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Why is breastfeeding STILL such a taboo?

The above question is the title of an article about public breastfeeding in the UK.

"According to the 2005 UK Infant Feeding Survey, just 78 per cent of new mothers ever attempt breastfeeding, compared with 99 per cent in Norway, 91 per cent in Italy and 84 per cent in Spain."

"By six months, only 22 per cent of UK mothers are still doing"

"Of the 1,200 women who took part in our online poll, 60 per cent felt that the UK frowned on breastfeeding mothers"

I intend on breastfeeding when my baby boy is born. But, after reading some of the things my fellow british mothers have had to deal with. I'm worried of the abuse.

"'I was breastfeeding my daughter on the bus - she was covered in a blanket,' wrote Hayley Johnson from Luton.
'The conductor got on and told me I'd either have to stop, get off the bus, or move to the back."

So my question is: Should i even "risk" breastfeeding in public?

Answer Question

Asked by GrungeMum at 7:35 PM on Jul. 11, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 2 (4 Credits)
Answers (27)
  • I am pregnant and am going to breastfeed but personally am not going to even try and breastfeed in public just because I am not comfortable doing it in front of others and I would rather save myself all the shitty looks and possible comments from ignorant people. Its sad that most of the world now looks at breastfeeding as inappropriate or "sexual." This world is really backwards. Boobs were made to feed your child. Now I would rather NOT see someone's tatters hanging out all over the place but I see nothing wrong with feeding your kid in public. You have things to do, and the kid has to eat right?! If you don't feel uncomfortable with it, who gives a damn what everyone else thinks/says.

    Answer by Ash9724 at 7:41 PM on Jul. 11, 2009

  • YES! I am in the US but there are laws here to protect breastfeeding mothers, that doesn't stop people for bashing them tho. You will hear everything from cover it up (you can be discreet without covering your baby's face with a blanket) to you shouldn't do it in a restaurant go in the bathroom.
    Breastfeeding is the perfect nutrition for your baby that no formula can give them. Also i loved the bonding I had with my babies when I nursed them. It is so worth it! Plus you don't have to wash bottles, sanitize them, but the milk or anything, its right there and always ready!! Good luck!

    Answer by stickyfingers at 7:42 PM on Jul. 11, 2009

  • I thyink by doing it in public that may show people that thier opinion does not matter, what matters is that your baby is getting what he/she needs. You dont have to flash your whole boob when you nurse there were a lot of times that people didnt even know i was doing it, they thought the baby was just sleeping.

    Answer by stickyfingers at 7:44 PM on Jul. 11, 2009

  • Wow that is ridiculous I thought Europe was a lot more open about the human body than that. I wish you luck but the best thin g to ease your mind might be to research the laws about breast feeding in your area. I don't believe that it should be a problem to breast feed no matter where you are and i don't feel you should have to cover your child's head while feeding him either. But check the laws where you live and know what you are allowed to do and what you are not so that you don't run into problems.

    Answer by Alie1313 at 7:45 PM on Jul. 11, 2009

  • I believe you have the legal right to breastfeed. You should hope that happens then you can sue and get a lot of money!

    Thing like that don't happen very often thats why they make the news. You can nurse using a sling like the Over the Shoulder Baby Holder and no one can tell what you are doing.

    Congratulations on your new baby. I hope you breastfeed for 2 years and don't worry about what ignorant people think.

    Answer by Gailll at 7:48 PM on Jul. 11, 2009

  • In my state Nursing moms are guaranteed permission to nip as long at they are somewhere that mom and baby are allowed to be otherwise. I nurse wherever my ds needs to eat. I try to be discreet, but for some people that isn't enough. Too bad! I am doing what is best for my son

    Answer by jdanielle82 at 7:48 PM on Jul. 11, 2009

  • I'm a formula feeding mom, but I absolutely cannot STAND the stigma that goes along with breastfeeding, especially doing it in public. Nowadays it seems like formula feeding is more of a least on this site it is. I get jumped nearly every time I mention it around here.

    Answer by caitxrawks at 7:51 PM on Jul. 11, 2009

  • I formula fed my baby girl, but I do NOT think it is ok for people to act like bfing in public is such a horrible thing! All you want to do is feed you baby.. in a public place or private! There shouldn't be ANYONE judging you for feeding your child no matter what!!!! If they do, just remember you are doing what you enjoy!!!!!

    Congrats on your baby!!!!! Don't let people get to you and do what you want to do and enjoy!!!

    Answer by 07lilmama1108 at 8:02 PM on Jul. 11, 2009

  • Thank you. I hate my country so much sometimes.

    By the way. This was just a general article based on the way the public feel about breastfeeding. Not any kind of news story.

    Answer by GrungeMum at 8:14 PM on Jul. 11, 2009

  • I don't see breastfeeding as taboo...I really don't. In my 35 years of living on this earth, I have never encountered anyone that has said anything remotely negative about breastfeeding.


    It's when a breastfeeding mom chooses to be immodest that gets tongues wagging. I've heard lots of people who think breastfeeding in public is innapropriate, and the # 1 reason why is because the breastfeeding mom is showing too much of her breast.

    I think breastfeeding is a great thing, but it doesn't mean it's for everyone. It's a good option, but not the only option.

    Answer by Fallaya at 8:14 PM on Jul. 11, 2009

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