From the Mommy Files…

Why are We So Breast-Obsessed?

Posted on: January 19, 2012

I started thinking about this again recently, as I entered the bathroom at a restaurant where we were having lunch.

Would you want to have lunch in the loo?

Immediately, I was struck by the memory of once sitting in there for 40 minutes nursing my baby, while my stomach growled louder and louder, and the rest of my party waited for me at the table.

At issue?

People were staring at me while I was nursing.

Yes, I was nursing my baby.

I was a first-time mom, and not feeling like sending a message – and too exhausted to protest.

Just wanted to feed the baby, eat my lunch and get on with it.

I would typically get an out of the way booth and sit facing a wall, so no one would be the wiser.

But that day, it was so crowded, the only available table was in the middle of the dining room.

People were really uncomfortable and making it known.

I’ve often thought of this when I read stories about people being kicked-out of places for nursing, or asked to “take it to the restroom.”

Since my early mom days, I’ve gotten a bit bolder.

Now when I hear people say this stuff, I say, “You try to eat in a dirty, stinky bathroom!”

Let’s face it.

It is the restroom.

As much as many places try, it is dirty and stinky, by its very nature.

Think about this.

You go in there. There’s nowhere to sit except, well, the toilet.

So in your desperation to feed your hungry infant, you sit on the pot.

You get your clothes messed up.

It’s really uncomfortable.

Your child is very young, susceptible to all sorts of germs.

And he has to take his meal in the loo?

Come on people!

Think about it.

The next time I hear someone telling another person not to nurse in public, I’m going to stand up and tell them:

“You take your lunch and go sit in the bathroom for a few minutes and eat. Tell me how that goes.”

Now let’s take another look at this.

I have dined out many times in my life.

In fact, I grew up in a restaurant.

And I can tell you, I have never witnessed a woman whip out a boob for all to see.

I’ve seen women nurse in public, and they are quite discreet.

The idea isn’t to put on a show, and they aren’t flashers.

But everyone seems to be so breast-obsessed.

This is the most natural thing in the entire world – to nurse your child.

Why all the hoopla?

I’ve nursed in public, I‘ve seen others.

We get very skilled at the covert action, and very quickly.

We dress accordingly, we have blankets or breast feeding covers.

See this lady? She's all covered up! No flashing here.

We do cover ourselves, people.

Baby happily eats his meal in comfort.

Mom is comfortable, can eat her own meal, and not abandon her companions.

My daughter would zonk out every few minutes, and I’d have to keep waking her up.

So taking an hour to feed her was not unusual.

Was I to stay home until she stopped nursing?

Give me a break!

Think about it. Would you like to sit on the pot and eat a meal?

I didn’t think so.

There’s nothing pornographic about it.

Stop being so boob-obsessed!

Mother offers the best nourishment for her baby.

Baby lovingly eats – and thrives.

That’s a beautiful thing.

So let it be.

Don’t stare.

Don’t complain.

Just eat your lunch, and go about your business.

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1 Response to "Why are We So Breast-Obsessed?"

I don’t understand why people get so bent about breastfeeding in public. It is natural, healthy, and as you said most of us are discrete. I had to go back to work after my first son was born and had to breast pump in the bathroom there. Gross.

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