July 21, 2014 by Stacy McDonald

Breastfeeding in Public

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publicnursingarticle

I breastfed my babies for nearly 200 months collectively. I frequently nursed in public areas (restaurants, stores, homes, parks etc), and was NEVER asked to stop by anyone. As far as I know, no one was ever offended – likely because no one could even tell what I was doing (and it wasn’t even always due to a blanket).

If I couldn’t manage to be discreet (curious toddler stage, clothing challenges etc.), I nursed privately (dressing rooms at store, my car, a nursing mothers room); and I even used a “criminal holding cell” once when I had to go to court to dispute a ticket and my then-toddler was in a peek-a-boo stage while nursing. I always found everyone to be accommodating and helpful.

I know that, while I had a good experience, not every single person is accommodating or friendly to nursing mothers; there are surely lots of bad experiences out there. But you would think that, if the general public opinion was SO anti-public nursing, out of my 200 months of breastfeeding, I would have at least experienced one incident of kickback. But none. Not even a frown.

So when I hear people getting all freaked out about the supposed chronic infringement upon their right to nurse in public (like HERE), I have to wonder if there is more to it. Like, maybe the self-centered attitude that others should be forced to participate in our public nudity without any effort to be polite or loving in return.

NursingLetter

The school simply asked this mom to use a blanket or find a private place to nurse. They even confirmed the “beauty of breastfeeding.” However, the woman in this article interpreted this as “shaming” and “bullying.” Seriously?

Note, I never forced others to participate in my private experience by exposing myself, so I don’t think they felt like I was violating their space. I also didn’t behave as though vendors or private businesses owed me a special room in which to nurse. Where in the world is this entitlement attitude coming from? What happened to preferring others?

I loved nursing and, now that my kids are mostly grown, I miss it! And I want young moms to have the same great experience I did, and to feel the same ease in nursing in public as I did. If you’re having trouble with responses from friends, find a Titus 2 woman in your life who can help you figure out what is causing others to feel uncomfortable, and to perhaps give you some ideas on how to help you overcome the conflict! It’s worth it!



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14 Responses to “Breastfeeding in Public”

  1. Kara says:

    Maybe it depends on where you live if you get confronted or not. My town is not pro breastfeeding in any way, shape or form.

    I have 3 kids, and have not breastfed nearly as long as you have. With my first, I always used a cover, and even had my husband check me from different angles to make sure I was covered up. He said the only way he could see anything was to stand directly behind me and look straight down. However, I was still informed on 3 different occasions (all at restaurants) that my nursing shawl was not enough, because the baby’s feet were sticking out, you could tell what I was doing and I was welcome to feed my baby in the bathrooms. I started having to carry a copy of the state law stating a mother can feed her baby when and where ever she is otherwise allowed to be.

    At my church, we do have a nursing room, but it doubles as the women’s sunday school room. I feed my babies before church in hopes they’ll make it through the service, but it doesn’t always work. On one occasion, with my second, some of the older women were in there getting ready for class, and told me and the other mom in there that if we needed to feed our babies at church, we should have made them a bottle. That time we were both covered since the door was wide open.

    At least where I live, there is a real disgust toward breastfeeding moms. That said, I have NEVER encountered problems when I’ve traveled, even just an hour away to a larger town.

  2. Stacy McDonald says:

    I posted the above post on Facebook and thought I’d share some of the comments here:

    Sara Engle Anderson: AMEN!

    Diane Desaulniers: I nursed my four babies, late ’80s to mid ’90s, used the same practices as you did, and also never had any problem.

    Lauren Zimmerman: *sigh* Amen. I know some people do experience mean looks and impoliteness while breastfeeding in public, but I never have while breastfeeding my 4 babies. I haven’t mastered discreet breastfeeding without a cover (I’m always amazed at moms who do!), so I always have my cute, fun cover with me. I also find a quiet, private place to nurse if I need to see baby (usually during the first two weeks), or when baby is learning not to pull the cover off.

    I’m thankful I live in Alaska, where a cover is never too hot. ;D

    I thought the letter was very kind and civil, although it sounds like someone may have been making assumptions about whether or not she was being discreet…

    Lauren Zimmerman: Oh, and I find the baby’s hat to be … kind of funny…. Had to do a double take. ;D

    Stacy McDonald: I noticed that too, Lauren Zimmerman! LOL I remember a friend of mine once talking about a batch of cupcakes she made that turned out kind of…um…awkward. Similar issue.

    Tonya Vose D’Anna: Stacy, my guess is the hat is purposed to look like what you think it looks like. You can buy hats like that.

    Lauren Zimmerman: Ha!!

    Stacy McDonald: Wow, Tonya Vose D’Anna. LOL Can’t you see the caption for a photo like that. “Thanks a lot, Mom.” :-/

    Stephanie Saunders: Several of the moms I know that were approached about breastfeeding and/or asked to breastfeed in a bathroom were discreet nursers. I was asked not to breastfeed in a church nursery (not my home church). The entitlement attitude probably stems from the state laws designed to preserve a woman’s right to breastfeed in public.

    Beth Braun: Amen! I breast fed 6. In the San Francisco Bay area, no less, but didn’t get any real hostility that I remember.
    A lot has to do with our attitude, I think, being discreet and considerate of others in an in-your-face “my rights trump all” society. And not being afraid to talk about it in light of that, especially with other moms needing the encouragement who have been made to feel badly.

    Barb Heki: Stacy, I agree with you totally. We need to do what is natural, and we also need to be discreet. Breastfeeding is a natural part of caring for one’s child, not a platform for making a ‘rights” statement to society.

    With our last two children (twins), I had to dive for cover (car or restroom) sooner than most moms. When the Peek-A-Boo stage hits with twins, and your two arms are busy holding them, there’s no way you can control four little arms flailing and tugging on a blanket!

    Pat Brown: Nursed mine in the ’70′s.. No problems.. Just enjoyed it..

    Stacy McDonald: Stephanie Saunders – Again, as I said, I don’t doubt that some have had real experiences like that, but again, after 200 months of nursing, I just never saw it. And, as I think you’ll note from the comment section, it seems doubtful that there is a chronic problem, since so many long-term nursing mothers noted no problems either..

    I also know that some “think” they are being discreet – like the woman in this article who feels “shamed” and bullied” by being asked to use a blanket to cover her breast, but are selfishly expecting others to rise up to her own personal comfort level regarding public nakedness. The thing is, she’s not in her own house; she’s in a shared space with others. So manners are in order.

    There are so many factors involved and unanswered questions when people talk about these issues. Were there men or boys present? Was the woman otherwise modestly dressed? Was she exposing herself while latching on or off?

    Evelyn Mae Raymond: Stacy McDonald, the entitlement attitude comes from the whole welfare mindset to prevalent today. It’s in the *everyone wins* ideology, the *any answer is correct* schooling, and even in the church where people who have encountered a financial difficulty are counseled to turn to the government for help.

    Heather Smith Newcomb: I have nursed for about 6 years, so far, and have never had anyone be anything except accommodating so far. We live in FL, so sometimes it IS too hot for a cover. But usually I’m not outside in the heat and if I am, I just seek as much privacy as I can, and pull my shirt down to the baby’s cheek. However, I have never said anything, but I have been around some very indiscreet mothers, even around my husband. It’s not our favorite, but we don’t say anything. Mostly because you can see when the mother is getting ready to feed the baby, and my husband simply looks away. He has talked to our boys about this too.

    Christine Michael Gibson: So well said. I also nursed the better part of 13 years, and this article needed to be written, Stacy McDonald. And I’m sure public nursing is far more common than it was for us moms with kids in their 20s now. It isn’t rocket science to nurse discreetly in the presence of others.

    Tamara Haddox: Amen to everything you shared!

    Christine Michael Gibson: * selfishly expecting others to rise up to her own personal comfort level regarding public nakedness. * Nails it.

    Stephanie Saunders: I think you nailed it Stacy McDonald there are so many questions abt each and every one of these situations that you can’t lump all of these women into the same category – ie. selfishly expecting others to rise up “her own personal comfort level” – when really, the “uncomfortable people” are actually asking that new mom/or first time breast feeder to RISE up to their own PERSONAL level of comfort. This thread is just disingenuous, because either way its about perceptions and since each individual is going to act according to how they feel “comfortable,” depending on how you feel – determined who is right. What a waste of time.

    Jessica Nicole Guenther: Oh, AMEN.

    Janet Lynne Billson: I breastfed my babies in the 70′s, 80′s and 90′s. I usually had a small receiving blanket with me when the baby needed to be fed in public. When the baby refused to stay under a blanket, I simply pulled my shirt right down close to the little mouth, and kept my arm in place on the side so nothing was visible. If I was in a restaurant, I would request a booth or table in the corner and make sure my back was to the rest of the patrons.

    The only time I had any trouble was with my sixth baby, who had a bad latch and made a fair amount of noise while nursing. (A clicking sound – now I realize it was likely due to a tongue or lip tie.) I was an eager student of the Bible and went to a weekly study, and was extremely embarrassed when one of the leaders asked me to nurse the baby in a different room. I thought the other people there could have just ignored the clicking.

    Amanda Ruona: I hear a lot of conversations about this and honestly was confused as to why it was such an issue… I really appreciate your perspective. It’s incredibly helpful for someone who is looking at breastfeeding in the future.. But who doesn’t want to deal with the conflict thanks for posting

    Stacy McDonald: There is no way it caused me any harm, discomfort or hurt to cover my breasts in public, specifically when I was around the sons and husbands of other women. It was surely an easy fix to use a blanket or find a private spot to nurse. I did it not only for my own comfort, but also out of respect for others who weren’t interested in being flashed, and who may have been offended as they sat with their sons or husbands.

    The woman who insists on nursing openly (not just publicly, but OPENLY) is in contrast saying that she doesn’t give a flying flip if she makes other people uncomfortable or worse.

    And, by the way, breasts are a sexual area of the body, even when you aren’t using them that way. Men are often aroused by the sight of a naked breast, even when seen accidentally. If you don’t believe me, ask a few men.

    Proverbs 5:19 (NKJV): As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love.

    Song of Solomon 1:13 (NKJV): A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me, that lies all night between my breasts.

    Ezekiel 23:3 (NKJV):They committed harlotry in Egypt, they committed harlotry in their youth; their breasts were there embraced, their virgin bosom was there pressed.

    God intended for nudity to stir a reaction in us within marriage; we are wonderfully created to be sensitive to it. When our intimate parts are kept protected from public view, it communicates their value and exclusiveness. It may even create passionate anticipation between a husband and wife.

    It is a good thing for a man to be excited by the sight of his wife’s breasts; but, if society manages to desensitize him by making nudity and sexuality common place (perhaps even boring) by constant public exposure, then we’ve lost something precious. So promoting more nonchalant exposure, which some have done, is not the answer.
    3 hours ago · Edited · Like · 6

    MikeJoshalyn Ocker: I’ve nursed 11 children (next month it’ll be 12 ). No issues until #11 and that was minor. I had a lady ASK if I was nursing, then tell me she wouldn’t ask me to leave since I was covered. I admit, I thought it was weird. I think, though, that all the counter-activism is actually what’s bringing it so much to the public eye. I understand what the activists are saying…they aren’t exposing any more than a bathing suit (or many clothes).

    However, I agree with Stacy that Christians have to be concerned with modesty and love for others as well. I was EXTREMELY uncomfortable at a homeschool meeting when a mom pulled her dress down from her shoulder to nurse her baby, leaving the entire upper portion of her breast exposed. I did not say anything to her, nor did I stare, but I was thankful that my husband and children were elsewhere!
    2 hours ago · Unlike · 1

    Karen Lossing: Sadly we are living with a whole different set of ideals, where women want freedom to be risqué without consequences! I nursed all 8 of ours, for over 16 years, but I was never inappropriate, and in fact if there was a time I might be unable to nurse our babies, I stayed home! Keeping our bodies sacred for our Husbands is a BLESSING, and Purity is so prevalent when we keep ourselves modest! These verses really cover it for all of us as we consider our Brothers and Sisters in The Lord more HIGHLY than ourselves. A BLESSING to be careful and kind to The Body!

    Philippians 2:3-4
    3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

    Jennifer Marie Estes: Modest breast feeding is a beautiful thing! I’m all excited about my cute stylish nursing cover!! :)))

    Mandy Hillis Peña: I nursed 9 children– most of them for 2 years or more. I never had any problem out in the public. I did have problems with my in-laws who thought nursing was “nasty” and they didn’t like me to nurse at their house. That had nothing to do with modesty, but a really bad perspective on breastfeeding.

    Stacy McDonald: Johanna Repke – While it hasn’t happened to me, I agree that if a woman is nursing discreetly, it is very rude and hurtful to ask her to leave. That wasn’t the point. The lady in the article was simply asked to use a small blanket or nurse privately while in front of the school children, and she claimed this was “bullying” and “shaming”

    I hope that clears things up! I don’t think anyone was saying it was okay to be rude to or embarrass a mom who was nursing discreetly.
    about an hour ago · Edited · Like · 1

    Johanna Repke: Ah! I accidently posted too soon, I deleted the comment but I’m finishing now, so I’ll repost then read your response Stacy.
    about an hour ago · Like

    Rob-Gabe Harder: Stacy McDonald, I’ve had the same experience as I’ve nursed my 8 babies (#8 is 8 months and still nursing). I nurse almost every where and have had few, if any, issues. I have seen women being so immodest while nursing that I did want to ask them to cover (I’m talking walking around uncovered after baby unlatched), I think that may be where we can get a bad rap.

    Johanna Repke: I’m confused, several of the commenters above have mentioned that they too have been asked to leave a room even while breastfeeding with all discretion. Was this not embarrassing to you? It sounds like it’s ok with most of you if someone asks a woman who is breastfeeding her child as discretely as possible to leave a room. This hasn’t happened to many of you, it has happened to others of us. It hurts, it’s quite painful, and my heart goes out to this woman since I had a very similar experience 4 years ago.

    We were on our way back from a family reunion and made our traditional stop at our favorite farm market in Lansing, MI. The twins were 8 months, it was at least 90 degrees outside, and our car had no air conditioning. I had a hard time finding a place to nurse I eventually found a chair haphazardly placed towards the front of the store. I sat down to nurse my first baby, there were many passers by. Because the chair was not backed against a wall and I didn’t feel comfortable moving it I was continually checking to be sure that I was fully covered by the large sheet blanket that I always carried with me. I finished with the first baby, found Micah in the market and switched babies with him. Just as I was finished nursing my second baby an elderly female employee approached me. She said, “I’m going to have to ask you to move.”

    The first words out of my mouth where, “Oh, I’m sorry!…” I had been so concerned about staying modest that my first thought was that I hoped that I hadn’t inadvertently flashed someone, or that maybe they needed the chair back. But instead she informed me that, “Customers had been complaining and that I needed to do ‘that’ in the restroom.” She never accused me of being exposed and it was completely clear to me by the end of the interaction that breastfeeding discreetly in that store was not welcome.

    Very close to tears I eventually found Micah in the market and told him what happened. My dear sweet husband immediately had a look of complete disgust fill his face. He emphatically emptied our cart on the nearest dry foods display and insisted that we talk to the manager. I told him that I was so emotional that I’d rather not be there for it. He completely understood and ushered me and the boys out to the car before returning to look for a manager.

    He came back to tell me that the manager felt terrible about what had happened and assured us that that was not the store policy. I never breastfed in public again without thinking about that incident or at least my thought process being informed by it. Was I bullied? Yes. I think the word bully has been sorely misused and most of the time is used to distract from other more pressing issues. But I was bullied.

    There is another article about this mother that was given the letter that says, “Utah law states that a mother is not required to cover herself when breastfeeding in public. Scannell said she doesn’t use a blanket, but said she is always covered.” Most of the commenters above have admitted to not using a blanket in public but ALWAYS staying discreet. This is what this mother also claims. I have no reason to doubt her. I know firsthand how people’s words can be brutal.

    I read an article recently about the (forgive me) “breastfeeding badass” This is a mother of two who has taken it upon herself to breastfeed as publically and as OPENLY as possible to raise awareness and she blogs about it. While I’m glad that she champions breastfeeding in public, she does it at the sake of discretion which is Biblically not acceptable. For the most part I’m not a fan of the idea of “Nurse Ins” where woman go out to make a statement as mentioned in the above article.

    The picture attached to this article is SO unfortunate! It really has nothing to do with the woman at the center of this article. If I had been given a letter by the manager of the farmers market the exact same article might have been written about me, Johanna Repke, one of those moms who does everything she can to keep her core covered while nursing, and yet still managed to offend our culture.

    I certainly don’t approve of all of the ways that people defend mothers who nurse in public, but I’m also completely in favor of defending women like the one the article above is about in a Christ honoring way.
    about an hour ago · Like · 1

    Johanna Repke: And here’s that article in case anyone wanted the source of that quote, http://fox13now.com/…/logan-mother-says-letter-from…/

    Logan mother says letter from school officials about breastfeeding amounts to ‘bullying’
    fox13now.com
    LOGAN, Utah — It’s a letter one Logan mother never thought she’d get. It asked her to cover up while breastfeeding. Andrea Scannell was given the letter from the school’s principal Wednesday, and …

    Johanna Repke: to respond to your above comment Stacy, I don’t see how we’ve established that she wasn’t nursing discreetly. The school used the word “exposed” she says she is always covered. The baby was exposed, maybe this is what was offensive to them.
    51 minutes ago · Like

    Ann Varlay: The choice of baby hat in the pic is sort of weird. In the thumbnail it looks similar to one giant breast exposed, especially when taking in the title at a glance.

    Stacy McDonald: Johanna Repke – I am so sorry for what happened to you. I know I would have been in tears too – especially with the added frustration of trying to take care of two hungry babies – and trying so hard to be discreet and careful!

    I don’t know about the lady in the article. They weren’t asking her not to breastfeed – only to cover up with a blanket! By the way, I didn’t always use a blanket either, but I was never exposed.

    They didn’t ask her to leave like this lady did to you. So something doesn’t make sense. You say that you don’t have any reason to doubt her, but do we have any reason to doubt the principal either?

    I guess it’s their word against hers. We don’t really know. But if there were a lot of parents complaining, as they say, then maybe there is more to the story that we don’t know.

    Either way, our point in this thread is that we should all attempt to honor and respect one another.

  3. Twyla says:

    I have no idea the hours I’ve been breastfeeding, but I have breastfed 10 children for a combined time period of 15+ years. For the most part I have gotten positive comments. But I did have an experience, at church no less, of being told I basically had to nurse in a restroom or my car. I will NEVER feed my child in a restroom as I find that to be very dirty, smelly, and disgusting. I was not exposed at all, but was completely covered up. Used a nursing cover and made sure that no skin was ever visible. All the nursing mothers in that church were bullied. And No, I’m not exaggerating. There was a woman who had an issue with breastfeeding for some reason and took it upon herself to give all breastfeeding mothers a hard time. She was in charge of the nursery and made it impossible for us to nurse in there. Her reason was that the Pastor might come in there and he didn’t need to see women feeding their babies. We all used nursing covers, but besides that what on earth was the pastor doing walking around church and looking in the nursery during church? Yeah, doesn’t make much sense. When we used the foyer or other rooms she went and told the pastor that men were complaining. There weren’t ever men around when I was feeding my babies. The nursing mothers finally had to take it to the pastor and work it out that we could have a place we could go to safely feed our babies. (A car in 100+ degree weather is not safe and that’s basically where they expected us to go) So while most of my breastfeeding in public experience has been fine, I have been bullied for it. And I wasn’t exposing myself and causing men “issues” as this woman claimed, nor were the other women. My state law is that you can’t ask a woman to not breastfeed in public and that law was being broken. In a church of all places. I don’t feel that I’m entitled to anything. I just wanted to feed my child so I could get back to services and felt I was bullied for it.

  4. Cheri Barnes says:

    Is it a coincidence that the baby in the photo is wearing a cap that is meant to look like a breast? I have seen these on Pinterest and have giggled at the idea.
    I was once in a Cracker Barrel Restaurant nursing my first baby. She was probably 6 weeks old and I had a blanket over me and my baby when a woman in a black leather halter top and blue jeans that were opened at the sides with matching leather laces going down the sides of her legs. and her biker husband could not stop looking over at me. Finally in disgust the man says, “I can’t believe she’s allowed to have her boobs hanging out like that”. Now I think they were just being crass but the irony and disgust they projected towards me when my dress covered my legs and the blanket covered both me and the baby shocked me. I reacted and simply said, ” there is nothing hanging out.” And continued. Now she was hanging out of her top and jeans. I on the other hand almost looked silly. Like a tent.
    Over the years with my other babies I learned to be much more discreet by not being so obviously covered and “big” about the modesty issue. I could slip a baby up there and nurse with most people not even knowing and no blanket to boot.
    But I was respectful of others and myself. But people are mean. And nursing is offensive. Breasts are acceptable as sexual objects and the public is more comfortable with them that way.

  5. Stacy McDonald says:

    Oh Cheri! I don’t think I would have been able to resist a reply like, “She sure does! So why don’t you have your wife cover them up then?”

  6. Stacy McDonald says:

    Twyla – I think I would have found a new church. How sad!

  7. Cheri Barnes says:

    causing men “issues” -Twyla
    Really?! Am I missing something here as well? Are men sexually aroused by seeing a baby at its mothers breast when everything is covered and most times even the babies are covered? If that is the case then the man has “issues” that I, as a nursing mother, am not responsible for stirring in him. I am responsible to be modest and care for my baby. He is responsible to control his mind.
    My church is not the most conservative one out there but also not the most liberal, by far. I am certain if I looked. I could see some amount of cleavage on any and every Sunday, but I have never seen a woman nursing except in the nursery or restroom. (yuck!!) But to my knowledge I haven’t heard of anyone demanding better coverage in clothing. I wonder if your pastors wife would have made an issue of tops that were a little too revealing? Again breasts are “ok” if they are used for their culturally excepted purpose and that is NOT nursing a babe. So sad.

  8. Cheri Barnes says:

    Oh Stacy, I have thought of 1000 cute quips since then. Had I not been such a newbie at the whole breast-feeding scene, I would have such a cute story to tell I am sure!! ???? But as it stands, I was a new nursing mom, feeling very overwhelmed and insecure about the whole process, and I was called down by a biker dude and his half nude woman. It’s funny in hind sight and sooo ironic. I feel very happy that I overcame the insecurities and became a very good “public nurser.” More often than not, no one even knew that I was nursing . A few times I had people approach to stroke the baby’s head and not even realizing I was nursing it. The only awkwardness was that I was concerned they would feel shocked or awkward. Ah, this is making me long for those days again.
    And about the nursing baby with the “breast cap” in the picture, it seems this thread is about being careful and showing preference to others. So i’m just curious, was that picture picked purposefully? Don’t get me wrong, I am not offended. I think the caps are cute and could even see myself giving one to a new nursing mama as a joke. But let’s face it, those little caps are meant to be a bit inflammatory. ????

  9. Ellie Rae says:

    Best article I’ve seen on the subject yet.

  10. Jennifer says:

    Great article, Stacy, and very balanced! Thank you for sharing. Have you heard about the black student who, well, didn’t totally cover up? The picture went everywhere and what a controversy, but my main aggravation was a smart-butt in the comment section of a YA author who posted an article, saying breasts were natural and men make them sexual and blah blah blah. I argued that a lot of natural things shouldn’t be shared with strangers and that the girl did a good job defending herself, but at the end of the day it was just unnecessary to both uncover so much and for her jerk of a friend to take the picture of her (even with permission). Which led me to the question: how’d it even get viral??

  11. Stacy McDonald says:

    I just used the photo from the article, Cheri. I didn’t even “get” what is was supposed to be until a commenter on Facebook pointed it out!
    I mean, I noticed it kind of looked like that, but then thought, nahhhh! LOL

  12. Samantha Adkins says:

    To all the women who have had bad feeding in public experiences. I feel so bad for you, there is no reason for that. Most of the dirty looks I have gotten have been from older people and I feel that generation just doesn’t understand the purpose. Most of them didn’t even try to breast feed. Johanna Repke… I am saddened by your story, it is a lot of work and struggle at times to just feed one let alone two hungry babies. God bless you for that.
    I too am not fond of these advertised “nurse ins” as a Christian I don’t believe it’s right to be immodest just to “bring awareness” totally defeating the purpose and distracting from what breast feeding is all about. It’s not about empowerment, it’s about feeding your child the way The Lord has provided.

  13. Twyla says:

    Staci- We did end up leaving the church. Cheri- My thoughts exactly. I always made sure to cover everything and to be honest I think that most of the men that would have possibly seen me would have had no clue what I was even doing. I personally feel like as long as I know I’m being modest and I’m covering enough for my husband then I’m good :) And my husband didn’t even care if I covered as much as I did as I nurse very discreetly with or without a cover. I personally think this whole debate (in general, not on this blog) has just gotten blown way out of proportion. Breastfeeding should be the norm and should still be accepted as just part of life. It’s sad that anyone has to, or feels they have to, defend that right to feed your baby the way God intended. And esp as Christians we should be making sure to prefer others on both sides of the issue. Both to feed in public and to make sure we are covered and discreet when we do.

  14. Julie Wells says:

    I once got into a heated debate with a very liberal college instructor over her “right” to breastfeed however she wished — or rather, as the baby wished. Seems the child would pull the cover off, and mom felt that putting it back on was somehow a violation of the child’s rights. When I mentioned that perhaps her breasts were best not displayed for the 16-year-old busboy at Applebee’s, she, too, scoffed at the whole idea that breasts are, when not in use by an infant, not actually sexual. (I’d love to know her husband’s thoughts on the issue.) It’s sad , that for the militant public breastfeeding advocates, it’s all or nothing — if a woman doesn’t strip to the waist and flash herself fully (and then participate in a VERY public “nurse-in”), she’s a horrible parent and should be reported to Child Services. However, as a Christian living in Florida, I’m constantly rolling my eyes at half-naked tourists (and locals…and Lord knows, we do have an obesity problem in this country!) who are showing more skin in that same Applebee’s than the mother who is discreetly nursing her child. (No shirt? No shoes? No pants?! No problem!) I’d prefer that the nursing mother cover up, but then, I’d prefer that the majority of the populace do the same. In our increasingly permissive and promiscuous culture, we are becoming desensitized to the purity of sex as God created it for husband and wife. When a woman believes that she has “the right” to expose herself to other women’s sons and husbands in public and to use her child as her excuse, we’re closing in on the end of days.

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