Recently a picture showing a woman breastfeeding her baby in a restaurant went viral. In the picture Ashley Kaidel is seen staring at another woman who seemed to take issue with the fact that Ashley was breastfeeding her child in a restaurant. Ashley posted the picture to encourage other women to breastfeed uncovered, if that’s what they want to do.
Janie Porter is a stay at home mom who writes the blog She Just Glows and recently posted her thoughts on covering up while breastfeeding, basically saying that she doesn’t understand what the big deal is anyway. “Dear Breastfeeding Moms, Is It Really That Hard to Cover Up?” She begins by writing a disclaimer saying ‘This post isn’t meant to start a war against the public breastfeeding movement. It’s just my attempt at saying: I don’t get it. There are so many voices for the movement, and I truly think many people are scared to speak up. But, for me, there’s just an elephant in the room.’
She goes on to write;
“What’s with all the controversy about nursing in public?
I mean, seriously.
Is it really that hard to cover up?
Here’s the deal: Strangers don’t want to see your areola. (Yeah, that’s it.)
I don’t get what part of that is offensive.”
Janie goes on to explain that she’s a breastfeeding mother herself, who has breastfed anywhere and everywhere she needed to, but that she always managed to cover herself up while doing so. She just doesn’t get why other women can’t do the same.
“I totally get the importance of normalizing breastfeeding, and spreading awareness that we are feeding our children. Which, of course, is more important than anything.
I totally feel you. And I’m with ya.
But let’s stop pretending that you’re fighting a stigma that doesn’t exist in 2015. These days, when you tell someone you breastfeed, you get compliments and praise. It’s not the 1950s, when baby formula companies created anti-nursing ad campaigns to boost sales, and as a result, most women took meds after birth to stop their supply.
Today, things are completely different.
And, if anything, there’s unfair stigma on people who don’t breastfeed.
The truth is, I don’t want to see your naked boobs. I don’t want my husband to, and come to think of it, my preschool son either.
That doesn’t mean I’m sexualizing breastfeeding. It means that a naked boob, to most people in our culture, is a sexual thing. (Sorry. It’s true. Whether there’s a kid attached to it or not.) And, at least in my opinion, no amount of kids eating on a naked boob is going to change the fact that the breast is still considered a ‘naked part’ in our society.
Yes, your breasts are beautiful. Yes, they are feeding children. Yes, they are natural.
But you know what?
Your vagina helped make the kid, and I don’t see you flashin’ that around.”
I’ve had four children and I’ve never breastfed. It just wasn’t for me, and fortunately I’m a confident enough person to shut down anyone who ever questioned my choices. I’m a firm believer in ‘feed your child however you want to or need to – as long as they’re being fed that’s all that matters.’ But I also don’t care if anyone else breastfeeds, nor do I care if my kids see you breastfeed or my husband. I know I would never be comfortable breastfeeding uncovered in public, but if you are, then that’s all that matters, right? My kids might stare and I’ll tell them not to and hopefully that will be the end of it, but to me this is just one more thing that people are worrying about that people really don’t need to worry about. Right?
Janie goes on to write that this is simply her opinion and she doesn’t get the big deal about covering up and I can kind of see her point of view too, but shouldn’t that choice be left up to the person doing the actual feeding?
You can read all of Janie’s post here.
What do you think about this Hot Moms? Do you think breastfeeding moms should cover up, or is asking them to do so just contributing to body shame women?