This is always a “hot” topic in mommyhood. I’m tired of hearing it’s inappropriate for women to breastfeed in public. I understand that sometimes it can be overwhelming but it’s part of life and has happened for centuries!
The brave Alyssa Milano shares a blissful breastfeeding photo on Instagram along with a quote from writer Milan Kundera:”Ah, the joy of suckling! She lovingly watched the fishlike motions of the toothless mouth and she imagined that with her milk there flowed into her little son her deepest thoughts, concepts, and dreams.” Read more about this here.
Of Course I was one of the happy moms who was so proud of her for posting that picture because honestly I’m not sure if I would ever post a picture like that on social media yet however I breastfeed in public and I can say it’s the same mixed feelings I receive.
I’m breastfeeding for 2 years and I think I’ve seen the good and bad of it. It may be heading towards the ending of my breastfeeding journey with Kitana but I still treasure the moments we shared while nursing although at times it was exhausting. For many women, breastfeeding is a dream come true because not everyone is fortunate to breastfeed while others think it’s a curse to society.
Please note: When I’m breastfeeding in public, I’m not seeking attention. I just want to feed my hungry child, I didn’t mean to seek attention nor was I trying to offend you. After all we are in a public place, therefore, we can’t all expect things our way.
I’ve breastfed in toilets, beaches, while walking, restaurants, hospitals, cars, airports, the plane, and the list can go on… but I’ve always got the stare.
I remember this one time at a restaurant, the owner told me to remove myself from the room because she thought my daughter would stop breastfeeding and damage all her artwork. Really?! . She would leave the sweet breast milk just so she can break your frames? She hated the idea of me breastfeeding in her restaurant and made all the excuses she could to get me out of there, the 2 occasions I visited (forced by family). My husband was not impressed and that restaurant owner even got a bad review on TripAdvisor
Many people around me feel uncomfortable for me, they always give me side smiles (I know what you doing but I’m not going to say much).
Well, today I want to tell you what I think about breastfeeding in public. I’m sorry that you feel uncomfortable but I would prefer breastfeeding than walking around with a shorts letting my ass cheeks hang out. Wait? That’s suppose to be okay though?
Before birth, everyone pushes you towards breastfeeding but afterwards people wonder why you breastfeeding. We living in the 21st century where not everyone wants to breastfeed and that’s okay. No one should be forced to do something they not comfortable with but isn’t it time we realised that breastfeeding in public is REAL and it aint going away?! I understand there’s a time and place for everything but I think moms are forced to breastfeed in open places because we are not given the “treatment” we deserve in shopping malls and restaurants. I only found 1 mall in Johannesburg which caters for breastfeeding mothers. (They have a nursing area with seating).
I try to breastfeed in closed areas and if I can’t I always use a jacket/blanket to cover but my daughter hates it, I’m sure she feels suffocated but it’s something I do to respect others around me. Breastfeeding in public can be beautiful if done in the right way (there’s no need to over expose your breasts), I think we as moms need to consider others around us but we also need support from others to encourage us and make us feel like we normal and not aliens. It works both ways!
Why is it that breastfeeding isn’t okay but the revealing clothing (close to none) in public is totally fine?
Six Tips to Braving Breastfeeding in Public by What to Expect, read more here.