Breastfeeding In Public: Paul Frank and Twitter

According to ShePosts.com, someone from the hip and trendy Paul Frank Store right here in LA posted these words on twitter.

Having your whole boob out and breastfeeding in our store #NOTOKAYATALL (since been deleted)

Such is the danger of handing your brand over to a retail sales clerk.

Paul Frank Breastfeeding Tweet

I’m a forty year old woman who breastfed for two years of my life, I’d also appreciate some of you putting your tits away. Yep, that’s right. I’m tired of seeing middle aged women who are angry lactivists resting their breast on the table so their three or four year old can suckle in a restaurant. Yes, I have seen that recently. I’m not disgusted by their breast, but by their behavior.

On the extreme end of things there are women nursing older children (and by older I mean kids that should be potty trained already) and they do so while glowering at anyone who has the misfortune of making eye contact.

I’m tired of that.

Now, if a baby needed to be nursed in a Paul Frank Store I’m sure it would be uncomfortable. I mean, who is the oldest person working over there on Melrose? Maybe 25?

I’m hopeful that the mom chose a discreet part of the store, sat down and fed her baby in the most comfortable way possible, that the hipsters at the store were uncomfortable because they’ve never seen it before, and that they learned a lesson at the end of the day.

There’s another something I want to throw out there. A tough lesson for us moms to learn. Not everyone likes kids. Not every store wants your baby in it. I’m telling you, the more they move, the less appropriate it can be to bring them along. The reality is that there are shops (and their patrons) who are totally not into babies. Right or wrong, that’s just life.

As for this family? Jane has a really terrific Paul Frank Bicycle and she can’t get enough of their little monkey designs. This is just an event, a tiny event and an opportunity for both extremes to get a glimpse of how the world sees them.

Facebook Comments

  • I completely agree, not everyone wants to see your boobs. I plan on breastfeeding my girl when she arrives in August but I have never been that comfortable with the idea of doing it in public. My plan, not sure how realistic it is, would be to pump and use bottled breast milk when out and about. If other moms want to do it right from the tit, just throw a blanket over your shoulder. Voila! Now everyone is happy.

    • It’s good to plan, but babies are so not into the planning. The problem with pumping and bottle feeding is that you’re adding a bunch of steps. You’ll see, when your baby cries your milk will come in. In fact, when someone else’s baby cries your milk might come in.

      Breastfeeding is normal and natural and wonderful, I’m just saying that when your kid is old enough to have discussions about nursing, they’re also old enough to not nurse in public.

      • i went out for thai food one night with my sister. my son was brand new, a couple weeks old. i left him home with my husband so that i could just escape for a minute, i deserved it. we sat down. i ordered my pad thai without peanuts. and suddenly, a baby started crying. my milk gushed…LITERALLY…sopping the front of my shirt. it was that night that i realized, no matter what, i must wear those pads in my bra.
        your milk will come in. for your baby and every other baby on the planet who cries, giggles, burps and hiccups.

      • A-freaking-men. Just wait until the above poster (Laurie) actually has her baby and experiences what it feels like to be out and all of the sudden have a fussy baby or leaky boobs. I guarantee her tone will be different!

        With that said, I’m all for covering up when breastfeeding in public – I think that women who refuse to are just trying to make a point that they can do what they want and shouldn’t be judged. Personally, I never brought my boob out in front of anyone because yes, it’s uncomfortable to some (lots) of people. And what’s the harm in covering up with a blanket or going some place a little more private than the middle of a restaurant?

    • Peggy Brister

      But it is all the militant lactivists that refuse to cover up because “they don’t have to” They are protected by law, no matter how much tit they want to show, no matter who sees what…the more the better, so they can shock ppl, and DARE ppl to say one word about it so they can GO OFF on them. I see them every day. They give public breast-feeding a bad name. There’s no reason you can’t cover up to breast feed. If you do it from the time the baby is born, then they are use to being covered up and won’t fuss about it. When I see someone say they have an infant who refuses to be covered up while they eat, it makes me laugh. How can an infant refuse anything? You are the mom. Cover the tit and if they are hungry they will eat.

      • My son refuses the cover. How you ask? He pushes it to the side. I’m able to be more discrete when I don’t use the cover b/c he cooperates without the cover.

        And to the mom-to-be who plans on only bottle feeding EBM in public, I agree with Jessica – it’s a nice thought, but not feasible.

      • Summer

        Seriously? How about you put a blanket over your head instead. Presto! You don’t see the breastfeeding, we don’t see your face. Everyone wins!

  • My attitude when I was breastfeeding (which was 5 + years ago) was — if you’ve never seen a boob, take a peek and get it over with; if you have seen one before, move along. You never know when a baby’s going to get hungry and sometimes you have to nurse in public. It was never my first choice, but there you have it.

  • You’re wrong, and the law is not on your side. There is no law protecting anyone’s right to not be uncomfortable. There are laws protecting the rights of babies and toddlers to eat. It is ludicrous that there need to be such laws, and I am really shocked that someone as pro-family as you is part of the reason they exist.

    • I never said to kick anyone out of anywhere. I think that feeding an infant is normal, but I acknowledge that it will make some of the young adults uncomfortable. So. What.

      However, I was at The Counter last week while a woman literally placed her breast on the table for her four year old son to “nurse” the kid was EATING A HAMBURGER. Behaviors like this are why people hate lactivists.

      • Peggy Brister

        That kind of extended breast-feeding is disturbing. There is no reason to breast feed a 4 yr old. They wouldn’t still be on a bottle at 4 or even 3, so why the tit? A baby is usually off the bottle between 18 months & 2 years. SO why keep breast feeding? They need to be drinking from sippy cups.

        • @ Peggy – I don’t know where you get that ” a baby is *usually* off…” Define usually? In a small subsection of Western culture for a very small sliver of human history? The normal age for weaning – from a biological standpoint and throughout human history – is 4.5 years on average. This idea that kids should be weaned by 2 years is very NEW and very limited to modern western culture.

          And, “disturbing?” What is disturbing about it? Disturbing implies that you think it is somehow inappropriate in a sexual way? That shows your hang ups (and our culutres’) about sexuality and the female body. It does not reflect on the needs of the mother and child.

          I am also shocked by Jessica’s take on this. Not everyone likes kids, true. But, “right or wrong that’s life”? Umm, no. That’s like saying “not everyone likes black people (handicapped, women, etc.) but hey, what ya gonna do? That’s life!” What a horrible defeatist attitude. How would the world ever change if everyone felt as you do?

          • Peggy Brister

            I have never known a mom, ever, in all my 41 years, who waited until their kid was 4.5 yrs old to wean them.

  • Paul Frank sells children’s products so I think they made a big brand boo-boo in tweeting that it wasn’t cool to breastfeed in their store (regardless of how much boob was showing). As for the glowering lactivists that you mention, well, that’s a whole other matter.

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  • Excellent post Jessica. The hamburger kid comment is hysterical and so very true. Those who choose to keep nursing at that age fine, just do so without making a spectacle.

    I too, nursed both my kids. My first, we called the shark for obvious reasons. And guess what, I learned how to keep her fed and avoid making others feel awkward. Yes nursing is natural. Yes, exposed breasts make Americans uncomfortable. That just is what it is.

    In this kid-centric world the rights of those who are just not into kids are violated daily. Let’s face it, in this time where every woman with a uterus that squeaked out a puppy considers herself a brand, those women who choose not to breed are made out to be monsters.

    Enough already. Words like lactivists crack me up. Maybe they just need to learn a little lactiquette and we can all be happy and talk about some real violations of civil rights going on out there.

    yeesh!

  • If you are doing it right, no one should see your “whole boob”! There are discrete ways to breastfeed in public. I’m breastfeeding my second child right now and I always try to be aware of other people. Trust me, I don’t want people seeing my boobs more than they don’t want to see them!!

    I do agree that nursing a 3 or 4 year old is extreme and I am not down with that at all! If they can ask for it, it’s time to wean!

    • With all due respect, my daughter could “ask for it” at 10 months. Should I have stopped nursing her because she could communicate?

    • I would have nursed Gaby until she was 3, but was forced to stop at 2 1/2 for medical reasons. Why should I have weaned her any earlier …just because you aren’t “down with it.”? Is there any other reason I should not have extended breastfeeding her?

      Granted, there’s no way I would have much past 3 because for my own personal comfort it would not have worked out. But as long as mother and baby/child are happy and it’s working for them, what’s the problem?

      Again, Americans are really the only ones that pretty much call it a day around the 6 month mark (if they even make it that long), when it comes to nursing and I simply don’t get it.

      • Peggy Brister

        Pediatricians tell you, you can stop giving a baby formula at 1 yr old and give them regular milk or juice, from a sippy cup. So why WOULD YOU keep nursing a kid until they are 3? They are already potty trained, most of them anyway, drinking from a cup and eating real food. Extended breast-feeding to me is just trying to shock ppl and get a rise out of folks because you can.

        • Jean

          Formula is an artificial food created for infants. It is not appropriate to give to children older than one because the nutritional needs are different. However, breastmilk changes according to what the child needs, so continuing to nurse after they turn one is certainly appropriate. And the AAP says to BF AT LEAST until one year, the WHO says until AT LEAST two.

        • Wow this shows such an amazing lack of understanding about all the physiological and biological benefits of breastfeeding. Formula is for calories. Breastfeeding goes way beyond that.

        • My pediatrician told me that there are many benefits to nursing past the age of one year and encouraged us to continue until my son was AT LEAST two.

        • Pediatricians are not the be-all-end-all when it comes to infant and toddler nutrition. I took the time to read, research, read and research some more and then read some more, about the nutritional needs of children BEYOND a year old and American’s are the only people that happen to see extended breastfeeding past a year (or really 6 months) as unusual.

          It also happens that right when Gaby hit a year old, she developed some eating issues and aside from my own desire to extend breastfeeding (which had absolutely NOTHING to do attempting to get a rise out of people and frankly, I’m more than just a little insulted by the insinuation!), we were advised by her nutritionist, to keep nursing as long as possible.

      • becky

        Most people call it a day with EBF long before 6 months – check the recent study from the American Academy of Pediatrics that shows that only about 12% of mothers nurse until 6 months. So forgive me if I have a hard time believing that lactivists and their nursing pre-schoolers are taking over with inappropriate nursing in public. Nursing on the tabletop Mom was an aberration, not the norm.

    • re: the comment “If they can ask for it, it’s time to wean!” that is just silly. Technically, any time babies cry when they are hungry, they are “asking for it.”

  • Ash

    “lactiquette”

    Amyz5 – if that does not already have a copyright on it, snag it. Now.

    • thanks ash. i am the queen of urban dictionary.

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  • I’m living in Peru, and here breastfeeding is never frowned upon, anywhere at any time. If you’re out in the street, the market, a restaurant, ANYWHERE – you’ll likely see someone nursing a baby. Not only that, people nurse other people’s babies – if mom’s busy, her friend or sister who also has a baby may just take over for a meal. I’ve seen sister’s taking turns – great family bonding.

    However, I have NEVER seen a child older than 2 nursing in public. And I’ve certainly never seen anyone flop a boob out on a table – nursing or otherwise! There’s a fine line between performing a natural act and just being an ass about it. The law’s on your side if you’re nursing, there’s no reason to go out of your way to purposely make people feel uncomfortable.

  • How do you stand up and clap on the internet? ‘Cause I want to do that right now. Somewhere along the way political correctness ran over decorum – and I’d like to get decorum a bandaid and some stitches.

  • Neen

    “There’s another something I want to throw out there. A tough lesson for us moms to learn. Not everyone likes kids. Not every store wants your baby in it. I’m telling you, the more they move, the less appropriate it can be to bring them along. The reality is that there are shops (and their patrons) who are totally not into babies. Right or wrong, that’s just life.”

    If you replace “baby” in this with “african-americans” or “asians” or “native-americans” is it still okay? Just wondering where your discrimination boundaries lie. ‘Cause I think it’s pretty appaling. You know, having mixed race kids, we kind of have enough to deal with and it would be nice if they arn’t discriminated against because of their age, too.

    • It’s a ridiculous argument. Toddlers will outgrow their toddlerhoood, you don’t outgrow your race.

      And really, I can’t believe I even answered that.

      Just silly.

      • Emmanonymous

        Discrimination isn’t wrong because the target group’s status is permanent — it’s wrong because they have no choice about being what they are. Babies and toddlers do eventually grow out of it, yes, but at the moment you’re interacting with them, they can no more make themselves not-babies than people can change their race or sexual orientation to something you personally find more palatable.

        Say I’m in a car wreck and am badly injured, to the point that I’m going to spend two or three years in a wheelchair while I recover, but will eventually regain the ability to walk without assistance. Is it right to discriminate against me for having a disability, just because I may not always have it? Would it be OK for a store to tell me, sorry, we don’t want you in here, because you might bump into something and break it — come back when you get your casts off? And if not, how in the world is it OK to discriminate against small children who are exhibiting behavior appropriate for their ages, just because someday they’ll grow up?

        I have three children under age four. Sometimes I’m complimented on having such sweet well-behaved children who listen so well. Sometimes I’m glared at because I’m obviously failing to control my whiny entitled monsters. Sometimes both happen in the space of a single visit to Wal-Mart. And yes, I’ve been the mother where people audibly wondered why in the world doesn’t she haul that screaming brat out of the store, because of course they didn’t realize that I couldn’t leave without the cart of bread/milk/diapers in which I was transporting the brat’s twin sister and infant brother. The “screaming brat” was a great kid 90% of the time, but she was two and a half, and all toddlers have meltdowns — it’s part of that whole thing where they’re not grown-ups and don’t always act rationally. Other people were labelling me an inadequate parent, at the very moment I was doing the absolute best I could under the circumstances. It taught me a thing or two about doling out judgement based on a single limited interaction.

    • I agree: ridiculous argument. And really, (since you’re throwing out the race card like it’s going to make someone shy away from calling you out) I’m 1/2 African American, my children are mixed, but I don’t care for kids very much. I’m completely offended that you would compare not liking children to actual racism and discrimination. That holds no weight. Hundreds of years of violence and hatred vs. me wanting your children to be seen not heard if they have to be seen/heard at all at inappropriate places/times? Really?

      Ugh. Just, ugh.

      • Should be happy we are not talking about places where pets are not allowed. I for one am grateful not to be compared to dogs.

        Whew. Crisis diverted. Today anyway.

      • Totally off base here.

        Women were at one time to be seen and not heard. Not to speak unless spoken to. Neen used race as an example of a discriminated group. It could apply to any group. And Jessica, you think her comment is ridiculous because toddlers grow up? So, toddlerhood is some type of “condition” that it is ok to discriminate against? Why are the rights of a person dependent on you finding them annoying or not? Children are entitled to the same respect we ask of other “minorities.”

  • quazydellasue

    Sorry, but the store in question here SELL CHILDREN’S CLOTHING. How is it an inappropriate place to take kids? Ridiculous.

  • This is it, right here:

    “Such is the danger of handing your brand over to a retail sales clerk.”

    • ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! The brand made the mistake of letting someone use it for their personal point-of-view!

    • Absolutely. It’d be interesting to know how their policy will change (if it does) regarding tweeting now.

  • So is this post about the Twitter that went out, the mom who plopped out an entire boob to feed a preschooler, geriatric moms who nurse, people who dislike kids, people who dislike people who dislike kids, parents who feel entitled, ages and stages it’s appropriate to take a child shopping, angry lactivists (or angry feminists who nurse really openly), or bikes and monkey faces?

    The mommy wars are exhausting and, from my experience, they only cause bitterness and resentment and don’t provoke positive change or enlightenment. It’s disappointing to see this particular pot get stirred here and not have a clear or concise message to take away from it other than something is being bashed. What that main disgruntled message is to ponder, I don’t know.

    What I do know, is there are always those who go to an extreme. They aren’t typical, but they’re most often the loudest. There will always be that segment of the population of any given cause that will behave in a manner that many of us won’t adopt. I’ve always viewed it as the water-down effect. Those who advocate to the extreme get heard, get the issues noticed and the extreme changes they push for may never come to pass — but moms like me can nurse discreetly in a sling and shop at the same time in comfort. I’ll never be comfortable plopping an entire boob out in public, but if an accidental flash happens I’m not mortified either. This is a huge shift from the culture here when I was born.

    I’ve been on both sides of the bottle/breast with my children. I’m for supporting informed parenting choices and then supporting each other when we’ve made our parenting choices. Wish that was a stance more women would take. That and don’t judge all by the actions of the extreme.

    • Kate, aka guavalicious

      This is an amazing reply. Exactly what I wanted to say.

    • Amen. Why I read all these comments, I don’t know. I get so tired of mommy blogs and all these dividing issues. I’m going to stop reading the comments now. This one summed up my feelings nicely. Thanks, Genevieve. (even if I’m about 9 months late…)

  • brandy

    great post, I think breastfeeding is great for babies. When your child reaches 1 year is when they need to start using a sippy cup. I know somwone who breastfed until the child started school. so grose.

    • Jacki

      “When your child reaches 1 year is when they need to start using a sippy cup.”

      Really? You should really contact the World Health Organization and let them know that, because I’m sure they would like to retract their recommendations.

    • Oh Brandy, I’m so happy to hear my son should be drinking from a sippy cup. Could you please come over as soon as possible and teach him how? God knows I’ve tried every brand on the market and all he manages to do is dribble down his face. He never got the hang of bottles for that matter either, and while we’re on the subject he has a pretty strong aversion to most food, so my boob? Is the only thing keeping him alive. But, you know, since he turned 1 last week that’s sort of his problem now isn’t it?

      P.S. It’s neither “grose” nor gross.

  • “On the extreme end of things there are women nursing older children (and by older I mean kids that should be potty trained already) and they do so while glowering at anyone who has the misfortune of making eye contact.”

    Jessica, can you elaborate on that? Are you saying that we should NOT extended BF? Because I respectfully disagree! I don’t think I have to go into a long diatribe about the benefits of extended breastfeeding. Americans are honestly the only people that have issues surrounding this and seek to stigmatize it. It’s sad and unfortunate.

    I breastfed Gaby until she was 2 1/2 and would have likely not weaned until she was 3. I was forced to stop because of a medication issue. And yep, I was one of those mothers at the mall, who sat down to nurse her toddler, the potty trained one, who glowered at people who gave me un-approving glances and flat out told me that she was old enough to be weaned! Where did they get off? Of course, I had the most generous of hooter-hiders and there’s no way anyone saw anything…but that didn’t matter…if she wanted to nurse and was tired and we happened to be in a public place, she nursed!

    As to the matter at hand…yes I agree that there are some places we, as RESPONSIBLE parents, shouldn’t take a tired, overly-active or cranky child…but if I have a well-behaved child who can keep her hands to herself and isn’t bothering other patrons, you’d better believe I’m taking her into a store with me regardless of who likes it or not. If you don’t like kids, that’s fine, but if my kid isn’t bothering you and there is no obvious age restriction where I am, I’m taking her in with me. I’m not going to just pawn my kid off on a sitter for a few hours because it’s not trendy to take her into a certain store.

  • I had a baby who refused to be nursed discreetly; wouldn’t tolerate blankets or coverings, etc. But he still needed to nurse, and sometimes we were in public. I get that’s maybe not ideal, but again, it’s life.

    • mommy 2 Xander and Colin

      You’re DANG right Miss Grace…it IS life….I had a newborn like that and OH BOY was that fun….NOT!

    • Who’da thunk it, but so did I. I learned quickly how to get in and get out, move a face right in place before a blink of an eye, etc. I also learned that since Zoë had severe colic that was almost ONLY soothed while breastfeeding, if I wanted to be able to eat dinner, I was going to have to take her to a restaurant and nurse her while I ate. I once asked for permission, and the waiter (in an extra-flamoyant, wonderful way) was like, “honey, it’s your baby. You’re eating, she’s eating. If someone has a problem with it, they can go to hell and get out of our neighbourhood.” That man made my life better, seriously. I kept going back to that same restaurant, and I kept getting to eat dinner.

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  • My kids were breastfed and at times in public. We didn’t apologize for it or ask for special rules. They needed to be fed and we did the best that we could to make it happen without much fanfare.

    But I have encountered mothers who made a big show out of breastfeeding and carried around an attitude that seemed to dare you to make eye contact. It seemed like they wanted a confrontation. Kind of exploitative, but that is just my take.

    • Kate, aka guavalicious

      This was pretty much my attitude too. About both things. I figured I was being more of a breastfeeding activist by doing it with no fuss.

    • Those particular moms are breastfeeding as a religious rite, I think. Seems like some people can’t do anything without making a moral crusade out of it. If you’re defining yourself by how you feed your baby, then I’d suggest you need to redefine yourself.

      I bf until self-weaning. The longest I’ve gone is 23 months. I don’t think anyone even knew I was breastfeeding in public most of the time. You don’t have to be an exhibitionist about it, even if the baby doesn’t like cover up. There are ways to keep baby’s head uncovered without taking your whole shirt off (or half of it), and your baby is NOT the only person in the room!

  • kai

    In Europe there are boobs on the beaches all the time, and nobody bats and eyelid.

    I like Europe.

    • But we’re not in Europe…

      • kai

        I know. Just saying that if we were, there’d be boobs. And no complaining.

        • I’m in Germany, land of the happy naked people (as soon as it’s warm enough). There are boobs, bums, naughty parts and naked kids on the beaches, in the parks and in the saunas. Breastfeeding is done without fanfare, people try to be polite and not stare and moms don’t tend to flop out body parts unnecessarily. Nudity has always been taken differently here, which is probably why there was never a need for a militant movement for or against it. Breastfeeding is a neutral necessity, but there is etiquette nonetheless. That makes it possible for people to share public space instead of dominating it for one camp or the other.

          Boobs on tables to help a four year old wash down his burger? Um, no, that wouldn’t fly with most.

  • The line of etiquette and propriety seems to be lost to some especially with regards to nursing. As a mother who breastfeed, I can say I am horrified at some of the breastfeeding mothers out there who don’t care that while in public at any venue, their child unbuttons their blouse and pulls their breast out to nurse at the age of 4-5. Yes, I have seen that in public, more than once and it is inappropriate.

    There are some amazing and fashionable nursing bibs / covers that are easy to use in public and I don’t know about you but when my son was nursing… I wanted it to be in a quiet place because he would then go into a nice peaceful slumber afterwards.

    We can’t always plan around a feeding schedule but we can be prepared to make it a peaceful time for our child and not a public spectacle. Seriously, how do you know there are not pervs watching you nurse your child or taking photos or video with their cameras and then going off and masturbating to that visual later?? Or adding it to their “spank bank” or sharing it online…

    Privacy is fast becoming a lost art and something that you’ll soon regret not keeping close tabs on.

    • Jacki

      I’m glad you had a child that tolerated the nursing bib/cover. Some kids don’t. That doesn’t mean those women need to go elsewhere to breastfeed. The covers can also make it too warm for the babies under there.

      You wanted to be in a quiet place. Great. That’s fine for you. Some people don’t need to/want to remove themselves. And that’s their right, too. Putting a boob on the table, in my opinion, is going too far, but simply nursing in public? We need to get over ourselves.

    • I work in a public place(we won’t say where), and the “perv” issue is always my concern if someone decides to just whip it out and start breastfeeding in the middle of the building. It isn’t bothering me as an employee, but there are so many creepy people there every single day, I don’t even like wearing a short skirt to work. Would it surprise me if some dude took out his camera phone and started taking pictures of a woman breastfeeding? Not in the least. By far, the majority of mothers find a quiet corner and have a blanket, you’d hardly even notice they were nursing. And I’m assuming the Paul Frank store doesn’t have too many random creepy guys just hanging around.

  • I am very bothered by the tendency people have to spot one person doing something in a crazy manner (e.g., the woman placing her breast on a table for her older child, which honestly I can’t even picture, because how in the world does a child nurse from a breast that is resting on a table? I need a diagram), and then berating an entire group of people for that person’s off-the-wall actions.

    Why not write a post about how people, all people of all ages, should be courteous in public, both in their actions and reactions? I guess that wouldn’t be as big a draw though.

  • Jessica, I love you. But sometimes, you are tiresome. It’s just a fucking boob.

  • Wow.

    Link bait.

  • I am a proud breastfeeding mother – proud in the fact that I was able to breastfeed all three of my children a minimum of 6 weeks. The longest was over 18 months.

    The thing is I used a nursing cover – you know those totally brilliant covers that go around your neck and you can see the baby but all people see is this gorgeous cover. Yes, people know what you are doing but they don’t see a inch of skin!

    I’m okay with people breastfeeding in public – if I’m allowed to eat – so is my child. However, use the same respect – you place a napkin over your lap , place a shawl over your mommy superpower!

    Then no one has reason to complain and breastfeeding might actually go back to the “normal” thing to do! America is one of the few countries that finds breastfeeding out of the norm. We are a backwards place!

    • Kate, aka guavalicious

      Um, how was I supposed to do that alone holding my twins? And what should I do when they pull it off? Honestly I think that pulling out a cover and putting it over you draws more attention to breastfeeding than most methods.

      • I nursed my twins – often in public – until they were 3. Nobody ever said a word to me. Half the time I don’t even think people knew what I was doing.

        I’m in total agreement that the cover draws more attention. WHAT IS SHE DOING UNDER THERE? I WANNA KNOW!

  • They make kids (baby) stuff, they should totally be ok with a baby eating. Just my two cents.

    The problem by far was letting a clerk have access to their twitter stream and put their personal opinion out there.

    To me the kid eating isn’t the problem, it’s the boob out in public, right? So be discreet mamas!

    And yes, some people just don’t like kids, moms included! (yes, we don’t all LOVE kids, but we wanted a family (afterall, kids grow up ;) )

  • Why are we so obsessed with food in this culture? Either we’re eating too much, too little, the wrong thing. Once they’re weaned mothers wag fingers at each other for feeding their kids the “wrong” types of food. So much shame in our society, it’s so sad! You’d think we just fell off the Mayflower!

    • wow, your take away was just the eating piece?

      • No, it’s the obsession with the right and wrong way to feed our young in this country. It’s riddled with shame on both sides of the issue, everyone wags their fingers and thinks we should cover up or not cover up, breastfeed or feel the wrath of thousands…and yes, FOOD is what breasts are for. So I think it’s sad that such a huge deal is made of it from all angles. We should just feed our children in the way that works for us, and everyone should just friggin’ get over it. Who cares about seeing a boob? And why do we have to talk about it all the time? It’s FOOD. So yes, that’s my take away.

  • Sherree

    From the childless POV…

    Breastfeeding is a perfectly natural function, when done with some discretion in public. I have absolutely no problem with it and neither does my husband.

    It is not natural for me to see a strange woman’s breast out in full glory feeding her child. It is also not natural (in my opinion) to see a toddler yank open her blouse and pull out her boob in public, with no regard for who is around.

    A little discretion (as in covering up) goes along way to removing potential conflict or embarrassment for those of us who are in the line of view.

    Trust me, I get the “I dare you to say something” looks all the time. I shouldn’t get those looks at all — I’m not out for a fight, but those women are. Consideration, that’s all I ask for. I’ll give you plenty in return.

  • I don’t expect you to love my children, hell I don’t even expect you to like them, but when I walk into your store to spend my hard earned money you are best to treat me and my children with some sort of respect.

  • The real issue with public breastfeeding that nobody likes to address is that in America breasts are highly sexualized body parts and while we are mired in sexualized content for the purpose of selling things, we are still a very puritanical and sexually dysfunctional nation.

    We don’t bat an eye when breasts are exposed or near exposed for our titillation (no pun intended) but we’re horrified when a woman chooses to use her mammary glands for their intended purpose and we happen to SEE them.

    OMFGIJUSTSAWABOOBMYEYESMYEYES!!!!

    Do people flip out when a dog nurses her puppies? Or a cat nurses her kittens? No…because it’s nature’s way. Is a human animal nursing it’s young really all shocking? Only to other humans, apparently.

    Honestly, if young employees in a store that sells things for children are uncomfortable, they should probably watch less MTV and more National Geographic and get the fuck over it already.

    • Thank you. I was trying to figure out if I could even put together something resembling these thoughts and you did it. I see, on a daily basis, more “cleavage” that extends further than a subtle cleft, ass-crack, thongs showing, etc. than I need to, but seeing half a boob (I’m not addressing the boob on the table scenario, because that’s quite simply not a usual tendency) during feeding is wrong?

      Generalizing, when someone breastfeeds, their child’s face covers up the exact same amount of skin that a low-cut shirt would. Low cut shirts are acceptable, anywhere (except for business meetings, PTA and church, I’d assume), yet breastfeeding isn’t. And it all seems to go back to the dissonance between breasts being sexual and not.

      And for the record, to the people who have mentioned that weaning should take place around a year, and children moved to cow’s milk:

      … cow’s milk is for BABY COWS, not humans. We may have decided to start drinking it, but it’s no more natural for us, or healthier than you’d consider extended weaning. And as a matter of fact, has been linked to a varied of health issues, including obesity, ear infections, early puberty and food allergies. Please consider research from more than one source, when you’re choosing to tell people how children should be fed and when.

  • Personally, the whole breastfeeding beyond 2 thing freaks me out, much like children who can write their names but are not potty trained or 4 year olds who don’t put on their own shoes. I also don’t like men who wear Speedos or pants that hang under their butts or people who make out in public. However, I’m kind of a bitch. And much as I would like to tell everyone else in the world how to dress and behave, I can’t. Unless they are harming others or property, I don’t have the right to do that. And neither do those who are “uncomfortable” with public breastfeeding.

    • Actually you do have the right to say that.

      Just sayin…

    • You DO have a right to say that. You have every right to say that someone who breastfeeds a child past the age of two makes YOU uncomfortable. That’s the thing though…just because it makes YOU uncomfortable doesn’t mean it’s wrong and that there’s something wrong with the person who is doing it; and therein lies the problem…the inferences that someone who extends breastfeeding (or does whatever, behaves whatever way that makes YOU uncomfortable but isn’t “wrong” perse), is somehow wrong, or perverse or should be taboo.

      For many women in this country, breastfeeding is made more of a challenge than it should be and attitudes based on someone’s discomfort level (because boobs are so sexualized and rarely is the emphasis placed on what they are intended for in the first place…to feed our offspring!) don’t help at all!

      Granted, I personally am made highly uncomfortable by the woman in England who is HAPPILY breastfeeding her 8 and 10 year old! Even in countries where extended breastfeeding is the norm, you rarely see them go past 4 years of age. If your kid is on the verge of developing her own breasts but still needs breast milk, get a pump!

    • Damn. My 4 year old doesn’t put on his own shoes (well, excepting crocs). Had no idea I was supposed to be self-conscious about that.

  • Oh Lord! Such a nerve for so many people! I’m always blown away by people who use their lactating boobs to shock and provoke people. Why bother being indignant with some 20-something self-involved sales clerk who thinks that breastfeeding moms are icky. Choose your battles!

    No one is saying that a hungry baby shouldn’t be fed in a store, or that kids shouldn’t be allowed at Paul Frank. And oftentimes, it’s not the boob that makes people uncomfortable, it’s the attitude. Like the boob on the table in the middle of a restaurant that says, “Don’t care that you’re trying to enjoy your dinner!” And it’s the same with your little kids, i think— yes, they have a right to be in a store, but not to run around crazy and scream and tear the place down. If they’re doing that, YOU need to leave— not because you’re legally obligated to, but because you’re a nice human being and other human beings have a business to run. All about attitude.

    More importantly, how was your Counter Burger? Did you get the onion rings?

  • ah, the breastfeeding in public debate. yeah. well, i breastfed 3 kids. if i was in public, i covered up. i didn’t want anyone seeing my boobs anymore than someone eating a greek salad and diet coke wanted to see them pups.
    i’ve seen boobs. i don’t want to see them while i’m eating a meal. it’s common courtesy.
    and i’m 100% all for breast feeding. and by all means, do it in public. just cover up.

  • My kids are 13, 11 and 6 so obviously I’m waaaaay past this issue. BUT what I want to say is that I cannot believe it is still an issue. Good grief.

    A few bad apples ruin it for all the regular, not-flashing-my-boobs-at-you-just-feeding-my-baby types (which was the category I fell into back in the day). I agree that we live in a ridiculously sexualized, boob obsessed culture that needs to get over it already. I also agree that there are some places where people don’t welcome terrorizing toddlers (the china department at the local Macy’s for example) just as there are some places which don’t welcome bare boobies (our local “bikini barista” stands can attest to that).

    What I do know is that there is a middle ground, in which the majority of us live, where we can all get along, feed our kids, bare our boobs if we want or don’t want and as long as we’re all aware of where those places are and the appropriateness of public behavior, we’re good.

    And for the record, I’d much rather explain a nursing baby to my kids than a bikini barista.

  • Lisa

    I breastfed my son in Mississippi in 100 degree weather and people wanted me to put a blanket over his head to save them from their discomfort? NO. If you don’t like it, don’t look. Why do people who don’t like to see always feel their sense of discomfort trumps the babies right to eat? If you don’t like it don’t go out in public where you might see something that offends you. There is much I find offensive in the world but I don’t go around preaching or berating those people and tell them to go home and remove themselves from the view of society because I disagree with something the do, say, represent, wear, smell like or any other thing. It’s not like any breastfeeding mama is blocking your access to leave whatever spot, to close your eyes, to look away or anything else.

    • Peggy Brister

      Having an infant out in 100 degree weather probably is not a good thing for the baby to start with.

      • Quick, everyone south of the Mason Dixon, make a run for Alaska!

        • lol! Yes, I’m sure the tribes in Africa will be chagrined to know Peggy thinks they need to get inside.

      • Emmanonymous

        Uh, Peggy? How do you think we all leave our houses for two months out of the year? Time was, people who lived down here didn’t even have air-conditioning to get them through the summers, and yet somehow their babies survived. You dress appropriately, and you stay well-hydrated — which means not wrapping your baby up in a blanket, and breastfeeding her frequently (you can’t give little babies water).

    • This is the best response I have read. Better than my own, even.

      Who the hell is going to stay inside for two solid months when the temperatures hit 100 in the summer? I’ll be outside, in the shade, thanks.

  • Oh for the love of Pete, they are tits. Let all fly. But if you have an older kid suckling, common sense says you KNOW you are standing on shaky ground. It DOES make people uncomfortable and it ISN’T the same as nursing your infant. Is it natural to feed your child from yourself? Sure. But sometimes I have an itchy bikini waxing and is it natural to scratch that? Again, sure. But I refrain, it would wig people the fuck out to go around cranking your paws in your pubs.

    • Seriously? You’re equating scratching your pubes, with a toddler breastfeeding in public? SERIOUSLY???? Those two things aren’t even on the same planet!

      As someone who nursed a toddler, I refuse to have anyone tell me I was the one standing on shaky ground, at the time – if I happened to nurse her in public. Just because it gorks someone else out and shakes up *their* world, does absolutely nothing to disturb the ground I’m on.

      When I lived in Europe no one batted an eye at a mother who happened to be nursing a 2-3 year old. I never once saw anyone get their knickers in a knot over it or act like they were witnessing someone scratching their pubes. It’s just a non-issue over there, much the same way it is most of the world over. When are Americans going to get it through their heads that it’s NATURAL and just get over themselves already?!?!

      • Tongue and cheek, Audrey. Tongue and cheek.

        • Sorry, out of Xanax. Tongue-in-cheek recognizer temporarily disabled.

          You do have to admit though that there ARE people who react to a mother nursing (and not just toddlers) as if that mother were indeed, scratching their pubes in public.

          At the end of day, it’s unfortunate that this discussion is as heated as it is.

          Oh and Jessica, some adults shouldn’t be taken anywhere by their kids these days! I just saw a grown ass man in LL Bean tonight, trying to look cool in front of his kids, pull an ENTIRE row of kayaks down…almost slamming one of them into my husband. I mentioned to the LL Bean clerk as he rushed over to see if everyone was alright, that he might want to send out a tweet about what a pain in the ass adults can be when taken out in public by their children!

    • Wait, we’re not supposed to scratch an itchy Brazilian? Shit. I do everything wrong.

      • funniest comment in the thread. thanks for the levity zoeyjane

  • First I’m a MALE – please dont throw stuff at me…

    but I believe in the women’s right to pick were and when to feed their child. I also support children on the same airplane – just because we have a kid doesnt make us a second class citizen.

  • Mrs Pop

    It’s about manners. On both sides. Breastfeeding or beer drinking or store clerking… Just show some manners, class, and respect for those around you!

    Jessica, sadly, we are some of the few who “get” it.

  • I, as a slightly overweight, almost 40 year old man, can “legally” wear a tight bikini style Speedo bathing suit at a playground full of kids. However just because I can, it doesn’t mean I should.

    I don’t mind women who breastfeed in public. I really don’t. That being said, you may not agree with the people who are offended by it, but knowing that many are, does it really hurt to TRY to find a more private place to do it? Don’t whip it out in public just for spite. You aren’t helping the cause. People aren’t very likely to understand your side of things when you give them the debate equivalent of hitting them over the head with a sledgehammer.

    • I’ve seen more overweight middle-aged men in speedos than I have moms breastfeeding older children with their boobs hanging out.

      But when I worked as a lifeguard, I didn’t tweet “Having your having your hairy belly and butt crack hanging over your speedo at our pool #NOTOKAYATALL”. And somehow, none of the other patrons at the pool seemed to feel it was their right to complain to the lifeguards about the guys in their speedos.

      I don’t get why people feel the need and the right to police other people breastfeeding, whether it makes them comfortable or not.

      • I never mentioned, or condoned (or frankly cared about) the actions of the store, so I’m not sure how that’s relevant.

        And, go ahead and start your own movement against the legal wearing of testicle hugging outerwear, I doubt they’ll be much of an outcry against it.

  • Why should breastfeeding mothers be shamed into covering up because it makes *YOU* feel uncomfortable? AAP says mothers should breastfeed for a year, or for as long as mutually healthy to mom and baby. Health Canada states that mothers should breastfeed for two years and beyond. WHO says women should breastfeed for as much as 5 years. Who are you to poo-poo that? For all YOU know, the “middle aged woman who slapped her tit on the table for her toddler” had valid reasons, beyond the valid-in-and-of-itself reason of: it’s her body, her child, and none of your business. Did you stop to think that perhaps that child, although he or she may have looked perfectly healthy, still required the immunity and important nutrients from breast milk? It seems to me that you took one look at that whole scene and made a snap judgment; you don’t know that woman, her child, or her circumstances.

    I breastfed all three of my kids. Call me Mama Militant Lactivist. I never covered up. Fighting with that stupid blanket wasn’t worth the effort. There’s enough shit to worry about when you have a newborn; having the added pressure of being made to feel shamed for doing something completely normal is totally unnecessary.

  • Lesley

    I have been glared at more time than I care to count WHILE using a cover. Personally, I never paid it any mind. I think because I wear the “And So???” face so well, no one ever said anything to me. But boy would they glare.

    ITA about hamburger boy. C’mon now…

    Breastfeeding in public is skeevetastic but teenaged girls in slutty prom dresses with their BOOBS hanging out is totally fine. (insert snarky tone)

  • Della

    “The line of etiquette and propriety seems to be lost to some especially with regards to nursing.”

    Seriously. SERIOUSLY. YES.

    Are you legally allowed to rip open your shirt and let fly the nipples, if you’re doing it to breastfeed? Yep. Are you legally allowed to insert a 5 page list of required gifts in a wedding invitation? Yep. Are you legally allowed to go straight to the front of a busy line at the grocery store and cut in front of everyone? Yep.

    Do people get their knickers in a knot if you accidentally didn’t see them and stepped in front of them, and go home and tell everyone about the jerk who cut in line at the store? Yep.
    Do people get on their high horse and refuse to come to your wedding if you insert a card telling where you’re registered? I’ve seen it happen.
    Do people glare and make snide comments when a mother in the corner booth with a tiny infant in a designed-for nursing shirt left her coverup blanket in the car and doesn’t have someone with her that can run out and get it? Sadly, yes.

    Here in the US, we have boob hangups. If you’re in the US, you don’t have to cover up to feed. But people have hangups about boobs. Not your fault, not your problem… but why not cover up if your kid will tolerate it, and if not, at least be discreet, sit angled toward the corner and only pull up/down the side of your shirt that the kid is working on? Why not, really, if not to make a point [ie be deliberately offensive]? Being pushy about it is not going to show those people’s kids how natural breastfeeding is and what boobs are really for. It’s going to provide gossip fodder. It’s like snapping bitchily at your spouse “are you going to do me that favor now or not?”… spurring the person to the exact opposite reaction that you were going for.
    The saying goes: “you’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”; this is true for actions as well as words. Ostentatiously flashing your boob in IHOP where the 8 year old boy and the teenage waiters and the conservative yuppies can see it is not going to undo the boobs-are-sexual conditioning they’ve already had by that age. You don’t HAVE to be polite/fit into their social norm/keep them from being uncomfortable, but doing so would help win them over to thinking breastfeeding in public isn’t so bad. Baby steps. If everyone who did it was respectful of the prudes, then more people might be okay with it, and then maybe more kids would see it as natural, ultimately growing up to feel that way and continuing the cycle.

    And for those with the hangups about the boobs showing and the big kids nursing and whatever… ok, your eye roved over what you didn’t want to see… why keep looking? For crying out loud, seriously just avert your eyes! And frankly, take a minute and think before you freak out and tell your kids how evil that boobshowing Delilah is over there. Tell them that breasts make milk for babies, but they are also something that men like, so we try to keep them private for our spouses.

    Now everyone has compromised, babies are being fed, mothers are not being stifled, conservatives are not being shocked, and children are learning that breastfeeding is okay and not scandalous. Problem solved, only of course it would never happen.

    By the way, chiming in on the coverup thing: yeah, you’re in charge and you can try covering up your kid from day 1. My son tolerated the cover up until about 7 months, but after that he would pull the blanket down so that he could see what was going on the room. We’re not talking about a toddler here – he self-weaned at 10 months when I became pregnant again – but a baby who couldn’t yet crawl. I would put the cover back up (for which, by the way, I needed a hand free, which was difficult with the 17 pound squirming baby on my lap) and he would simply pull it back down again. I could either hold him to feed, hold his hands so he couldn’t get the blanket and let him perch precariously on my lap, or just let the blanket fall.
    My solution was to schedule outings immediately after feedings whenever possible, and I was lucky enough to never have anyone say anything to me when I discreetly fed him over in a corner the 1 or 2 times I had to do so.

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  • That Danielle

    I’m with Becky. If you’ve seen a mom whip it out for a five year old or even bare the entire boob just to say “up yours” consider that you’ve witnessed an extremely rare event. You may have even seen it a few times but they are merely anecdotal experiences. The abysmally low rate of breastfeeding in the US speaks to this. The truth is that few moms are breastfeeding at all past 6 months and 99.9% of any breastfeeding moms are interested in revealing any more skin than necessary (if I could I’d wear shirts that had nipple flaps so I could more conveniently feed my som because I don’t love showing off my breasts or belly).

    We want to feed our babies and are not looking to make a statement.

  • God. I am so stunned that beastfeeding in public is such a hot-button issue over there. I am a Canadian in Poland, and I simply do not get what the problem is with women feeding kids in public – no matter what age, how much breast is showing and where they are. I’m curious: is everyone as freaked out by half-naked women in music videos? On billboards? In magazines? I mean, if one is made to feel ‘uncomfortable’ by a woman’s semi-revealed breast as she feeds her child in a restaurant, then I am assuming that one is EQUALLY uncomfortable with the young woman at the next table eating a salad with her cleavage falling out onto her food. Right?

    I wrote about this on my blog not so long ago, so if you’d like to see a Canadian’s breastfeeding experience outside of North America, drop by: http://www.warsawmommy.com/?p=192

  • It’s so interesting reading all these comments!

    My baby just turned 1, and I’m still breastfeeding, no plans to stop. I figure she’ll let me know when she’s done. I hope she wants to until she’s 3, but it’s really up to her. For now, it’s nourishing her body and both of us love the cuddles. To say that it’s wrong or unhealthy to nurse a toddler is just plain ignorant. People say, “Oh, you’re just doing it for yourself.” Really? Ever tried nursing a baby who doesn’t want it? Mission impossible.

    But I’m not saying everyone should nurse for that long. I think everyone should do what works best for themselves and their families. And no one can make that decision for you — it’s up to you.

    As for breasfeeding in public, I have one of those babies who refuses the cover, and actually makes much more of a spectacle pushing it around when I try to use it, so I don’t anymore. I try to be as discreet as possible (no full boob out on the table or anything – that’s actually hard to picture!). But at the end of the day, I am breastfeeding her and you can tell what I’m doing. I never thought I would BF in public, but then you have a baby and you realize that what they need is the most important thing.

    I agree that there are places/times that are inappropriate for babies — I certainly wouldn’t bring my little wiggly giggly one to a fancy restaurant during prime dining hours (maybe early though, like 5 or 5:30 — so she can learn how to behave in a nice restaurant without disrupting the prime-time diners who want a child-free atmosphere). But I don’t think a public retail store is inappropriate for a well-behaved kid, as long as she won’t disrupt other patrons or destroy any merchandise. And no, a quietly breastfeeding baby or toddler is not what I would consider disruptive.

    If you have an issue with someone breastfeeding a baby or toddler in your presence, why don’t YOU move along? I don’t think kids are the center of the universe, but I do think they’re innocent and they need what they need. If you don’t think toddlers should be nursed, then fine — don’t nurse YOUR toddler. But don’t tell me what’s appropriate for my kid. I wouldn’t dream of telling you how/when to feed your kid.

    I simply can’t understand why breastfeeding makes anyone uncomfortable. (Seriously — ask yourself what about it upsets you? I truly don’t get what the problem is. And yes, I felt that way before I had a baby.) If it bothers you, I’m sorry — but I’m not going to stop doing it in public, and frankly what my daughter needs trumps your hang-ups. I think we all need to live and let live, and mind our own business, just a little bit more.

  • “As for this family? Jane has a really terrific Paul Frank Bicycle and she can’t get enough of their little monkey designs.”

    I have to say I find this fascinating considering the sacrifice that is being asked of people with regard to Nestle’s products.

  • @green this example is one guy in one store and should not be seen as representative of a brand. It’s interesting as a social media case study but not as anything more serious than one deleted and apologised for tweet

    • @jessica it’s more the tone of the words that struck me.

      I know that everyone can’t jump on everyone else’s bandwagons but as a strong voice for boycotts, I know for me, I listen carefully to other people’s causes because of my stance.

      I know that you disagree with certain parts of this debate but you appear to be a breastfeeding advocate as well as one with strong opinions so it would seem that you would support the idea that women should not be intimidated into the larger world’s ideas of what is acceptable.

      I think it’s why corporations don’t fear boycotts. They know they don’t work because we, the consumers, belittle instead of support each other.

  • Seth Godin wrote a great blog post this morning about company’s rights vs. responsibilities, saying:
    “It seems, though, that organizations and individuals that focus more on their responsibilities and less on their rights tend to outperform.”

    There is a brilliant corollary to this discussion of breastfeeding in public– Yes it is your RIGHT to do it, but you also have a RESPONSIBILITY to do so in a fashion that makes it more comfortable for everyone else that is in public with you.

  • Ashley

    I breastfed my oldest till she was 14 months. We live in FL, it gets HOT, the covers never worked for us. She pull it down, or sweat so much. Even IN the shade. I tried light weight blankets, everything. She just hated being covered.
    So then comes baby number 2, same thing. She hates being covered by anything, hell she won’t even use a blanket to sleep.
    I don’t cover! However I do layer my shirts. So usually it’s 2 tanks, a t-shirt and tank, long sleeves and a tank. You can’t even tell I am BFing unless you come up really really close.
    However when I tried using covers in public. I still got the rude fucking stares all the time.
    There have also been times my girls totally pulled my tits out of my tank, bikini tops, whatever. I am sure someone could have said oh she is one of those lactivists trying to get our attention, nope totally NOT the case. My kid pulled my tit out totally not my fault.
    I am also sure there have been a few times that my baby has also popped off the breast, and I quickly relatched her, again, I am sure someone would wanna say I am crying out for attention. Again not the case.
    BTW my kid is 14 months now, and still nursing. Whoever made the comment about the sippy, please come sippy, please come and train my kid! Cause I’ve spent like 40 bucks in cups. So obviously baby is NOT ready to wean yet.
    While I agree some women do hurt the cause, if you know NOTHING about what happened, and were not there, it’s pretty damn easy to just ASSume huh?

  • Ashley

    Holy typos! Sorry folks, the kids were kinda distracting me….way to look like an idiot huh?

  • Not everyone wants to see your face.

    Okay, that was snarky. But I think as a society we are often disgusted by things simply because we haven’t seen them very much. If public breastfeeding was as common as dirt, no one would think twice about it. Throughout history, a number of people were made uncomfortable by a number of things we would find absurd now; such as a black person using the water fountain ahead of them.

    It’s not comparable, but I don’t think there’s anything inherently disgusting about breastfeeding in public. It’s not unhygienic, so I don’t particularly care if you don’t want to see it. That’s just too bad for you.

  • Oh my. So much here I don’t even know what to say.

    I had twins and breastfeeding didn’t work out for me. I wanted it to, but I ended up pumping for several months due to painful lesions that refused to heal. When I breastfed, I did cover up and had it worked out in the long run I think I would have been as discreet as possible about our sessions.

    I think it’s a very personal decision/issue. I admit I am uncomfortable when I see or hear about older kids (3-4+) nursing. By that point they are getting their primary nourishment via table foods. I also have to wonder how much it is about milk/feeding as it is just pacifying/comforting/closeness? Don’t jump all over me but since breastfeeding did not work out for me, I am just asking/wondering. How much milk are you still producing at that point? I also just tried to imagine my kids (who are currently 4 years old) having their friends over for playdates and saying, “Wait a minute, I need a drink, let me go get my mom,” and then latching on while the other kids just stare and gasp. Makes me crings to think how my kids would be ostracized for nursing at their current age & stage.

    I agree kids need to learn to use cups. You know how I taught mine? I took all the bottles away cold turkey. When they’re thirsty/hungry enough, they’ll figure it out/deal with it/learn. Or maybe I’m just a hard ass. But it worked.

    I also refrain from scratching my Brazilian in public.
    ;-)

  • just my pov:

    when i had twins, i breastfed until they were 15 months and never breastfed them in public because it was a damned production & i thought it would be inappropriate. it’s hard to hide & cover when both breasts are being used.

    with my 3rd & 4th, i did nurse in public when the were infants & i was out at their feeding time, but only because i didn’t have the luxury of staying home 24/7 with older kids who also had needs. i rarely used a cover, but i learned to be discreet. the only snark i ever got was from my sister & that may be b/c she never nursed. who knows?

    i’m not covering every square inch of the breastfeeding topic here, but as a breastfeeding advocate, there is a way to be respectful about it.

  • People! As usual, I think most people are looking at everything all wrong.

    If someone in a store complains about your child’s behavior, (NOT YOUR BOOB. Separate topic) they are really complaining about YOU. The Mom. Hard as it is to believe. I know! And some of them aren’t even parents themselves. But they have the right to be annoyed by that (or by your butt taking up half their airline seat) even if you have a constitutional and ethical right to it.

    I have often, often seen parents expecting special treatment because they are doing the world the favor of raising kids in public. It appalls me to see how low people’s standards can get for their kids — as well as for themselves. Look at how people drive. Do you expect a civil society? You shouldn’t. But you should cross the street a LOT more carefully and not fret so much about how you are perceived in retail businesses.

    In saying this, I acknowledge I was a single widowed Mom who often took my toddler out at the wrong time, regularly. I was learning. But you know? Most people looked rather kindly at me when I was having trouble with her behavior. Some folks stated they were Moms and suggested, maybe something to eat? a nap? Her behavior, objectively was bad, my judgment, objectively, was poor. She WAS out of bounds and I COULDN’T handle her. And I found I got a fair amount of sympathy along with the sidelong glances (which are not illegal, last time I checked) and perhaps a few whispered comments (also legal).

    If someone complains about your kid — don’t act as if they’re judging your kid. That’s disingenuous. They’re calling YOU out. Listen a little. Sheesh.

    Just my four cents.

    Supa

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  • I don’t want to see any body parts resting on tables.

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  • I just weaned my baby. I breastfed her everywhere. It was easy to be discreet.

    I heartily agree that there does seem to be a subset of militant moms who seem to enjoy the attention of flashing a boob in public and then relish in the ensuing discomfort. It reminds me of the kids in high school who would get multiple piercings and wear black lipstick, and then complain when anyone stared at them.

    Oh wait, that was me. Good thing I grew out of that stage. I think some of these lactivists need to grow up, too.

    There’s just no need to breastfeed a child in a restaurant when child is old enough to order from the menu. They can’t be *that* hungry. Seems like attention-seeking to me.

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  • Jessica, I am beginning to think every time you need a little bit of attention, you bring up breast feeding. This happened months ago.

  • Caitlin

    I’m about to become a mother for the first time. I can’t imagine propping my boob on the restaurant table (but I might come at feeding under a shawl at the restaurant table). I’m expecting two so while I want as much privacy as possible when I’m breastfeeding, I also expect that I will need to feed them in public. Otherwise, I will never go anywhere, especially with two of them. I’ll try to be discreet and I do expect people to deal.

  • Pr198277

    AMEN!

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