Thursday, January 10, 2013

Nursing in Public, The Controversy

It seems like recently NIP has become a hot topic button again. Holister, Concord Mall,
Las Vegas, Bribie Aquatic Centre, and even on a morning talk show, breastfeeding has been berated, moms have been told to cover up, or forced to leave because they were feeding babies.

On a facebook page, or a news station, they asked for peoples opinion on the NIP issues. Responses included -

Yes, you read that right. One person said that it is not a mothers right to nurse her baby in public, in fact it is other peoples rights that are being violated by having to see a breast. I wonder, does he feel this way when he sees a woman in a bikini? Or in a low cut top? Or does he just feel this way when he sees breasts being used for what they are intended (feeding a baby) and not for his pleasure.

The other woman said that we should show respect to others, by covering our breasts, right? Our husbands don't want us showing off our breasts when feeding our babies? Well, I'll tell you what, women of the world, stop wearing bathing suits, and in fact, please start wearing turtle necks everywhere!! We wouldn't want someone else to be disrespected because they glimpsed a little cleavage! Oh wait.......that's not the issue, showing off our breasts when we wear what we want, or when celebrities take topless pictures for magazine covers isn't the issue, that's not disrespectful. It is so very disrespectful to nourish your child in a biological, normal, healthy manner! (please read sarcasm there).

How did we get to this place? How did we become a society where it is more important to respect a complete strangers feelings then it is to feed your child? How did we get to a place where our child's right to eat, and be respected to eat healthfully and naturally is considered disrespect? When did we start devaluing an infants right to be nourished whenever they decide they are hungry?

In the past few generations we have seen a switch, from caring about each other to caring about ourselves. I don't want to see it, so you shouldn't do it, is the new mentality. No one stops to take a second and think about the baby, who is hungry and needs food. No one stops to consider that they have eyes, and a neck that turns, and they are fully capable of using them.

Let me tell you, I am vegan. I do not like to watch people eat meat, or cook it, or anything. It grosses me out. When we go out to eat I have two options, eat my food happily and not pay attention to others, or sit and stare and feel grossed out. How would it go over, do you think, if I went around to each table and asked the people eating to put a blanket over their head (or take their food elsewhere) so that I didn't have to see them eating their food? What if I complained to the manager and asked them to tell people to move away? Do you think that I would be taken seriously? I am sure that I would be laughed at, and told to mind my own business, and look away. How is it that adults eating is more important then babies eating? Shouldn't we value the nourishment of our next generation?

Mothers, please don't be afraid to nurse your babies in public, where ever you are, no matter how you choose too. Here's the thing, if we ever want to make it normal to nurse, we must present it as normal. That means we need to nurse our babies when they are hungry. Covered, uncovered, it doesn't matter, what matters is that you are doing what you were made to do, and you are raising a new generation that will respect nursing, that will find it normal, and praise it. Nurse on mama's, lets make this normal, in hopes that our little girls, and our little boys wives, will be able to freely nurse without the worry that they may be asked to cover, or move, or leave.