FWP: Breastfeeding in Public, Yea or Nay?
PROBLEM: I’m a new mom, still getting comfortable with breastfeeding. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m curious to know where The Swaddle team stands: What are the rules for breastfeeding in public?
KB: When your kid’s gotta eat, she’s gotta eat. I am not about infant starvation in the name of social niceties. Consider me strongly in the camp of public breastfeeding supporters.
Now, that said, you can and should use a little discretion when breastfeeding in public. Not every mealtime is an opportunity for you to take some feminist stance, make every person in the room feel uncomfortable, and free the nipple indiscriminately. So, carry a shawl with you to cover up a little. No biggie. Make your political statements when your kid’s food isn’t at stake.
SB: As far as I am concerned, breastfeed away, anywhere you like. If it would make your life easier and you feel comfortable breastfeeding in public, go for it! I mean, you’ve probably come across much more public skin than what you would be showing with a feeding baby. Don’t worry too much about public opinion; this is something I feel people need to just get over, and I can’t believe it’s still an issue. My feeling is: your boobs, your choice.
RT: Personally, I am a liberal hippie who believes that mothers breastfeeding in public is no big deal and also totally liberating for womankind. However, if I were a new mom, I’d probably put my self-comfort first and forget about those wandering eyes and also those free-the-nipple opinions. I’d sit in a cafe and feed away with a cloth covering my baby’s meal if that felt right — or I’d shut the door and lock myself in a room with my little nibbler. Basically, you are the mother and you make the rules. Doesn’t matter who’s judging (or not judging).
MM: I think there should be no rules when it comes to breastfeeding a ravenous baby in public. Or a ravenous kid in general. You have a shawl and prefer to cover up? Great. You’re in the middle of a crowded train and can’t help flashing your tit to your co-passengers while you tame the feeding baby-beast? No problem.
While I agree with KB that mealtimes needn’t be an opportunity to take a feminist stance, I think there are enough things to worry about as a parent without adding proper breastfeeding etiquette to that list. Just strike it off.
LG: Same. There are no ‘rules.’ I mean, maybe don’t give dadu a stroke by whipping out a boob at family dinner. But most people who are judging your bare breast in public will also have a problem with you letting your kid scream with hunger while you search for a more private place, so … haters gonna hate. Doesn’t mean you have to care.