• Fri, Jan 17 - 3:00 pm ET

If You’re So Uncomfortable With Me Breastfeeding In Public, Stop Looking, Weirdo

460752361 copy

You don’t like me breastfeeding in public? Well, too bad. It’s legal. You’re shit out of luck. Don’t look.

I’m seriously so sick of this conversation I can’t even stand it anymore. Woman gets held in contempt of court for bringing her breastfeeding child to jury duty. Woman gets accosted at a recreation center by another woman for breastfeeding. Facebook bans images of women breastfeeding. Seriously? Do we have anything better to do with our time than decide to confront a woman performing a biological necessity instead of just looking the other way?

We live in a culture that glorifies the female body, but only when it’s sexualized, thin enough, young enough – and displayed for the titillation of men. Oh, and we don’t like nipples. Giant boobs are okay – just no nipples.  A two-second nipple slip on a breastfeeding woman is enough to make some people lose their minds.  I don’t find that sexy and/or your boobs are saggy so put that shit away. No one wants to see that. What did you say? Your baby is hungry? I don’t care. What’s really important here is my comfort and nipples that aren’t attached to fake sexualizes boobs creep me out. Mmkay? Thanks. 

If you are bothered by the site of a woman feeding her child – the most natural thing in the world – just keep it to yourself. Or get some therapy. Or both.

We send women such mixed signals about this. First, we shove the necessity of it down their throats the entire time they are pregnant, in the form of breastfeeding posters and educational materials that guilt trip them into believing if they don’t do it they’re horrible mothers. Then, when the woman actually agrees it’s best for her baby – we inform her that we don’t want to see it. It’s inappropriate all of a sudden. Put those tits away!

You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
What We're Reading:
Share This Post:
  • Alicia Kiner

    I could care less how anyone feeds their baby. I appreciate the mothers who do so discreetly, and don’t leave their bodacious ta-tas out there for hours on end in public. I worked in a grocery store right out of high school, and this one woman would come in every week and walk around the store with one boob hanging out so her baby could sit in the cart and snack whenever he or she felt like it. The first time we thought she just didn’t realize everyone could see, but then we realized she just didn’t care that everyone in the store could see her boob. Once the baby is done feeding, put them away, please. But what bothers me more are the pants with the crotches to the knees that guys insist on wearing. I don’t want to be able to see ANYONE’s underwear.

    • arrow2010

      Both of those are a general sign of the cultural apocalypse. However it is worth noting that is typical behavior from the underclass.

    • Kay_Sue

      I have to ask…did you type “underclass’ with a straight face?

    • Mystik Spiral

      Don’t be feeding the trolls. ;)

      Bottom line is, nobody has the RIGHT not to be offended. Breastfeeding is not illegal. Anyone who is offended can choose to look away or just not leave their house for all I care.

    • brebay

      This is exactly the point I was trying to make, you did it so much more succinctly!

    • Kay_Sue

      Sometimes they are fun to feed, especially when one’s particularly bored.

      I agree. My experience that I cited earlier made me uncomfortable in that instance, and it was impossible to look away (because I was trying to do my job), which is why I provided it as an example of why some people feel discomfited even if they don’t want to.

      But like I said in another comment, there were tons of other women that breastfed around the store–it was a baby store, for god’s sake–and never made it uncomfortable in the slightest.

    • Mystik Spiral

      Oh I get that. I’ve fed many an ugly one when I’m bored, haha.

      Er, troll I mean, not ugly babies.

    • Véronique Houde

      You know, we have so little of them… That when they come we get over-excited, you know?

    • brebay

      Boom!

    • Iwill Findu

      I always have to fight certain urges around those guys with their pants down around their crotches. The urges being to run up behind them and give them a wedgie or pants them. I just can’t decide. Women BF don’t give me any such unnatural urges.

    • Alicia Kiner

      I just want to pants them lol! Or I feel like my grandma and want to tell them to pull up their damn pants.

    • Iwill Findu

      But a wedgie would be so easy because there is like nothing to get in the way of getting a good fist full of undies to really reef on.

  • Kay_Sue

    I get your ire, but there are many times the discomfort isn’t intentional, and we do look away. I don’t mind you breastfeeding your child; I do appreciate when women are discreet about it. I remember once while working at the customer service desk, a woman holding her toddler who pulled it out for her. Being short, and her being taller, all I was talking to was a breast and breastfeeding kid. It was uncomfortable for me.

    I’m not even necessarily talking covering up. I chose to when I breastfed in public, less because of people’s discomfort, more because of creepers, but even at home, if we had company, I didn’t cover up–but you can arrange it so that you’re doing your thing without being in people’s face about it. There’s a happy medium between “EWWWWW, disgusting, put that thing away” and “let me stick this all up in your face because I support the CAUSE”.

  • Dawn Tschiltsch Borchardt

    I can’t believe we’re still talking about this. It’s ridiculous! The only thing you should do if/when you notice a breast feeding mom is look away and pretend not to notice.

    • arrow2010

      So just let it all hang out right?

    • brebay

      Most of it will be in the baby’s mouth, do you even know what breastfeeding is?

    • Ally

      Please, like this dude has ever seen a breast that didn’t have a tassel attached to it.

    • NeuroNerd

      I may have just snorted, out loud, in the library.

    • pineapplegrasss

      seriously me too, snorted, and choked on this damn cherry coke … I think its in my sinuses now..
      that shit burns and now I will always associate cherry coke in my nose with nipple tassels

    • JosieT

      Sometimes it seems to me that breastfeeding mothers want it all. They want to feed wherever they want, whenever they want, yet without anyone taking any notice and no one observing whatsoever (even in a positive or neutral manner). It’s a little bit like a case of wanting to “have your cake and eat it too”.

      Thinking under that perception, why should everyone “pretend not to notice”? If we’re trying to normalize breastfeeding and trying to take away any sexual connotation from the act, why should we be so quick to look away and then by example teaching our kids to look away instead of momentarily admiring what’s natural and the beauty of a mother feeding her child?

      Just a thought.

    • Ally

      I think the “look away” suggestion is for people who are disgusted and offended, not for the people who support breast feeding and who do think it’s lovely.

    • pineapplegrasss

      I actually once had a mother ask me if her child could politely observe

    • brebay

      That’s a little odd, but I certainly wouldn’t shield my child’s eyes. Wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if the first time a boy saw a breast was in a non-sexualized context. I’d just let his eyes land where they may, and answer his questions honestly.

    • pineapplegrasss

      hahaha I have 3 sons, trust me, they don’t think breasts are sexual in any way, I’m not even sure if my husband does anymore either LOL

    • Alexandra

      My best friends 3 y o walked up to me and pulled out my shirt and looked up LOL. I was like ummmmm no, that’s not appropriate. I’m not saying he knew what he was looking for but he was definitely “little boy curious about girl parts that aren’t his mommy’s.” It wasn’t awkward b/c he was a baby but was still awkward, if u know what I mean.

    • pineapplegrasss

      no, that is awkward, my youngest is 2.5 and he’s tried to check out a few of my gf’s ‘milk’, but he pulls down, like a big baby would to nurse haha

    • CrazyFor Kate

      Once, my godson grabbed my boob and screamed “AUNTIE BOOBIES”, right in the middle of church. He was one, so fortunately it passed for cute, but his mom and I just about died laughing.

    • ElleJai

      I once had a kid come up to me in a playground (he might’ve been 3), very deliberately grope my chest, then just walk off. I was somewhat disconcerted.

    • brebay

      I’ve never heard a mother who feeds without covering up complain about anyone looking, that’s kind of the point.

    • ElAssimo

      I don’t think staring longingly at a woman while she’s breast feeding is the most effective way to normalize it. It’s not admirable to simply feed your baby. I look away because I don’t know what the mother’s comfort level is.

    • JosieT

      I didn’t mean admirable on the mother’s part, it’s hardly any sort of personal accomplishment or innovation on her part. I mean the system nature has created to keep a baby fed and healthy is something to admire.

  • Mel

    Yay! I’m pro-boob too. I wish that it wasn’t so shocking to see nipples and/or lady-breasts! We see them on men all the time, yet that doesn’t bother anyone. The regulation and control over women’s bodies is shameful. I don’t think this means breastfeeding women should set up camp in places like the middle of the floor or in dressing rooms. If we want to treat breastfeeding as equal to bottle feeding in view of the public, we need to do it “responsibly.” I would consider it rude to sit in the middle of the floor of a public space and feed my baby a bottle or apple or whatever. The same should apply to breastfeeding. If we want to be so accepted as to be mundane and regular, we need to treat it as such when we do it. Like the brunch lady! She sounds perfectly wonderful.

    • arrow2010

      Breastfeeding is gross along with other bodily functions. We don’t expect to see a person pee/defecate in full view either.

    • CMJ

      WHY ARE YOU HERE?

    • EX

      To troll you apparently! :)

    • Véronique Houde

      You know that song “The cat came back” that used to play on Nickelodeon when we were kids? He’s kinda like that ;)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oW9f04Dctz4

    • CMJ

      I LOVED this when I was little!!! Ah, the internet.

    • Kay_Sue

      Dude, that’s so not a comparison, and if you are trying to troll it is really, really low-hanging fruit.

    • helloshannon

      and yet i would bet $100 you have peed in public as a man. you are just a dumb troll, go do something else

    • Mystik Spiral

      But much like looking at breasts, peeing in public is biological for men.

    • Ally

      It’s the way they’re wired. They can’t help it. GEEZ.

    • Simone

      Apparently men were made to eat shit.

    • Rochelle

      No it is not gross, your attitude is. You eat in public don’t you? Is that the same as taking a crap?

    • brebay

      Pooping is not eating. Who the hell is preparing your food that you’re this confused?

    • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Maria Guido

      Oh God. Don’t take the bait ladies. Who gives a shit what this guy thinks.

    • Kay_Sue

      Yeah, Arrow usually comes across with more subtlety in his (her? its?) troll attempts. This article has a lot of obvious ones.

    • brebay

      I’m thinking “her” too. That pic is straight out of a dollar-store picture frame.

    • NeuroNerd

      …or a stock photo of Nathan Fillion.

    • pineapplegrasss

      TY Kay_Sue, I was just waiting for you to call it a troll :)

    • Iwill Findu

      I don’t know judging by arrow2010 other comments on this post I’d be temped to take a crap on their food if given the chance.

    • Mel

      Ah, the classic man answer. Gee, we haven’t heard that one before! Your man-brain is huge!

      Well, I think that bare, hairy, freckled, flabby chests are gross, so no men are allowed to be shirtless in public. Wait, you mean that I shouldn’t make crazy rules just b/c I don’t like something? Interesting. We don’t seem to shame men for exposing themselves, yet it’s gross when women do it. You’re clearly a creeper.

    • Kay_Sue

      Legitimately, though, I have seen people for whom this should have been a law.

  • helloshannon

    *slow clap*

  • Lesley P

    Interesting that the first two comments, to differing degrees, ask women to please, PLEASE, be more discreet with their breasts, that were designed for breastfeeding, you know, being used for their intended purpose. We as a culture are very uncomfortable very unsexualized breasts.

    And very good insight on the double standard for the breastfeeding mandate for all women while pregnant combined with a culture that is very uncomfortable with breasts once the baby is actually here..

    • helloshannon

      yeah… lots of comments saying “i agree BUT not really”. i have never shoved my boob in anyone’s face by my baby’s so maybe people are a little too easily offended and need to stop claiming they are being assaulted by other people’s breasts

    • Kay_Sue

      Well, she was literally two feet from my face, so yeah, it was almost right in my face, and yes, it made me uncomfortable.

      I worked in a baby store for a number of years and it was not uncommon at all to see a woman breastfeeding, and that was one of a handful of times that made me distinctly uncomfortable. Most women, whether they chose to cover up or just to feed, were not nearly so forthright about it. They did what needed to be done, and no one was the wiser, or if you were, it wasn’t done in a manner that made every other person in the immediate vicinity feel uncomfortable. So I very much believe, as in most things in life, there’s a happy medium that can be reached.

    • arrow2010

      I suspect those women are exhibitionists at heart.

    • Kay_Sue

      I don’t think feeding your baby is being exhibitionistic regardless.

    • Teleute

      There’s breastfeeding your baby for the sake of breastfeeding your baby, and then there’s deliberately drawing attention to yourself while breastfeeding your baby. THAT’S exhibitionism.

    • pineapplegrasss

      ok, I have seriously never ever seen or heard a real story about a flaunty nurser like you describe. I’m sure there are ones like that out there, but c’mon, that is not the norm at all. Most nursing in public mothers are more uncomfortable at that particular moment than any bystander. They are just doing what they have to do to feed their child and shouldn’t be ashamed and hiding

    • Teleute

    • pineapplegrasss

      Ok. This one, but, everyones seen this pic and the mom said she didn’t realize that she was in front of a formula booth and was at a baby expo so who knows… but still not the norm

    • Teleute

      I never said it was the norm, but this sort of thing happens more than you seem to realize. Do you really want such fanatics to be identified with breastfeeding babies? Because I guarantee that unless they are regularly called out by “their own,” THIS is what the average person is going to think of whenever the topic of public breastfeeding is raised.

    • pineapplegrasss

      I heartily disagree. But we don’t have to agree. Even if showy displays happen more that I realize, most moms are just feeding their young. its natural, we are born naked, just like any other mammal…
      I think the average person is thinking about a regular old mom sitting in chic-fil-a trying to slip a baby on her breast before it starts crying and drawing attention to them, and hoping nobody saw a nipple in the process. Bc that’s what its really like.

    • brebay

      I suspect you suspect all women are something villainous at heart.

    • Simone

      I suspect you have caused me to lol.

    • Kay_Sue

      Meh, when it is totally in your face, the discomfort comes a bit naturally. Would I ever call a woman out on it? No, you have the right to do what you want with your body and babies need to be fed. Once again, I breastfed, and I did it in public, personally, and I don’t regret it at all. But yes, discretion is appreciated.

  • JLH1986

    Speaking from watching two friends who debated BF v. FF. while they were pregnant. What it comes down to (I think) among my friends is that there are people who have so bought into the sexualization of breasts that they cannot see that they are there for another purpose (to nourish an infant). So the various outlets (Victoria’s Secret, bathing suits, magazines, tv shows etc.) are winning the sexualization front, my a land slide. I admit seeing a woman’s nipple makes me uncomfortable (when I’m eating lunch or shopping) but I also don’t want to see a man’s naked chest while I’m eating or shopping. But I would look away and forget about it, not dwell on it or god forbid ask the woman to cover up. It really comes down to minding our own damn business.

    • Romylove

      A friend of a friend of mine was visiting her OB and overheard a conversation between two other pregnant patients about BF vs. FF. Copied from Facebook: “I heard a woman at my doctors office say “my boobs are for my husband, not for my baby.”

    • ElleJai

      Oh god… I don’t even know how to come back to that. Excuse me while I enter a state of shock.

    • VLDBurnett

      I’ve heard the reverse, and I found it equally troubling. Your boobs are yours and you get to decide who has access to them and for what purpose. The end.

  • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Maria Guido

    You know, I forgot to add that my second child REFUSES to be covered. She seriously moves the blanket or wrap or whatever right off her head! The thing is – most women are discreet and even if you aren’t using a wrap the baby is covering your nipple and most of your boob. I hate that this has to be so uncomfortable for women.

    • Kay_Sue

      Most women really are. By nature, I think, it’s a pretty discreet action–like you pointed out, the baby covers most everything by itself.

    • brebay

      Covering a child’s face while they’re eating seems weird to me anyway. If it bothers someone in public, maybe toss them the blanket instead and let them cover up.

    • pineapplegrasss

      That’s what I think too. Covering their head is weird. And you know moms don’t do that at home, so it is confusing and uncomfortable to the baby

    • IbreastfeedinWalmart

      “Would you like me to cover it so you can’t see?” *place blanket on their head”

    • Rachel Sea

      I’m surprised that any baby tolerates it. Unless it’s freezing, I won’t put my head under a blanket. It’s just too warm, and stuffy.

    • Natasha B

      Yeah, by the time my kiddos were a few months old they were over that blanket over their head. Plus, trying to help a newborn latch on an engorged boob? Impossible with a cover.
      Granted, I did try to be discreet, for my own comfort. I always wore a tank under my shirts, and would just pull one up while keeping the tank down. Made life easier.

    • JAN

      Same here. I’ve had three winter babies so I just wear a stretchy tank or cami under my shirt so I can pull them down while pulling my shirt more out than up. With a baby positioned correctly, there’s no exposure, especially of my fat rolls which concerns me as much as my breasts! I do this for more own comfort more than anything else. Admittedly, this is easier as I’ve had lots of practice. As a first time mom or with a new baby, there’s always a learning curve.

  • Momma425

    I got into an argument with my husband about this not too long ago.
    Him: “I can’t believe that lady at the mall just had her boobs so out there.”
    Me: “Why were you looking at some other lady’s boobs.”
    Him: “Look, any guy is going to notice a nipple out in public. It’s just the way we’re made.”
    Me: “Usually, I look at people’s eyes, not their chests. And so what if her nipple was out? She was feeding her baby. If the models on the VS fashion show had a nip slip, you would video tape it to jerk off to later.”
    Him: “I have no problem with breastfeeding as long as people are discreet. That was not discreet.”
    Me: “Pretty sure that the mom feeding her child didn’t give two craps about your opinion Hun. She can feed her baby wherever and however she wants. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, you could always choose not to look. Plus, I would rather that she feed her baby than listen to it scream the whole time we’re at the mall.”
    Him: “Why are you so defensive about it? You didn’t even breastfeed.”
    Me: “Just because I didn’t breastfeed doesn’t mean I’m an idiot. I still respect other people. Additionally, my husband just basically admitted that he is such a pig, he stares at women’s chests and ‘can’t help it because biology.’”

    I formula fed and was allowed to feed my baby whenever and where ever I wanted. Why shouldn’t breastfeeding moms get the same luxury? People need to grow up, and look away if it makes them feel uncomfortable. Maybe they could go stand in an ally, or go eat their lunch in the restroom, or put a blanket over their heads!

    • arrow2010

      Guess what? Mens’ eyes wander around. That’s the way we’re built. Want to put us in death camps for it?

    • Kay_Sue

      Not for wandering eyes, but can we have some for when he leaves his dirty socks in the living room again for the umpteenth billion time after I’ve asked him not to? There are times I’d sanction a death camp for that.

    • Natasha B

      I will help you run that camp.
      The socks. They will end us.

    • Kay_Sue

      Oh no, I will not be ended. I will be the one doing the g-d ending if he can’t get his act together.

      I drew him a map once. Everywhere socks weren’t allowed was marked with a no socks designation, and there was a trail marked to the hamper. I was seriously concerned that he didn’t know his way around the house, apparently, well enough to find it on his own….

    • Larkin

      My husband left his socks on the kitchen counter once. I almost had a rage stroke.

    • Kay_Sue

      I would have had one because that combines two of my pet peeves: dirty socks outside of the hamper and shit on my (already limited) countertops. That would definitely call for a death camp.

    • Ally

      Poor men and their dumb little lizard brains. They can’t control anything that their bodies do! It’s the way they’re wired! Just accept it LADIES, geez. Stop crying and trying to control them when they have issues with things like boobs that aren’t there for their pleasure, or consent, or basically anything else they want to do.

      LOL. Why are you even reading this blog? Go away and stop insulting all men by acting like they don’t have the ability to function as any other polite, free thinking individual.

    • Mystik Spiral

      He’s probably a rape apologist too. “Just look at the way she dresses! I can’t help myself, I’m just a man!!”

    • Ally

      “I mean, she was drunk and she had on lots of make up and a really short dress. What else was I supposed to do? Jesus Christ! WANT TO PUT ME IN A DEATH CAMP FOR IT?”

    • GMD

      Keep going girls…the way you ridicule men..wow… goes to show that you haven’t learned anything from your ancestors or feminists trying to make a difference…now do you…?! Sad…

    • brebay

      Then wander, that’s not the problem. The problem is you expecting women to prevent your eye from wandering by shrouding themselves.

    • Simone

      If you want to frame your bullshit as a logical and coherent argument, with linked premises leading to a sensible conclusion, and then put it forth to stimulate reasonable and intelligent discussion, that would be lovely.
      Or you can keep on with the nine-year-old, death camp garbage, it’s up to you. Did you upvote yourself, by the way? That’s kind of cute.

    • Iwill Findu

      That’s a poor excuse for not owning up to your own actions and lack of respect for women. Making yourself the victim because “I can’t control my own thoughts and actions because I have a penis.” Pretty sure there are some women out there willing to liberate your manhood if it’s such a heavy burden to bare and a kitchen knife should do the trick.

    • EX

      It’s not biology, it’s society. In European countries where breasts are bared in shampoo commercials, at the pool, etc. men do not ogle a breast feeding woman’s breasts. You can tell him that the next time he stares at a nipple “because biology!”

    • m

      In which European countries are breasts bared in shampoo commercials? Lol, I’ve never seen one. I’m pretty sure men would notice nipples here as much as their American counterparts. And by the way, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a breastfeeding woman in public here in Finland, which does seem kinda weird now that I think about it.

    • EX

      I can only say for certain that in Austria you see bare breasts in shampoo ads (and other mainstream media). By which I mean if they show a woman in the shower she is topless, not that they use breasts to sell shampoo. I imagine it is the same in other countries where women routinely go topless in public but I could not say that for certain.

    • personal

      They can also be topless in ads in Germany and Sweden.

    • Véronique Houde

      There’s a tunnel on the highway that leads to Monaco… A few years ago, Durex put up a gigantic sign around the entrance of the tunnel as a pair of thighs that were split apart – using the analogy of the cars being a penis of course ;). Europeans do tend be a little more osé about things ;)

    • BexleyS

      I’ve seen people breast feeding in Finland. I thought it was what (almost) everyone did!?! Here in England, I feel shocked at the nature if this argument. Breast feeding here is incredibly common yet I have only actually seen someone breast feeding once. As in, I saw nipple. I wasn’t shocked at all and I think the majority if people aren’t. Everyone just seems to get on with it and nobody makes a fuss. There clearly aren’t many people making a point for “the cause” by getting their boobs out all the time. It seems that in America whatever you do is at war with someone else. Breast feeding v bottle feeding, natural birth v medicated birth. It’s all just a load of nonsense. At the end of the day all any mother/father wants is to get their child out the safest way possible and feed them well enough until they’re old enough to look after themselves. WE’RE ON THE SAME TEAM! No need for the vitriol.

    • m

      Yeah, well probably I’ve seen breastfeeding here but just don’t remember. I think it’s also because like most Finns, I mind my own business and don’t look at other people that much.

    • Larkin

      I remember seeing fully topless women in shampoo commercials when I visited Germany. Also on postcards that were out on public racks for sale.

    • brebay

      Exactly, and who cares if a guy peeps a partial boob in public and enjoys it because biology. If she doesn’t care and he doesn’t care, big whoop! Is it really any different than a guy noticing a teenager walking in front of him with LOVE PINK written across their ass? We can’t control other people’s thoughts.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      Maybe he was hungry?

  • brebay

    The essential problem is people believing that THEIR discomfort is YOUR responsibility. I don’t know who told these people that they get to live in a free society and feel comfortable at all times, it doesn’t work that way. I never breastfed in public…EVER…because it made me uncomfortable, but that’s MY issue, not a public policy consideration. If you’re comfortable feeding your kid where I can see your breast (of which I have 2 myself,) knock yourself out. So it makes you uncomfortable? So what! Be uncomfortable or go live off the grid. I’m uncomfortable when I can see your thong hanging out of your jeans, when your perfume gives me a headache, when your clothes reek of smoke, when you chomp your gum, when you belch in public, when you walk too damn slow in front of me because you’re staring at your iphone, when you stick your entire tongue out of your mouth to lick an ice cream cone, when two ugly people do a PDA, etc., but you know what? Tough on me! It’s a free country, people are within their rights, and some of those rights will make us uncomfortable. That doesn’t mean we get to dictate what others do. Be uncomfortable for a few minutes, it won’t kill you!

    • Ol_Frosty

      Nice …..be uncomfortable or go live off the grid…………..What a wonderful world you live in.

  • arrow2010

    Maybe the writer’s attitude of “screw everyone” is part of the problem, not the solution. No wonder our society is going down, down, down. No regard for anyone, just pure selfishness at every turn.

    Confusion will be my epitaph
    As I crawl a cracked and broken path
    If we make it we can all sit back and laugh,
    But I fear tomorrow I’ll be crying,
    Yes I fear tomorrow I’ll be crying

    • CMJ
    • brebay

      And what about all the things YOU do that make people uncomfortable, why is feeding a baby the be-all end-all?

    • arrow2010

      I’m just a guy hanging out in the mall minding my own business. I’m pretty sure no one has ever noticed me. But these women let it “all hang out” as a message to society – SCREW YOU.

    • helloshannon

      funny, screw you is exactly what i would like to say to you

    • brebay

      A partially baby-covered breast screams “SCREW YOU?” Wow, might want to consider some therapy. And if you were minding your own business, you’d chuckle, keep walking, and go get yourself a Cinnabon or some bad Chinese.

    • Teleute

      He’s talking about women “letting it all hang out” as a big “screw you” to society, and I think he makes a valid point.

    • Harriet Meadow

      I’ve breastfed my baby at the mall before. I didn’t do it as a “screw you” to society; I did it to feed my baby. I’m pretty sure that MOST women who breastfeed in public are like me. There might be a few lactivists out there who do it to make a point, but I’ve honestly never met one.

    • Iwill Findu

      Hang out at home if BF ladies bother you. If you’re just going to the mall to “hang out” and not shopping you’re just making more work for less profit for mall employees anyway. I can’t speak for other BF ladies but I only go to the mall if I need to buy something. So at lest my public BF is still helping turn a profit, you’re just there wasting space.

    • arrow2010

      What’s wrong with hanging out at GameStop, then catching a movie?

    • Iwill Findu

      If you’re not spending money you’re not really a customer and stores don’t want you to just hang out. Only they can’t tell you to fuck off.
      If you’re going to see a movie then you would be in the cinema, and if you really want to see a movie you more then likely used something like cinema clock to check you’re cinema’s movie times, and whats playing. So there for no need to hang out for over an hour wasting space at the GameStop looking at games you have no intent to buy wasting store employees time, wasting space, and being a creeper by looking for BF Women to ogle in the rest of the mall, well you wait for your movie to start.
      Same with the whole Gamestop deal if your looking for a game you’ve more then likely put a little effort into looking at game reviews/or hours pouring over all the spoiler adds for that new game that coming out at such a date. All before spending your money on a game so you go into the store knowing that you intend to spend money. And intent to spend money is what makes a person valuable to a place of business.
      I go the mall with a plan to get in get what I need and get the fuck out as fast as possible. But since I also have a small person that needs to eat every 2 hrs I now have to take a break from this to feed them because other people don’t need to hear my child scream her head off, But then I don’t go to the mall unless I have no less then 3 different stores I intend to go to, and if I don’t I’ll put it off until I do. But that does mean when I do go I require a bit of time to get all my running done. Maybe I wouldn’t hate the mall so much if jerks didn’t view it as a good place to just hang out. Plus people there to just hang out tend to get in my way and slow me down and when the goal is get the fuck as fast as possible you fuck that up with your slow meandering. I fact even my child messes that up but I legally can’t leave them alone in the car.

    • ElleJai

      Oh dear, we’ve been feeding you again!

      Hunni, go and take a nice dose of Valium, and pop off for a lie down under your rock. You even fail at being amusing in this thread, although some of the responses to you are.

      I am disappointed in you. You can do better next time, I’m sure.

    • Véronique Houde

      Awwww does Mommyish now have her own personal troll? I mean, I don’t mind, as long as there aren’t a bunch. You can be our entertainment.

  • Rochelle

    I am fairly discreet. I would usually wear a nursing tank under a looser shirt so that I was basically only exposing the nipple. That’s just my personal comfort level. Having said that, there were times when I wore the wrong type of shirt and it required showing a lot more skin. I still fed my babies if they got hungry and don’t really care if it offended anyone or if they thought I was an exhibitionist. Also, I don’t care how other women do it. If you feel it’s easier to take your entire breast out, then do so. I promise I won’t stare if it bothers me.

  • pineapplegrasss

    Yes, all of this! I’m so tired of the criticism too. Yeah, its some nipple, big deal. Breasts are basically just human udders, right? I liked the point about how society pushes breast is best, but ewww we don’t want to see it! I nursed all of my babies, and yes, I was that mom, walking around Christmas shopping with a baby on the boob. But not the one who just left it out when not using it lol!

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    Most moms I meet are breastfeeders, who use covers or shawls or nursing tops or something easily pulled down or up. I never see a nipple with any of those scenarios. I’d have to be actively looking to view it for that tiny moment it debuts.
    I think people need to grow accustomed to seeing it. Then it will seem like no biggie and life will go on.
    However, I don’t care for the hanging out of a breast in a restaurant. If it’s actively breastfeeding, then great. If it’s en route to a mouth or on the way out, that’s part of the process. If it’s not and it’s just hanging out and waiting in the breeze, then I think that’s too much to expect of people to ignore. Discretion doesn’t require covers, but it does take into account a couple minutes worth of naked boob in someone’s line of sight is naturally very distracting.
    Sort of like no shirt, no service. It’s just not appropriate in a restaurant to have your breasts out if they’re not actively feeding. Actually, consider this: No dogs in restaurants. But if they’re a service dog, then it’s a working dog and that’s fine. The blind have a right to this dog. Much like a working breast is fine and mothers have a right to feed their babies. But a breast that’s just out is violating a dress code.
    Outside in public space, though? Like a park? Boob in, boob out, that’s a personal choice. Men go topless, so women should feel free to expose breasts at will.

    • Kay_Sue

      I would gladly go topless all the time if I could. I’ve already mostly done away with bras now that I am not working. That’s a major plus of stay at home parenting no one mentioned before!

    • brebay

      Seriously. It’s hilarious but that was actually a one of the biggest adjustments when I went back to work, getting used to wearing a bra everyday! I still try to stick with a sports bra unless it’s a day I have to wear a suit (and I’m barely a B so it’s not too hard) but that’s the first thing that comes off when I get home, before the heels, sunglasses, anything, that underwire death vice is coming off!

    • http://www.twitter.com/ilikeswears Dusty

      My boobs would be legit udders if I didn’t wear a bra all the time.

    • Magrat

      But dogs aren’t allowed in restaurants because it’s a potential health hazard, not because they’re “inappropriate.” And I think the idea that breasts are inappropriate is one of the things that Maria is irked about. For what it’s worth, there are a number of cities in the US where it’s legal for women to be topless anywhere that it is for men. Because the only actual difference is a variable amount of fat and mammary tissue, but nobody freaks out about man nipples.

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      You’re allowed to walk around topless outside, male or female (Not everywhere, but in these cities we’re talking about and I do think that is totally fair.)
      You do not possess the right to be topless inside a restaurant. No shirt, no shoes, no service.
      You do have the right breastfeed anywhere.
      Therefore a breast out that is nursing is kosher as baby is eating. Baby has a right to eat, mom has a right to feed from the breast as it is biologically natural.
      A breast out doing no feeding is impolite. In no place is it appropriate to disrobe a torso at the dinner table and let the nipple hang out, male or female. I would certainly be affronted by male nipples in a restaurant. Not what I want to see over my eggs benedict.

    • Simone

      I love the working dog / working boob analogy. It’s all about how context influences custom, isn’t it? No vacation dogs on a bus, but working dogs – spot for you here. Also, no party boobs at the coffee counter please, but baby boobs – you go right ahead.

    • quinn

      Ha! Working breasts… I’m stealing this!!

  • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

    I breastfed in public all the time and I have to say, I used a blanket exactly once (I was in a mall and there were a lot of old people around). It was awkward and made the whole thing take way longer than it needed so I never did that again.
    I am sure I got lots of weird looks (who cares) but I frankly never noticed. I’m either lucky or I just live in a really breastfeeding-friendly place because I never had anyone say anything to me ever.

    • Harriet Meadow

      I’ve never had anyone say anything, either. I even nursed my kid while waiting in line to see Santa Claus, and even with all the chilluns around, no one even batted an eye. But I do live in a very breastfeeding-friendly city.

  • EX

    The thing I find that’s weird is that there are so many women who get weirded out by other women breastfeeding in public. I mean, at the gym the ladies are always walking around the locker room totally naked. I mean, you can be sitting on the bench lacing up your sneakers or whatever and look up and there’s a bare ass in your face. I don’t ever here anyone complain about that but feeding your child from your breast is gross? I don’t get that and I never will.

    • brebay

      That one confuses me too. I can understand a man feeling pervy, because, okay, he’s turned on by the boob, but then there’s a baby there, so he creeps himself out and blames the woman. Still his problem, not hers, but at least I can understand where it comes from. But why a woman would even care is beyond me. I guess these are the same women who undress in the dark…

  • Véronique Houde

    You know, baby number 2 is coming sooner than later, and I’m pretty motivated to giving breastfeeding a try again (last time didn’t work out so well, so I pumped). Both my sisters that have had babies are breastfeeding, but never do it in public (even around my family). It makes me kind of sad. I mean, shouldn’t we be comfortable breastfeeding our child in the living room when at dad’s house?

    I want to be more comfortable, and be able to breastfeed while conversing, especially with my family – but with both sisters going to a bedroom to do it discreetly, I almost feel pressure to hide myself! And I know that it’s not my parents who have an issue with this and they for sure wouldn’t mind. I mean, perhaps it would be weird at first around my dad, but I can also make an effort to wear a shirt that shows less, right?

    • pineapplegrasss

      You totally get used to it. I have a lot of sisters and I think it made my dad a little uncomfortable at first too, but so did having pregnant daughters (means we have sex lol) but now he’s actually very proud and is a nursing supporter. I also told my husband that I wouldn’t hide in my own house from anybody, his dad, brother or male friends. Now, he’ll walk through with a football buddy on Sunday or something and be like ‘oh, she’s nursing *shrug*’ People just get used to it, then its not this big deal. We are just so open about it in my family, its just the natural way. And babies nurse a lot, who wants to go hide off alone all the time? That would be sucky.

    • MoD

      It was weird around my parents at first, especially my Dad, who’s rather conservative. So I just wore a nursing cover and nursed in the living room in front of everyone. My SIL, however, goes in the bedroom. I would go in the bedroom if my kid was kicking up a fit, though, which he did sometimes because he wasn’t a fan of nursing covers.

    • EX

      My bigger issue was around my in-laws. They are very conservative and noooobody in that family breastfed. My daughter nursed constantly in the early months and wasn’t about to hide in a bedroom the whole time. Granted, I did use a cover and/or try to be extra discrete around them but I refused to leave the room. They did seem to get used to it a bit which is good because when baby #2 comes I don’t think I’ll have the energy to be discrete about it when I’m around family!

  • val97

    I don’t care if people want to whip off their tops in public and breastfeed their babies. And I have teen and tween boys. It does not bother me. Nor would it bother my husband or my mother or most people I know.

    However! Everyone knows there are a bunch of prudes in this country. The “ewww, gross, breastfeed in the bathroom,” crowd. I wish they would go away, but they are loud and obnoxious. So, unless it’s 100 degrees out, it’s probably best to cover up a little. Not to appease them, necessarily. But sometimes it’s better just to let them be oblivious.

    • Peter Connor

      Who are these “everyone knows” prudes? Not heterosexual men, in my experience.

    • val97

      It’s mostly people on the internet. Click on a huffington post article about breastfeeding, and you’ll see a bunch of “ew gross” commenters/trolls.

  • ChelseaBFH

    This really shouldn’t be that hard. If you’re breast feeding, be as discrete as reason and opport

  • meteor_echo

    I don’t particularly care about women breastfeeding their kids in public, and I’d rather deal with a fed baby than with a screeching, angry, red-faced little hungry gremlin.
    However, two things come to mind: 1) Please, if you’re breastfeeding, keep out of other people’s personal space bubbles. I don’t want to have an unapproved boob stuck in my face, much less a sucking baby. 2) Stop treating breasts like they’re ONLY milk factories. Humans are the only primates with permanently visible mammary glands and sensitive nipples for a reason, and not everyone is comfortable with having their breasts denoted as something they don’t want.

    • brebay

      But I think a lot of people consider “in my face” anyplace I can see it. If you’re at a table and they’re at the next table, is that still in your face? No one should be in your “personal bubble” whether nursing or not, but how close is too close?

    • Rachel Sea

      In the US people’s perceived personal space generally starts 3′-5′ from their body.

    • meteor_echo

      Anything closer than 3 feet is too close. I wouldn’t want an adult eating that close to me, either.

    • IbreastfeedinWalmart

      You must not eat at tables alot :)

    • meteor_echo

      I don’t. I typically order takeout food because crowds are annoying.

    • quinn

      What if the woman is using a cover? Is that still something that would bother some people, or is it only the exposed breast/nipple flash that bothers you? I’m wondering bc I’ve been feeding my newborn in crowded places, with a cover up, and it never occurred to me that someone would be bothered by knowing what is going on under the covers.

    • meteor_echo

      It’s not really the exposed nipple that bothers me. I just don’t like babies, and especially crying babies or eating babies in my immediate vicinity. I think that, if a cover was used, I’d probably not even register the feeding at all, or would hear it without realizing where the sounds come from.

    • JAN

      That’s a problem because “personal space” differs from culture to culture and even between individuals in the same culture.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      “I’d rather deal with a fed baby than with a screeching, angry, red-faced little hungry gremlin.” My thoughts exactly! My major issue with public breastfeeding is a personal quirk: the noise. It’s the same reason I will death-glare the fuck out of a couple swapping saliva samples–I cannot stand the sound of someone licking, slurping, or sucking human flesh. It makes my stomach want to merge “up” and “chuck” into a partially-digested, acidic, all-too-visible-to-the-general-public horror. But that also goes back to the issue of respecting other people’s personal space bubbles; if I’m two or three tables away at a restaurant and can’t hear the accompanying sounds, it’s all good.

    • JAN

      I breastfeeding my third child and I don’t know if my kids are different from the norm or what but they’re essential silent when nursing. You’d have to be pretty close to hear the gulping in their throats (like anyone drinking) and there’s no slurping if they’re properly latched.

    • Ibreastfeedinwalmart

      Funny story, when i was out with my first child, i went to a restaurant bathroom to breastfeed, people heard me and called the cops thinking i was in there with a man lol

    • Kay_Sue

      Wow. That seems like an overreaction on their part, regardless. Even if you were in there with a guy, it seems like restaurant management would be a first step before escalating to police.

      It is a funny story though.

    • meteor_echo

      Idk, I’d honestly take a kissing couple rather than an eating baby. The way babies look freaks me out, and their crying immediately gives me really bad headaches that I only can deal with by taking prescription meds.
      Also, seems like you’ve been stumbling upon some sloppy kissers out there!

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      I live in a part of town where, in my late twenties, I’m quickly hurtling into “old fart” range, so I suspect it’s the general youthfulness making these kids into such (literally) sucky kissers!

      Babies are freaky looking, though. And my sound sensitivity also definitely applies to crying, so too much of that leaves me curled up in a fetal position and wishing for some type of medication (though at least the type I usually gravitate towards no longer needs a prescription here in Denver!).

  • mikefas

    Meant only in a positive way… all boobs are nice. Not just the over glorified perfect super model ones.

  • aCongaLine

    I’m all for the boobs. I’m just not all about the self-righteousness that usually comes with the boobs. Maria, you are an awesome exception. Or, maybe I just have really self-righteous friends who BF…. hrm.

    regardless, yay boobs!

  • SusannahJoy

    I had the pleasure of a 5 hour flight, by myself, with my 6 month old. I was so nervous about feeding him during the flight. Usually I’m totally ok with feeding wherever, but on a flight? My boob was like 6 inches from the guy sitting next me’s face. But then! He pulled out his computer and started proofing photographs of mostly naked women (for a sunglasses ad, because of course the models in sunglasses ads need to be topless). I figured that meant he’d be ok with my pulling my shirt down.

    • Edify

      And do you think he has to endure conversations about whether what he is doing in a public space is inappropriate or not?

  • Peter Connor

    No, I am very comfortable with it, and intend to keep looking.

  • Natasha B

    CAN I GET AN AMEN. Yes, I try and be discreet, but I’m large chested and when you’re feeding a teensy newborn it. Is. Hard. I’m not currently BF, but have no issue women doing it whenever, wherever.
    I took the kiddos to an indoor playground this am-and it’s generally moms & toddlers there. There was a mom with an 18mo and a brand new teensy guy. She was trying to nurse the baby while keeping an eye on her other, so she wasn’t the most discreet. I was a little shocked by the dirty looks OTHER WOMEN were giving her. I mean, come on. That shit is hard. Cut her some slack.

  • Sara

    I don’t understand the whole babe on the tit freak out. At some point in your family history breast feeding happened. In the open. With people to see it. So get the fuck over it. Hell, sometimes the Virgin Mary is depicted breast feeding baby Jesus in a church no less! I just wish people would get over their phobia of boobs as a natural food source

    • Harriet Meadow

      Yeah, I try to be as discreet as possible, but I don’t really understand why I should need to. Why are men allowed to show nipples but women – whose nipples might ACTUALLY NEED to be out for a PURPOSE – not allowed to show them? It’s silly. And I would never judge another mother for having her tit out, not even if it was a few feet from my face. F*ck, who cares? It’s just a tit.

  • Fuzzy Coin Laundry

    Can we take pics?

    • Mikster

      Technically you can take pictures anytime in public ,as long as the building/grounds are not under trademark protection (for example, the Eiffel Tower at night, many buildings held by the Royal Trust on the UK, etc.) . So maybe you should get up real close and make sure you don’t see a ® or ™ tattooed on either breast/areola/nipple.

  • Kaili

    I’m an equal opportunity nipple hater. Not on chicks nor guys. I should explain that feeding the baby is totally understandable. I have seem some people forget to put it away. It’s a little disconcerting to be sitting in a cafe with a single boob in your sight line. As the owner of a massive pair of tatas, personally I’m uncomfortable with them hanging with no support (and they are annoying crumb catchers), so I look at these absentminded ladies and I do wonder “can the feel the breeze? What about the sunburn? It’s slip slop slap everywhere lady!”

    Living in Queensland, I also get lots of man nips. You thought those mesh shirts ans tank tops with the big arm holes went out of style? Wrong. Queenslanders bought them all and even pair them with a rocking mullet. Man nips on display? No thank you. Now that the Aussie summer is hell upon us (40C+) the little footy shorts are out. They aren’t. Itching like having a dude say hello with a ball slipped out.

    • Gangle

      Oh goodness, I feel you! What is it with Queenslander males and stubbie shorts? The other day I was standing in line behind a couple with an infant. The woman flopped her tit out and started feeding her hungry child. Her shirtless partner had most of his guts and arse hanging out over the top of and out from underneath his too-tiny shorts, rendering the ‘shorts’ as effective as a small handkerchief. Guess which sight was actually offensive (it wasn’t the boobies)? But guess who got all the filthy looks (not the one who was barely wearing shorts)?

    • Kaili

      It’s so horrible it hilarious. I remember an employee of mine came to work on a hot day and when he stepped up near my desk – plop came lefty. I said “we have to besties now, I know way too much about you. Never wear those again.” Not even a blush. Too used to it happening I guess.

    • Edify

      Tiny shorts with beer keg guts. Gross

    • Gangle

      It was truly foul and offensive. I would rather have a sea of babies latched onto the exposed exposed boobies of topless women than see that one guy in front of me.

    • Edify

      Oh it’s more than Queenslanders. I live in NSW but came from SA. Footy shorts in abundance everywhere in SA. As for the tank tops, I saw too much of a neighbour wearing one the other day. Yes, if people have problems with breast feeding mums, they should’ve seen this woman with her entire side of her boob hanging out the armpit

  • IbreastfeedinWalmart

    As I watched my son eat this morning, I thought to myself “what a little champion. Look at him stuffing his face FOR THE CAUSE! I know by now he’s comforted and quiet, but he just keeps nursing. What a little breastfeeding nazi. He’s so diligent at his work. And the way he always wants to eat in strange places, especially when it’s loud and bright and stimulating and a ton of strange people are nearby trying to touch him.. He wants me to breastfeed anywhere and everywhere. He doesn’t care who sees. He doesn’t care if people think he’s too old and he never wants to stop. If you see my boobs, well he doesn’t care. That’s not his problem. He just wants to eat until he’s full and milk drunk and sometimes even longer. Yup, he’s a huge supporter of breastfeeding.”
    *Sarcasm*

    • Kay_Sue

      Yes, I am fairly sure that you, as an internet stranger who wasn’t present, have a completely better grasp of the situation than I had, being present and also having dealt with that particular customer on a near weekly basis throughout her pregnancy and for the first few years of her child’s life. Among the other scenarios I am sure I misunderstood from this guest? Well, there was that time when she berated a mother to be for registering for bottles, even going so far as to tell her she was setting herself up to fail at nursing. Oh, and that lovely time that she declared, quite loudly, that the women using the mother’s room were cowards. And I couldn’t care less if a mother chooses to breast feed until the kid is twenty, so I am unsure of how that is relevant.

      And yet, I offered this example not to disparage her but to illustrate this simple point: This situation made me, personally, uncomfortable. I did not want to be uncomfortable, because I A) support breast feeding, B) support mothers, and C) find the female body beautiful, period. But I was, and it was unintentional. People seem to think the only folks that find these situations uncomfortable are prudes or people that don’t approve. That’s not true. It can be a totally unintentional and even unwanted reaction. Doesn’t trump anyone’s right to feed their child when and how they want, no more than their right to feed their child invalidates my personal feelings.

  • Kati

    Is it okay that I use a blanket or cover in public not because I’m afraid of anyone seeing nipple but because I want to hide my post-pregnancy wobbly belly? I was with a group of breastfeeding women the other day and although none of us used covers there was nary a nipple in sight (or maybe I don’t look at my friends’ tits when they’re talking). But you can bet your ass I used my kid’s blanket to hide my stretch marks.

    • Jussame

      I wear tank tops under my shirts so the boob can come out under the shirt but over the tank top – wobbly belly concealed!

    • darras

      I do this too! You can buy nursing strap tops that have the same cool catch system as the nursing bras.Then I wear that under my t-shirt for a concealing layer of ‘aint nobody wants to see my belly’ ;)

    • Iwill Findu

      The few times I’ve tried to do the boob over the tank top I’ve ended up with plugged ducts. How do you do it without having that problem?

    • Jussame

      Very strappy tank tops that can be stretched waaay down. They’re basically tube tops with shoe strings.

    • Kay_Sue

      This. I really feel this.

  • rrlo

    A person’s right to feed their child must always trump someone else’s right to not see a boob. That is a fundamental and basic truth. It can’t be harder to look away than to cover up a wiggly baby… it just can’t.

    If we were having this discussion in Saudi Arabia – maybe we would have something to discuss. But in a world were partial nudity is commonplace – this is ridiculous.

    Wholeheartedly agree with you Maria. Great article.

  • Mel

    My beef is with society in general for allowing men to wander around uncovered by shirts, yet when a woman’s breast is exposed, even for a “legitimate” purpose, all hell breaks loose. I think by expecting women to cover up in order not to be offensive to others, we are continuing the patriarchy. I love that woman who wanders around New York without a shirt. If it’s legal for one, it should be legal for all! By assigning different rules to women than we do to men, we keep ourselves controlled and discriminated against and contribute to the sexualization of our bodies.

    If you have a problem with breasts, your problem is yours, not hers/ours. If shirts are required in a specific area, that should apply to all, even breastfeeding moms. If one has to cover up, we all have to cover up.

  • personal

    Amen! I am a discreet as I can be wihout covering up my child. I will move to a corner in an airport waiting lounge and face the wall, but I will not hide in a bathroom.

  • phatnhappy

    Is it just me or does that not look like a proper latch? That woman is going to have some sore nips later!

    • EX

      Ha! I had the same thought – ouch!

    • ElleJai

      I just had to go back and look. Ow!

  • CrazyFor Kate

    Breasts in general should be more accepted in North American culture, which still seems to have a weird puritan streak – not just for breastfeeding, but for everything else. In many places (and in much of history) having boobs out is no big deal. Why not allow women to go topfree wherever men can? What’s so threatening about boobs? Remember that controversy when Janet Jackson showed her boob at the Super Bowl? That nipple was visible for 9/16 of a second. And yet I’m sure many of the “traumatized” kids who saw it see much worse watching the news. North America, and the US especially, just doesn’t have any sort of healthy attitude towards the human body.

    • EX

      This. So true.

  • Simone

    To me it’s a bit like people who are upset about gay marriage.

    Who gives a damn???

    Don’t we have serious, important stuff to worry about – our environment, all the wars that are taking place, the way most of the world’s women still don’t have access to safe affordable birth control? If women want to breastfeed anywhere the hell they feel like it, or if some couple wants to get married, who cares? Worry about something that matters, not a baby having its tea or some lesbians swapping rings. There are serious problems happening.

  • gothicgaelicgirl

    SET THE BOOBIES FREE!

  • Edify

    Go Maria!

  • Jina

    Taking a shit is natural, too. In fact it’s more natural that breastfeeding since everyone does it. You OK with my taking a shit anywhere you breastfeed?

    • rrlo

      Did all the Internet anti-breastfeeding trolls get together and come up with this nugget? Because this completely weird and not at all relevant “argument” keeps showing up in the comments section of EVERY breastfeeding article.
      The irony is that women are told by the anti-breastfeeders to go feed their babies in the bathroom – where interestingly enough people do take shits! Whoa!

  • Updog

    To women who always say “How come you only see my nipple, why don’t you make eye contact you pervert!”. Seriously, stand six feet away from someone, male or female, look them dead in the eye, and tell me you can’t still see their chest. Then have that person expose their nipple, and tell me you didn’t see it even when maintaining intense eye contact

  • Courtney Lynn

    I got the weirded-out vibe last week at church in the NURSING ROOM! The sign on the door clearly says nursing room. And both moms are nursing moms! WTF?

  • Getoveryourselves

    Here’s the deal: Do you freak out when you see a man’s nipple? No? Then freaking get over yourself already. For goodness sake it’s just a nipple. If you are a woman, I can probably never understand the issue. You have breasts too, but that breast attached to a child is bothersome..? For me this is about so much more than breastfeeding, it’s the idea that women’s breasts are ‘gross’ or must be hidden at all times, whilst men are fine walking around town shirtless.. Can anyone even explain why, exactly? I’m so tired of our culture sometimes.

    • ElleJai

      I wish I knew the answer. I got a lecture from my mom the other day for walking around my house topless (in 44°C heat mind you). Apparently it’s “inappropriate” in front of my husband.

      Yet it’s fine for him to walk around in boxers.

      I can’t even.

    • Mikster

      I am sure people would freak out if there was a baby/toddler/pre-schoolers sucking in a man’s nipple. Srsly.

    • Mikster

      Trust me, women DO think that the flabby, ugly naked men’s chests should be covered. and the ones with back-hair should never be seen- felonious assault on one’s eyes ;-)

  • Nahman

    I don’t particularly give a damn if someone is breastfeeding in public, so I guess I’m not the mythical audience of this piece, but I don’t think the “eww gross” reaction is so much a result of the fact that breastfeeding involves breasts as the fact that it’s a really personal thing to excrete bodily fluids into another person’s mouth. I don’t really want to be forced to watch it any more than I want to see you pick through a kid’s head for lice, wipe their ass, or suction mucus out of their nose.

    I know it’s fuzzy-wuzzy-magical-earth-mom for you, but it’s a leaky tit and a drooling lump of baby for everyone else.

  • dy

    I couldn’t nurse my kids, just didn’t work. So I never had to deal with this situation. But I have been out with lots of friends who have been nursing, and they all covered up or went to a restroom. I have no problem with people nursing in public, like others have mentioned, its the ones who whip their shit out at a restaurant table and are almost begging people to look so that they can scream how natural it is. “Don’t you dare say anything to me about my enormous hooters or even look at them while I have them out on display! They’re for my precious baby, damn it!” If we can all bitch about some teenager with his pants around his ass or some girl with butt-bearing shorts, then I certainly shouldn’t have to be subjected to your gross sagging boobs just because you’re so proud of what you can do that you shouldn’t be expected to cover up.

  • AP

    I was thinking about this and I think I found the crux of the issue.

    I teach swim lessons, and while I’m in the water with my class, there’s usually a ring of moms on benches feeding the baby siblings of the swimmers in the water, as is fine and legal in our state.

    However, when I get out of the water after classes end, I am required to change in a locked toilet stall (not under a towel in a discrete back corner of the locker room, but a locked toilet stall) because if one of the kids in my class should happen to glimpse my underwear or body while changing, that would classify as child sex abuse.

    So a Mom Nip Slip from a nursing mom in public is natural, but a nip slip while changing discretely in the designated changing area is sex abuse. It’s an absurd societal double standard.

    • VLDBurnett

      I think this goes back to the sexualization of women’s bodies. Breastfeeding advocates fight the idea that breastfeeding is sexual, but what would be better is that if we as a society could just stop sexualizing women’s bodies on a larger scale. I have more to say about this, but these thoughts aren’t fully formed yet.

  • Dave

    I posted this on a heated discussion over this article:

    I realize I am several weeks late on this thread, but after reading through everyone’s comments I felt the need to post, taking 2 positions: 1) that of a male/father/husband; 2) that of a Christian. I’ll do my best to be brief and to the point.

    First of all I am absolutely appalled that ANYONE (Christian, Atheist, redneck, senator…so yes literally ANYONE) would find public breast feeding to be offensive, lewd, or indecent. I will UNapologetically say “shame on you” and “tisk-tisk.”

    Stance #1: It is a beautiful thing. It was MEANT to be beautiful, not the demented sexual tease OUR (as in USA) society has made it out to be. It is a natural thing. A baby needs to eat, and with our busy lives, it is not easy to just make a baby wait. That is cruel in my opinion and 100% child abuse. I will blatantly say that if I EVER saw a woman deny her child to eat because it is “unconventional” for her, I would call CPS without a second thought. Do I believe in modesty? Most definitely. But a new-born’s hunger and needs, BECAUSE IT DEPENDS ON YOU, trumps your definition of modesty. Not to mention there is nothing immodest about it. Our society has MADE it taboo. If you are hesitant, than by all means get a fancy blanket. I am all for that too. I will never forget one thanksgiving, I was exposed to public nursing. A distant-inlaw-relative “whipped it out” and nursed her child. At first I was shocked. But as I thought about it, I realized that I commended her for putting her child’s needs above what society thought. And yes it was in the middle of dinner. Did it turn me on? Make me horny? Have lewd or inappropriate thoughts? Not at all, and if it did then shame on me for following our society.

    Stance #2: I repeat all of stance #1 and add the following: You want to talk about modesty? You don’t want your young child to see? Oh wait, because its inappropriate, so you pass on the delusion to your children so they can wrestle with it at some later date. However, you proceed to walk through the mall with your 10 year old son and parade him through endless storefronts pictured with scantily clad women that make them an object and not a person of decency and respect. But you HAVE to get to that store and buy that item that is on sale. Shame on you for not finding the babysitter, or the mall day-care-protect-your-kids’-eyes center. Yes I am being harsh and somewhat crass but I am trying to stress a point. I WANT my boys, and girls if I ever have any, to understand the beauty that God designed for a woman to nurture their child. I would be very distraught if my wife felt ashamed of what gift and responsibility God blessed her with. Hey who knows, maybe my boys will grow up and not treat women like trash because they have learned how to respect a woman’s body, not lust over it.

    My summary is this, if you make a big deal out of something, it will become a big deal. If you let nature take its course, the earth will still go ’round.

  • GMD

    As long as you’re discreet about it, you won’t hear me complain about you breastfeeding in public. If you get in my personal bubble, then you will hear me saying something about it. Just because you feel that you have the right to breastfeed doesn’t mean that you need to prove that you can do it whenever wherever you want. The same goes for me staring at your breasts when you are breastfeeding. If you feel that this makes me a perv, then I guess it’s all about doublestandards. There is a big plus when women can freely breastfeed in public places, hopefully it will become more accepted. Another thing, it’s for me a non-issue when the debate of women staring breastfeeders down turns into a ‘men should think in a non-sexual way about breasts and start to behave around them like they are just bodyparts’ It’s our decision how we look at it, another thing that’s legal and doesn’t have to be regulated by the opinions of women. Men aren’t judging your size or shape, we judge you because you have…breasts..! And we like them, doesn’t matter how visible they are..Too bad the writer tries to score some cheap points there..