United States of Motherhood: Breasts! Breasts! Breasts!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Breasts! Breasts! Breasts!

Let's hit on a topic that annoys me. Rabid breast feeding advocates suck big time. They are everywhere and their suckle-ins for Barbara Walters and stupid airlines are so old.

Let me back up. I breast fed all my children. My daughter was 14 months when I weaned her. Another son was 12 months. I do believe breastfeeding is best, and Jim boy, it's a great diet plan. It's like having constant liposuction, so you can eat what you want. So, in the end, I am a big supporter of breast feeding.

However, I get annoyed with people who whip out their boobs in public like we all want to see your over-engorged nasty nipples. It's pretty simple, really. Put a blanket over your shoulder.

I breastfed everywhere: movie theaters, airlines, fancy dinners, restaurants, cafes, while walking, in grocery stores. I never would use a restroom to feed my baby though. However, I was never called on this because I was ... SUBTLE! I was able to hold child in one hand, lift shirt, unhook bra, and plant kid all in one smooth movement while under the cover of a light blanket. Did it take practice? Yes. However, it seems all my 5 sisters have the same skill. I have to admit, though, one sister with 5 kids is so extremely skilled she doesn't use a blanket and still there is no flesh exposed whatsoever. People think she is just holding her baby and brother-in-laws have actually asked to hold the baby when feeding.

Back on topic, using a cover, or at least subtlety, ensured that never did I feel uncomfortable NOR did I make anyone else feel uncomfortable. My brother, brother-in-laws and father at family gatherings never knew what I was doing. The Lieutenant Colonel who called me up on stage ( I tried to refuse politely which he took as being shy) during a speech was clueless then a bit red-faced (his wife explained my reluctance) when he did realize what I was doing, but hey, he was from the south. The end result was people thought I simply had a sleeping baby that I was shielding from noise and light. No harm no foul. I also felt this made breastfeeding a more intimate and bonding experience between me and my baby.

So the first time I was walking in the zoo when my kids were very little, I did a double take when a woman opened her shirt with no bra and fully exposed both breasts while nursing on a bench in full view. Gah! Are we gorillas? My kids were also very curious. If I guy whipped out his very natural penis to pee (a natural function) and kids saw, he would be a pervert and probably prosecuted for indecent exposure or lewd and lascivious conduct. Why is this any different? Why was the crunchy coot at the zoo able to expose my kids to her nasty, again gi-gantor nipples? Exposing breasts to feed is not a requirement.

So my message is this: Stop being so entitled and lazy. Yes, breastfeeding is natural and best, but so is masturbating and yet so many people would feel uncomfortable with a toddler (or anyone really) getting his shag on and would tell that child to go to the bathroom, their bedroom, or to stop altogether. Come on, it's only natural!

Let's respect our babies right to feed balanced with other's feelings of discomfort on being exposed to a highly sexualized body part. Why assert your rights and views over someone else's rights? Get some tact!

1 comment:

Laura said...

Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU! I was thinking the exact same thing. A man needs to urinate to survive and they don't, or shouldn't, "go" wherever they want. They also aren't allowed to come into restaurants without shirts. The female breast is highly sexualized and not everyone wants to see it regardless of how it is being used.

I totally agree that women should be able to breast feed, but as you said, it needs to be done in a subtle manner. Thank you for being one of the few for breast feeding but not a "rabid advocate."

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