Weekly Wrap Up June 27: Nursing in public & no more breast is best?

By Elita of Blacktating.com; for the Best for Babes Foundation ©2010

Remember that movie, Groundhog Day, where Bill Murray kept waking up and repeating the same day over and over? That’s how I feel every time I read an article about a mom being harassed for nursing in public. Not this again! Yet it still keeps happening. Fortunately, the mom I told you about last week who was asked to move while breastfeeding at a Colorado Rockies game has received an apology and an offer for free tickets to a future game. But still, every time a story like this comes out, I fear the damage has already been done, that it will just confirm the fears most women already have about nursing in public.

Were you scared to nurse in public? I know I was in the beginning! So when blogger Carolyn Castiglia asked, “Am I the only mother who ever felt embarrassed breastfeeding in public?” I knew the answer was going to be a resounding, “No!” And as she so eloquently describes in her post, fear of nursing in public can sabotage a mom’s breastfeeding goals. We’ve become so accustomed to seeing sexualized breasts that breasts being used for nourishment and comfort often make us nervous. And if you can’t breastfeed in public, how long can you expect your nursing relationship to last?

If you’ve got more to say on the topic of nursing in public, you should join the Carnival of Nursing in Public! Submissions are due on June 30th.

If I asked you to describe breastfeeding in one word, what it would be? Beautiful? Comforting? Best? How about creepy? That’s the word the editor of British parenting magazine Mother & Baby used in an essay entitled, “I formula fed. So what?”  Of course many are furious at the editor of a very popular magazine for new mothers for broadcasting a message that not only perpetuates myths, misinformation and  feels very anti-breastfeeding, but the magazine insists they’ve been inundated with mail, praising her point of view.   Luckily, PhdinParenting debunks the myths and takes on the larger issue of the editor’s responsibility towards readers.    

Ask most moms and they will agree that breast is best. The pithy slogan has been used in ad campaigns, uttered by moms the world over and is even printed on cans of formula. But British breastfeeding advocates want to scrap the saying, insisting we should instead focus on how breastfeeding is normal, not special. This isn’t a new concept. In fact, author and lactation consultant Diane Wiessinger wrote a famous essay on this topic called “Watch Your Language.” What do you think? Does saying “breast is best” set is a lofty goal, one that is difficult to attain and make formula look like an even more attractive, “good enough” alternative?

Best for Babes launched a new ad in USA Today this week, in a special report on Pregnancy & Wellness released in the target markets of LA, Chicago & New York (2.2 million readers).   We’ve loved all the positive feedback, keep it coming so we can convince foundations and funders to run the campaign on a larger, nation-wide scale!  

A recent study showed that women who had informal child care arrangements, like having their mom or sister watch their infant, were less likely to be breastfeeding. The study followed about 18,000 babies and their mothers in the UK and found that infants in informal daycare settings were a whopping 50% less likely to be breastfed! The fact that childcare had the strongest impact on breastfeeding makes me think we’ve got another booby trap on our hands.

Finally, this week our Facebook fan page was dedicated to the supportive Dads in your lives! We asked you what your favorite Daddy/baby moment was and you were overheard saying….

Heather Barrett watching my big, 6’5″ husband snuggling a teeny tiny baby boy on his chest, both so content and happy.

Goldie McKee When my husband caught our daughter and discovered she was a girl. He cried, and I cried.

Dawn Ballor Sachs When Autumn was a baby and Bob had to change a messy diaper and gagged all the way through it with tears running down his face!



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4 Responses to Weekly Wrap Up June 27: Nursing in public & no more breast is best?

  1. Kristen says:

    I am due in September and I am really worried about breast feeding in public. I am set on breast feeding my baby boy for one year. But I know how difficult it is going to be.

    My husband is even against it! He thinks that if we are in a restaurant I should go to the car to breastfeed or feed him when I get home. How am I going to deal with this. I told him that I am not going to let our baby scream and starve just because we are out in public but he still doesn’t like the idea. My older sister is completely against feeding in a restaurant and thinks that it is gross!

    I don’t want to show my breasts to the world either. But with the covers they make now, I won’t have to.

    People being against breastfeeding in public is very alive and well in today’s world. I have not heard one positive or uplifting thing from anyone around me about public feeding. Even a random pregnant woman that I just met said “Please don’t breastfeed your baby in public!” The baby is not even here yet and I am getting crap for even saying I want to breastfeed at all!

    • Bettina says:

      You can do it! Show your husband our website, and point out that a lot of celebrities breastfeed in public and that our culture is changing. After all, rock n’ roll used to be taboo too!! Tell him that you need him to protect you when you are nursing and to set an example for his kids of doing what’s right. As for any random stranger who tells you not to breastfeed in public, try saying with utter conviction and enthusiasm, “OMG, have you SEEN someone breastfeeding before?? It is the most amazing and beautiful thing IN THE WORLD! That adorable baby completely blissed out snuggling up to it’s mom . . . I can’t wait!!” Then turn around and walk away. The more powerful and sure of yourself you are, the more people will be caught off guard and actually think twice about what you just said. You will probably change a lot of minds!

    • Jessica B says:

      You CAN do it!! All you have to do is want to do it for your baby. When I was a new BFing mom I never wanted to nurse in public. I would hide in a fitting room, or go out to my car. Now, I know better. BFing is one of the most important thing a mom can do for her baby. Just be confident in YOUR decision. Perhaps you can introduce your hubs to the wonderful world of nursing tanks and nursing covers. Maybe he’ll change his mind. And if that doesn’t work, you need to teach him about WHY you will BF! That should set him straight. :) Good luck to you and congrats on your new baby :)

  2. Becky says:

    The only reason you should ever have to leave somewhere to nurse is for YOUR comfort. I’ve gone to my plush comfy car instead of sitting in an armless chair (uncomfy for ME!) but I’ve NEVER left to go elsewhere for someone else’s comfort- they can deal with it. I’ve had a few comments through the years ( I have four kids, all breastfed, including a set of twins) but just have a response ready. To the people who suggest using a restroom, ask if they’d like to start taking their meals in there as well- same difference. For those that have comments in general, I usually just ask if they’d prefer I let my baby cry and scream. That usually stops them in their tracks.

    As for your husband, perhaps take a breastfeeding class together. Maybe learning about how good this will be for his child will help him to change his views and learn to be your advocate

    Good luck, I know you can do it, and it will be so rewarding and worthwhile

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