15 Ignorant Excuses People Give Why A Mom Shouldn’t Breastfeed In Public

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By: Kim Phillips Bowen

49 out of the 50 States make breastfeeding in public a legally protected right.

1. “It should only be done in private or it is between a mother and child.”

a. So then a woman giving her child a bottle is also something to be done in private?
b. Do you always eat in private?
c. If you choose to do it in private then that is your choice. Not everyone chooses to do that nor do they have to.
d. Does that mean that a breastfeeding mom should never leave her house? This is just not possible for most women.
e. Would you want to get up from dinner with your family or stop what you are doing to find a private location?

2. “Cover Up.”

a. Many babies hate being covered even with a light blanket. They will kick, scream, and make a fuss.
b. It might be 90 degrees out, would you want to be under a blanket?
c. Do you eat with a blanket on your head?

3. “Bring a bottle.”

a. Many babies refuse bottles, you could try tons of different types over and over and yet, they refuse.
b. Breast pumps can be expensive and many women are unable to get enough milk out when pumping despite being able to produce enough milk to breastfeed.
1. Pumping can be time consuming, difficult and painful for many women too.

4. “Don’t leave the house when a baby will be hungry.”

a. Do you eat at the exact same time every day?
b. Many women have kids, jobs etc. and with busy lives, this is not an option.
c. Many breastfed babies eat on demand, especially because they have small stomachs and eat more frequently.

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5. “Be discreet.”

a. There are different definitions of discreet. Yours may be different from the person next to you. Generally speaking, when a baby is actually nursing, the entire nipple is in his mouth. You probably see less boob than in many low cut dresses or swim suits.
b. Most women don’t “whip it out” and stand up and say “Hey, look at me, I am getting my boobs out to nurse.” Most people would not even notice a women breastfeeding.
c. The more people that see a women breastfeeding, the more it becomes the norm.
d. People have foot fetishes so should everyone wear socks?

6. “Why don’t you just go in the bathroom?”

a. Seriously?? Bathrooms are DIRTY AND GERM FILLED. Would you even think about eating in one?

7. “I don’t pee in public, why should a women nurse in public? Or peeing is natural too. (This goes for sex as well).”

a. They are two totally different things. The above argument is totally irrelevant unless you are trying to ban public eating too.
b. There are bathrooms specifically created for peeing.
c. Peeing (or having sex) in public is against the law. Breastfeeding in public is a legally protected act.

8. “Why do women these days think it is ok to breastfeed in public? Women in my day were discreet.”

a. Guess what? You may not remember it but up until the early 1970’s, it was totally normal for women to breastfeed in public. It was on tv shows too-like Sesame
Street and Mr. Rogers.
b. It wasn’t until formula companies started making women think they shouldn’t nurse in public. This was their way of getting more women to purchase formula.
c. http://www.buzzfeed.com/morganshanahan/stunning-portraits-of-breastfeeding-mothers-throughout-hi#.thyM8YY8l 

9. “It is a sexual act.”

a. Seriously, go back to school or actually go to jail because if you think breastfeeding a baby is in any way remotely sexual, then you are a disgusting, perverted pedophile.
b. Breasts were created to feed a child. That is their sole purpose. They have been sexualized by society. There is absolutely nothing sexual about a baby breastfeeding.

10. “I don’t want my kids seeing that.”

a. Again, there is NOTHING sexual about breastfeeding.
b. You don’t want your kids to know what breasts are actually for?
c. It is ok for your child to walk by a lingerie ad that is 10 feet tall with boobs spilling out and is clearly selling sex, but you don’t want your kids to know what breasts are actually for?
d. If more kids witnessed nursing they would grow up knowing that breasts are not sexual objects, be more respectful of women, and be more likely to nurse or support a nursing spouse in the future.

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11. “It is inviting trouble.”
a. That is like saying a women wearing a short skirt deserves to be raped. This statement is not okay and is not what we should be teaching our children.
b. Teach your children what breasts are for and when they grow up, this won’t be an issue.
c. We should be teaching children to respect their bodies and respect other people’s bodies no matter what.

12. “I don’t want my husband/boyfriend seeing that.”

a. You probably have an issue in your relationship.
b. He is a grown man; didn’t he learn not to stare?

13. “That baby is too old to be nursing.”

a. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the WHO (World Heath Organization) among other international and national heath agencies all recommend a baby nurse until AT LEAST age 2. That says AT LEAST!
b. Women around the world nurse an average of 4 years.
c. A baby’s immune system is not fully developed until age 2 and nursing helps the immune system the most.

14. “There is formula so a mom doesn’t need to nurse.”

a. Breastfeeding benefits extend well beyond basic nutrition.
b. Breast milk is like liquid gold. There is nothing in the world that can compare to a mother’s milk.
c. I could write a hundred page article on the studies that have been done about the benefits of breastfeeding. The benefits are for mother (lower rate of breast cancer and ovarian cancer and more) and baby (lower risk of SIDS, leukemia, to less chance of any illness and to get through illnesses easier than formula fed babies etc).
d. The United States would save BILLIONS of dollars a year if just 50% of mothers breastfed exclusively at least 6 months. This would also save thousands of babies lives!!!
e. Do you have any idea how much formula costs?
f. The cost of formula can range anywhere from $134 to $491 per month. That’s $1,608 to $5,892 in one year.
g. We are lucky we live in a country where moms have a choice. If a mom chooses formula, she should not be shamed for that either.

15. “I don’t want to see that.”

a. I may not want to see the guy at the next table chewing his food with his mouth open either.
b. If you don’t like it, Don’t look.
c. Along this same line of thinking, many people erroneously believe they have the right not to see a women nurse-well they don’t because the law protects the nursing mother not the one who may see her nursing.

*I will repeat that Breastfeeding is a legally protected right. If you disagree, then don’t do it or don’t look. Otherwise, you have absolutely no right to shame a mother for feeding her child. Didn’t your mom ever tell you, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
*We need to encourage more mothers to breastfeed. Any discouragement or negative words makes many women feel uncomfortable and they may never try to nurse or stop earlier than they had planned. For the future of this country and the future of our children, learn the facts and stop saying ignorant things.
*Don’t say “I support breastfeeding but…”, if you support breastfeeding then support all breastfeeding!
NEVER approach a breastfeeding mom unless you are offering kind words!!
*A few more important points: When a mom is kicked out of a restaurant for nursing (or other location she is legally allowed to be) it should make the news. She isn’t trying to “get her 15 minutes of fame.” She is trying to educate people about the law and why harassing and shaming a breastfeeding mom is not okay. It helps other moms too!
Breastfeeding pictures: Do not report them to facebook. They are allowed on facebook.
1. They are beautiful.
2. They help normalize breastfeeding.
3. These families are capturing their children’s lives.
4. Go on any twenty something’s facebook page and I guarantee you will see a lot more boob.
5. If you don’t like it, scroll on by.
6. They help other moms feel safe in their decision to breastfeed.
However and wherever you choose to feed your child is your choice. In public or in private, covered or uncovered, breast, pump or bottle. Do what you feel is the right thing for your child and your family and don’t judge others for doing what is the best thing for their children.

~Kimberly Phillips, Proud breastfeeding mom and advocate.

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