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What is so offensive about public breastfeeding?

I'm a formula feeder...never breastfed a day in my life, BUT, I can't figure out why so many people (mostly women) have such issues with public breastfeeding. It's normal, natural...what's the big deal? I always think to myself "how sweet?"


Asked by Anonymous at 11:09 AM on Jun. 10, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (25)
  • The only people who would find a mother feeding her child offensive is someone not worth worrying about. I breastfed two children, uncovered, in public almost daily. I never got one single rude comment because half of the time you couldn't even tell I was nursing. I actually had an old man like four inches from my nursling telling me how sweet he looked when he was sleeping all snuggled up to his mommy...without ever realizing I was nursing. You can be discrete without using a blanket. I know, personally, I wouldn't want to eat with a hot blanket over my head, all sweaty and re-breathing my own expelled CO2....why would I make my baby?

    It's really sad that we live in a society that shuns mothers who are doing the most natural, healthy and biologically normal thing possible.

    Answer by PB_J at 10:08 AM on Jun. 11, 2009

  • I don't know, maybe they think it's not right for a woman to show part of her breast and sometimes flash a nipple when they're in public. But when your baby is hungry and you exclusively breastfeed, what's a mother to do? Sit on the nasty toilet in the public restrooms? That's not possible for some, as they have other children and have to get things done. I breastfed while I was in the hospital but when I came home I had to formula feed because he wasn't getting enough milk. I get uncomfortable when I see a woman breastfeeding in public, but that's because I'm not used to the sight (no one in my city does it).

    Answer by HisMommy414 at 11:12 AM on Jun. 10, 2009

  • I think it's offensive b/c so many ppl see breast as a sex symbol and not a way to feed a baby. For the last couple of decades the problem has grown. It's a matter of perspective, if you have the way of thinking that breast are for men imo you will see it as offensive. I bf in public all the time, tastefully and respecfully of course but I wasn't gonna hide in some nasty public bathroom.

    Answer by mommy-perks at 11:14 AM on Jun. 10, 2009

  • hisMommy414 I think you have a good point. A lot of ppl just aren't used to seeing it too. I think I have only seen it in my town once besides myself.

    Answer by mommy-perks at 11:16 AM on Jun. 10, 2009

  • i see nothing wrong with it when baby has to eat he/she has to eat be any means. So when i see a mother breastfeeding or nursing her child I just think to myself baby needs a healthy start and who cares what others think give it to him/her.... I breast feed in public nothing eles matters but me and making baby happy...And of course healthy.... I cant wait until i get home..... And i wont hide in a nasty public restroom but i also do it with respect...

    Answer by pregnproud88 at 11:20 AM on Jun. 10, 2009

  • It doesn't bother each their own

    Answer by calliesmommie at 11:21 AM on Jun. 10, 2009

  • And you are an excellent example of 'this is my business, that is their business' in action.

    A lot of people are grossed out by anything body-related, and breastfeeding is just so 'body'.

    A lot of people have sexualized breasts, so that they're only for men to look at and 'use' making it obcene to have babies touching them, much less suckling. One wonders how they feel about babies getting to use the birth canal, in these cases...

    A lot of people are ashamed of their chioces -- bottles, formula, babysitters, following poor advice, caving in to pressure for others not to do what they would liked to have done -- and other people breastfeeding openly reminds them of this, which first makes them feel guilty and then makes them feel angry, at the person or situation that reminded them.

    Answer by LindaClement at 11:21 AM on Jun. 10, 2009

  • I know of lots of BREASTFEEDING moms who get offended when they see others moms doing it in public. The problem is not GUILT because of choices (because there's nothing wrong with NOT breastfeeding), the problem is that a lot of the women don't cover themselves up. They thinks it's perfectly ok to whip out their breast, showing their nipples and areolas and all. I don't have a problem with public BF, but I do have a problem with a lack of modesty and respect for others.

    Answer by Fallaya at 11:29 AM on Jun. 10, 2009

  • I'm with fallaya! There is nothing wrong with it at all, but I would at least cover up! I don't expect people to nurse in the restroom... that's just gross, but I don't feel like explaining it to my son just yet and having a woman exposing all, creates that scenario. When I did BF I would cover up.

    Answer by mommystiebler at 11:37 AM on Jun. 10, 2009

  • I don't think there's anything wrong with it. When a baby's hungry, a baby's hungry. And when a newborn is hungry, that newborn is STARVING.

    Answer by imacafemom at 11:43 AM on Jun. 10, 2009