Back Talk: Public breastfeeding sparks debate

Public breastfeeding sets double standards in society

People will always have something to complain about.

Our society is so quick to jump at the opportunity to make a big deal about nothing that they forget that they should worry about themselves.

A subject has come up that is leaving many people uncomfortable when leaving the house. This “action” has happened several times, and it involves mothers simply breastfeeding their child in public.

I personally have never witnessed a mother breastfeeding in public. But if I did, I wouldn’t make a big deal about it. I have, however, heard through social media and other news outlets that many people are uncomfortable with women breastfeeding in public.

They say it’s disgusting, exposes too much of the body, and women need to cover up more. I just don’t understand. It’s no worse than women wearing bikinis to the beach, or movies on TV that exploit women. It’s not like you can see a woman’s whole breast when she is feeding her baby. Let’s not forget that she is feeding her baby! A baby needs love, affection, and food. Let’s not forget that part.

I bet the same people who are complaining are the same ones who complain about everything in their lives. If you see a woman breastfeeding, it isn’t a crime. According to the NCSL (National Conference of State Legislatures) website, there are 49 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location. Meaning, that is the majority of the United States. So, why are people still making a big deal about it? I have a guess.

In our generation today, it’s the norm to see a women’s breast or any cleavage thanks to bikinis and low-cut shirts. Some people are old fashioned, and I believe that maybe they are the ones who have a problem with it. They’re not used to a woman being so bold and so confident when breastfeeding her baby. But, the truth of the matter is that it’s not their choice to decide to breastfeed in public or not, and it’s certainly not their decision how to feed the baby.

We can’t control how babies think, eat, or even behave for that matter. When a baby is crying, he or she is either fussy, tired, needs a diaper changed, or hungry. Many women take the healthier route, which is breastfeeding. It’s better for the baby and the mother. It’s also so much easier than using formula.

Let me give you a scenario. A mother has to feed her baby, and if she uses formula, she has to take the bottle out of the diaper bag, mix the formula, and make sure it’s just the right temperature for the baby. That takes too much time. Also, what if the formula is too cold? You can’t give a baby cold milk! Breastfeeding is easier and quicker. All they have to do is raise the baby close to the nipple and they’re feeding. Of course, the mother is going to cover up as much as she can.

I think people are forgetting that the mothers are breastfeeding a human being. It’s the way of life. If I see a woman breastfeeding, I will be shocked at first, but I wouldn’t go as far as to tell her that it makes me uncomfortable and she needs to go somewhere else. I will do what most people fail to do. I will turn the other way and carry on with what I was doing before.

Breastfeeding in public is not a crime. Mothers should have the right to breastfeed where and whenever they want. Breastfeeding is natural, and you can’t stop nature.

Breastfeeding should remain private practice

by: MATT MOLINAR/Opinion Editor

Many public places allow women who are nursing to breastfeed their children in the open. This has sparked controversy between mothers and anyone who opposes public breastfeeding.

Personally, I find that mothers breastfeeding in public is indecent.  I mean, who wants to walk into a Starbucks and see a woman’s breast fully exposed? It just makes everything uncomfortable. There are curious children running around in public, and when they see an uncovered boob at Toys R Us, they are going to ask questions and someone is going to have to answer those uncomfortable questions.

In today’s American culture, and you cannot disagree, breasts are seen as sexual objects. I don’t know why that is a thing, but it just is. It seems like an awful thing to say, but if a woman has her breast exposed, it’s nearly the same thing as just walking around naked, which is public indecency.

Creepy men are almost everywhere, and with an exposed breast on the subway, it could make things scary for the mother. Nursing a baby is a very intimate connection between a mother and her baby. Something as intimate as that should be at least covered or taken to a family bathroom.

heart breastfeeding icon

I have a 26-year-old sister. Before she goes out in public with her baby girl, she pumps her breast milk into a bottle. When the baby gets hungry, she feeds the baby through the bottle. It’s not as intimate, but it’s not revealing for the mother, as well as less socially awkward for other people near the mother.

Casey Yu, a nursing mother, was on a Delta flight from Atlanta to Tallahassee on May 20.  As with any woman exposing her breast in front of children and immature people, the flight attendant told her that she needed to either cover it up, or go to the airplane bathroom. The woman refused to do such, and the airline stated that if she continued to nurse her baby without any covering, she would have to leave. The airline has since apologized. nursing-mother

However, I believe that there was no need for the airline to apologize. The woman could have simply covered up her breast and the baby with a blanket. Or she could have taken the baby to the bathroom and fed the baby there.

At the end of the day, it is a woman’s choice whether she wants to nurse in public or not. A majority o  states have some form of law protecting the right of a woman to nurse in public. The states that have laws against public nursing have perfectly reasonable reasons for doing so, and many of these reasons are simply for the protection of a mother and her baby.

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