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Saturday, October 22, 2011

An Order of Milk With a Side of Boob

Recently at the restaurant I had a lovely young mother come in with her adorable son. It was just the two of them on a "date night" and they were both very sweet. She specifically asked to sit out of the way of everyone which I assumed was because she had a rather large stroller as new moms are apt to have. I gave her a two-top at the front of the restaurant and handed her a menu. "I'll give you a chance to settle in and be back in a minute to get you whatever you'd like," I said. At this point the baby was just waking up in his stroller and she said, "Better give me a few minutes. Somebody just woke up and he's gonna be hungry." "No problem," I told her.

About five minutes later she called me over. She was now holding the baby in her arms and ready to place the order. The little boy was less than a year old. He had sleepy little eyes and full head of bushy brown hair and cute little hands that were grasping at whatever they could find. "I'll have the mac and cheese and then the salmon," Mom ordered. "And water is fine." She didn't seem to notice that the the little boy's hands were creeping into her blouse but it was obvious to me. This kid was feeling up his own motherright in front of me. That baby totally got to second base while I was taking an order. I smiled and went on my way.

When the mac and cheese was ready, I placed it on a tray and headed over to table 5. I was not prepared for what I saw. The baby was having his dinner and it was courtesy of a big right titty that was hanging out of young mother's shirt. There was a feeding frenzy going on over there. It was a milk buffet. Cafe con leche con boobie. It was like a National Geographic special happening. I don't have a lot of experience with the bosoms other than some close encounters of the drunk kind after too many California Coolers in the 80's. (Hi, Laurie, say hi to your husband for me. How are the kids?) Even though my knowledge of the breasticles is limited, I am pretty sure that letting one hang out in the middle of a restaurant so you can feed your kid as I am innocently trying to place a bowl of macaroni and cheese is inappropriate. We don't have a nursing station just like we don't have a changing table. Where else was she supposed to do it? I don't know, but I really didn't feel it was right.

"Here is your mac and cheese. Is there anything else you might need right now?" I asked. "Like a sheet, partition or a separate room?" I thought. "Or maybe a box of blindfolds for all of us who are not accustomed to seeing breasts while at our jobs?" I averted my eyes and backed away from the table. "There's nothing to see over here, folks, nothing at all. Do not look at table five, I repeat, DO NOT look at table five," I heard the voice in my head screaming.

By the time the salmon was ready, the little boy was just as full as mom was from her appetizer. The rest of the service continued sans boobs. She left me a great tip and was completely friendly. I know that breast-feeding is totally natural and I am in no way against it. I can appreciate it as long as I have consumed a four pack of California Coolers and Laurie is just as trashed as I am and laying on my bed circa 1985. But I question the appropriateness of the action in a restaurant without one of those shield thingies. I may be old-school, but if she didn't bring enough for everybody, then maybe she shouldn't have brought it at all.

Here is my question to you: was it right or wrong for her to nurse at a table in a restaurant? Yes, she was at a table away from everyone else but there was a table directly next to her that could have been sat. No, we do not have a place for nursing moms to have some privacy. Yes, boobies make me nervous whether they have a baby hanging off of it or not. No, I was not about to ask her to stop because I am not stupid. But I want to know what you think about the situation. Please share your thoughts. And before you jump all over me, please remember I am not against it. I was just surprised, that's all. And great. Now I totally want cereal.

You can read the follow up to this post here.




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156 comments:

Sandra Salter said...

She was getting off on flashing her tits - it's not difficult to descreetly feed your baby, though sometimes they lean on the boob causing it to squirt across the room. I bet there's been plenty more who managed it without your noticing ;)

Dana said...

Sorry you had such an awkward shift because of this nursing mother.

I believe in the right to breastfeed but I also believe in being polite... which means making those around me comfortable and not selfishly doing whatever the heck I wanna do all the time.

I breastfed all my children and there's always plenty of space in those big ole strollers and diaper bags for a receiving blanket or nursing cover so that you can discretely feed your baby. There's also specialty nursing clothing that lets you avoid the blanket if you wish.

Your rights don't have to infringe on others rights to be free from the sight of your boobage in public.

whitney said...

Well I am a mom, and I have one on the way. I would never nurse in public at all unless it was an emergency (which it doesn't sound like this was). There are breast pumps for exactly this type of an occasion. Some women insist on breast-only, and that is fine, but they need to be considerate of those around them. A blanket would have made this whole situation discreet without making anyone feel uncomfortable.

Anoushka said...

why are you implying (however subconsciously) that breasts are only sexual? you wouldn't have thought twice if it was a bottle would you? plus as he was feeding he wasn't screaming and annoying you, and we all know how much you hate misbehaving kids.

of course there is nothing wrong with her breastfeeding her child in a restaurant/public place. i find it astounding that you even had to ask this question! especially since you even said she was at a table away from everyone else and effectively being discreet.

but then are american attitudes different about nursing mothers? in england it's illegal to ask a woman to stop breastfeeding and we get a lot of maternity rights but i'm unsure on what america offers people.

Anonymous said...

I don't think there is a server in the world that feels comfortable walking up to a table of a breast feeding mother.. its just like the old guy at table 21 that spits when he talks and always has a steady supply of snot dripping out of his nose. I don't think its appropriate for public, especially with all the breast pumps and ways to save the boob milk for later, but its one of those uncomfortable moments we all have to deal with.. sigh....

Q said...

I breast fed my son until he was 6 months old. I would've done it longer, but I missed booze. Anyway, I fed him in restuarants, at the park, in the mall, etc. If we were out and he was hungry, he got to eat. No, I did not sneak off to the bathroom or sit in my car in the parking lot. I don't like to eat in either of those places, so I wouldn't make my son eat there either. I did, however, have the decency to cover up. I always had a blanket or drape of some sort. I was not comfortable sitting in a restaurant with my ta-ta on the table.

Anonymous said...

Cafe con leche con boobie. XD

Well ima girl and i dont like seeing it!

Anonymous said...

What was alarming to me, was that she didn't have a small blanket, or a towel to cover herself up with. I too, am a server...and have seen many moms breastfeed their kids, but its usually with a lot more discretion. You said she was young, maybe she just didn't know any better???

maxi said...

I don't know if that fact I'm female makes me biased (even though kids give me the heebie-jeebies) but I don't think there is anything wrong with what she did. She asked for a quiet table away from people, she fed him quickly and as I understand it was lovely in every way.

So you are squirmy about boobies, well we ALL have them and she was doing the most natural thing in the world. I don't know much about your restaurant, if it is particularly fine-ding then maybe it would have been slightly inappropriate, like blowing ones nose at the table. But for the majority of places I think it's fine.

And at the end of the day, what would you rather, a happy fed baby with a bit of tit OR a screaming demon from hell but no tit?.....

Two Flights Down said...

It should be okay to breast feed in public, but our society tends to sexualize breasts even when used as something as innocent as feeding your baby. Shields are uncomfortable, and many babies get fussy when trying to feed under one, so that's why many mothers refuse to use them. A lot of times you can be more discreet feeding your baby without a cover than with one. Bathrooms are not sanitary for feeding, and mothers shouldn't be confined to the home just because they want to feed naturally and American society is uncomfortable with boobies. So, I say good for her that she fed her young one rather than let him scream his head off and good for you for not making a big deal of it. I'm not saying moms should let 'em all hang out and shake 'em around, but it sounds like this mother wasn't looking to draw attention to herself. Also, I don't have kids, yet, so I am not speaking from personal experience, but from what I've read on the subject. I just find America's view towards breast feeding in public to be a problem with how we always make boobs sex objects. Even in cultures where women are expected to be covered from head to toe in public don't view the sight of a nursing mother as obscene. So, I say it's not inappropriate.

Cover It Up said...

I support a woman's right to breastfeed in public, but have some modesty damnit. Cover it up. All I'm asking for is a burp cloth. Or pump and bring a bottle on public outings. It would NOT be acceptable for you to whip your boob out it public without a child suckling it (at least not where I live, I do believe there are topless states though) and I just feel some modesty is in order. Your boob is for your baby, not for everyone else in the restaurant- keep it that way.

thormoo said...

Seriously, I don't think it's appropriate at all and I'm w/you, I have no problem with a woman breast feeding her child, just don't do it right here. I just think feeding the child in that public of a setting is, where let's face it, other people can see it (including little kids)is too much...

BabyJane said...

Nursing in public strikes as a little odd to me but personally I don't mind. I wouldn't do it and I might give a weird look at the mom who does it, but if they sat next to me at a restaurant I wouldn't lose my appetite because of it. Maybe it's 'cause I'm not that conservative or myabe it's 'cause I'm European, who knows.

BabyJane said...

Nursing in public strikes as a little odd to me but personally I don't mind. I wouldn't do it and I might give a weird look at the mom who does it, but if they sat next to me at a restaurant I wouldn't lose my appetite because of it. Maybe it's 'cause I'm not that conservative or myabe it's 'cause I'm European, who knows.

California Girl said...

I honestly think children should be nursed in private. That said, I've walked into the corridor of our office bldg, and occasionally found a woman on a bench nursing her child. It doesn't bother me but we're not in a crowded environment either. Restaurant feeding? I just can't get behind it. Too distracting to other diners and may be embarrassing or offensive to some. It's very tough to be a nursing mother but I managed it in private (while out in public) 24 & 23 yrs ago & there were less places to disappear to then.

California Girl said...

After writing my comment, I asked my husband what he thought. He said it would be more considerate and respectful to all if the mother covered her shoulder and baby with something while she nursed. That's a good idea.

Tracy said...

Throwing those ridiculous blankets over your baby while breast feeding makes you both sweaty, sticky and smelly hot, trust me it's really not nice. Seriously, it's about time folks (specially Americans) got over themselves. There is nothing wrong with it at all, she asked for a discrete location and lets face it the baby was dining in a restuarant which is what restaurants are for right... Ok so he bought his own food but really its perfectly acceptable in just about every other country....

Anonymous said...

I don't take issue with someone nursing in public so long as they are covered and discreet about it. I have seen women who just completely whip the boob out and practically flop it onto the table, and that is just classless. Yes, it is natural, but so is sex, and going to the bathroom, and no one wants to see that in public, either. I do wonder why more women don't pump at home to take on outings. At any rate, as a woman myself, do what you gotta do ladies, but have a little decorum while doing it.

-Serenity

Anonymous said...

I am a Mom. I breastfed. I am a bartender. I think she should have had a cover to put over boob and the baby. They specifically make light ones just for this reason. That is how I think it should be handled in public. She just should have covered the baby at the boob. Maybe she forgot her cover that day or something...you never know.

Anonymous said...

I'm totally with you on this. I'm a waitress and I can't stand it when I'm trying to take an order and I get distracted by a floppy, veiny boob with a baby sucking off it. I agree: breast feeding is natural, but please be discreet about it. Use a shawl or cover-up. It's not hard! Much better then showing everyone your boobies.

Lolamouse said...

She probably could have made you and any potential customers less uncomfortable by wearing a nursing shirt and/or using a small blanket or towel. It's not that hard to cover up a bit. That being said, as a mom who did breasfeed, after a while, I got so used to whipping them out on demand having my boobs grabbed, poked, bitten, and other indignities that for a while I didn't see them as sexual objects at all and forgot that they made other people uncomfortable. After the public spectacle of giving birth, a little public boobie is nothing to a mom!

Anonymous said...

Hey Bitchy,

I know my mom used to nurse me in public too, but she at least had the courtesy to place a blanket over me and nothing of hers was visible. I think it can be done, as long as no body parts are showing and a good attempt at discretion is in place. Pinned in place, if need be.

JustMe said...

I don't think it is inappropriate. but she could have put a baby blanket over her shoulder shielding
her breast. Everyone would have still known what she was doing but it wouldn't have been awkward.

Anonymous said...

I nursed my babies in public, but out of respect for others, I tossed a receiving blanket over us for privacy. And there were still times that I got dirty looks even though nothing was exposed! I know there will be mothers that don't think that I should have felt that I needed to keep it private, but I understand that there are others in the world that are not comfortable with seeing breasts in public (or maybe even in private). And I don't think the that the entire world should have to cater to the needs of my children.

NotAnomymous said...

And every (heterosexual) man in the restraunt is happy as a kid in a candy store...

jnana said...

Err, usually moms who breast feed should have a shawl in handy with them to cover their breast in public. Yeah, what she did was awkward.

Traci said...

Was it wrong of her? Can't really say. I'm a breastfeeding mom of a now one year old and while my kid does need to eat when he's hungry I try to be considerate of others as well because lets face it, not everyone is comfortable with that sort of thing. In the beginning when he was small it simply looked like he was sleeping when he ate but now that he is older he sort of flails around and talks to people all the while exposing me to everyone so I look for a more private area. No one wants to see that. Ok, pervy people maybe ;D Besides, there's nothing like trying to feed your kid in public an someone else's kid screaming "look mommy, boobies!" I'll pass on that. =)

Anonymous said...

I think it all comes down to consideration for others. I, also, am not against breast feeding but, in a public place, without something to cover up with, might be a little too much. It makes some of us unconfortable.

Jennifer said...

Breastfeeding babies need to be fed and a restaurant is perfectly appropriate. She should have covered up though. The covers they make now are convenient and give mom some privacy. My daughter does it all the time and those around her don't even know she is feeding the baby.

Derby Wallus said...

I agree with you Bitchy.
Really all it takes is a blanket to cover it.
There's nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public, but it should still have at least a little bit of an air of mystery, you know?

Sally said...

You just picked the most controversial subject you can write about. I don't disagree with you, but this is one of the most polarizing arguments in blogland.

I am off to pop some popcorn and sit back and watch the trainwreck that is going to happen.

For what it is worth - I nursed all my kids and if I had to do it in a public place they were covered with a well placed blanket. I didn't want anyone seeing me, anymore than others wanted to see me nurse.

And for those that argue "But the baby gets sooooooooo hot under a blanket"? All 4 of my kids are alive and well in adulthood. They were more concerned about lunch they ever were about the silly covering. It can modestly be done.

Lindsey said...

There's nothing wrong with sex but I wouldn't do it in a restaurant... This woman was obviously too comfortable with showing her boob in public, regardless of what she was doing with it.

Bamazalea said...

I fed my twins via "the girls" but I promise you that no one other than the hubby or the lactation nurse ever laid eyes on one of the "girls". They make these great cover things, you can get them in any kind of fabric design. You should have told her about Etsy - they sell them on there.

Now that I know that you saw Laurie's boobs in HS, I'll never be the same. Guess I should have brought some beer to homecoming.....just saying.

Maria said...

I think it is fine to breastfed in public, but also so easy to drape a blanket over you for privacy. Just because mom is not ashamed of her breast hanging out, doesn't mean others aren't a little embarrassed by it. I think we all have rights to a little modesty. It seems like you handled it the best way possible.

Lisa2 said...

It is inappropriate to breastfeed in full view of others in public. There are pumps available to take care of that if it will be feeding time and you are out and about. If you want America to be more like Europe, move there. I don't want to see anyone's boobs.

Amanda said...

It is even more excruciating when the kid is older like the 4 year old that got nursed on my shift. Screaming "I want my milkie!" People were so disgusted they left before finishing their dinner and my ttps suffered for her indescretion . The mother was acting oblivious to all the negativity she caused. And she did not use a cover-up. In fact I think she got off on the shit storm she caused. BITCH! But then I always find young kids in a restruant to be troublesome, with their screeching and making a mess of everything they can get their hands on.

thislittleblog.com said...

I used to work at Disneyland on the storybook boats, and women breast fed on the boats all the time. I even discovered a forum encouraging it (no wonder!) They usually had a blanket to cover themselves, but one mother carried on a conversation with this guy across from her, all the while her boob was just hanging out of her shirt. She'd finished breastfeeding and forgot to tuck it back in. It was an awkward boat ride and this guy was way too excited to be talking to her. 0_o

Now that I'm older, I don't care so much. It's just a boob. :)

Anonymous said...

Everyone keeps saying "I believe in breastfeeding, but the mother should be shamed and hidden while doing it". That makes no sense. It's so hypocritical. Our society is not used to seeing a boob, okay, I know. The only way to remedy that is for more women to breastfeed openly so people get used to it and stop being so uptight and silly. I'm surprised there are moms on here claiming breastfeeding is offensive. WTF?

Anonymous said...

Nobody would bother here in europe about a women nursing her baby.

diatribesandovations.com said...

I'm all for breastfeeding. But, like with everything else, there's an appropriate time and place for exposing a breasticle. "Shirt and Shoes Required" kinda implies "don't whip out your tit", does it not?

Anonymous said...

1. Boobs are sexual. Always have been, always will be. Just because they are multifunctional does NOT mean they are not a private part. Trying to change public opinion on the sexuality and privateness of breasts is futile. There are porn magazines dedicated solely to the glory of the ma'ams. If people can see them, you're flashing.

2. Your kid gets too hot under a nursing blanket, yet all those thick knitted fleece hats you make him wear are just too darn cute!

3. No, no one would think twice if the kid was being fed with a bottle - that's exactly the point. It's not about the milk or feeding the kid. It's about flopping out the flapjacks so that the entire world can see them.

4. Maxi said: "And at the end of the day, what would you rather, a happy fed baby with a bit of tit OR a screaming demon from hell but no tit?....." These are our choices?

Last, don't do something in public with a child attached to you that you wouldn't otherwise do if the child WASN'T attached to you. Your kid is not an excuse to flash people.

Love you, Bitchy!! XOXO

S'A said...

I breast fed my two and I had some nice, light T-towel blankets that I threw over my shoulder. And I get uncomfortable when a woman breast feeds in a public place without a cover. It especially makes my husband and teenage son uncomfortable.

Anonymous said...

You know all of these people getting upset because American's sexualize breasts is ridiculous...I'm a woman and guess what? When I'm having sex with my boyfriend I like it when he plays with my breasts and does all sorts of other nice things to them...=) Before you use them to feed your child that is what you use them for, ladies, and if that isn't sexual then I don't know what is.

I would never tell a lady that she couldn't feed her child at my restaurant but some people are just rude about it. Personally I think that if you're out in public you need to use a cloth to cover yourself because even though you're feeding your child--which is your right--it's not fair of you to make the other people uncomfortable.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, these women can bring a bottle for the kid if they're out in public. I don't want to be exposed to someone's bodily fluids. Breast milk doesn't always make it into the baby's mouth. Have some class, ladies!

Levonne said...

Breasts are so sexualized in our society that it is shocking to see one exposed for real in public. That's unfortunate.

Anonymous said...

I hate religion, I'm not a conservative, but I'm not an uber-lib. Use a modesty cloth if you insist upon breastfeeding your child in public. This woman (and women like her) is attention-whoring. If I had my way, breastfeeding in public would be illegal. By the way, bro and I were formula fed, born '80 and '86 respectively. Mom hated the idea of breastfeeding period. You extremist pro-breast idiots have no respect for dissenting styles and opinions.

VioletYoshi said...

She should've been more descreet. Romanticizing the norion of breastfeeding as innocent, doesn't help matters. Makes it sound like the mom is a child herself and can't possibly know any better. Why is it when you have a child, age regression is accepted? These people are in charge of antother life, and we're acting as if they're a 3 year old who oopsied in their pants.

If she's old enough to have a child, she should have a concealment blanket with here, or put her milk in a bottle. No whining about, "Wahhh the blanket makes things all hot waaah!" you're supposed to be a mother, not act like you're the age of your own small child.

As far as the arguement that it's okay in other countries, feel free to move to one of them if politeness and decency offends you so much. No it's not that we determined the breast as sexualized, it's that we expect women to behave less like a savage and more like a modern day human being. If you want to demand we all act like cavemen just to make life easier for mothers, that's your perogative.

We're talking about adult women, throwing childish tantrums over simply covering up their breast with a blanket. Do you think it's progressive to treat mothers like helpless little babies, everytime they have a complaint? To act as if women are helpless fragile and childlike? You are saying yes, when you take the side of mothers who have a lying on the floor kicking in the air tanttrum, over covering themselves. Are we to believe having a baby age regresses you back to the mental age of 2? Can we respect women enough, to give them the dignity to not be supported in dealing with mothering issues by age regressing? Do you think it benefits anyone, to insinuate that having a child makes you become mentally disabled, and that if there's any problem people will run to parent you until you regain age appropriate behavior again?

Come On said...

Anonymous, breasts PRIMARY FUNCTION are to provide nutrition to children..

Don't twist biological fact to suit your prudish ideas. Just because you're a pearl-clutcher doesn't mean that a baby can't be fed while in public.

Sarah G said...

I tottaly get how that could make you uncomfortable. I've been in that moms situation and in your situation (before I was a nursing mom). I try to be as desecrate as possible when nursing in public. When my daughter was little I'd cover w a blanket or nursing cover but as they get older it becomes less plausible, ie she kicks n thrashed.

goldencoathanger.com said...

Excuse me, does there have to be something sexual about breasts for women to just whip them out in front of unsuspecting people? Can I have my boyfriend suck my tits in a restaurant as long as we weren't fucking at the table? Maybe you think that's still sexual. Would it stop being sexual if I was lactating and was feeding him? Some couples nurse (weird as I think that is.)

Ok, suppose no tit-sucking. Suppose I just let my bouncing boobies hang loose. No one's sucking them. No one's touching them. Is that OK? There's nothing sexual about that, is there? Yet I doubt that would be acceptable social behavior. Hell, I doubt even men could get away with being shirtless where BW works without being asked to leave.

Why should nursing women have special privilege? Why can't we all just flash people whenever we feel like it? I'm just looking for some consistency here. It seems we should all just be able to expose ourselves as we please, or no one should.

Oh, and as for what people said about it being natural, yeah, so is taking a dump. I don't do that at the table either.

Sarah G said...

I'm kind of sad seeing so many people say that's what bottles are for :-/ bottles are for people who are unable to directly breast feed. Though a cover doesn't usullly work for older babies, as a mom I dress in layers so barley any "boob skin" is showing. I think breastfeeding should be more acceptable n chdren should see it as a norm too. Modesity is important but meeting your child's needs is more important. On the bright side, the child was well behaved, right :-)

Practical Parsimony said...

That woman probably goes out to lunch at a different place each day to display her boobs. Her pretense of wanting a private place...okay, she just did want to look like she was not displaying, so she could display. Call it coy.

You don't have to "throw a blanket over the baby." There are some nice lightweight cloths for just that purpose.

Breasts primary purpose is for feeding a baby. The fact that some guy plays around with them as foreplay is not part of the problem.

Modesty and concern for others should be considered secondary to the baby's needs. I think anywhere a baby gets hungry is the right time and place to nurse.

Anonymous said...

That happened to us before. The kid was about 3 years old and jumping up in down asking for "milky" (yes, I can still hear it...that's how bad it was). Mom whipped the tit out and just let it hang there until he was able to get comfortable on her lap. I asked the waitress if we could be seated somewhere else because we were there for dinner and NOT the show. I'm all for breastfeeding, but for crying out loud...use a blanket or even ask for a towel. COVER THE TIT UP!!

stream27 said...

In a restaurant, I believe doing it this was was slightly inappropriate, but only slightly. Breastfeeding at a restaurant/in public is fine. However, as others have mentioned, there are nursing blankets and nursing bras that are for this purpose. Hauling half your chest isn't necessary.

However, I'm also a believer that public places should have a space designated for nursing mothers, just as they should all be equipped with change tables (which your restaurant, as you said, isn't either. I find this strange). It's not so hard to have another stall in bathroom, not even necessarily with a door, just a partition, with a comfy chair and a picture with a bear on the wall or something. You wouldn't need more then one because I doubt there would be more than one need for it at a time, but it would be extremely beneficial to the waitstaff, other customers, and the mother.

yurb said...

I don't think 'natural' is a sufficient argument, as we can all think of other things that are natural but that we have no desire to see other people do in public. Being out in public requires consideration for others, and while we can argue about who's problem it is if someone is uncomfortable witnessing breastfeeding, I just want to note that we don't appear to be having the same discussion over public urination.

The argument that the female breast is not inherently exclusively sexual is not one I disagree with, but I want to know why the same people who support obvious public breastfeeding are generally NOT comfortable with non-lactating women exposing their breasts in public because of they think it will scar their children.

Back to the question of natural functions that are taboo in public situations--what is it that they all have in common? I would say it is not nudity, although urination and intercourse do involve at least partial nudity, but a natural (if I may use that word--I mean that it is based on survival instincts) disgust at exposure to bodily fluids. Bodily fluids can spread disease, and breast milk is not an exception. Breast milk also isn't guaranteed to go exclusively into the baby's mouth.

This makes me uncomfortable. I don't want to get someone's breast milk on me, any more than I want another person's blood, semen, or saliva on me. If you're bleeding in public, wrap up the wound so you don't expose others. If you're releasing saliva in public, spit into a tissue. If you're breastfeeding in public, cover up with a blanket which can absorb stray discharge. (I'm not going to offer advice for the release of semen in public, except to say that I'd rather people don't do it.)

Oh, and all these references to Europe seem a little bit off-base to me. I live in Europe (in a country with fairly high breastfeeding rates), and I have honestly never noticed a woman nursing in public here--I've only seen that when visiting the US. Could it be that people are practicing discretion?

maxi said...

Ye gads! Why shame women into covering up or going somewhere else. ITS ONLY A BIT OF TIT! We've all seen them. Why are you fine with women getting their boobs out in a magazine or a film but when she feeds her child suddenly it's not appropriate! You're husband has seen breasts, your wife has seen breasts, your children have seen breasts. They are just breasts!

As far as we can see she didn't just 'flop it out on the table' or make a mess. Or, at least, that is not whta Bitchy implies. And if it makes you uncomfortable to see a mother feeding her child then perhaps you should think why.

PS And all those who say that it's awkward if their children point out the breast then it shouldn't be. "Yes Bobby Jr, that's how you were fed. Now get back to your meal". How hard is that?! Censoring tits is how you sexualise them and they will grow up finding titty mags naughty instead of just pages of girls in tactless poses and nothing more.

Anonymous said...

Breasts are sexual, no doubt about it.

Is their primary function food rather than sexual attraction? You can argue it either way.

If breasts were meant solely for feeding babies then women would only get them when they're pregnant/have given birth, and they would go away after she was done breast feeding.

That does not happen.

If breasts are non-sexual and just baby feeders, then why do women who are born sterile develop breasts? I mean, they can't have a baby, so they don't need breast then right?

If a woman is beyond child-bearing age, her breasts don't disappear.

Also, keep in mind breast stimulation of foreplay for many women, and many women can orgasm from it.

So really, say what you want, but breasts are just as much sexual as they are "functional".

goldencoathanger.com said...

maxi

I can't just flash my tits whenever I want in restaurants. People buy magazines for tits. People in restaurants are there to eat. I don't know anything about BW's workplace, but I'm pretty sure even men are required to wear shirts. It's got nothing to do with sexualization (never-mind the fact that a female breast in an inherently sexual part, being a secondary sex characteristic.)

If you think it aught to be a-ok to expose yourself to people, go to a nudist colony. The rest of society covers up, not because we're ashamed, but because it's the decent thing to do.

Anonymous said...

So you had a baby and because of that I should go out and spend several thousand dollars on remodeling the so that you can feed your baby in my restaurant? What is wrong with you people? Yes, the baby has a right to eat and yes the mother has a right to breastfeed, but I also have the right not to witness you whipping out the mammory glands to feed Jr. Use a nursing blanket because otherwise you're just being rude and inconsiderate of other people's feelings. But that's okay, right? Because YOU are getting what you want--which is to feed your baby whenever and wherever you want to. I'm not allowed to have an opinion or suggest you cover up because them I'm repressed or trying to starve your child. Give me a break!

It's very frustrating because it seems as if all of you mother's think that you deserve special treatment because you spawned--it's been happening for years people, long before you were born and long after you die so it really doesn't make you that special.

What is really inappropriate is when the child they are feeding is able to talk--sorry ladies--but if Jr. can scream and have a tantrum telling you he wants milky then he's too old to be breast fed--especially in public. I don't care if you like that I said that either. I am just so sick and tired of all of these people DEMANDING special rights. Grow the fuck up and realize that you are not the only person who it's about and you have to take other people's feelings into consideration.

Sorry about the strong language...

Cat M said...

As someone said breasts are sexual AND multifunctional. Moms can breast feed all they want but it doesn't mean hanging it out for all to see. Too many people commenting on breasts are used to feed kids. Fair enough but if your 1 year old is hungry and you are in a restaurant BUY him food! Why whip out a boob when the kid is eating a lot of regular food? Also when I say penis what comes to mind? It certainly isn't that it's an organ men use in order to urinate. So enough with the breasts are not sexual nonsense. They have always been and will always be sexual. They just have other uses too.

Joe Sixtop said...

At one of my jobs we were told in no uncertain terms to just roll with it and if any adjacent clients had a prob with it, we were to offer to move the offended party to another table.

Anonymous said...

whilst i fully support breast feeding anywhere you damn well like i do think that a bit of decorum doesn't go astray. cover it up with a blankie or something. it's the most natural thing in the world but not everyone needs to see it happening in a public restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Since she did not have a blanket, she could have asked for you to give her some privacy for 10 minutes while she breastfed her son. You could have gotten her all set with drinks and food and then given her peace and quiet and avoided the boob display.

Anonymous said...

I am a former waitress. I think breastfeeding in public is disgusting and selfish and so are women who do it. If this woman had money to eat out then she would have had enough money to order in and spare waitstaff from seeing her tits. Some mothers think that the only need that matters is that of their child, our need to NOT be grossed out does not. When their kids grow up they will be just as selfish as their selfish mothers.

Holly Henry said...

OK, I am currently breastfeeding and in the beginning I would always source out a washroom or other private area to feed him. There's a severe lack of comfortable places for nursing mothers out there. I don't consider the counter of a public washroom comfortable, or sanitary for that matter. I also own a nursing cover but honestly, it just gets in the way so I rarely ever use it. If my son needs to eat, he needs to eat now and I will feed him wherever I am.
Do you eat with your head covered up? Would you enjoy eating in a washroom while the rest of your family eat at the table? No? Then why should my child have to? If it makes you uncomfortable then don't look!
I find it amazing that most men will do anything they can to see a naked boob. But if that boob is being used to feed a baby, all of a sudden its "offensive", "inappropriate" or "disgusting". I find that attitude disgusting and absurd. A mother has the right to feed her baby anywhere she chooses, end of story.

Little redhead said...

Well I don't think it's inappropriate, but I can imagine feeling uncomfortable going up to her if her entire boob is out. There really is no need to take the whole thing out, that's just awkward and I can't imagine feeling comfortable doing that. There are so many discreet ways of breastfeeding. Like many said, just lightly covering everything with a blanket so it is out of sight would have made things a lot less visible. There are even special breastfeeding bras now with a little flap in the middle. It's a natural thing of course, but there really is no need to flash your boob in public.

Bea Sempere said...

LOL! This post is so true on how many people feel.

BTW, I nominated your blog for the Versatile Blogger Award.

Haruka said...

If it's possible to do it discreetly (and how hard can it be to keep a small towel or something handy?) she should have done so. I'm sorry you had to see that where you had no way of avoiding it.

Anonymous said...

There are degrees. She certainly showed some discretion by asking for a table in back. Honestly, some of the things I've seen people do to cover up draw more attention than the situation you describe.

Mum of Boys said...

Grow up. It's a boob. If you don't want to see, deon't look. The only reason you were shocked is because not enough women openly breastfeed in our culture.

If you're offended, you put a blanket over YOUR head. seriously, I really don't understand all the fuss. It's easy to just not look! Look at her face!

Why should I have to express milk, buy bottles, store the milk whilst out and about, fuss about heating it up, then have to deal with washing and sterilising the bottles and pump when I can produce sterile milk at the perfect temperature, consistency and volume for my baby on demand?

Sick of it said...

Sorry, but she was flashing. You can discreetly feed your child, but some mothers feel the need to shove them in our faces. "Look at me! Look at me!"

There is no need to flash an entire restaurant unless you're showing off, or expecting everyone there to ooh and ahh over the fact you can reproduce.

Stop being selfish and be discreet or plan your feeding times better.

Sick of it said...

Sorry, but she was flashing. You can discreetly feed your child, but some mothers feel the need to shove them in our faces. "Look at me! Look at me!"

There is no need to flash an entire restaurant unless you're showing off, or expecting everyone there to ooh and ahh over the fact you can reproduce.

Stop being selfish and be discreet or plan your feeding times better.

LS said...

Taking a dump is natural too, but you don't see me doing it at the table.

flora68 said...

No offense inteded, but all I can thinkl of to say to you and most of your responders is, GROW UP!

Serving It Back said...

Nursing mothers should just throw a blanket over the baby while it is sucking that giant booby, that is all. I have waited on plenty of moms that know how to nurse in public. It is a natural thing but that doesn't mean we need to see your milk engorged baby feeders.

www.servingitback.com

witchybaiter said...

I'm neither a parent nor much of a fan of kids but I'm stunned by the Puritanism and misogyny in the comments here. Open any magazine, walk down any street in July in any American city and you'll see naked breasts all over the place. Oh wait, they're not "naked" because you can't see the bare nipple. Kind of like when a nursing woman has breast bared and you can see almost all of it except...the nipple. I'm sure half the people talking about modesty here show more skin on the beach than this woman showed.

Lots of people in the US are irrationally freaked out by breast feeding and -as witnessed on this very thread- those people go to great lengths to make excuses for what is regarded by the rest of the world as a "you're fucking kidding me" point of view. The prevalence of the notion that breast feeding is dirty and shameful says something very ugly about our culture.

Anonymous said...

Totally going to get raged at, but I'm also a Mom, and I think that there's a bit of give and take here.

But really: Bottles are not "Just" for people who "can't" breastfeed, they also make things more convenient for breastfeeding parents who want to share the work with their husbands, or, you know, wander around without having baby chained to their hip... or... other body part.

Breastfeeding in public is fine and good, but really, it is pretty rude not to consider the fact that YES. Other people might be a bit disquieted... and they have a right to be. Just as she can claim she has the right to whip out her boobs in public because 'it's natural', people have the right to say "Hey, I'm sorry. I'm glad you're capable of doing this, but it's making me uncomfortable."

If people want their rights to be respected they ALSO have to respect others in return. Respect always has and always will be a two way street.

Anonymous said...

If I decided to do something sexual with my boyfriend in public, which is as natural as breastfeeding, chances are people would tell me to stop or we would get arrested. Why can't I tell them to just not look or throw a blanket over their heads, hmm? The double standards that these attention whore mothers spew are pathetic.

Rachel said...

Wow. What an awkward experience, I do not envy you. I'm not entirely sure what I would have done in your situation. And, even though I am a fan of breastfeeding and all of its health benefits for mom and baby, I do have to say the woman should have used a blanket, done it in a private place like the bathroom/her car, or, for christsakes, at least had the decency to WARN you. There have been plenty of intelligent comments so far, but my two cents are:

1. As other women here have mentioned, MOST women--definately the vast majority--would be very uncomfortable just pulling out their boobs in a public place, even if it was to nurse.

2. In our culture, it is regarded as socially unacceptable to just flash your boobs to an unsuspecting public. To those who want to whine 'well, other cultures this and that...simply because women in Papua New Guinea do it does not make it appropriate to do in a Westernized country. You'd have to sift through your doubtlessly vast anthropological knowledge and prove a causal link between a culture that tolerates breast feeding for all to see and cultural respect for women/nursing mothers for that 'argument' to work. I do not suggest that you try to do this with PNG, where women spend weeks following childbirth cramped in hut with just their newborn and the occasional vistor so that the 'heat' that surrounds them following childbirth won't poison the men and make them weak and effeminate. But, hey, after that she gets to whip out her boob whenever she feels like it, and that's what women's liberation is all about, isn't it?

Social norms are different. In some cultures, it is typical to gouge out girls' clits...I hope the mere existance of that social practice does not mean that Westerners can't judge someone who does it?

Anonymous said...

the reason that you, as a breastfeeding mother, must either cover-up or go through the hassle of pumping, bringing baby bottles, sterilizing them, etc, is because you CHOSE to have a child. therefore, you agree to the terms and conditions of said child rearing, which include not being able to do whatever the fuck you want at any given time. why should i be forced into an uncomfortable situation because you decided to procreate? your rights end where mine begin, and i have a right to not be uncomfortable and grossed out during my meal.

Baylee said...

Breast feeding in public is easily done without flashing everyone and anyone who does it without a blanket or cloth or something is being selfish and rude. I had a woman do that WHILE SHOPPING FOR CURTAINS. She could have squirted all over the place!
I'm not saying breastfeeding is wrong or gross, but people should be considerate. I have boobs too but seeing other women's nipples being sucked on by a baby makes just about any sane person at least a little uncomfortable.

Adam said...

Maybe a little heads-up would've been appropriate, like a "I'm going to have to feed him in a minute, I don't have a cover-up with me but it's usually quick. Will that bother you?"

At least then you would've known not to seat anybody near her right away. As vehemently as mothers want to defend their right to breastfeed in public without having to cover up public areas are still inhabited by children. I can't speak for everyone, but I wouldn't want to have to explain the about breasts and breastfeeding to my child whose curiosity would undoubtedly get the better of them. I also wouldn't want my child seeing a boob to begin with.

Unknown said...

We're human beings. We wear clothes to cover up our private parts. A breast is a private part. You want to let it hang? Go home, or to a nudist colony, or to a strip club.

H said...

I think she tested the waters somewhat with her "somebody's going to be hungry" comment. I don't see anything wrong with nursing in public, in a restaurant or anywhere in fact - it's what breasts were created for. Sadly they are now seen more as sexual objects than as baby-feeders which is pretty contrary in itself.

I often feel uncomfortable feeding in public and often get some nasty looks but I refuse to be made to go elsewhere. My thought process is if feeding my baby with a bottle wouldn't make me feel uncomfortable in that situation then I know it is appropriate to breastfeed.

I think the author's discomfort comes from a lack of exposure to breastfeeding. As he says, he's not against it but it was clearly a shock. I find it sad that, as a society, the natural and (what should be) default way of feeding children is so unusual that it causes shock.

And no, I highly doubt that she was "flashing her tits" and "getting off on it" - she was feeding her child. End of story. You likely saw more 'tit' the last time you were on the beach and there are plenty of low-cut tops walking around. Sad to see such archaic attitudes still so prevalent as some of the commenters.

And just for the record - not every mother can use one of those covers - I have to see what I'm doing to latch on my baby, she tugs at anything I try to put over her head and fusses so we end up with milk everywhere if I try. And as for "There are breast pumps for exactly this type of an occasion" - well why should a mother go to the trouble of sterilising, pumping, carting it around and reheating (with all the associated gastroenteritis risks involved) when she can just feed her baby the way nature intended. If other diners didn't like what they saw - look away. Simple as that.

L said...

You see more boobs taking a walk by the beach or in bars and clubs on a Friday night than you do from a breastfeeding baby. If you're seeing more than you want to, perhaps it's time to stop looking so closely. If only it were as easy as to express (some women can't) or to give the baby a bottle when out (many babies won't take one). How the human race survived without bottles, goodness!

Finally, I'm confused about this throwing the cloth over the baby's head attitude adopted in the comments. When was the last time, as a waiter, you served food to a diner and then proceeded to cover them with a tablecloth so their open-mouthed chewing didn't offend anyone? Seeing an open mouth containing a half-masticated cow is far more offensive than a discreetly breastfed baby.

Anonymous said...

I find it hilarious that so many people have said "I Support breastfeeding in public BUT". You either support it or you don't, breast feeding involves BREASTS, so it's not like you don't know what's coming. It's natural and anyone who finds it uncomfortable needs to wake up to themselves and stop putting sexual emphasis on breasts when it's not a sexual act.

Anonymous said...

how can anyone say she was getting off flashing her boob?? i have a 9 week old who i breastfeed and the only thing i think about is feeding my baby not flashing my boob.

As for using pumps and bottles well my son will not take a bottle and we have tried every bottle possible.

yes she may have covered up but from my experience babies get too hot and then become too agitated and will scream. why should they go through that to make some people happy???

Anonymous said...

there is nothing wrong with that lady feeding her baby. And more power to her if she is a confident enough woman to do it without a cover. I breast feed my son in public and get dirty looks for doing it with a cover. And for those saying just pump and bring it along, a baby breast feeding will keep your supply up and I am not going to risk losing my supply to make people around me comfortable. If other people didn't like it they could leave, and if it made you uncomfortable you could have told your manager you were unable to serve her. she had every right to feed her child how she wants to even in a public setting.

s.allison said...

Wow. This is one of the most ignorant things I have read in a long time. To the above comment that she was "getting off flashing her tits", you are a class act. I am assuming you have never been a breast feeding mother?
I am guessing that if this young woman had come in with a friend and had been wearing a low cut blouse, you would have been thrilled. If my baby is hungry and wants to nurse, I will nurse her. North America seems to be one of the last places on the planet to come to terms with the fact that breasts are meant to feed babies. The WHO recommends breast feeding to 2yrs and beyond, ON DEMAND. In Canada it is illegal to ask a mother to cover up or stop breast feeding. It is illegal to ask her to move to a different location.
Finally, did any other patrons go to the washroom to eat? Would YOU have gone to the washroom to eat? I highly doubt it. If breast feeding offends you, put a blanket over YOUR head.

Gwen said...

I haven't read every comment yet--Breastfeeding in public without a cover is proected by law.
My question for the writer (and many of the commentors) is: IF breastfeeding in public without a cover is so hugely inappropriate and wrong--then why is it protected by laws...if they want all nursing moms to use a cover (or worse to not nurse in public) then they need to start writing their representives and lobby to have the laws change--bitching about it on blogs is not going to make nursing moms stop doing what is natural and protected by LAWS.

I am way more concerned with his comments on the baby getting to second base, yet saying he is all for breastfeeding in private. It sounds like he is trying to cover his butt and trying to sound more open minded than he actually is.

Gwen said...

Your about me sections states you are in New York--For the future, here are the New York state laws for breastfeeding in public:

N.Y. Civil Rights Law § 79-e (1994) permits a mother to breastfeed her child in any public or private location. (SB 3999)

N.Y. Penal Law § 245.01 et seq. excludes breastfeeding of infants from exposure offenses.

Rhiannon said...

Some of the comments I see here are DISGUSTING. I believe in being polite and discreet but I have the right to breastfeed anywhere my baby and I are allowed! It is illegal to tell me not to. It is NORMAL and NATURAL. NOT SEXUAL! and DANA: SHe wasn't doing" whatever the heck" she wanted to do, she was feeding her child! To all of you sheltered people who didn't grow up around breastfeeding! Get over it! That is how you are supposed to feed your child and why SHOULDN"T the baby be able to eat where everyone else does? All you jerks say she should be using pumps which is wrong! Babies get nipple confusion and refuse the breast after they get the plastic nipple sometimes and some babies ( like my son ) won't even take a bottle. You seriously suggest that she should have to cover up the babies face?! What is wrong with you people? If it was akward for this waitress then it is her own damn fault. "People who are offended by breastfeeding are staring to hard" Don't stare at it if you don't want to see it. Just go about your business and be glad that THAT mother is doing the RIGHT thing! We need to normalize breastfeeding in public so everyone understands IT IS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF!!!

Lisatlantic said...

I breastfeed and do so in public without a cover, not because I "get off on flashing my tits" or because I have an agenda or want to push my nursing habits in anyone's face. I am just. Feeding. My. Kid.

I draw no attention to myself, in fact I don't use a cover because my baby struggles to shake it off and the whole situation draws MORE attention.


Some of these comments just make me so sad, and a big old FUCK YOU to the anonymous commentor who used the lovely phrase "flop out the flapjacks." You, witty badass, are a fucking asshole.

Anonymous said...

The title itself is a reflection of the degree of ignorance there is regarding breastfeeding. Milk comes from breasts....even cow's milk come from tits...cow tits. She was doing nothing wrong. just feeding her child the way humans are supposed to. Just because we made of a substitute (formula can be a life saver, but it is still the fourth best alternative to feed a baby), that does not mean you can tell a woman to expose her baby to the risk of formula because you are uncomfortable around a breast if it is not on a push up bra and a low cleavage. To anyone who is uncomfortable, that can be easily fixed by looking the other way. For those of you even suggesting to pump for when you are out: again that is just ignorance. Not all breastfed babies take bottles, if its a really young baby it can cause nipple confusion... and if you don not want your supply to be hurt, then that means finding a place to pump for every bottle feed.

Jenna said...

Breastfeeding is a totally natural way to feed your baby, and it's so much better for the child than formula is. That being said, it is also a really tricky process to master; getting a good latch takes MONTHS, and giving baby a bottle of breastmilk can ruin the mother/child rhythm. And i would like to see the other patrons of the store eating with a blanket over their heads-- you're gonna get hot and sticky and uncomfortable really fast. I'm sorry if it offends you, but try to think outside yourselves a little bit, and respect the rights of these little people. Props to you Mom for doing what's best for your child. And to the waiter, you did great being polite and serving her as you would any other customer, just try to change your perception of the situation a little by thinking of what's best for others.

Anonymous said...

So, mama asked for some place private to sit...and you give her a two top at the FRONT of the restaurant. Hmmm. Ok.
Women shouldn't be expected to "whip out" a bottle...it should be expected that if their child (infant or toddler) needs to eat, they will be breastfed. For all the commentors that suggest feeding the child in the bathroom, or tossing a blanket or towel (towel?!) over their head, c'mon. There is a LOT of growing up that needs to happen on this blog and w his followers. And the bodily fluids?! Really?? Lol yep, you know us "procreators" shooting milk everywhere. FYI, feeding a child from a bottle is way messier than from it's natural container, the breast. No one "gets off" on breastfeeding. We don't get to "second base" with our children. Seeing comments like that made me so sad for the trauma you must have gone through as children.breastfeeding is not comprable to having sex, men showing their penis, taking a "dump" or any other ridiculoys comparisons that were made. Open your minds people.

Eden said...

She was not getting off by flashing her boobs. she was feeding her child. I have done it numerous times. I came to the realization that if you have a problem with me nursing (or anyone nursing), it is YOUR problem. She has every right to feed her child at the table. She has to be considerate of YOUR feelings? How about her child's feeling? A child who cannot understand "Wait a few minutes" or "Let's go to this smelly place to eat". You are adults. You can look somewhere else. My son refuses to drink from a bottle, so the pump idea is null and void. A lot of babies refuse to be covered. Breastfeeding is NORMAL.

Sara W. said...

Historically, Breastfeeding, uncovered, in public was the norm. Even in days where unmarried women weren't allowed to be in the presence of men w/out a chaperone, breastfeeding, uncovered even in mixed company was considered normal and appropriate. In times when it was considered inappropriate to hang your undergarments in plain view on the clothesline, breastfeeding, uncovered in public was the norm. If you look through some historical photos you will see that many, many of them feature a mom that is, in a family portrait, captured for all to see for all time, openly, without a cover, breastfeeding her child. And no one even blinked an eye. It was a non issue b/c it was the norm. Even in societies where women are expected to keep even their face covered when in public, breastfeeding, uncovered isn't considered unacceptable or obscene.

It wasn't until Formula Feeding became the norm and society was no longer used to seeing it that it became unacceptable, rude, or selfish to breastfeed in public. At the same time mass media began using sex and breasts as marketing tools. So, the primary function of breasts was forgotten as their secondary function was emphasized. It is no wonder that most people, like you, see breasts and are unable to separate the two functions. I wonder if you get as flustered when you see a baby cat, cow, or elephant being nursed? Is it the fact that the baby is consuming milk from its mother or your inability to keep your mind of sex that is the problem ;-)

I also have to wonder why other dual purpose body parts don't get as much flak. My lips have a sexual function, yet no one demands I cover them in public. My hands can also be used for sexual pleasure but no one expects me to wear gloves every time I leave my house. Or gets flooded w/erotic thoughts every time I point at something w/my uncovered finger...

I breastfeed. I do it discreetly. I do not flop them out. As a matter of fact, unless you are purposefully staring directly at them, you are very unlikely to see anything that offends your sensibilities. I do not cover up b/c my babies fight it, this is b/c they have an instinct to try to get things off their head, you know so they can breathe, and it never seemed appropriate to me to train them to ignore that instinct. As for pumping a bottle to bring w/me? My babies won't take a bottle from me. They won't stand for a poor substitute when the real thing is RIGHT there. And those bottles are precious and are saved for times when my baby needs to eat and I am not there.

You (and by that I mean all the naysayers) think I am selfish to feed my baby in public? Well I think you are all perverts if you can't keep from staring at my boobs. I was given breasts to feed my baby. I use them for that purpose. You were given a neck to turn your head, maybe you could try using it for that purpose?

Amanda K said...

Ok so I am a mom who has nursed my son in public, at restaurants, wherever we are. If my son is hungry I am going to feed him. It is so much quicker to "whip out the boob" then it is to warm up expressed breast milk in a bottle. I am as discrete as I can be. I tried the cover, my son HATED it. It made him hot. When I had a woman tell me to put a blanket over his head, I told her I would if she did. Try eating with a blanket over your head. I won't go to the bathroom, I won't put a blanket over my child's head. If you don't like it don't look. Most states have it as a law that a mother can nurse wherever she is allowed to be. I just think that we as Americans have such a close-minded attitude about breasts. Most people see them as a sexual object. If we were not supposed to nurse our young JUST LIKE OTHER MAMMALS then we wouldn't be able to produce milk. And for all you people who say just pump it and put it in a bottle, if you have never pumped then you don't know what kind of a pain the ass it really is. Some babies don't even take bottles. Simple as that. If you would rather listen to a screaming baby then good for you. Now again, if baby is hungry mom should feed it, no matter what. If you are hungry, you eat. You don't wait until you are home because you eating might make someone uncomfortable.

bafleyanne said...

I've nursed both of my children in restaurants. First of all, let me tell you that I know some babies are ok with being covered with one of those tent things or with a blanket, but neither of mine will put up with it. I pretty much always wear a tank top underneath whatever shirt I'm wearing. Pull shirt up, pull tank top down, latch baby on, and I guarantee you I'm showing less skin than half the women in the restaurant.

I do think that you should plan ahead when you're traveling with a nursing baby and wear clothing that it's possible to nurse in without showing a lot of skin, but if the baby is hungry, I don't see any reason why nursing in the restaurant is not ok. She was in an out of the way booth and it seemed like she did that on purpose in order not to call attention to herself.

PS: you mentioned not having a changing table and I just have to say that it really annoys me to go into restaurants that don't have any sort of changing station. I can understand if it's an extremely ritzy, upscale restaurant where you wouldn't expect kids to be, but I've been in many otherwise kid-friendly restaurants that didn't even have so much as a bathroom counter where you could change the baby. Changing a dirty diaper on the floor of a public bathroom is not fun. But that's another issue entirely. :)

Maegan said...

The laws in most states say she does not HAVE to be discreet. Being "discreet" replies indiscretion on her part - which is not what she did. Fuck you and your discomfort. You probably would have bitched plenty if that baby screamed it's hungry little head off.

I breastfed 2 kids. Neither would nurse under a cover after about 4 months old. One of my kids took quickly to food so I rarely nursed in public after 6 months. The other kid refused anything but boob until she was 9 months old. She wouldn't take a bottle, a cup, or eat food until that point. And my husband and I frequented restaurants with our kids during that 9 months.

I was "polite" by asking for an out of the way spot...And then SITTING AT MY OWN TABLE AND MINDING MY FUCKING BUSINESS. I couldn't tell you once what was going on at another table. B/c I was too busy with the people at my own. FFS.

Barucha said...

Overall I've been pleased with the comments so far... the majority of people here seem to at least support to mom's right to breastfeed, even if they'd rather she covered up. I'm a currently breastfeeding mom, and I totally support a nursing mom's CHOICE to cover up if she wants, but it's a choice and not a necessity. I have no problem nursing my kid without a cover, and I honestly feel much more self-conscious in a low-cut top than I do when I feed her. If you dress in layers and pull one layer up and the other down, it's a pretty discreet thing without making your kid mad by throwing a blanket over his/her head. The day that the majority of Americans take issue with low-cut shirts is the day that the boob-phobia in relation to nursing will be a valid point in my mind. Maybe this mom showed a little more skin than the norm when she fed her kid... oh well. She asked for an out-of-the-way seat, so in my mind she did her part here. I'm sorry you felt uncomfortable. It's your right to feel weird about it, and hers to feed her kid how and where she wants. They don't have to be mutually exclusive.

And to the people who compare nursing in public to having sex in public, there's one big difference... nursing in public is protected by law. Having sex in public isn't.

Anonymous said...

Woooow - I'm so glad I read ALL the comments on here, because the people towards the end of the list have it right. I am a breastfeeding mother of a 7 week old little girl. I cover for MY comfort, not for yours! HOWEVER it is difficult to master feeding when you can't see what the hell is going on under there (especiall if you are new to it). I agree, you see more "tit" on the covers of magazines while standing in line at your local grocery than you would while I was breastfeeding (even without a cover on). As for all of those who said "that's what pumps are for".. my daughter WILL NOT take a bottle (trust me, I HAVE TRIED.. AND TRIED... AND TRIED). I'm with all of you here who have said it's time to GROW THE HELL UP. I swear I flashed more "tit" whilst NOT pregnant wearing my bikinis and low cut tops!!!! My nipple is not bared so it is not indescrete. JEEZE.

Anonymous said...

@ Sandra, the twit that left the first comment on October 22.... You, lady, are the biggest asshat I have ever had the displeasure to encounter.... the mother was getting off flashing her "tits"? The LAST thing a nursing mother feels is sexy and the last thing they have on their mind in sex, being sexy, arrousal, etc. Your comment was as absurd as your porno name.

Anonymous said...

@ Sarah W: I couldn't have said it better :-) Well said!

Anonymous said...

I breastfeed in pubic uncovered all the time. I live in Barcelona, Spain. I also breastfeed in public without a cover in the UK when I go to visit my parents.
In restaurants, on benches, on the bus wherever necessary.

I´m not doing it to piss anyone off, I´m doing it because my son is hungry. No-one has ever got pissed off, in fact quite the reverse.

To the gentleman who referenced Papau New Guinea - well its socially acceptable to breastfeed in public in Europe as well.

Sam said...

No one thinks breastfeeding mothers should be ashamed, but many feel that the fact that your child is hungry does not mean all modesty should go out the window.

I am a waitress. I have waited on people seated at the front of the restaurant next to the host stand where lines of people have nothing to do, but look around, and YES mothers have flopped it ALL out there. If your boob is twice the size of your child's head, I'm going to notice.

I would not be comfortable seeing that much of your boob without a baby attached to it, and i'm not comfortable seeing that much boob with a baby attached to it. I am NOT MORE comfortable if I know you personally or am related to you. I do not want to expose that much of MY boob to you.

I have to ask: if there's nothing sexual about our bodies, how comfortable are you with seeing other people in low cut blouses? midriff tops? booty shorts and daisy dukes? It's just skin. Skin isn't sexual, right?

If your child is old enough to eat table food, then in public places, I believe they should eat table food. If you believe continuing breastfeeding into kindergarten is the healthiest thing for your child, then do so at home, but once they can ask for it, they're too old to have it in public.

Be considerate. NOT because it's shameful, NOT because you don't have the right to, and NOT because it's wrong. It isn't any of those things. BUT, nudity of any kind does make most people uncomfortable, and a little modesty never hurt anyone.

Along the thread of being considerate, letting your child throw a tantrum in a restaurant IS completely unacceptable and wrong. I don't care if they're teething or hungry or need changed, or are throwing a full on verbal toddler tantrum, letting them "cry it out" for 20 minutes IS disrespectful and offensive. If a movie theatre attendant would ask you to remove yourself from the theatre for it, you shouldn't be allowing it in a restaurant. Crying is a perfectly normal and natural way for an infant to express themselves, but it is also irritating to others, much like breastfeeding.

Anonymous said...

While I can understand feeling uncomfortable looking at a bare boob while trying to take someone's order, the responses from some of your readers is shocking and hateful.

My youngest refused to take a bottle. If I had to leave her for a few hours, she would be a starving, screaming ball of misery when I got home. Bottles are not always an option. I breastfed all my babies, discreetly, wherever I happened to be when they got hungry. I got dirty looks and sometimes comments just because people knew what was happening under the blanket.

The commentors here saying that women are selfish by feeding their babies in public or should stay home and order in are total assholes. Fuck you, especially the one who called mothers whores. It is perfectly legal and yes, natural. So turn your prudish little judgmental eyes away and suck it up, bitches.

That said, I would like to say to Bitchy Waiter that you handled it very well. Yes, it was uncomfortable, but you realized that it was neither appropriate nor necessary to say or do anything about it. We all must endure things beyond our comfort zones when dealing with the public.

Estrellita said...

Yes, it's legal. (I really do not care if someone breastfeeds in public, but there are those who are uncomfortable with it.)
Many things are legal:
picking your nose
picking your teeth
burping
farting
cutting your nails
blowing your nose in a linen napkin
picking scabs
Would you want to see any of those while dining? Didn't think so, but I have witnessed all of the above.
In the billion years that I have been waiting tables I have seen it all. My favorite incident involved an elderly man with some sort of lung problem spitting phlegm into and empty soup bowl, which belonged to the restaurant, at the table. Thanks. We are really going to use that bowl again when you are through with it. Not once. He did it throughout the meal. Who did he think was going to remove that damn thing from the table? Not me. The owner handled that one. Fucking disgusting.My second favorite was the woman who repeatedly use some sort of vacuum to suck phlegm out of her companion's throat at the table. Yes, I do feel bad for people who are ill. I feel worse for the people who looked forward to an evening out only to be subjected to those incidents. Nothing is as appetizing as gurgling chest snot. Legal and tasteful or courteous are not always the same thing. It's legal for nudists to dine in restaurants in San Francisco. That doesn't mean that an entire restaurant should have to look at a naked couple.

Ginny said...

There's nothing at all wrong with breast-feeding. Trying to do it while covering up your baby doesn't usually work past the one-month-old mark. If I was at the table right next to her, I would have waved and gotten on with my dinner. Breast-feeding is the most natural thing in the world, and seeing a mother nurturing and bonding with her baby is never a problem for me.

Anonymous said...

I'm a mother myself and think its so disrespectful to just "whip it out" in a public place. Firstly, think of all the children around who don't understand what is going on. Another mother may be trying to teach their kids to keep their clothes on, how do we explain it to our younger children?!
There is no trouble at all placing a god damn towel over you.. Also my friend wears a summer breast feeding
Top that is very discreet.

Anonymous said...

This debate could go on FOREVER!!! I agree that it is "Natural" and when babies get hungry they should be able to eat, but seriously there are some mothers who do it just because THEY CAN. The reason I say it that way is because I am a server and once I witnessed a mother breastfeeding her child while sipping on a Bloody Mary! NOW COME ONE....SERIOUSLY. If it was imperative that the child eat immediately, then why couldn't you stop DRINKING so the little chap didn't get looped during his lunch. The entire time she was
"feeding/contributing" she was looking around the building to make sure that she was getting the attention that she so desired.

So the controversy is this, cover up or not cover up! I look at it like this, if the child is in fact an infant and needs immediate feeding, they are small enough to cover them and the TATA up it really isn't that uncomfortable. Trust me...I am a mother of twins and breastfed also. I never felt the need to put this situation on public display because as uncomfortable as a blanket "may be" covering up feeding..imagine how uncomfortable it is having two infants hanging from you.

If the are old enough to have started eating baby food/snacks then I'm sure the "Milkey" could have waited and I would hope that by that point the child was on some kind of schedule that you would know when their feeding time was and schedule you dining accordingly.

Breastfeeding is a choice and all children must eat, but it is also a very intimate time between a mother and child in which they bond. So I find it really hard to have a true bonding experience while I am sitting in a restaurant throwing back some salmon and water with lemon.

So like I said, this is a very controversial subject and we know that it is soooooo.....pulling out the TATA without covering up is going to offend SOMEONE so doing it without covering up is just one of those "BECAUSE I CAN" situations.

SharleneT said...

It was many years ago, but I breastfed my children. And, I used a privacy very lightweight blanket to make it easier for both viewpoints when I HAD to leave home. It takes just a few minutes to "learn" how to arrange the blanket so that it isn't too hot and sweaty and impossible for the five minutes or so that it takes a baby to empty a breast. Sure, it's uncomfortable, if laying directly onto their head, but not if you've made a little 'pocket of space' around their head and it's a light enough color to allow light. Truth is, my mother was appalled that I chose breastfeeding ("It makes me feel like an animal," she said.) She was a Dr.Spock mother and bottles were the accepted mode of feeing one's baby. And, I think that's the crux of the matter.

That said, your rights end where others' rights begin and you should be aware of all people, not just the few who support your beliefs. When you have a baby, your life changes and not every door is open to you, until the child reaches an age where they can be taken out in public. We no longer live in isolated 10x10 cabins or caves. Yes, it's perfectly natural; but, we all remember what happened in the 70s when people refused to use deodorant because body odor was "natural." How many of your colleagues still do that? There are some things that require privacy and, if you can't figure out a way to do it, you need to stay home until you do. No, you don't have the right to do whatever, whenever, however,and that goes for screaming babies, too.

Anonymous said...

@Sharlene:

"No, you don't have the right to do whatever, whenever, however,and that goes for screaming babies, too."

Actually, nursing mothers DO have the right to nurse in public--covered or uncovered. :)

alison said...

"Yes, it's perfectly natural; but, we all remember what happened in the 70s when people refused to use deodorant because body odor was "natural." How many of your colleagues still do that?"

Am I reading this right? You are comparing breast feeding to body odor? Feeding a child to not wearing deodorant? Am I missing the connection here?
I am sad that when you were breast feeding that your mother wasn't more supportive and you felt the need to cover up. I am also saddened that, as a breast feeding mother, you, and all the other posters who are embarrassed to see a nursing baby, aren't furious at suggestion that breast feeding is sexual!
Another poster (multiple posters actually) say that breast feeding mothers who do not use a cover are selfish. How is doing what is best for your child selfish? It is selfish that YOU, the immature, ignoramus, are insisting that an infant be covered with a blanket to eat.
Finally, if a baby is hungry, in my opinion it IS an emergency. It IS something that needs to be dealt with immediately, and for a breast feeding mother, yes, that does mean "pulling out the breast". You have to be staring pretty hard and looking very closely to see anything. A properly latched baby is covering the nipple, head close to the breast. I have seen bikinis, heck, I have see halter tops, that expose more flesh that a nursing mother does.
To the blogger, you say there is no nursing mother's room. Where should she go? She asked for a private booth, YOU put her at the front. She said she'd need a few minutes because "someone is hungry"- what the heck did you think she was talking about?
And, one final note, I was in the food court today and a mother was nursing her newborn without a cover. Not one person said a word to her, most gave her smiles and asked about the babe. She was not in the "nursing mother's room", which is in the ladies washroom, nor did anyone expect her to go there. It's a sad day when a mother nursing her infant is sexualized, berated and accused of flaunting herself. You should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

What an arse you are! There are some very well thought out posts here, I don't have the desire to even bless your page with a response other than - get your head out of your arse. Breasts are for feeding our young. And all your cutsie terminology - stfu.

Idiot - you are.

Anonymous said...

For everyone who compared breastfeeding to having sex or even going to the bathroom in public, you really do need to get your head out of your @$$. Nursing a child is not the same as having sex. And if you get turned on by that you really need to go get your head checked out.

Anonymous said...

Even more than ever after reading some of the nutters who posted here I thank the Lord Im Welsh!!!Im bored and isolated in the house. I have stuff to do and things to show my child before I go back to work after maternity leave. I struggle with a cover as we had a latching problem, though I do use one sometimes now. D you know what? not ONCE have I had grief from anyone EVER. Actually I get offers of help if I have stuff to carry but thats it. So glad I live here not there. How dreadful it must be to be a parent over there and have your life curtailed by other peoples inability to see the distinction between breast as food and breast as sexy object (probably breasts are only sexy because on some primeval level they imply ability to raise a child?) Breast feeding is covered by laws in many countries because isolation and loss of former identity and friends is a major factor in postnatal depression. OMG I cant believe some of the stuff Ive read on here. Every single one of you who accused this woman of being an exhibitionist should be ashamed. Stop judging others by your own sad standards!

Ria said...

Is this seriously the American attitude to breastfeeding? I sure hope not because the story shows a nice but shamefully ignorant waiter and some commenters should hang their heads! I've breastfed both my children in public places in the UK (because they are hungry - not because I get off on the attention by the way)and, while it takes time to be confident enough to do it, it never occured to me to try to hide the fact that I was feeding my baby, beyond asking for a quiet table. If none was available - well you've still gotta do what you've gotta do and if I can be brave enough to do it in a busy place, the people there can be brave enough to - well mind their own business to be blunt and get on with their meals! They're there to have a meal not stare at me - lovely as I am. Not once have I been stared at, censured or otherwise given a rough time for doing it and any member of staff who commented on it and I complained they would probably get re-training about company policies and English law. If I were actively asked not to do it would probably make the newspapers! Seriously, reading this anyone would think how I feed my baby was no longer my business but in fact everyone else's. Grow up people - especially the ones who say "I am pro breastfeeding but...". You can't have breastfeeding without breasts and no-one should have to actually hide what they're doing - hot for baby or not. I'm not saying we should parade around with a boob hanging out shouting "Look at me everyone!" but if a nursing Mum who's just getting on with things bothers you: firstly don't look, secondly ask yourself why and accept the problem might actually be you. Most of what I have to say on the use of pumps and bottles has already been said earlier. They are certainly useful but can cause more problems than they solve so best not used to replace a feed. Nursing mums can also end up painfully engorged if they skip feeds and it can result in a drop in milk supply as breast milk production works on a supply and demand basis.

Sara W. said...

Ria--Sadly Yes it is!

To others. The point is that YOU viewing my breasts as sexual is the result of a backwards society that has forgotten that breasts are Mammary glands and as such they make milk. As their primary function. The fact that most people are so wrapped up in their sexual function they don't appreciate their biologic function is well...THEIR problem. You may not be able to get past breasts as a sex object b/c media has made them into that, but me & my baby don't care. We KNOW what they are meant for and to be blunt don't really care how it makes you feel. Really. We are doing our part to Normalize Breastfeeding.

Boobs are made for making milk. The fact that is no longer significant in our society is not my problem. Or my babies. And if you don't want to see it, because you have been brainwashed by society & mass media, I will be happy to give you a blanket to put over your head until we are done ;-)

Take Back Your BOOBS--remind society they are more then just a pretty decoration, they are more then just a marketing tool. Breastfeed in public! Proudly. Maybe in the next 2 generations we can undo the damage that has been done, educate the ignorant masses, and Normalize Breastfeeding.

Sara W. said...

To those that compare BF to using the bathroom... Urine and feces are bodily WASTE. They carry germs. They cause diseases. They contaminate the water supply. If ingested they can KILL you. Breastmilk is FOOD. It sustains life. It contains antibodies that prevent diseases. And according to current research may be able to cure cancer. When your bodily waste can do THAT you can piss wherever you want ;-)

Anonymous said...

As a breastfeeding mother of two, I have nursed in public, and will continue to nurse in public, whenever it is necessary. If you're hungry and out, do you ALWAYS wait until your home to eat to make sure you don't offend other people? No? I didn't think so. Pumps? Don't work for me. Pumps are not a good method of getting milk out of the breast and if you skip feedings too often, you will dry up. Not something that was an option to me. I never use a cover up because they make the baby distracted, hot and stinky, plus they draw more attention. I've been approached by people several times because they wanted to see the baby, but couldn't tell she/he was nursing. They assumed the baby was snuggled into my arms. I have been around plenty of breastfeeding mothers and have never, EVER seen one just "whip a tit out."

Anonymous said...

Why does a nursing mother have to starve her child just because society has decided that female, human breasts are sexual? Not every woman can pump and there is a very good chance that if she had the baby already drank what she brought in a bottle, therefore; her child is hungry again and she will feed him. End of story. Breasts are not a sexual object. They have one purpose and one purpose only, to feed a mothers child. Get over yourself.

Jen said...

How are some of you comparing breast milk to feces, urine, spit and snot? That is sheer ignorance.

Being a nursing mother of 3, I did discreetly cover my newborn infants. It was easy! They didn't move. And I understand that while I am fine with nursing my babe, others may feel uncomfortable about it in a public setting, so I have no issues with modesty and discretion out of respect for others. Blankets and nursing shawls always came with us when ever we went out.

Fast fwd to a curious 9 month old that pulls at his/her nursing shawl or whines til they can poke his/her curious head around is a different story. Depending on my mood, I'll readjust myself accordingly or simply take on the task at hand which is to just feed my baby. I don't head out in public and think "Golly! Who can I offend with my breastfeeding boobies today?" To be quite honest, no one is of any interest to me when it comes to taking care of the needs of my infant, so for those of you who are offended, get over yourselves. Pick your jaw off the ground, take your hands outta your pants and put a blanket over YOUR head.

Welcome to 2011 folks!

Anonymous said...

Shame on the majority of you.

Cbelle said...

I try not to nurse my little guy in public, and once he got old enough to be able to feed himself, I quit nursing in public completely. The only time I really did it at all was when we flew when he was 5 months and not yet starting on solids, and I didn't want to deal with bottles on the flight. He has always HATED having his head covered and rips off any coverings I use, but I sat by the window, and kept as covered as possible, so noone except my husband saw anything. At the same time, I can see that other people might not be so lucky. Some babies absolutely REFUSE to take a bottle, and the mother has no choice but to feed it somehow.

Anonymous said...

This is why I prefer to eat in restaurants that don't allow children. Then there's no chance you'll get your dinner with a side of boob, or have to listen to a screaming kid for that matter.

Anonymous said...

Thank you tit nazis. The reason it is acceptable to compare breastmilk to other bodily fluids is because it is one of 4 that can spread diseases. Your brat needs to eat? Well my finance needs a blow job...it's okay, he has needs and drives (just like hunger)...so I hope you don't mind if I blow him at the table. Don't be alarmed if some semen drips down my chin...that happens. You don't want to see his swollen veiny cock and I don't want to see your swollen veiny tit. Get some modesty. I know your type and yes, you are exhibitionists who use your children as an excuse to pull your tits out ....usually because you half the self-esteem of a horse fly afterreal 9 months of looking like roadkill on a hot day...and of course your "baby daddy" doesn't want you anymore after you turned your vagina into the Chesapeake bay tunnel. The only reason you are on this forum annoying bitchy waiter is because you crave the attention....quit whining and go pay attention to your baby...hell why not feed it rather than harassing people on the internet.

Lexie said...

If you don't like seeing it throw a blanket over your head. There is nothing sexual about breast feeding a baby and frankly she should not be forced to buy a pump and bottles and all the other equipment that goes with it so she can pump and bottle feed just to make others comfortable. I won't feed my child in a bathroom, the car and certainly not with a blanket over their head, I wouldn't eat that way and neither should they.

rhen said...

Anonymous - How your comment got published is beyond me. And you argue about modesty and standards? I have only one thing to say to you and that is that you are a sad, sick person to write offensive cr@p like that. You're clearly not capable of reasoned argument like the "Tit nazis" so you figure crudity and abuse is a total subsitute for possessing a brain.

Rhen said...

Oh and Rachel (they breastfeed in Papua New Guinea but it's not appropriate to see in westernised culture).

As a citizen of the western world, I have never encountered views like those posted by some in this forum before. You're giving the impression of some very backward and insular attitudes! And I'm sorry but even if every person in the USA agrees with you (and I don't think they do given some of the counter points on here) America is not the whole western world and you are labelling your prejudices "westernised"?!

In most of Europe (a large continent next door to and somewhat larger than America - generally regarded as "westernised") breastfeeding is socially acceptable and normal - and you know what? Women have the vote too! They even go to work and earn money - their own money! Imagine that! Women breastfeed babies in their own homes and out and about instead of being locked in the coal cellar hiding their secret shame! We're delighted to announce female castration figures are way down this year! Now if we just kick this pesky breastfeeding habit, Europe might be dragged blinking into the glorious light of civilisation.

Those of you on here sticking up for breastfeeding mothers - I have even more respect for you now I've seen what you're up against.

Anonymous said...

Sorry rhen, I'm disgusted by women who USE their children as excuses to be exhibitionists. I find it utterly repulsive...thus I meet it with repulsive language. The vulgarity and crude scene I depicted is exactly how I feel about public breastfeeding with zero attempt to cover up.

I find breastfeeding at a restaurant table a health hazard. Similar to someone bleeding at the table. And these same women who insist the entire world stare at their tits are also the nasty people who change diapers at restaurant tables.

Sara W. said...

Anonymous-- You see it as exhibitionist b/c you view breasts as sex objects. I don't feel I am exposing myself in a sexual way when I nurse my child b/c I view them as Mammary Glands. And it is ppl that feel the way you do that make me even more determined to nurse my baby in public in spite of harassment & attacks. It took 2 generations of Formula Feeding & Mass Media & Marketing to turn breasts into JUST sex objects. I am doing my part to undue that damage.

And if you wanted to give your man a blowjob under the table I wouldn't care. Even if you had semen on your chin (though I would feel bad for him that you didn't do a very good job if you couldn't swallow it all ;-).

Rhen said...

Anonymous. Thanks for the message

I would also be disgusted by a woman using her baby to be exhibitionist. But personally have never seen anyone do that. If I see a woman breastfeeding she's pretty much just getting on with it as best she can. I've certainly never breastfed in public with the aim of amazing everybody with my boobies. That doesn't mean I was hiding under a blanket - nor should I have had to. Where a few people's opinions are out of step with the law - as appears to be the case here - it's the opinions that need to change.

I can see you have an issue with the whole breastmilk thing - nothing wrong with the fact you have a gut reaction about it - but there is a massive difference between changing nappies and feeding a baby at table. Ignoring the whole food v bodily waste argument that's already been covered, breast milk is totally sterile - it is not a hazardous substance. It's as much a health risk as the glass of milkshake Mum's might have ordered with her meal.

I can also see you don't like seeing feeding happening but I'm afraid it happens, it's right that it happens and you can expect to not enjoy a lot of meals if you can't get over it.

Anonymous said...

@Rhen - exactly, I was referring to a certain type of breastfeeding that I have observed on limited occasions. I agree, the majority of moms have one goal and one goal only. Even the mom in the story is fine. Based on 'bitchy's' account, it seems she only wanted to feed the baby. GREAT!

But diseases (including HIV) can be transmitted via breastmilk...so yes, it is equivalent to blood. I'm not by any means a germaphobe but if everyone goes to such great lengths to treat blood as a biological hazard, the same should apply to breastmilk.

And @Sara - the dripping semen imagery was intended to be relative to the milk that drips from the baby's mouth...not an account of my lack of success ;)

~Daisy (I'll keep posting as anonymous but sign, wouldn't want to be confused with some other asshole posting as an anonymous)

Amanda K said...

@Daisy, so you are comparing breast milk to blood or seamen, even though breast milk also helps FIGHT disease. If a child is breastfed they have a lower chance at getting sick as it is, have a lower chance of becoming obese, getting type 2 diabetes and many other things. They also tend to have a higher IQ. If we as humans, and MAMALS were not meant to breastfed our children, then we would not have brests as it is. The only things we need to reprduce are the reproductive organs, and if you look at it, brest are not included.

Now if you want to give your boyfriend a blow job at a restaurant, go ahead. More power to you, but you run the risk of being arrested for indecent exposure, as a nursing mom I do not run that risk. I don't "whip out my tits", I wear a shirt and a nursing tank, so if you were to see me nursing my son on the street you probably wouldn't even notice.

Anonymous said...

@amanda- primarily it is the mother's vaccinations which aide in the benefits of breastmilk. Although, I am well aware of the research. Keep I know mind
that data is correlational. Benefits that do exist are small (I'm referring to the test statistics from the research...not the importance). There is always more variation within groups than between them.

And yes I am comparing breastmilk to blood and semen. Four bodily fluids transmit disease: blood, semen, breastmilk, and vaginal secretions. If mom has HIV, then her breastmilk is just as hazardous as her blood.

You attempt to be discrete or cover yourself...you are clearly not who i'm discussing.

However, your reactivity to my comments is what spurred my first post. Lactivists that brainless babble breast is best and demand breasts are not sexual in the least. Same people who tend to whine because facebook takes down your pictures with both breasts and nipple in clear view, baby attached to the other. The people who attack moms who want to use bottles or want to cover up. All those comments are what pissed me off. So many people wrote in to support bf and the woman in the story but got attacked because of these tit nazis who just want to show their breasts to everyone.

Daisy

Rhen said...

@ Daisy

I reacted because I read it that you were basically targeting anyone who breast feeds in public and thought your analogy both incorrect and a bit unnecessary. You're obviously more open to discuss now:) I'm still surprised you've seen women being overtly exhibtionist with it though - I've never seen that and I don't know how they have the energy personally!

I still think you are overly concerned about breastmilk being potentially hazardous. I wasn't too sure on the facts so I have gone to the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to check this for you and this is what they have to say...

"HIV and other serious infectious diseases can be transmitted through breast milk. However, the risk of infection from a single bottle of breast milk, even if the mother is HIV positive, is extremely small. For women who do not have HIV or other serious infectious diseases, there is little risk to the child who receives her breast milk. .....
CDC does not list human breast milk as a body fluid for which most healthcare personnel should use special handling precautions. Occupational exposure to human breast milk has not been shown to lead to transmission of HIV or HBV infection. However, because human breast milk has been implicated in transmitting HIV from mother to infant, gloves may be worn as a precaution by health care workers who are frequently exposed to breast milk (e.g., persons working in human milk banks)"

So basically the risks are miniscule even to a baby drinking HIV contaminated milk and no known risks to people who are around it all the time. A single bottle may contain 8 or 9ozs of milk so a bit of milky dribble from baby is absolutely no risk to you or other diners.

If this still doesn't reassure you then maybe it is just that you deep down find it a bit icky - if so I won't judge you on that. I hate bananas so much I can't even be in the a room with my husband when he eats one! It makes me heave!

Anonymous said...

@Rhen

Yes, I was totally crude but my comments were not aimed at the story, they were aimed at the change in others comments on the story. Comments started off with opinions, which is what bitchy asked for...then quickly came to attack 'bitchy' and really anyone who said anything relating to attempts to be discrete. So my reaction to that was way overblown. And yes, it does stem from my personal visceral reaction. I'm grossed out by watching anyone suck fluid out of any body part (including people who cut their finger and immediately stick it in their mouths). I'm also sickened by watching anyone eat, regardless of age. It's related to seeing the food in the mouth. I do realize these are my problems. I will leave if I see it and it bothers me. I do think women should be allowed to BF in public (not my issue at all). My disgust is more angled at two people I know...who have admitted to me that they enjoy whippin' them out in full view to see the reaction of others...that is twisted.

Thanks for your understanding! And for posting the CDC info...I am familiar with the chance being extremely low...even with a drop of blood. It's the chance that gets to me.

I still find it a bit silly when people attack others with the entire sexuality argument. Of course breasts can be sexual...the problem doesn't lie in the sexuality of breasts...the problem lies in the U.S.'s view of sexuality as dirty and bad.

Anyway, in sum, I hate to see mothers attacking other women (particularly other mothers) for not BFing long enough, or trying to cover up, or what have you. Maybe a little part of me wants to give them someone else to attack ;) Like a childfree atheist with a slight case of tocophobia and some OCD traits..lol!

Rhen said...

@ Daisy

I actually think the change in the comments was ok - it had been far too one sided up to that point - there were a few forceful opinions maybe but I thought they were possibly needed at that point as some people were saying some very silly things.
However although I didn't see any on here, I do agree about people who are so pro-breastfeeding they get bullying. I just quit a breastfeeding forum because of a section of posters throwing the "Formula is poison" ergo Mums who use it are lazy and make bad decisions blah blah blah argument up at every opportunity. It got so tiresome constantly reading that bollocks. If someone was struggling and thinking of stopping the "support" was often heavy handed and anyone on there who stuck up for Mums who formula feed got shouted down. I tended to say "if you want to continue try ..... and if you really are wanting to stop then do and feel proud you've given your baby a great start" and thankfully I wasn't the only moderate voice on there. Still annoyed me too much to stick around though

I totally believe breast is best and mothers should be educated into giving it good go but there are a million reasons why people might choose to formula feed and thank goodness it's there for the purpose. In the old days these babies would starve, be passed to a wet nurse if Mum was minted or be fed cows milk if she wasn't. Some just don't see it like that though. "The chemicals...dear god the chemicals - won't somebody please think of the children!". Formula is ok, does the job and most babies thrive on it. Boob milk is better for helping to prevent nasty diseases though.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, everything associated with pregnancy and breast-feeding and babies turns my stomach entirely. I do NOT want to see this while out eating at a restaurant. I wouldn't be able to finish my meal.

Marionette said...

This is just disgusting! It is perfectly possible to breastfeed discreetly and those that choose not to do so are just doing it for attention and will probably, therefore, be pretty rubbish mothers.

Also, there's no need to be feeding your baby in a restaurant, children have a routine and you can easily know when they will need fed and ensure that you do this somewhere convenient before going for some food yourself.

The woman just sounds like either a bitch, an attention seeker, or a militant mom.

Marionette said...

I think what some of the nursing mothers are forgetting is that their behaviour isn't 'the norm', indeed for generations you would never have seen a woman breastfeeding in an eating establishment. In fact women would fit their lives around the needs of their child, rather than expecting their new child to fit around them. Of course nowadays mums want to 'lunch out' with friends, in the past they had their friends over to their house (cheaper, more comfortable, and better for the children).

Nowadays it is very little to do with the needs of the child and all about what the mum wants. Too many mums don't wish to alter their lives at all when they have a child, they want to maintain the same social life etc. and they give priority to that. My mum and grandmother laugh that this debate of women breastfeeding in public eating places and non-discreetly even takes place. In their day the child's needs came so far ahead of their own they would never have ended up in that position :-)

Maybe today's mums need to give some serious thought to whether they actually need to be at a restaurant when their child needs fed. Is it really a need? or is it a want?

Rhen said...

@ Marionette

As I say in my earlier comments such opinions are yours but they are out of step with the law in the UK, the EU and, from what I have read, the US as well. When that is the case it is opinions that need to change or the only people affected will be those who have those opinions. However, out of courtesy to you having an opinion, let's explore your views.

I think most on here agree, even those that don't like to see it in public, that the Mum referred to by bitchy waiter was not being exhibitionist. She wasn't drawing attention, she asked for a quiet table, she was just getting on with things so let's just leave that there and not pick it up again.

It is highly questionable to say women are putting their own needs first. If you've read my comments you'll know my views are moderate, I am not a shouty member of the breastfeeding mafia. However I have breastfed two children and can absolutely assure you that the choice to do so is nothing to do with doing what's best for me. I have fed mine both breast and formula at different times and , trust me, breast feeding is way harder! It is bloody hard work, emotionally draining and people do it because they believe it is best for baby. If they were doing what was best and easiest for them every baby would be bottle fed. Any Mum who breastfeeds is more concerned about baby , than about themselves. I know I haven't talked about women going out in this but I'm just trying to dispel the notion you have that a woman who breastfeeds in public is likely to be the kind of person who put themselves before baby.
Does a Mum need to be in a restaurant when baby needs feeding? No of course not - though they are one of easiest places. I say to you why l shouldn't they be? And yes of course we are there for our needs (or possibly those of an older child) - we're hungry! That is not at all the same as saying we are putting our needs first before our child's since going to a restaurant is not detrimental to the child. No-one has a cat in hell's chance of maintaining the same social life they had before and aren't usually trying to.

As I have previously said to Daisy - I have never seen a breastfeeding Mum appear to be flaunting herself. Daisy assures me she has and I have to believe her since she says so. However the vast majority are quietly getting on with just doing the feed. It would never occur to me to hide what I was doing and I have never been in a situation where people have stared at me for feeding in public. I also don't believe it is something that should be hidden. The choice is down to people choosing to look, not the Mum's for choosing to hide as if what they are doing is somehow shameful. If people want to look then perhaps they should be concentrating a bit more on their own business. I repeat that if breastfeeding in public bothers you that is your problem, not the problem of the breastfeeding Mum who's just trying to get through the day.

In addition I can see you have the attitude that it should be hidden. I believe I and others have already argued that point so I can't be bothered to write another essay - if you are interested in our views please read the earlier comments.

Your point about routines....errr no. Let’s talk reality. Most babies under 3 months cannot follow a routine. Those that do are still on 3 to 3 1/2 hours. During that 3 hours you have to feed - which can take anything up to an hour, change baby and ensure they have adequate interaction and sleep, which some babies won't do on the move - mine being an example. So basically you have to feed baby, which leaves you just 2 hours till next feed in which you have to leave the house, then do whatever shopping you have to do and get back so baby can sleep before the next feed. That's the reality of having babies and if you cannot feed in public, you cannot really even leave the house.

Rhen said...

@ Marionette - cont. Mothers who do not get out and about a reasonable amount and remain cooped up in the house are highly prone to developing PND - a horrendous condition I suffered from with my eldest. Who does the shopping if Mummy can't leave the house? What about other children - are they to be locked in the house with their mothers because a baby has arrived and needs feeding? And why should someone be a social outcast and pariah because they have a baby? Basically, to follow your rules, mothers would basically be imprisoned - and without trial too!

I guess you could argue that a baby's needs should not impact on you, the unsuspecting public. But my argument is it should not impact on you at all anyway. If you shed this notion you are being forced to look at boobies then perhaps you would be able to avert your gaze and get on with your meals without gawping.

With all due respect to your Mum and Grandmother, unless you are a teenager, they are most likely of the bottle feeding generations. Back then the boast was that women shouldn't even know they've given birth and so much from back then has been proved to be not in the best interests of Mum and Baby. Even if they did breastfeed (I know some still did), breastfeeding was seen as no longer necessary because formula was seen as just as good so there was a bit of a stigma attached to doing it. If they aren't necessary for feeding boobs become wholly sexualised, which is why a few on here cannot shake this view - the reality is they are a secondary sexual indicator - but not when they are being used for feeding babies - and the law recognises that. My views on formula are moderate and I believe it is fine to feed babies that way but it is not "just as good". Breast is best I'm afraid - it isn't just a catch phrase. Breastmilk does a better job of preventing diseases and conditions a baby might be otherwise prone to. My son developed Eczema when I stopped breastfeeding - which is very common. Breastmilk does an excellent job of keeping these things under control. As well as long term benefits babies get antibodies in the milk so don't usually catch the horrible cold their Mum has got. "Normal?" well yes it is - maybe not in terms of your Mum's and Grandmother's childrearing years but people have breastfed since the year dot. It was only really the victorians (mid-late 19th century lot) who started to hide the fact - but they also used to hide the legs of furniture for fear of inflaming male ardour.

Knowledge has moved us on and now opinions and attitudes of you and some others on here need to catch up.

I won't be posting on here again so...

@Daisy - best of luck - I hope it all goes well and you aren't so grossed out you can't face having children at all - who knows maybe one day I'll eat a banana!

@ Sara W keep the faith - you are doing great. At least the law is on your side and maybe you'll even sway people these opinions

@Marionette - I hope I've given you something to think about - I'm sure Sara can give you more facts and figures than I can if you are interested.

Car Lease Los Angeles said...

I've encountered women nursing at my restaurants- not a whole lot I can recall but I have seen it more than once. But MOST of the time they have a blanket or jacket or something...I know if I was a mother and took my baby to dinner I wouldn't whip my boob out point blank for everyone to see- I feel weird wearing shirts that are too low-cut to clubs sometimes! That's just tacky.

Natalie said...

When I was waiting tables at a local family restaurant, I had a woman come in every week or so, for lunch. We always tried to sit her in the back booth, because this bitch REFUSED to cover up when she was breastfeeding. We had families walking in and walking straight back out when they caught sight of those boobies (yes, BOTH boobies). God help the families who were seated BEFORE she arrived - they were in for dinner and a show! My customers complained, my tips were lousy, and I was subjected to numerous comments about it being MY turn to show off my goods, since it was "that kind of place."

We all tried to be extra nice to her, but to top it all off, the bitch-with-the-tit-complex treated all of the servers like trash, rarely tipped, and sat there glaring at the other customers in some sort of "just-try-and-stop-me" showdown.

I honestly believe that she just liked the attention, because she sure as HELL was not bonding with her baby while she was performing her "dance of the topless stink eye".

I breastfed my own son, and I covered up. It's NOT difficult, unless you're a selfish bitch who has no regard for other people's poor eyeballs. Seriously... nobody WANTS their children to look at boobies.

And I would be ashamed to flash my own breasts at somebody else's children.

Natalie said...

To be more specific, she would unbutton her shirt to fully expose one breast and have the other breast half- (or more than half) exposed.

I don't know if she was going bra-less or if she just like to whip both titties out at the same time...

alwaysarealperson said...

Along with a bunch of other people, apparently, leaving comments on this subject, we agree a blanket or draping of some sort should be used. Unfortunately, there are " perverts " in this world that are into lactation ( quite a few actually ; probably in the tens of thousands ), and you really never know who is sitting next to you, or close enough by to get aroused.

Deepak Biswas said...

Really Appreciated.
Thank you.

Kiss throw

Heather said...

Oh my dearest "Bitchy", Can we please let all the mothers of the world know of the newest technology in breast feeding? It's super high tech and cutting edge it will blow their minds and change their lives!!! I realize it is so new that many mothers may not have heard of it yet but it's this crazy device called a BREAST PUMP!! Yes it's natural to breast feed but it also makes on lookers uncomf...ortable and imagine trying to wait on a person with a ta ta exposed, sheesh moms understand that while we applaud your resourceful green ways we don't want to be a part of it! If you don't want to pump here's an idea (also mind blowing) feed the baby before going to a restaurant. Or, for yet another option make a meal at home. Now don't think that you've got me pegged as some young single childless woman with no hope of a happy life due to my thoughts on restaurant breast feeding, I too am a mother of TWO kids in fact! So put your nipple back in it's holster and while your at it tell your kids to sit down because it's actually dangerous for a todler to be running around while tall runners and bus boys are carrying heavy trays around. Oh and for that matter maybe allowing your children to chew on the sugar packets is why they don't listen and won't stop screaming disturbing the other restaurant patrons. And just one last thought, Moms do your children reeeaaallllyyyy "need" 17 shirley temples? P.S. I'm also a waitress

Anonymous said...

Feeding in public is disgusting and disturbing to other people. The next time I see a feeding cow who isn't covered up I'm going to throw Mardi Gras beads at the exhibitionist that she is.

ASLNik said...

Wow, I actually got most of the way through all the comments before finally posting a comment myself.

It really is sad that most people on here say things like "She NEEDS to cover up" etc. The nursing mother does not NEED to do anything but nurse her child.
People might not like to see certain things in public, but if it is within someone's right to do whatever that thing may be, whether it be chewing with their mouths open, blowing their noses, or two people of the same sex holding hands or kissing...the person bothered by it can look away, or just grow up and ignore it! Unless someone is trying to sit on your lap and do whatever it is that's bothering you, you are fully capable of just looking the other way.

And for those who say things like, "Pissing, shitting, etc is also natural, but you don't see me doing that in public..." well, when your excrements can FEED someone in a nutritional way, THEN you have an argument, but until then, that point is completely invalid.

I'm also blown away by those who have said, "How am I supposed to explain why a baby has someone's boob in their mouth?" There's an easy explanation: "That's how some babies eat." To me, this is nowhere near as bad as if your kid were to say something like, "Mommy/Daddy, why is that person fat?" One of these questions you KNOW the answer to: (she's feeding the baby) and one is far more complicated because you have absolutely no idea why that person is fat (unless you personally know them)! She could have a slow metabolism, she could eat fatty food, she doesn't exercise, she was prescribed medicine that completely shut down her metabolism and even though she eats an insanely healthy diet and works out, she still gained 120lbs in a month and no matter what, she can't lose the weight (this happened to my mom...) No matter what, if you have a problem communicating with your kid and answering life's questions, maybe YOU are the one who needs to work on keeping your kid more sheltered if you are not prepared to answer whatever questions they have! This is just one of the responsibilities you accepted when you CHOSE to have a kid!

Life happens, whether you like it or not, and if you're the one with the problem, you need to first get to the root of that problem, and then figure out what YOU can do about it, without asking others to cater to you.

There's a saying that goes, "It's much easier to put on slippers than to carpet the world."
Think about THAT the next time you have a problem with something that is completely natural and legal to do.

And as for the "exhibitionist" theory.... unless they are decorated, or perked up or anything like that, they are not exhibitionists. People have even claimed naturalists(/nudists) to be exhibitionists. If you really have an open mind, you can clearly tell the difference between the two. One is going about their business, and the other is actively trying to gain attention.

I'm speaking not as a breastfeeding mother (I actually plan on never becoming a mother, but if I did, I certainly would exercise my rights to feed where-/when-ever needed), but a topfree equal rights advocate. However, both of them seem to get equal "flak", unfortunately...

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WH Rawr said...

Ok, as a server myself, I honestly have to say no to breastfeeding so openly in public for no other reason than the senior men who are more perverse then 15 year old boys with the internet..., I work in one of those restaurants so it doesn't help, but if a lady were to whip it out with no coverage, I wouldn't stop hearing about it till a woman president gets voted in (and I will assume she would feel awkward with old men, the servers, and cooks stopping and randomly looking at her). That and we have a regular table who breastfeeds and does it discreetly so you honestly would think she's holding and cuddling her child (it's what I thought was happening till I went to the booth with food).