This is a response to the recent upheaval of breast and breastfeeding shaming towards mothers who choose to breastfeed in public. I was motivated to write this blog because I wanted to provide light to the side of the issue spectrum where some would disagree with. I was honestly surprised how many educated mothers in my circle would readily call another mother trashy, not classy, or indecent for not covering up a large breast when feeding their baby. What ever happened to supporting other women? I’m all about self-empowerment and healthy living so this is dedicated to breastfeeding mothers. I hope to maybe help you to feel empowered or to gain a new perspective.
If a mother feels comfortable exposing a breast while keeping her child comfortably and actively feeding, why shame her? She has a type of powerful self confidence and personal strength in ways that others can’t even fathom of. Why put her down? I read a lot of comments complaining about not wanting to see a breast. My simple response is to take responsibility for your own actions and don’t look! For those who shame women for breastfeeding, the breasts aren’t always meant to be for sexual fantasies. The purpose is not to play into those fantasies, but to feed a hungry child. Breastfeeding is the most natural act of motherhood.
Breastfeeding and being able to nourish my babe naturally has been one of the most important things my body has done. I feel like the most ultimate loving and powerful warrior goddess momma that I am. As a public breastfeeder, I won’t deny my babe the breast when she needs nourishment. She feeds when she asks for it. She sometimes pulls my cover off because she is either hot, or would prefer to look into my eyes. I have breastfed openly in the grocery store while walking, in Las Vegas, at numerous dinner restaurants, camping, festivals, at museums, and even on Mt. Baldy at 10,064 ft!
As my breastfeeding experience has been my own and sometimes uncovered because I feel comfortable doing so, why can’t other women except that? Everyone has their own personal breastfeeding experiences and preferences, so let the mother be without shaming. Period. This applies to this side of the argument and the opposing argument to stay covered. To each their own opinions about how they want to feed their babe. The only difference I found personally while covering up and not is that the let down is sometimes stalled when I’m exposed a little more. I would seek out private dressing rooms while shopping if I wanted privacy and a quick let down. Never have I dared to breastfeed in the restroom.
Recently, a tattooed big breasted momma brought this type of shaming to light at a local amusement park. In the mothers defense, I have very much heard rumors about how much attendees who are tourists hate seeing breastfeeding. Regardless if covered up or with some skin revealed, tourists will continue to complain. It’s the mindset of finicky clientele that attends high price family entertainment. She’s made a statement breastfeeding her infant in line while wearing a low cut tank top. She got mixed comments online both shaming her and telling her that she was an inspiration. It’s nice that the park has designated rooms and areas away from the crowds; but the truth is that sometimes a screaming baby can’t wait for you to find a room.
So back to addressing the shaming. Bottom line, it is California State law that a women can breastfeed in public. Regardless if you are of a from a different generation, race, or class with a different opinion; a mother is allowed to feed her baby the way she and the baby feel is comfortable. Don’t mess with, judge, or scowl at a momma in who is being her true natural self in public with less inhibitions than yourself. Why would you want to perpetuate negativity or shame? How is negativity helping anything these days? Not everyone wants to stop their lives to seek refuge in a dirty bathroom or hiding spot. Some women like to keep on moving. Let them feed their own kid and just don’t look if the breast is out!
I feel more passionately about this particular social stigma because it just shouldn’t be an issue. Recently there are so many social issues that have been dividing friends and family, neighbors and communities. I’ve been trying my hardest to consciously not get involved or heated about any one particular issue. This breastfeeding shaming has definitely hit a nerve that has crippled my hope that women were beginning to unite on multiple self-empowering issues. I am advocating that we lift each other up like sisters, not enemies or to discredit someones own personal breastfeeding experiences by shaming. If someone is brave enough to go against the social norm, maybe begin to challenge your perspective and understand that there could be some truth to what the underlying message might be.
Have you had a defining breastfeeding experience? What has made you feel like a powerful warrior goddess momma? Have you had any challenging experiences while breastfeeding? Was there ever a moment where you felt judged? Let me know!