Yesterday, I posted this fabulous image on Facebook and did it ever get a response from our momstown moms!
It seems that there is a huge double standard about women's breasts. It's okay for women to be exposing themselves in advertising, on TV, in magazines, music shows and videos, but it's not okay to nurse your baby and show a breast in public.
I'll admit that when I was nursing my first, I would rush to find any Sears nursing station and only shopped at malls that had a place where I could go and fumble around while I fed my son. My attempt to find a nursing room was less about exposing a breast and more about exposing myself as a flustered new mom. As my son got older and I was even more overwhelmed in public, I would pull up the closest mall bench and feed him. I'm sure I flashed more than a few people while I nursed, but it didn't ever occur to me that this was something "sexual".
It's really interesting how my breasts had an 'on and off' switch. Did yours? For my son, they were nourishment, nursing was a beautiful expression of our bond. I lost all modesty as I would nurse him at friend's homes, restaurants, anywhere WHEN MY SON WAS HUNGRY! He didn't care where we were, so why should I?
For my hubby, my breasts were something different and kept private. Why can't the general public and the media also have this "switch"? Sure, sometimes they are sexual, but sometimes they just aren't. Sometimes they are just the most natural moment between and mother and her child and that's all. There should never been anything uncomfortable about that.
I loved the comments from our moms on Facebook...
Is it a Human Rights Issue? Jami weighs in with her thoughts: "It's in the Human Rights Act for BC and Ontario that women can breast feed anywhere. Not sure about the rest of the country, but it should be universal. Breasts were made for feeding babies. End of story."
I loved this expectant mom, Afifa's question: 'Isn't it legally allowed for women to bf in the malls and public? Can the mall security even question you for this?? Expecting my baby soon, really need answers..."
April had such a compelling argument- maybe it's less about breasts, and more about a culture raised to believe in bottle and formula feeding? " It's not always about seeing some woman's boob. I know people who are from what I like to call the nestle generation. They were taught in hospital to formula feed their babiesbecause breastfeeding was considered to be a bodily function, something animals do, and it was only for those who couldn't afford formula. They see it as being disgusting and it's not because they are opposed to seeing someone's breast. That's just an excuse. Our generation is being taught differently. And we will never overcome the common misconception in this comic until we educate the opposition on the nutritional aspect of breast feeding and stop focusing on whether or not someone got a peek into someone else's top. Breastfeeding should be allowed wherever bottle feeding is allowed. And it should be up to he mother as to whether she wants to whip out a boob for the world to see, such in the mall,or go feed the baby in private because that is what she prefers."
Genevieve's reply was so perfect for new and expectant moms: "I think it's great. You are allowed to nurse anywhere. I nursed my daughter at the side of the pool at the Y all last winter so my son could keep swimming. We nurse anywhere anytime. It's important to me to do it in public as I want to make it as normal as possible and for future mothers to see that it's ok!"
Image from Reddit (posted originally by Scott Stratten on Facebook)