I have a few things to say about the whole,”Let’s not give them something to talk about, just cover it up” mentality. Especially when it comes from another nursing mother. This is just adding to the stigma surrounding the whole breastfeeding in public issue.
First of all, it rankles to see this advice from someone who has been breastfeeding for ONE MONTH. You know what? It is super easy to cover it up with a little tiny baby. They don’t pop off your boob, stick their head up and look around. They don’t whip off your cute little cover, or the “towel” you say is so easy to just toss over their heads. Older babies MOVE. They have opinions on being stuck under a stuffy cloth, and they tell you and everyone around.
I never “whip it out” in public. This is a picture of me nursing my newborn, uncovered, at a family gathering. What are you seeing? What is wrong with this picture? Nothing.
Nursing mothers have no more interest in flashing you a breast than you do in seeing one. Even my crunchiest, hippiest, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, homeschooling mama friend -who refuses to wear a bra under her tie-dyed organic cotton shirts- does not “whip out her boob anywhere she wants”.
I take issue with terms like “saggy milk-filled breasts” (which was in the first version of the post.) By using words like that, you make it sound like using our breasts for their intended purpose is shameful or disgusting. I have a big problem with that. You are perpetuating that image of the poor, beleaguered, milk-filled mother. You are perpetuating the idea that using breasts for their intended purpose is shameful and distasteful. This is wrong. This is why so many women are so vocal in protecting the right to nurse in public.
The writer goes on to say:
“And here’s what I wonder: You must not be covering up if you’re getting a rise out of people for feeding your kid in public, right? Because I’ve been breastfeeding everywhere for a month and I’ve never gotten so much as a double take. Even though apparently the law would protect me if I did just do it topless, I have no interest in becoming a side show.”
Guess what? You have just been LUCKY. It has nothing to do with covering up. I know many women who have had issues even when covered up. There are tons of stories of women who have been kicked out of public and private places, restaurants and businesses, and not one of them was “topless”. Most of the time when these sort of things happen the nursing mother is sitting quietly in a corner, discreetly nursing, and someone STILL has a problem with it.
Because breasts are gross yo. Unless they are perky and popping out of the top of a skimpy dress. Who wants to take a chance that they might see some woman’s “saggy milk-filled breast” when they are trying to enjoy a nice meal in a restaurant? How dare that woman leave the house? Why doesn’t she just pump? Or better yet, just stay home until that kid is weaned?
See how easy it is to get from “just cover it up” to there?