Lately there's been a lot of talk in the world of motherhood, and with talk comes controversy. One of the more controversial issues that many mothers have to deal with on a daily basis is the breastfeeding issue. Some mothers are for it. Some are not. Some simply can't breastfeed even though they want to because of health issues or some other reason. Some have an over supply of milk. Some don't produce enough. That's all okay. However a mother chooses to feed her baby is her business, whether she does breast or bottle. Whatever works best for her family.
One of biggest controversial topics when it comes to breastfeeding, however, is the issue of public breastfeeding. Legally speaking, in the United States women are allowed to publicly breastfeed in any public location that they are legally allowed to be in. This includes any stores, restaurants, public transportation, etc. While most moms who breastfeed are for it whole-heartedly, not everyone agrees with their stance on it.
In fact, there are a great many people who are staunchly opposed to the act of public breastfeeding. Most of those people don't think that it's appropriate, while others go so far to say that it is downright disgusting for a mother to exercise her right to feed her child in the manner she chooses.
15 The Uncovered Issue
One of the main arguments that people use when opposing breast feeding in a public area is the issue of mothers being uncovered. In an article written by Anna Amrhein titled "Please, Stop Breastfeeding In Public" she talks about how she shouldn't have to look at a strangers breasts in public even for the simple, innocent act of breastfeeding. She wrote the article in response to a photo that recently went viral of a young mother breastfeeding her child in Disney Land theme park in California.
While she does say that breastfeeding is natural and she isn't asking mothers not to breastfeed, she does beg them to wear a cover while doing so because it's not something she wants to see and she compares breastfeeding to pooping when expressing just how much she doesn't want to witness the act.
14 Mothers Need To Have Modesty
In a tweet made by Twitter user @Goyettes_ghost, she eloquently expresses just how she feels about breastfeeding by saying "I have to disagree about public breastfeeding, wiping out your boobs anywhere is what a lower animal would do, we need some modesty and decorum to have a society, use a cover up."
Considering that other mammals that feed their young milk don't wear clothes, they don't really "whip" out their breasts in public as they are already exposed and able to feed their young without judgement. Many women who publicly breastfeed are in fact modest about it, but their children do not always want to cooperate with the covers they use. And even when they aren't covered up, very rarely is anything more than the underside of the breast exposed during the feed, and many mothers are very discreet about it.
13 They're Still Private Parts
By the definition of Twitter user @EnekemGreg, any woman who breastfeeds is automatically cheating on her partner. Or causing good men to cheat on their women when they see a breastfeeding mother. It's a little unclear which variation she was talking about.
She also says that women simply breastfeed as an excuse to publicly expose themselves without getting into trouble. This is in fact not the case. Any mother who breastfeeds can tell you just how difficult it is to preform the act, especially when your child isn't behaving at the time. While yes, it can be a wonderful bonding experience, they are definitely not just doing it for the fun of it. Nor are they doing it to either cheat or cause a man to cheat. Bottom line, the only reason they are doing it is because their child is hungry, and feeding them is all they care about.
12 It's Vile
In a controversial tweet made back in 2014, Josie Cunningham (@JosieCOnline) says, "wish people would stop asking if I'm breastfeeding...No I'm not! I think the idea is vile and borderline incest!" In a previous tweet she said that while breastfeeding may have been normal once, powdered milk exists now (baby formula) so it shouldn't be any more.
"The same way it was 'natural' to walk around naked before clothes." While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and Josie is entitled to hers, this is one of the more interesting and controversial takes on breastfeeding. It sexualizes an innocent act where mothers are simply trying to do what they think is best for their infant children, and basically implies that the mother's body can't be used for anything more than sexual acts.
11 Some People Think It's Shameful
Yes, even actors breastfeed. And because they are in the public eye more so than a normal person, naturally people have a hyper vigilance when it comes to what they are doing. When they breastfeed their children in public, people are bound to notice and react, whether physically (such as staring) or verbally by making a comment either to one of their companions or to the mother herself.
Mila Kunis was recently subjected to such scrutiny when she chose to breastfeed her nearly two-year-old daughter Wyatt during the premier of her movie Bad Moms. Kunis, who was pregnant with her son Dimitri at the time, said that she felt uncomfortable with the attention in an interview for Vanity Fair. She "respects the opinions on both sides," but goes on to say that, "If it's not for you, don't look."
10 Cover Up If You Have To
This sign was posted in a store, and when breastfeeding moms found it they took their response to a whole new level. Instead of covering their baby while they ate, which is what the sign was asking for, they took it quite literally and covered themselves instead of their children. "If you need to breastfeed, please cover yourself."
While some moms do prefer to breastfeed covered, the reality of the matter is that the child doesn't always want a cover, and that's okay. Breastfeeding can be done without one, and it is not illegal. Many moms who prefer to breastfeed uncovered use the argument that when people eat, they do so with their face comfortably uncovered, so why should society expect infants and toddlers to eat while underneath a blanket or wrap.
9 You Can't Do Anything While You Breastfeed
All women multi-task. This is a known fact. Breastfeeding mothers are not any different in this area, often being able to complete several tasks or jobs while their baby completes their dinner. The simple fact is that when the baby is hungry, the baby is hungry, and more often then n0t they aren't on the parents schedule.
As long as the mother is taking care and paying attention while she is walking and feeding at the same time (often mothers who do this are out and about running errands and have their baby strapped to them in a carrier for extra support and free arms) there really shouldn't be an issue. If women can breastfeed and continue their shopping, for example, why should she have to rearrange her schedule to accommodate the people who would aim to shame her?
8 Then You Should Support Public Groping
In 2015, NH State Rep. Josh Moore was commenting on a Facebook post made by his fellow Rep. Amanda Bouldin. She made the post in reference to a legislative proposal that she was attempting to kill, that would have made it a misdemeanor to expose nipples in public.
Naturally, this would have a large affect on mothers who choose to breastfeed in public. Though he has since deleted his comment, he didn't delete it before people saw it, though. While yes, people are allowed not to support public breastfeeding, it is highly inappropriate to say that as long as a mother feels comfortable breastfeeding in public then she should be prepared to be assaulted for doing so. The proposal did not pass.
7 Mom Doesn't Live In A Third World Country
This tweet by @Curlywolfone was made in response to a mother who was breastfeeding her child right before take off. When asked by airline staff to buckle her child in, she asked for a few more minutes to finish feeding.
When denied those minutes, she promptly complied and strapped in her child, only to be kicked off the plane anyway. While yes, the mother doesn't live in a third world country, it is up to her how many years she will breastfeed her child. He more than likely eats solid foods in addition to his mother's breast milk. And at one point or another, all children will cry in public no matter how they are taught. People need to have a little more compassion and a little less judgement.
6 Shaking My Head
While some people have a different reaction than simply "shaking my head" on their social media platform, Twitter user @Zizo121 has a rather typical immature, gross, juvenile, male reaction to public breastfeeding, expressing his opinion in such a manner that makes it obvious that he doesn't care that the mothers are simply feeding their babies.
All he thinks about is the fact that he might possibly be able to see exposed breast tissue in public without getting in trouble. He simply supports it for his own gain, and nothing else. This just adds to the issue - women should not be harassed for providing sustenance for their babies, nor should they be objectified while doing it (or ever).
5 I Hate It
In some cases, even mothers who breastfeed can find the act both tiring and disgusting. Having someone quite literally depending on you to provide their food supply for weeks, months, and sometimes even years can be a very trying thing. Mothers, especially new mothers, are dealing with a rush of hormones, in addition to having to adjust to their post-pregnancy body and life.
Add to that, the struggle breastfeeding can and it quickly becomes a very stressful situation. Twitter user @shayanneeee had to deal with this, saying, "wow I really hate the body that pregnancy gave me...And on top of that I hate breastfeeding too!" Moms have bad days, but many times (especially with new moms) they need to watch themselves when they have moments like these. If they have too many of them too close together, it could be a sign of postpartum depression.
4 The Family Thinks It's Gross
While most families of new moms who are choosing to breastfeed support the mom who makes this choice, others do not. Not everyone thinks or believes that breastfeeding is a good idea, and many of those people do not have any issues expressing their opinions.
Mother's who choose to breastfeed must be prepared to stand by their choice and defend it, if need be, against relatives who find the act unappealing and repulsive. Such people will more than likely attempt to convince the mother to switch her feeding method, and often if there are enough of them against breastfeeding, this can result in a great deal of pressure. In some instances a mother will choose to quit breastfeeding simply because she is tired of arguing for it, and not because she wants to.
3 Disgusting And Tatted Up
This tweet by Twitter user @hotpink100 was made in response to a photo that has recently gone viral of a mother breastfeeding her baby at Disney Land park in California. She is referencing the fact that the mother is not covered and is wearing what appears to be a nursing tank-top, where the sides unclip from the arms to allow the baby easy access to the breast. Because of this, though you cannot see anything beyond the top or sides of her breast (her ten month old's head covers the rest) you can see her tattoos and a great portion of the top of her breast is exposed.
While some people may be of the opinion that she should have covered more of herself while breastfeeding, she didn't break any laws and simply exercised her right to feed her child.
2 Just Eat From A Bottle
Some people are of the opinion that, since baby bottles do exist, breastfeeding mothers should simply pump everything they can and feed their baby from a bottle whenever they are in public, leaving the more "nasty" act of breastfeeding for the privacy of the home. Or, they believe mothers should stop breastfeeding altogether since formula exists and mothers have an alternative feeding method.
What these people don't understand is that breast pumping many times does not yield enough milk to keep a baby healthy, and is often only done by working breastfeeding moms to help them maintain their supply between normal feedings. While some moms are lucky enough to have extra, others are often struggling to get the ounces their babies need while the mothers are at work. Nothing will ever work better for a breastfeeding mom to express milk while her baby's latched. There are some moms who are able to pump the required ounces, and if they choose to use a bottle in public then that is their right, just like it is the right of a mother to breastfeed in public.
1 It Is A Sensual Act
As a women herself, it is hard to understand why this anonymous user from the Psych Central forums thinks that breasts are merely objects used only for sexual pleasure. But that is her opinion, and it is because of this thought that she finds breast feeding disgusting, saying, "Breasts play a key role in turning someone else on, and turning you on. And then, to turn around and engage in the same act for feeding your child....doesn't that seem wrong?"
What she and other people may not understand is that breastfeeding just doesn't work that way. While yes, oxytocin and sometimes even endorphins can be released during the act of breastfeeding, many mothers find it uncomfortable to do it and none of them gain any sexual pleasure from the act.
Sources: Twitter.com, Facebook.com, Pyschcentral.com, CNN.com, ABCnews.go.com, TheOdysseyOnline.com, Huffingtonpost.com, Metro.co.uk