Posted by: ~KC~ | October 2, 2007

Breastfeeding

Recently, a Canadian mother hailing from Edmonton had her Facebook account shutdown by the powers that be because she posted pictures of her breastfeeding her infant child.  Facebook’s reason for the closure of this woman account: The pictures violated their terms of conduct and were considered OBSCENE. 

Really??  Since when is breastfeeding … obscene? Seriously.

It brings up such a bigger question:  since when has breastfeeding become a public taboo?  Why are mother’s confined to dingy washrooms or private stalls to do what a mother’s breasts are naturally created to do… nourish their infant child?  Have we turned breasts into such sexual objects… made them into sexual taboos… therefore making breastfeeding (even in public) painful and uncomfortable?  Breastfeeding is about nurturing… not sex! 

Don’t get me wrong… I am a single woman who has no desire at this point in my life to have children… let along breastfeed, especially in public.  But I do understand this clearly – when a mother is lactating and her child is hungry… you best believe that I will support her in her endeavor to nurture her child.  It’s nature – it’s natural.  That’s what breasts are for… not simply for the pleasure of men… that is secondary… if not much lower on the totem pole.

 Is it uncomfortable to watch a woman’s breast hang out in public with a child latched onto it?  Slightly, yes.  But that is simply because we have made breasts into sexual objects and nudity is only for private moments or specific beaches/communities.  Breasts and nudity are taboo.  We have sexualized the human organs to the point of them being uncomfortable, if exposed.  Religion plays a huge part in this.  We’ve become so out of tune with how our bodies work that to see a mother do what is natural and human… we stare or even shut her down.  It has now become OBSCENE. Sad.  Truly. 

Certainly – there are those who might take it to extremes but for the most part… I’ve nearly always seen woman breastfeed discreetly, even if it is in public.  Would you be comfortable being told to eat your lunch in the bathroom, in what can be filthy places, unhygienic and full of bacteria?  Hell No!!!  So why would you ask a mother, who is going to feed her infant child, small and vulnerable to bacteria and germs, to go to the same place you would never even conceive the idea of eating your very own food in???  And then there are all the health benefits of breastfeeding vs. bottle/formula… do I really want to deprive your future children to that nourishment if it is even a remote possibility to be able to breastfeed?  We have enough issues with all the chemicals and JUNK we put into our bodies and children’s bodies… for crying out loud…  

Oh.  And by the way.  Breastfeeding is a woman’s legal right.  Even if she chooses to do it in public.  To ask her to be anything other than a mother feeding her child… is discriminating and discounting.  There is nothing obscene or sexual about it.  Even if you’ve chosen a different method to feed your child. 

So my words are to those who baulk at the idea:  Grow upstop being so freakin childish/prudish in your views on sexuality and morality.  Their breasts for fuck sakes!!

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Responses

  1. Facebook’s American, isn’t it? There’s your answer.

  2. I think that it is possible to breastfeed in public and be a little discreet. A light blanket over the shoulder should appease the prudes. It is completely natural and I wish like anything that I had been able to nurse my son. I was shocked that my dad was horrified by such a thought and informed me that if that was the case then I would be going back to my bedroom to perform such a function. He said he would buy me a rocking chair. I told him that I was not going to hide in the back like I was doing something distasteful or deviant. But that as a courtesy to his backwardness and prudish nature, I would be discreet and not just “whip them out”, that I would still be covered up! It’s the 21st century. Like you said grow up. But that was an interesting thought. Have we sexualized womans breasts so much that they are now thought of as indecent under any circumstance? Scary thought!

  3. I breastfed both my boys and occasionally had no choice but to do it in public. It was easy to hide when they were tiny but as they gained some hand control they would move the blanket or whatever I was using to cover us with. Kindly little buggers. (My sister solved this by buying a device whose name I love, the hooter hider.) The only time I had any problems was when I used the breastfeeding nook one day at the mall and all the old people walking the mall glared at me as they walked by. First I was in the breastfeeding nook, tucked away by a closed store. It has a big sign on it saying what it was for. I was covered. Maybe we were all grumpy it was 110+ that day which is why I was a the mall, our AC wasn’t cutting it.

    Many Americans are way to uptight and completely opposed to it. I had to fight a hospital nurse about it too and have heard of others being discouraged away from doing it entirely by medical professionals for no medical reason. Is it an American thing only? How do people view it in Canada?

  4. Well, I am just the wrong person to get started on this…I absolutely can’t understand why people get so disgusted when a woman is breastfeeding her child in public…usually the woman is somewhat covered up and people still throw a fit! To them I think a big fat resounding “Fuck You” from all the mommies in the world is the only appropriate response. There is no need to defend your right as a mother to feed your child.

    I myself wouldn’t just whip it out in front of everyone but that’s because of my own modesty, and not because I think it’s wrong.

    I love the way you put this–thank you! Toni

  5. Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and sentiments on this issue.

    @ Nora… it’s not much different here in Canada – people still balk at the site of a woman breastfeeding her child, even if she is covered up. It’s a cultural thing – and is fairly universal honestly.

  6. If every medical magazine cover and google news item can show the picture of a woman covering her bare breasts with a single arm why can’t a mother put a photo of her breastfeeding her child.although frankly speaking if i were a woman i wouldnt want anyone to see such photos of me not with all the fuckin pervs out in the cyberworld who can easily replace the baby with their own fuckin faces.so there u go.

  7. Why do breastfeeding women feel the need to display their breasts to the general public anyway? It’s just weird and self agrandizing. I don’t care if you breastfeed your baby. Just don’t shove it in all of our faces, literally!


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