowed by how relieved I was that my infant was happy & satisfied…and not screaming their little heads off (b/c frankly, being stared at while my infant screamed feels much more embarrassing than a little public display of boobage).

    • Karie says:

      Amen! I cover up in public when I breastfeed because it helps cut down on the distractions my 5month old has, but if he pops off or waves his arms and uncovers me that is no biggie. Oh, and there is NOT always a ‘back room’ available. Drives me crazy when people who are used to being catered to, act like something is normal that is only normal for them because the whole world kowtows to them… Ok, done ranting now. 🙂

    • tara says:

      first of all I think you’re hilarious and secondly I’m with you on the huge boobage! great response!

  3. Belkys says:

    I agree 100% with Bethenny on this one!!! I have a two year old that I breastfed for the first year and it is extremely uncomfortable for other people to see a mother breastfeeding in public places. I thought it was inappropriate before I had my son and I still think it is inappropriate. That is something that should be kept private – If you are in a public place there is always somewhere you can go to keep it that way instead of just whipping out a boob in front of complete strangers. A boob is a boob no matter what you are doing and nobody wants to see that in public!!

    • Sol says:

      The beauty of this country is that we don’t have to care if we make others uncomfortable or if they feel it is inappropriate. I will not cover up. I have nothing to cover up. If someone doesn’t like it they can look elsewhere.

    • Aradia says:

      why? why is it inappropriate? explain it to me.

    • tina stein says:

      it’s never wrong to care for your babys needs!

    • tara says:

      Funny, I’ve never been able to find these magical nursing places. either that or my baby just has really bad timing. I guess it never mattered to me to go on an exhaustive search for them because my baby’s need to eat trumped everyone else’ need to be “comfortable” but I respect your right to cover and find a quiet place.

      • Elena says:

        Women have the right to breastfeed anywhere they want! It is your narrow minded view that the breast is only a sexual part of a the female body that causes others to feel uncomfortable! It is a feeding tool and if women are made to feel that they need to do it in rarely-available feeding rooms, then they just don’t go out or give up breastfeeding! Neither of these options are good for mother or baby!!!

    • L.K. says:

      Keep in mind that most of the time nobody actually sees your entire boob nipple and all; like hanging out all naked and wild. I agree with the author of this article, there is more “boobage” on that cover of the magazine than you would see from a nursing mother.

  4. rene says:

    Gosh you know people need to understand that just because you have a baby and YOUR baby needs to eat doesn’t mean that we should feel sympathy for your lack of tact and inner exhibitionism to show your breast. Yes breastfeeding is natural and so is the act that helped you conceive that baby but I as well as many other people don’t want to be put in an uncomfortable position of seeing your breast in public. These are the same women that when they see a young twenty something girl walking around and showing a noticeable amount of cleavage they get angry when their men sneak a peek. Should I be angry if by husband looks over and sees your exposed nipple on the way into your babies mouth,or better yet shouldn’t your husband be angry about that is a better question. The bottom line is everyone is entitled to their opinion about how to nurse their own baby so please let Bethany have our own.

    • tina stein says:

      just because someone breastfeeds in public does not mean they have to have there nipple hanging out. i haven’t.

    • Tracie says:

      The problem “the same women” have with twenty somethings showing their cleavage stems from the fact that people want to tell a woman not to breastfeed in public, but they are fine with the young girls and older women, for that matter, having their boobs hanging out!!! I have been around A LOT of women breastfeeding and have NEVER seen any of their nipples. Most of the **breastfeeding in public crowd** is very discreet. At least we have state laws on our side!!!

    • kelly says:

      there are plenty of ways to nurse in public without anyone seeing anything. specialy if your wearing a nursing shirt most people could sit right next to you and have now idea that you are nursing. i think people are uncomfortable with the fact that the person is nursing not with the fact they may see a breast other wise they wouldnt watch cable read magazines or even go to the beach. most woman that nursed in public i bet can garrentee that there was never a time her actually breast was just hanging out. least mine wasnt

      • kelly says:

        also if more stores or public places had special places for mothers that nursed it wouldnt be an issue. one time while in a mall that was very crowded i decided to try to go to the bathroom to nurse(which i did not like to do)but the mall was very crowded and he was at the age where he got detracted easy. Once i found the bathroom i was amazed to find a room designed for feeding babies it was private had couches chairs changind tables and even a microwave to heat up bottles. even had nice chairs outside of the room for fathers to sit comfortably and wait. I will never forget how amazed i was that the mall had taken nursing mothers that serious.

    • Mandy says:

      I think there are worse situations a man/husband could see nipple in. Breast feeding is not a sexual act in any way whatsoever.

  5. Kim says:

    I agree – breastfeeding should be a private matter. Not everyone wants to see your boob or your baby sucking away at it. I have 2 kids (ages 4 and 6) and choose not to breast feed – didn’t even try it because I knew it wasn’t a fit for me. Ours kids are smart and healthy so the theory that breast feed kids are healthier or smarter is crap. Also, with both pregnancies I gained 24 lbs and lost the weight within 2 weeks – without breastfeeding.

    • Bettina says:

      We agree with you that breastfeeding is not right or possible for everybody. But it’s not a “theory” that breastfed kids are healthier or smarter. Over 9,000 studies have been reviewed that show a statistically significant association between breastfeeding and a lower risk for disease, and an increase in IQ. I’m glad that your kids are healthy and smart . . . but 2 kids can not be used to invalidate scientific evidence studying hundreds of thousands of children.

      • LK says:

        Took the words right out of my mouth. Totally agreed.

      • jojoneli says:

        Bettina, it’s not just Kim’s children though. There are numerous “real life” examples of bottle fed children who are healthy and smart. These BF studies are just that….studies and yes they are flawed. The myth that BF prevents obesity, for example, was for many years a supposed truth but recently came out as untrue. What else of these supposed health benefits will be disproven next. Right now I know of two breastfeeding mothers whose children are sick with RSV, pneumonia, ear infections. My formula fed kids had never had these and actually have never had more than maybe a slight fever, cough and runny noses.

        • Bettina says:

          Of course there are examples of non-breastfed babies who have few illnesses as well as breastfed babies who get RSV etc. This has to do with a number of factors, including environment, genes, and epigenetics. I have two breastfed babies: one of them gets sick twice as often and more seriously than the other and clearly expresses different genes. But that still does not invalidate the evidence. Rather than debate the studies, I think it’s also worth pointing out that breastfeeding and human milk evolved over millions of years to ensure the survival of our species; formula is a recent invention and has not been proven to do the same. Not all moms can or want to breastfeed and deserve to be supported, but that us still not a reason to argue with science OR the common sense of evolutionary advantage. I know people who don’t exercise and are perfectly healthy, but that doesn’t mean our bodies weren’t designed to need exercise and IN GENERAL, function better across the population with regular exercise than without it. Human bodies are amazing; they are designed to withstand periods of starvation, disease etc. for the short term, but generations of sub-par conditions changes our genes and puts us at greater risk. There is fascinating new research in the field of epigenetics that suggests that poor diet habits of one generation can already influence the life expectancy of the next.

          • Deirdre E.P. says:

            “There is fascinating new research in the field of epigenetics that suggests that poor diet habits of one generation can already influence the life expectancy of the next.”
            Bettina thank you for hitting on nutrition and physical degeneration. We learned about this a few years ago through the Weston A. Price foundation and have been taking steps to keep our kids and ourselves healthier through our food choices. I have breastfed all three of my kids so far for 18 months, 26 months and one still going at 13 months. When pregnant with my first child I took the Bradley Method of childbirth and my husband and I learned that breastmilk helps our babies THRIVE while formula helps them SURVIVE. So formula exists as an OPTION should you have trouble nursing your baby but it should not be the norm. When babies are born they actually seek out the breast. It is amazing. We had a homebirth with our third child and the midwife and I allowed her to crawl up to my breast and she started nursing. It was truly amazing. She was so strong, so quick and so hungry 🙂 I wish everyone could experience it. It truly is a blessing. We have to remember that during labor our babies are working just as hard as we are to get out and they usually haven’t received food for quite a few hours (in a hospital/restricted birth)so it is only natural that they are READY to suckle when they emerge; so why don’t we just let them.

            my 2 cents. thanks for this article and the many insights.

        • Crystal says:

          The plural of anecdote is not data. For every story you can trot out about a healthy formula fed child, I can trot out a matching one about a healthy breastfed child. That is why we do studies. Perhaps they are not perfect but they are more scientific than anecdotal stories.

      • Beth says:

        Ok, its not that your kids aren’t smart and healthy being bottle fed since birth. I was adopted and bottle fed since birth too. Its how much MORE we would have thrived if given the opportunity to breast feed. How much healthier, how much more brainpower early on. Its a matter of degrees. Just because your kid is formula fed does not mean that he/she will be sick and dumb, and no study suggests that.

    • anna says:

      KIM- If you try to nurse and cannot hack it for many reasons -okay- you tried which is important but if you don’t even try how do you know it’s not for you?? You are a very close minded person. I feel sorry for your children.

      One in three children are over weight in the US. Part of this is due to the lack of breastfeeding and feeding children junk food. Even the commercials for formula say nursing is the best for a child.

      • steph says:

        omg you are a complete fool…..please my background is in nutrition…..trust that a formula fed baby is NOT the freakin cause of child obesity are you kidding me?? children who are creast fed can grow up to be obese, unhealthy and a complete moron just like any other child…please dont act like you or your breast fed baby is superior get over yoursefl…is breastfeeding good for a baby ? certainly…does it mean your child has a free pass to any illnesses or obesity or non-intelligent….absolutely not…grow up

        • tara says:

          I fail to see why the words moron and fool are required to make a point.Do you feel it necessary to smash someone into the ground with insults in order to be taken seriously?

        • Christina says:

          I’m sure you do have QUITE the education, your inability to form a correct sentence proves that. My son was formula fed the first six months of his life and came down with illnesses about four or five times. After I relactated, he hasn’t been sick ONCE. He also slimmed down, and went from being overweight to the fiftieth percentile. Don’t even try to tell me that breastfeeding had nothing to do with that. To say that milk made for baby cows is just as good for human babies isn’t ignorance, it’s stupidity. And you can’t argue with that. But by all means, keep doing what you are doing and saying what you are saying. I suppose it is easy to talk trash to women who actually attempted to do the right thing for their children, when apparently it wasn’t something you two would consider. I suppose having the anonymity of the internet helps too- but God help you two if you ever had the nerve to say those things to my face while I’m feeding my child in public (without a cover, because feeding my child the way he was born to feed is nothing I’m ashamed about). Believe you me, I would RELISH putting both of you in your places.

      • Autimn says:

        Basing your thoughts on commercials is stupid. ‘commercials say it’s best’- in the 60’s, thu also said smoking was good for you. I don’t know how you came to the correlation of lack of breastfeeding and feeding the kids junk leads to obesity. I do believe the latter is true, but are we supposed to continue to BF until they’re in college? What you are proposing makes about as much sense as those cigarette commercials.

        • Crystal says:

          The correlation concerning breastfeeding and obesity comes from the hypothesis that breastfed babies are in control of the amount of food they eat, as opposed to bottle fed babies who can be cojoled to injest more than they need. It is a hypothesis which has been neither proven nor disproven and therefore insults are unnecessary.

    • anna says:

      also: What are the health benefits of breastfeeding?
      From the Surgeon General:

      * Breastfeeding protects babies from infections and illnesses that include diarrhea, ear infections and pneumonia.
      * Breastfed babies are less likely to develop asthma.
      * Children who are breastfed for six months are less likely to become obese.
      * Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
      * Mothers who breastfeed have a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

      What are the economic benefits of breastfeeding?

      * Families who follow optimal breastfeeding practices can save between $1,200–$1,500 in expenditures on infant formula in the first year alone.
      * A study published last year in the journal Pediatrics estimated that if 90% of U.S. families followed guidelines to breastfeed exclusively for six months, the U.S. would annually save $13 billion from reduced medical and other costs.



  6. grandmom says:

    Comment removed for inapprorpriate language at Editor’s discretion.

  7. Holly says:

    I planned to breastfeed with my first, but I have a lot of bfing friends who believe that bf should be public (no covering up) to encourage others to bf (like the author of this post). I could never show my breasts like that. I know a breast is for food, but it’s also sexual and I was abused as a child and my body feels like a sexual thing so I decided not to bf at all. I couldn’t risk being pushed into exposing myself in front of others and being humiliated. I feel embarrassed enough seeing all my friends’ breasts but that’s their choice to expose themselves. I know for a fact that one of my friend’s husbands who is very “cool” with bf, routinely leaves the room to “take care of business” because he’s turned on by all the exposed boobs during playdates. I couldn’t deal with being in that sort of position.

    I did wonder if I could bf and still be modest and was considering bfing my soon to be born baby and using a cover (though my friends’ wouldn’t approve). Still after reading all the comments about how babies don’t like the covers, I realize I would either be stuck in a house or forced to expose myself in public. I’m feeling better now about not bfing and I won’t bf in the future. Sites like these are helpful for all the real world experiences and I’m glad I read this post and all the responses.

    • Bettina says:

      Hi Holly, I am very glad you shared your perspective, it was very brave of you! I wanted to clarify, by believing that women should not have to “find a corner”, I am not saying that there should be no covering up. I am saying that moms should do whatever makes them comfortable! I consider “public breastfeeding” to be breastfeeding with or without cover, it just means that moms shouldn’t be made to feel ashamed. I was not comfortable breastfeeding in public until I had my second child and even then did it rarely. However, now there are lots of nursing tops (tanks and shirts and even dresses) that make it extremely easy to nurse without showing ANY breast at all–even less than in a v-neck shirt or at the beach! Another thing you might want to consider is that all babies are different. Some babies are totally fine with covers, and a brand new baby can be swaddled so there is no chance of him/her pulling it off! You might want to consider playing it by ear; certainly in the first couple of weeks or even couple of days you won’t be in public and your baby and you get great benefits from even just colostrum. You can also feed your baby your colostrum from a teaspoon! Another thing you might consider, is that some sexual abuse victims have been surprised to find that breastfeeding was extremely empowering and helped them heal from the trauma of their past. Penny Simkin is an expert on this topic, you may want to read some of her work. Finally, here is an inspiring story that is well worth reading, from a rape victim: http://www.blacktating.com/2010/11/guest-post-empowering-breasts.html

      Whatever you decide, we wish you the very best! Whether you breastfeed for two days, two months, two years or not at all, you deserve to be cheered on and celebrated. Enjoy this precious time and thanks again for writing. Best, Bettina

    • Lara says:

      I agree. I was abused also and cannot face the idea of breastfeeding. It makes me feel horrible, particularly when some women feel so strongly about breastfeeding and feel the need to blast that opinion on any article containing references to it. I am not saying that they can’t, just that I feel bad enough and I’m not sure they have considered all the reasons a woman might not want to breastfeed. I’m a scientist. I know the benefits, but I honestly can’t do it. There aren’t just two extremes – all natural mother who breastfeeds and the lazy mother who’s too selfish to. I agree that it is unfortunate that breastfeeding isn’t always seen as a natural and wonderful thing. It actually doesn’t bother me when others do it, and I agree to the point that I’m considering donor milk if I can’t even try it when the time comes. Breastfeeding has come along way in terms of public awareness and I think it will only increase. In the meantime, please spare a thought for those who would but can’t, whatever the reason.

      • Bettina says:

        Thanks, Lara, and we agree completely. There aren’t only extremes in this conversation, and we are doing much to raise awareness of donor milk (e.g. HMBANA.org, Eatsonfeets.com and milkshare.com) and to take the pressure and focus off moms and put it on the barriers instead. When there are no more barriers to breastfeeding, whether it’s public shaming or hospitals that undermine nursing moms, breastfeeding moms won’t be as defensive and be so angry in voicing their opinions. Moms are angry because they are being urged to breastfeed but set up to fail. In the meantime, we wish you all the best and hope you will take advantage of some of the resources I suggested for Holly to further your own journey of healing. Our hearts go out to all the victims of abuse.

      • Beth says:

        Re: your comment about the perception that people think that non-breastfeeding moms are lazy – I breastfed both my kids exclusively, and I think THAT’s the lazy way to go! It takes a ton of work to make up and clean all those bottles!! 🙂

    • Mandy says:

      Oh dear Holly, I too struggled with how I would feel breast feeding because I was a sexual abuse victim. However, I have learned that we can not allow our abusers to take away our power and our right to our bodies! I don’t know your history or if you have gotten help for the abuse you survived but don’t give up! While there are other means to feeding our children that are successful the bond and connection that comes from breast feeding is one that I will never regret.

  8. Tori says:

    Don’t like it don’t look! How foolish we can show breasts all over, magazines, billboards & TV, not to mention some people have no class with office attire but not to feed a baby? That is their intent, so before you become offended, why are you looking at a breast in an offensive way? Breasts were intended to feed before men found them sexual objects to define women. Why as women do some feel threatened by a breast, it’s foolish and weak.

  9. Sol says:

    Regardless of what Bethenny’s or anyone else opinion is the fact is that we should do only what we feel is best for us and our children. Some like a small private space, others prefer to cover up and then those like me don’t bother with covering up.

    I don’t feel my breastfeeding relationship is only something I do in private. If it is perfectly appropriate for me to feed my child using a bottle then using my breast to do it should be as well. It is just that, food.

    I understand there are those who feel that it is inappropriate and they are uncomfortable at the sight of a nursing baby. That is THEIR problem. They can look away. No one is forcing them to look at me while I latch on my baby or toddler.

  10. Beth says:

    I breastfed my four children for a year each. I remember when I was pregnant with my first I was at a friend’s house and she picked her little one up and nursed him there without breaking stride. I never saw a bit of skin. I remember being surprised because at the time I thought he was old to be nursing.. He was mat be 9 months. Lol. Anyway, at first with my first I was nervous to feed in public, but after being relegated to dirty restrooms, or searching for a private spot while my poor baby screamed his head off, I learned the wonders of a good nursing shirt and a sling. I could walk the mall with a baby latched on and have no one the wiser. As long as people can be reasonably discreet, I don’t see what the big deal is. And if more families dealt with it daily they would see it that way too. Moms should not feel tied to their homes because of the fear that they might have to feed their baby while out.

  11. jj says:

    Here… I fixed that for you:

    Shea: “I’m expecting my second child and strongly thinking of breastfeeding. What are your rules for public breastfeeding, like where is it appropriate?”

    Bethenny: “I have no rules. After the first few weeks you gain comfort and confidence. Once you get the hang of nursing, it’s easy to layer your clothes so you can be as modest as you feel comfortable.”

    Rachael Ray: “Exactly.”

    Bethenny: “I don’t think you should find a corner, or a back room, just because it might make other people uncomfortable. Because I didn’t know anything about [breastfeeding] until I was pregnant. So I think, it’s good to see women nursing in public or out at social gatherings. But definitely breastfeed. Because a crying baby at the dinner table is a good diet tip for everyone else.”

  12. MamaC says:

    I respect mom’s who breastfeed. I personally did not. I had my son at 29 weeks and was on multiple medications. It wasn’t a good fit for us. If a mom chooses not to breastfeed then she shouldbt be ridiculed.
    However, I also think breastfeeding should not be done in public. If so then discreetly cover up. Everyone knows your child has to eat but we do not need to see your breast being whipped out in public for all eyes to see. I want my son to understand breastfeeding is natural and to be comfortable with your body but there is a right and wrong time for things.
    It’s not that women are threatened either. We just dont want to see another woman openly breastfeed in public. I believe it is a private bond to be shared with mother and child. Not mother and child and the entire public. It doesn’t make it a special moment of bonding with your child.

    • Towanda says:

      “We just dont want to see another woman openly breastfeed in public. I believe it is a private bond to be shared with mother and child.”

      It’s FOOD. 😉

      And ditto on how breastfeeding can be a healing experience after sexual abuse. It’s a wonderful thing.

      • MamaC says:

        But I don’t want to see someone else’s breast in public. It’s how our society is. We are over sexulaized and taken everything personally. I know lots of friends, men and women, who would be offended at the sight. Go to Europe if you don’t like it here.

        • Laura says:

          Too bad. It’s a protected right and a healthy one at that. Maybe you should take up your argument with the First Lady and convince her that breastfeeding is not healthy or just. Whether you like it or not, breastfeeding every time a baby is hungry is essential to a successful breastfeeding relationship, no matter who is uncomfortable.

        • Crystal says:

          It’s not sex. It’s my child eating. Your child has the right to have a bottle or a snack wherever you might be. Mine too, protected by law. And actually since I live in Ontario, Canada; I have a perfect legal right to walk down the street topless without a baby in sight. No Europe needed. So it’s a boob, so what. You often will not see anything except maybe some cleavage as the baby is eating and what his mouth doesn’t hide, his head does. It’s not a big deal. Really, it’s not.

        • RedHeadMama says:

          How can you possibly stand to go ANYWHERE without being offended if the sight of a little breast tissue offends you! BOOBS ARE EVERYWHERE! OMG! PANIC!!!!

          But seriously, do you never watch a movie? Look at a magazine? See an advertisement on TV? Watch the NEWS? We better start giving everyone a lifetime supply of turtle neck shirts at birth and batten down the hatches! Quit acting like this is someone walking up to you at your dinner table, tapping you on the shoulder, and saying “HEY! Look at me! I’m gonna remove my breast from my shirt to feed my baby, so you better take a gander!!” Find a different cave to crawl into.

    • tina stein says:

      i bet you think it’s okay to bottle feed in public

      • MamaC says:

        I’m just whipping out your boob in public to feed your baby and declaring it as women’s rights and making yourself feel confident..well you have issues. Yes, I bottle fed my son in public but not around lots of people. I still thought of that as a private moment. Breastfeeding shouldn’t be an excuse for public nudity. There was a case where a restaurant told a woman to cover up because it made restaurant patrons nauseous. Take the hint. Cover up. Nobody wants to see your private moment of breastfeeding your kid. Your breast in public is gross.

        • Crystal says:

          It’s not about our right to breastfeed, it’s about our baby’s right to eat whenever he’s hungry and in sanitary conditions (i.e. no bathrooms please) and in comfort (i.e. not underneath a blanket)

        • RedHeadMama says:

          Your open, gaping mouth in a restaurant is gross too, but you still have a right to be there…

        • L.K. says:

          As a mom, you should understand what’s it like to take care of hungry baby at an inopportune moment in a public setting. It just seems most people who are uncomfortable with breastfeeding in public need to get a new perspective from other countries and cultures that don’t anything about breastfeeding in general.

    • Meghan says:

      “We just dont want to see another woman openly breastfeed in public. I believe it is a private bond to be shared with mother and child. Not mother and child and the entire public. It doesn’t make it a special moment of bonding with your child”

      Seriously?!?! It’s FEEDING your child! You’re basically saying that if women choose to breastfeed they should never go out in public with their babies…how pathetic! You should be ashamed! I hope that since you feel a woman should not breastfeed her baby in public, even if she is fully covered, you should do the same and not bottle feed your baby in public! When a baby is hungry you should be able to feed him or her wherever and whenever they need…from the breast or bottle!

      • RedHeadMama says:

        The alternative is for everyone to eat by themselves forever, and never share a meal, and we can all have little cubicles so that we don’t have to see anyone who is displeasing to the eye consume food. *whew* Now, that problem is out of the way, what next?!

        But really, I agree with your statement. Eating is a social event, not purely for caloric consumption. Babies have a right to be social, too. As do mothers. People need to get the heck over it. Don’t want to see boobs? Go find an old 50’s bomb shelter, and take that mentality with you when you go!

  13. LK says:

    Nobody wants to see a boob in public? Kidding right? They are all over the place. Used as sex objects. Its a shame that when you say “boob” or “breast” first thing most think of is sex. Why? Because that’s what society has become accustomed to. If breastfeeding got the same kind of exposure this wouldn’t be a big deal. The stigma wouldn’t be there. My opinion is women should have a right to choose. Some may be more comfortable with public breastfeeding than others. That’s ok. People who have never breastfed don’t understand. After I had kids and started breastfeeding them I no longer considered my breasts sexual objects. They were my babies source of food. If people don’t like that tough. I have as much right to feeding them in public as anyone else eating in public at a restaurant. So cover or not…the choice is yours. Who cares what others think. You’ll probably never see them again anyways. Funny that Bethany would say that it should be kept private…yet she has no problem exposing her cleavage on a magazine cover for millions to see. Make up your mind Bethany. Its ok to expose your breast for money but not ok to do it for your baby’s sake?

    • tina stein says:

      i agree with you 100% and if it’s okay for bethany to expose herself for money but not for her baby does that mean that she cares more for money then her own baby?

      • Autimn says:

        Exposing herself for money- but if you don’t want to see it, you don’t buy the magazine. If I’m at a coffee shop, and someone whips their boob out, its now in MY space without consent. Why do women feel it’s such a bad thing to be a little modest?! Modesty is not repression, it’s just being cognizant of the people in the communal space.

        • Sol says:

          Her ad for PETA was not in a magazine. It was a giant billboard in the middle of the city. That is a heck of a lot more exposure than that of a nursing mom.

        • tina stein says:

          no, i don’t have to buy the magazine but when i stand in any checkout line my 4 and 5 year old sons they see an outrageous amount of skin. their should be a cover over the magazines and they should hide them behind the customer service booth.

        • Crystal says:

          Turn your head. If I don’t buy the magazine I can still see the cover, so I turn my head. Feel free to follow suit, or leave the restaurant. If someone comes into a restaurant looking unkempt and dirty and proceed to take the table in full view of you and chew everything messily and with their mouth open, what would you do? Feel free to do the same if a breastfeeding mother happens to cross your sight lines.

          • LK says:

            you are missing the point autumn…she said you shouldn’t be showing anyone your breasts but you husband or baby…yet she shows more skin on her cover shoots than any breastfeeding mother does. Why is your comfort more important than mine or my breastfeeding baby. I have as much right as you to be there. Maybe your magazine with Betheny’s cleavage hanging out on the cover offends me. But no not really all i have to do is turn my head. Right?

  14. Anna says:

    Ok, just because YOU feel that way doesn’t mean it’s the way it should be. Let people feed their children the way they want. I totally agree with some of the other comments that YOU should do what YOU feel comfortable with. It should be that way with EVERYTHING from the way you raise your child to how you feed your child. It’s your life.

  15. Karen says:

    MamaC, hugging your child is also a nice bonding experience, a sweet intimate moment. Do you do that in public?

    Yes, sometimes breastfeeding is intimate and quiet and private, like a good sleepy cuddle. And sometimes it is mundane and practical, like a nice squeeze on the playground after a spill.

    Please do not presume to tell me that I must keep breastfeeding as a secret magic special bonding time every single time, while you whip out a bottle and go about your life with an infant. That’s absurd. I am perfectly capable of making my own decisions.

    Making breastfeeding mysterious and sacred makes it seem inaccessible.

  16. Miriam says:

    Breastfeeding needs to be desexualized in order for people to stop wincing over public breastfeeded and extended nursing. Please share your success stories in our book by moms & for moms at theotherbabybook.com

  17. Maureen says:

    Comment edited at discretion of Editor.
    I think most nursing mothers make an attempt to publically feed their babies with some modicum of respect and modesty. Can there be a little “flash” of skin? Absolutely. Any more than the above US Weekly cover? Almost never.

    I nursed my babies…All for a year. They are now 21, 19, and 16. Why would I not do something which has a proven track record of reducing childhood cancer? And when I decide to nurse my baby for a full year it becomes impossible for every feeding to be in an “intimate and private” setting. This is B.S. I fed my baby publically. Nursing mommies — go for it. Follow the needs of your baby. You will see. Almost everybody will SMILE when they see you giving your baby the best nutrition on the planet. AMEN.

  18. meg says:

    Breasts are sexual and functional! You cannot and shouldn’t ‘desexualize” a breast! It’s like saying we should all make elbows sexual. You can’t separate the two functions and shouldn’t!
    All of this confusion comes from attempting to separate the two. Get more frustrated that we all are more comfortable with Bethenny half naked in a swimsuit than a woman accidentally showing some breast while feeding her baby. I have breastfed 5 babies in public with and without nursing ‘birkas” depending on the time, place and distractability of a babe.
    Lots of insecurity in these comments. Controlling others won’t change that, girls!

  19. tina stein says:

    what momma would be expected to put the feelings of a random passerby above her own baby? what momma would be expected to tell her baby they must wait to eat so no one gets offended? definitely not a momma that feeds her baby from a bottle. so when did breastfeed babies become a second class baby? are we that pathetic to deny a baby a meal?

    when, i feed my baby i hold him closely to my body. he feels the warmth my body has to offer. he feels safe and snug as i cradle him near. he knows he is being loved not just feed. and if that offends some random passerby then put a blanket over your head! i’m completely unapologetic

  20. Hettie says:

    I am from the UK where breastfeeding is probably more socially acceptable in general. I was surprised by some of the “hostility” I got when I breastfed my son here in US. The measly 6 weeks maternity leave doesnt help either – many women give up as there is not a suitable place at work to pump or their schedule doesnt permit the two 20 min breaks you need to do this.
    But back to the piblic issue – Women should decide for themselves what is right for them and certainly not be swayed by the opinions of someone who is hardly living in the real world….! She is hardly the perfect example of the average working mother who is also trying to multitask the infant/work/cleaning/grocery shopping/gym and time for their husband and/or older kids.

  21. Andrea says:

    I breastfed both my sons for a little over one year each. I preferred to breastfeed in private because I’m a private person and also my 2nd son did not like being covered up while he breastfed and would protest and not nurse until I took the cover-up off. I have pulled over on the road and breastfed, breastfed in the mall and other public places because when the need arises, i wouldn’t make my baby wait. I do believe you should be free to breastfeed anywhere you need to but I also believe you should be discreet about it. If one goal is to get awareness out there, people can tell that you are breastfeeding even if you are covered up a bit. You don’t need to bear your breasts to show you are breastfeeding. Also, to totally discount others feelings is the wrong way to handle it, IMO. Some people are uncomfortable at the sight of bare breasts in public and even us breastfeeding moms need to respect that.

  22. Sara says:

    People like Bethenny make me sick. That’s the problem with Americans, we are so uptight over seeing a naked body, or a breast it’s disgusting. Why can’t we be more European and just accept the human body in all shapes and sizes and not be oh my god she’s showing her breast or I don’t want my kids to see a naked body. Give me a break, my children have seen me naked more times than I care to count, and they are completely comfortable with the human body including their own. Not to mention I breastfed both of my kids and never not once covered up my breasts. I really don’t care if people see me giving my child the best nutrition they will ever receive. Get over self Bethenny, you don’t truly believe that breastfeeding is best you think your child should have a silver bottle in her mouth.
    Sorry, but just had to rant.

  23. Arial says:

    Breasts are NOT nauseating. I can’t believe some of the statements on here. A mother can say that “Oh, breastfeeding just wasn’t for us”, but in reality is just wasn’t for her. Breastmilk is the ideal food for all babies except for the one’s with abnormalities. I can’t believe that people have such skewed views of nudity much lest breasts. It is the human body and it has a purpose. Just because some people feel the need to feed their child substandard food does not mean that the moms who want the best for their children should be guilted into covering up what they should be proud of for the sake of catering to those who didn’t even try to feed their baby properly. The thing that really gets me is women saying “My baby was formula fed and they are smart and healthy”. I was formula fed too. I have an IQ of 140 and made a 32 on my ACT and I am rarely sick, but I am a statistical anomaly. I have evolved enough to know what is right for my child and that is breastmilk whether it be in front of an entire crowd or in my home.

    • steph says:

      everyone isnt an anomaly because they were formula fed, but smart and also healthy…. you sound ridiculous…..sometimes a baby wont take to the breast or maybe it just doesnt work out…my daughter was formula fed and she has literally had one cold and she’ll be 4, and shes a very smart little girl….was saying and identifying the alphabet but younger than normal and before my friends whose babies were breast fed….you are by no means superior because you breast feed and neither are your babies…grow up…everyone has a different opinion and situation when it comes to that. your opinion certainly isnt the only one that matters, please

      • Blynn says:

        On a side note:

        I teach in an accelerated pre-K program and my students are from various backgrounds, races, creeds, etc. There is no test to get into the school. Children start out everywhere on the spectrum of “intelligence”. And I guarantee you they didn’t all bottlefeed or all breastfeed. Yet, every one of my 4-year-olds can read without a problem and will be starting chapter books next year upon entering our kindergarten program. They can all add multi-digit numbers and will be beginning simple multiplication by the end of the year. And more importantly, they are socially aware and very peaceful children. It’s because we get to know every child and teach an individualized plan. We learn what’s best for each student.

        IN SUM: Studies may show that children are more intelligent if they’re breastfed or if they’re bottlefed or if they’re Pepsifed (this is obviously sarcasm), but the real outcome of intelligence is a parent’s nurturing (ie. nature vs. nurture) abilities, their dedication to spending time with their child, and their willingness to look for an educational system that works best for their little one’s learning style.

        • Crystal says:

          Studies show that breastfeeding helps the brain develop the way it was meant to. It doesn’t mean that formula babies are going to be stupider than their peers just that their brains did not develop optimally. And breastfed babies’ brains did. Genetics and environmental issues will affect intelligence but the studies simply show that a child who receives the food that they were born expecting will develop the way they were intended to. It’s more complicated than you are boiling it down to. Same with immune systems, etc. Humans are complicated and highly adaptable creatures. My grandfather was born premature, he was placed in a box behind the wood stove and fed little drops of whiskey for ten days, then he was placed on a diet of condensed milk. He survived and is a very healthy man. Does that mean we should feed all preemies whiskey and condensed milk? No of course not. It simply means it’s amazing what a human body can take and still thrive.

    • Em says:

      PREACH, ARIAL!!!!

  24. Bethenny ROCKS says:

    Would it be OK for ANY WOMAN to whip her boob out in public? Would all of you be OK with your teenage son seeing a woman’s boob whilst eating dinner? If the answer is no, then breastfeeding openly and unobstructed in public is a big NO. The key to change is EDUCATION, not viewing other women breastfeeding. I’m very PRO BREASTFEEDING, but you can’t infringe on others rights (by exposing yourself to people) in the process.

  25. Laura says:

    What women have these “experts” seen “whipping their boob out” to breastfeed in public. Every single time I have seen a woman NIP, it was done discreetly and with class.

    Also, if a baby is latched on, the nipple is in their mouth. So how would strangers see the woman’s nipple?

    Lastly, can we please apply this irrational rule to other areas of public decency? I think butt cracks should only be displayed in private. Same with cleavage from non-breastfeeding women. Don’t forget all the bikinis at the beach. I could go on and on all day long…

    My point is that when a Mother breastfeeds her child, it is not a sexual act and nothing to be ashamed of. Each Mother has a right to do so and should be supported and respected.

    • Em says:

      I totally agree, laura!! The moment we realize breast are not just for men’s viewing/sexual pleasure (when in ALL reality, they’re not for that AT ALL, but I digress), we will stop looking at women merely feeding their child as public indecency! It’s NOT indecent, no more than buttcracks, or feet for people with foot fetishes! And you don’t have to show a nipple/areola to N.I.P. Stop taking such offense, there are laws to protect, it’s not infringing in your personal space, GET OVER YOURSELVES! The amount of influence these celebrities have is infinite! Breastfeeding should be encouraged, public or not. Not only is breast best.. IT’S NORMAL! let’s start treating it as such. By the way, totally grossed out by the comment of girl’s girlfriend’s husband having to go masturbate at the sight of several bf-ing women. Just reiterates my whole point.

    • Nicole says:

      not to mention STOMACHS hanging down out of a t-shirt. GROSS! I would sit in a room with tons of (the only NIP moms I have ever seen are classy and discreet) NIP moms than a gut swinging around. My baby doesn’t slurp or chomp like some adults I have seen eating in restaurants. I am honestly appauled by the number of moms that are insecure about seeing mothers feeding their babies. If your husband is peeking at BF women, you have bigger issues……..

  26. nikkimama says:

    The ignorance and foolish comments in response to this article are absolutely amazing to me. Where did America go wrong in raising generation after generation of closed minded fools who view breastfeeding in public as something akin to a Jenna Jameson porn marathon? I love America and am proud to live here, but I am truly saddened by attitudes and comments that people make about breastfeeding in public (or in general for that matter)
    1.) To the women who say “I formula fed and my kid is smart, has a high IQ, is practically Einstein, and has never been sick and my breastfeeding friends have sickly, stupid kids….blah, blah, blah” I am happy for you, that’s amazing. However, you anecdotal stories don’t prove anything. Science and evidence based research shows time after time that breastfeeding is FAR superior to formula and always will be. Something from another mammal, in a can, sitting on a store shelf for who knows how long will never be comparable to the body’s perfect food for humans. Human milk is for human babies. You don’t see cats pushing carts up the aisle of their Target putting cans of horse milk in their trolleys. Formula can be an acceptable substitute-but it’s just that-a substitute. To think we could outsmart nature is foolish at best.
    2) Women nursing their hungry babies in public should be viewed as normal. It’s how baby humans eat. If you want to cover, cover, if you want to go somewhere else, that’s fine. It should be left up to the mother and baby. I agree with pp’s saying that a small infants needs come above a random stranger any day. I am sure the same people who use the term “whip their boobs out” or “flaunting her boob in front of everyone” and “I don’t want my husband seeing her boob” are the same people who don’t bat an eye at a Victoria’s Secret fashion show or read the latest People on “Best Beach Bodies”. I have never seen a nursing mother flashing the world while feeding her small child. The majority of nursing mama’s are discreet and show less skin than you see at a public beach. I live in Las Vegas, and work at a large casino with several popular nightclubs. Every night, you see droves of women leaving the club in tiny dresses showing more boob than any nursing mother than I’ve ever seen. The hypocrisy of our culture is so mind blowing, is so ridiculous that I can’t even believe it’s a topic of conversation!

    • Em says:

      right there with ya, nikki!! if you don’t want your husband to see someone else FEED THEIR BABY you’ve got bigger marital/self esteem issues than food itself.

  27. nikkimama says:

    My NIP story:
    I delivered my 2 pound, 8 ounce baby boy 9 weeks early. I grew up in a large family having a very pro-breastfeeding mom, and had seen my mother nurse all my siblings. Having this background, I knew that breastfeeding was the only way to go, especially for such a tiny preemie. He was so small, and only allowed out of the isolette for short periods of time. Every chance I had I did kangaroo care; I pumped religiously, day and night, as the days my baby spent in the hospital turned into weeks. I never thought I would ever be able to try and nurse him, and was so worried he wouldn’t take to it. When he was 3 weeks old the nurse finally gave the go ahead to let him try. It was a struggle maneuvering around and trying to situate myself, but once I settled in and relaxed he latched right on! I will never forget it! He took to it like a champ, amazing all the nurses, who claimed they had never seen a 31 weeker be so comfortable with nursing before. It was very healing for me to have that experience, and from that moment on, he nursed every time I came to the hospital. By the time he came home a month later, he transitioned from 90% breast milk bottles to 100% feeding at the breast. I loved my pump, but was happy to put it away for awhile. 🙂 About a month after he came home, my MIL came for a visit, and we took her to LA for some beach-time. We were out walking on 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, and decided to stop for a bite. At that moment my son decided he had enough, and that it was time for him to eat too. I had no expressed milk with me, and we were nowhere near our hotel. I remember having this whole struggle about whether or not I should feed him in public, or go the bathroom. I meandered off to the bathroom only to find it dirty, skanky, and smelly. There was no “private room” or “back corner”. I was at a loud and busy California diner, and my tiny son was hungry. At that moment, I had a realization. I knew that my infant’s needs exceeded those of some rude and opinionated stranger. I knew that my son was hungry, and I knew I wasn’t going to subject him to some smelly bathroom to eat his dinner. Mommy got to eat at a nice, clean table, and so was he. I went back to the table, and told my husband that our son would not be eating his meal in the bathroom, and that I was going to feed him at the table. His face was priceless! I proceeded to use a blanket to unsnap my bra (not “whipping my boob” out) and put my son to my breast. I did use a blanket to cover my tummy and the side of his head and fellow diners were none the wiser. No one noticed, not even the server taking our order. My son ate in peace, and so did I. From that moment on, I knew I didn’t give two figs what some insecure people thought. The law protects me from those ignorant people who can find nothing better to do with their time than to disparage new mothers and how they feed their babies. Go mamas! Nurse away!

  28. Ashamed says:

    When it comes to breastfeeding, maternity leave, baby wearing, co-sleeping, responding to your baby’s cries, American culture is so out of touch with what a helpless baby needs.

    I breastfeed in public all the time. You wouldn’t know it unless you were sitting next to me. I’m discreet but should we have to be so covert. There’s nothing inappropriate with breastfeeding. Nudity for the sake of nudity in public is inappropriate. Rachel Ray definitely needs to keep her mouth shut. Until you’ve been there done that you don’t have enough experience to comment.

    Get over yourselves. It’s just breast!!!

    • Em says:

      I know! I love all these women on here saying that N.I.P. is a way to burn bras, be a radical feminist and do it just to prove a point. (heavy sarcasm). Again, less nudity/sexuality than sports illustrated calendar your husband probably has hanging in his garage.

  29. I have BF in public have never showed my nipple. I am most comfortable using discretion (a cover, nursing top) but have no problem with women that do not use a cover. You CAN be discreet without going to the bathroom or corner. I REFUSE to feed my baby where people take a dump. Breastfeeding is the MOST NATURAL and best thing you can ever do for your child.

  30. nancy says:

    OK I totally think we should breast feed more in public. I dont care that some people are grossed out by it. To me and a group of my friends we all agreed we would rather see a mom feeding her baby this way then see some extreamly overweight person sitting in their oversized suv waiting in the drive through line at Mcdonalds. Really what’s grosser? This is the best thing we can feed our kids. Not only that but with the economy the way it is… it’s the cheapest. Which means if someone’s on welfare they’re saving the state and government money by breastfeeding. And it helps keep our kids healthy for their intire life. Your kids get less colds (and they wont be as bad), and the mom wont get as sick. Let alone it totally bosts the kid mentally. Kids who are breastfeed are smarter on average than those who aren’t. I might have people thinking I’m to strong with my post but I really dont care. I think what I think. Feed your kids what’s good for them. We dont need another generation of obese kids. They’re self-esteme is lower. What kind of country are we that we just give our kids junk at every meal. You can check anything I say here and you’ll see that I’m right. At least 10% of 2-5 year olds are overweight. How is that setting them up for a good life? Give your kids a better start. If breastfeeding in public makes you (the mom) uncomfortable, try pumping and feeding that to your baby in a bottle when out. You dont have to stay locked up in a back room for the duration of your feeding expreience. In most states you have laws that support you in your breastfeeding experience when you’re out or at work. Please if you’re having a hard time look up what your state laws are on the matter. You may be in the right. My state doesnt support it. If I made someone uncomfortable they could ask me to stop and leagaly i would have too. My poor child would be hungary still and I would have to go somewhere else to feed but you still can do it. They make covers or you can throw a blinket over the two of you. Always stand up for what you believe in and what’s right. I believe this is the best I am doing for my child, family, environment, and society. If you dont like it I’m sorry doesnt mean I’m going to change what I do. This is how I’ve feed my son since he’s been born and until he’s no longer interested I’ll continue to feed him this way. IT’s time for Breastfeeding to come back!

  31. Meghan says:

    What annoys me more than anything about these comments is that they are coming from Bethenny. Am I wrong in saying she stripped naked to take pictures atop some skyscraper in NY for her show? And did she not bare all to take 9-month body photos for her husband on her other show? So, basically what she is saying is that stripping for publicity is totally fine, but that breastfeeding in public makes people uncomfortable, so don’t do it. I’m sorry but that’s immensely hypocritical! And Rachel Ray? She doesn’t even have children! So again, who, exactly, is making her feel uncomfortable? The woman sitting next to her that drops her clothes at the sound of a penny?
    I BF my daughter for 11-months, and I have every intention of BFing the baby I am carrying right now.

    Once again, the rest of the world is LAUGHING at us!

  32. Rebecca says:

    To all those who believe breastfeeding mothers should be discrete when feeding in public or should not feed in public at all – should we ask mothers feeding their infants from a bottle to also be discrete in public, go to a “back room” or just not feed them in public?

  33. Brittany says:

    why would you show people your nipples in public? i am all for breastfeeding in public but do it so your nipples are not hanging out. not everyone wants to see them.

  34. Kristen says:

    Rachel, Formula feeding makes babies and children picky eaters. What would you prefer to eat if you at the same diet 8 times a day all of your infancy?

    Bethenny, I hope you don’t have any daughters that are learning about body image from you. Breastfeeding is not only natural, but beautiful. Being wafer thin, and baring your body for the masses is not. Breastfeeding and nudity are not the same thing, and I would much rather see a breastfeeding dyad in the booth next to me than your nudity anywhere. (Comment edited at discretion of EIC)

  35. Let my boobies free... says:


    1) At the breast, your baby gets to pick when she is full. After that, she stops eating. She bases the eating entirely on the hunger she feels. This is how all people should eat (but we don’t, which leads to….)

    2) At the bottle, the parents choose what the baby will eat. That baby will drink the bottle until it is gone, or they think they will drown because it just keeps coming out, more and more and more. Their tummies become over full, they stretch, and pretty soon they think that the amount they had before isn’t enough. They get used to having a feast at every meal. And then they’re tired (like we all are after we eat too much), and then they may sleep longer and are complacent. They become fatter because they’re not up and having as much awake time, and they’re over eating at every meal (like so many Americans out there!).

    3) The breast baby will digest food more quickly. This will lead to more “awake” time, and more interaction with the world (thus, increasing their IQ).

    SO: There will be bottle fed babies that are very smart! There will be breast babies that are very unintelligent! BUT OVERALL, the Breast Baby Average will be much higher than the Bottle Baby Average.

    SEE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO?! A baby never, EVER EVER needs more than six ounces at a time. Their stomachs are not designed to hold more. if they’re hungry, they eat more often, but by the time you should be anywhere near the six ounces in a meal, they’re probably starting solids anyway, thus the second food form comes into play.

    We spend the first year of our kids’ lives trying to make them fat, and then we spend the rest of our lives getting them thin again. What a terrible way to live.

    • Tammy says:

      Oh goodness.

      You don’t shove the formula down the kid’s throat… they eat until they are full too! WHERE did you get such a nonsensical idea?!? Just because a bottle can hold 8 ounces doesn’t mean that A) that much gets put into it every time or B) that a baby drinks till it’s empty.

      There is not any ONE THING that, in itself, creates a smart or dumb child. Breastfeeding may make a difference, but it is NOT MEASURABLE. Until you can clone a child and give one the bottle and one the breast, you have no way of knowing the actual difference it can make. Anyone who tells you differently is either a liar or an idiot. Anything you’ve suggested can be attributed to socioeconomic class, IQ of parents, immune system differences (believe it or not, immune systems vary and all variances are not related to nutrition or breastmilk/formula), and a host of other variables. If you ask a scientist, they might say Genetics. If you ask a psychiatrist, they might say environment. If you ask a breastfeeding advocate, they’ll tell you it’s breast milk. ALL three can show you “studies” that back up what they say, but if you know how to interpret data and statistics, you could twist the results of any of those studies to mean something entirely different.

      You’ve been brainwashed, sweetie. Try thinking on your own for a change. That could make an equally large impact on the lives of your children.

      • Ashley says:

        Who cares about science or studies? The fact is that formula is MAN made. In a factory, in China or Japan or wherever else MAN deems cheaper and more cost effective. It is factory made with machines in plants where bugs and rodents run rapid. Do you not think formula has bug parts in it just the same as fruit loops or any other of the processed foods we eat have? Why in the world if you can help it would you feed your newborn baby something made in a factory? Why? All of the risks involved and recalls due to tainted products being produced and sold these days. I’m not willing to take that risk with my child. I totally understand that there are medical and other major factors such as abuse that can keep a woman from breast feeding. And in those cases formula is absolutley needed. But the mothers who choose to use formula without ever even trying to breast feed or just because it’s “easier” for them i just cannot understand. Why would you feed your baby something that was created and processed in a factory vs. feeding them something GOD intended them to have? And to say that there are no measurable differences between formula made in Taiwan and the milk coming out of your own body are absurd. Do you really need science to prove that something your body makes for your child to survive and thrive on is superior to something man makes for your child? The bonding experience between Mother and Baby alone should be enough for you to try 100%! Our society has become so lazy and so dependent on everything being instant that we are no longer even willing to put the time and effort into feeding our children what they were BORN to eat. Mothers do not push out a can of formula after giving birth. They do however, produce milk to feed their children. Enough said.

  36. It is way to bad that anyone (Bethenny & RR in this case) would feel comfortable dishing out their personal opinion as if it were the correct or best way to be. I have to agree with Bettina & BfB on this 100%. What ever is comfortable for Mom is right. If a woman doesn’t want to cover up and it makes someone else uncomfortable, that is their problem & not hers. If the fact that she may cause someone to feel uncomfortable (or think that she will) makes her uncomfortable, then hooray for covering up! I covered up in public (via Bebe au Lait) and around male family & friends, because I was the latter of the 2 personalities. But, I don’t mind for a second if a woman breastfeeds uncovered around myself, my son, my husband or any of the men or women that I feared I may make uncomfortable. I also think it would be a beautiful thing if, as a country (and a world), we were desensitized to the image of uncovered breastfeeding in public. It would have made it easier for me. I can’t say what I’ll do next time… it is tempting to do my part to desensitize my community a bit and to help the Breastfeeding Revolution along by forgetting the cover. I’ll just make sure I’m wearing a pretty bra 🙂

  37. Emilee says:

    WHY oh WHY can’t people understand that BREASTFEEDING in PUBLIC does NOT equate to SHOWING YOUR BREASTS!

    I am sick and tired of this.

    I breastfed 2 children, and now that my daughter is 18 months, and still mostly breastfed I have become much more secure about breastfeeding anywhere and whenever. And you know what…NO ONE EVEN NOTICES. I always get nice looks, smiles, people talking to us, talking to her, without even realizing she’s nursing. I know some moms have enormous breasts and it can be difficult to nurse without showing at least “some” cleavage, or a large tummy that might peek out, etc… But still, it doesn’t matter. We are NOURISHING our babies, we aren’t exhibitionists.

    I wish people would TRULY BE HONEST and think before the mouth off about breastfeeding in public and making claims that all the women they ever see are the ones “whipping it out” and “baring all”. Because I can guarantee there were 100’s of women they passed that they NEVER EVEN KNEW WERE NURSING THEIR BABIES, so they notice the ONE person who possibly let a little more skin show or had a boisterous baby etc… and they make this out to be that ALL breastfeeding mothers do this.

    I see women baring their underwear, baring their cleavage almost down to their areola/nipple, their butt cheeks, jeans so low you can almost see their pubic bone. But just because ONE woman does, does that make ALL WOMEN trash? And why are those things acceptable when they have nothing to gain by doing so? But I am NOURISHING MY CHILD?!?!?! :/


  38. Angiemonster says:

    I bf my daughter, 11 months old. I dont cover. I dont think I should have to. I’m not even careful about exposure. This is what a neck is for. if you dont like it, then turn your head. seriously though, I dont have an excuse. I just dont think I should have to hide to feed my kid. My husband disagrees with me, but I still dont care. He will get over it. My baby and her needs come first. period. And the law is on my side. Breastfeeding is not punishable by laws for indecency in most states and federally protected in gov’t buildings and should be for all states. I can breastfeed my child anywhere I am allowed to be, including restaurants, parks, malls and even Target! I’ve even made myself comfy on the display chairs in a furniture store to breastfeed my baby. I have also only been asked once to move to the bathroom by a security guard at the mall. I had him take me to the office where he works and had his superior explain to him that my right to do so was protected by law no matter how much breast i expose and that to harass me and ask me to stop or leave is grounds for a lawsuit. I dont think he will make the same mistake again, but he might learn to avert his gaze if he is so personally offended.

    aside from that I feel like it’s very irresponsible for any celebs to discourage women from breastfeeding and I think it’s also reprehensible for a mother to not even try to put her personal feelings aside and not even try to bf. How do you know if it’s for you if you dont even try it? how do you know if you dont like tomatoes without ever eating a tomato? I’m certain that if it was given more support and normalcy, more women would give it a go. and I am a FIRM believer that the more you see it, the more normal it becomes. Kinda like the word “bitch” on tv. I remember the first time someone said it, it was all over the media and all kinds of censorship groups were up in arms. today no one even pays attention.

    also, we all KNOW that Breast milk is better for your baby then formula. those of you who say its the same have NO idea about the makeup of breast milk versus formula. there are a hundred more things in breast milk then are in formula. also, in the animal kingdom, cows milk (which is what most formulas are made of) is the furthest thing from human milk (it just happens to be the cheapest because cows make so much at one time compared to other mammals.) goats milk is actually the closest, but thats not whats in your formula. I mean, really, if you think its the same and the benefits of formula versus breast milk are equal then you are only fooling yourself.

  39. Sarah says:

    I just saw Bethenny Frankel on tv pumping breastmilk with her Medela Freestyle and shes showing ALOT of boob. I mean, way more than I’ve every seen a woman show while NIP. But there she was, on national television showing both full breasts while pumping..so ..I dont know why shes being like that about nursing in public.

  40. Nic says:

    This is the most hypocritical website ever. Get off your high horses. Bethany CAN be an advocate for breastfeeding and still decide to COVER UP. Some of us are just modest by nature as we were raised to carry ourselves with dignity and respect. This is not about NOURISHING your baby. You women obviously want to make a statement – not about breastfeeding but about your right to be EXPOSED in public. Clearly your goal is to cause others discomfort in the process to cram your real agenda down everyone’s throat. It is unfortunate that in the process you are turning a lot of women off that actually want to breastfeed but feel like it’s an ALL or NOTHING proposition. Look at the ABUSED women that commented on your site about not wanting to expose themselves. How are they supposed to feel when every comment that supports a women’s right to cover up is attacked? This site is a booby trap because if its not your way its wrong. It’s a shame you don’t realize your comments about Bethany are just as EXTREME as Giseles.

    For women that WANT to be modest and still breastfeed, you are NOT alone. Despite the comments by the author of this article and the naysayers above, there is a middle ground. I managed to breastfeed 2 very healthy sons without whipping out my dbouble d’s in public while others tried to enjoy their meal at the restaurant. I pumped my milk and used a bottle or I covered myself with a receiving blanket. Funny how pumping milk is advocated on this site for work but not for the benefit of fellow restaurant patrons seeking to enjoy their meal. Some of you are in dire need of an etiquette book. Life is NOT about trying to make others uncomfortable but rather about finding a way to coexist in a way in which we all can feel comfortable. And sometimes that requires finding the middle ground.

    • Bettina Forbes, CLC says:

      Best for Babes has been very clear and consistent in our message that the decision to cover or not is a personal decision and women should be empowered to make the decision that is best for them and their babies. We do not judge mothers or tell them what to do.

  41. Nic says:

    One last comment:

    “What’s especially sad is that the pregnant audience member who asked the question is African-American, and the African-American population is at greatest risk for not achieving their personal breastfeeding goals and for suffering from diabetes, obesity, heart disease or asthma.” – author

    Black woman to author: Get over yourself. I am sure this African American woman on Rachel Ray’s show is intelligent enough to make her own decisions without Bethany or Rachel’s input. Surprise, we think too. Some of us even manage to get advanced degrees without white women telling us we should. I can’t beleive I wasted my time reading this ridiculous article. The beautiful Laila Ali should really be more careful about which organizations she lends her name to.

  42. jenny says:

    I have no problem with women breastfeeding in public…if they cover up. Breastfeeding is not an good excuse for bearing your chest to the world.

    Yes, babies need to eat.
    Well, we also all need to use the bathroom, but we don’t pull our pants down in public ( unless we are camping in the outback most deserted parts of the forest) to do what is natural. Nor do we take our potty training children to the mall without bottoms.

    Do the natural thing in a modest way. Don’t show off yourselves just to make a breastfeeding point.
    Of course, this doesn’t apply to the curious 9 mo old who throws off the blankie to see what’s happening in the world.

    What I did if I had to feed in public–stepped into ladies room to latch on, and then once that was taken care of, I could roam around that public place freely.

    You could get a cute nursing cover that says, ” private lunch. Please do not disturb”.

  43. Ellen Durnbaugh says:

    I want to where these women are who are supposedly “whipping out” their boobs when they breastfeed? Because I’ve never seen one, and I’ve never “whipped out” my boobs. That is a total straw (wo)man argument. Unless you happen to stumble upon a “nurse-in” I highly doubt ANY of you that are complaining about this have ever seen it. You’re just ASSuming we’re all whipping our boobs out, pulling out tops up, shaking our lactating boobs in your faces. Get real.

    Oh, I just thought of something: maybe “the powers that be” want to keep nursing in public taboo, because if everyone gets used to seeing breasts used for their natural, intended purpose, people like Bethany whatshername won’t be able to make any money from exposing themselves, it won’t be tintillating anymore. It’s all about money.

  44. Cat says:

    I nurse openly to do my part to normalize it and to instill confidence in other breastfeeding mamas. Whether you nurse with a cover or without – nurse proudly!

  45. Guest says:

    Those things are evil. Period. Ban them. If inoculations can be mandated by the board of health, then mastectomies ought to be too. So should full sterilizations. Anything that derives from the S. word is bad, bad, bad. You freak nymphos want to normalize this trash and make it more acceptable — anything goes, your kink is not my kink, etc.

    Wrong, just wrong. I don’t feel anyone should see these horrible things, not in public or otherwise. Of course people need to shower and bathe, but make sure you do so alone and in the dark so you don’t see the awful parts of yourself. I hope you are all reported to the proper authorities and sectioned for the good of society.

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