Where did we go wrong as a society to make women feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public?
No one should feel they have the right to tell a woman when, where, and how she can breastfeed. The stigma should be placed on those who have the nerve to tell a woman feeding her child to "Cover up" or to ask "Where's your modesty?"
Breasts were made to feed babies. Yes, they also have a sexual function but anyone who has the maturity of a sixth grader knows the difference between a sexual act and feeding a child.
It's pretty obvious, actually. If the woman is holding a child to her breast, she's not being sexual or indecent.
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In fact, we should probably rethink whether the idea that a bare breast is indecent in the first place. Men can show off their nipples in public, why can't women?
Even in situations where it's totally legal and acceptable to breastfeed in public, some people will judge whether she does so "respectfully." When, in reality, the only disrespect is coming from those who are being judgmental about how a woman feeds her child.
A mother on the Breastfeeding Mom Facebook page posted a powerful image of a woman breastfeeding that shows just what "respectful" breastfeeding looks like.
via bfmamatalk / Facebook
"Stop telling moms they need to be respectful when they breastfeed in public," the meme says. "When you can't even respect the fact that a baby has just as much of a right to eat in public as everyone else."
The meme was accompanied by a fantastic explanation.
This is how a mother respectfully nurses a baby. With dignity and confidence.
The way someone chooses to nurse a child "doesn't define the amount of respect they have for themselves and doesn't define who they are. We are all human beings and somehow we are divided by something as natural as breastfeeding."
If you choose to cover up, that's awesome. If you don't, that's awesome too. The purpose of nursing isn't about who shows more boob or who doesn't. The purpose is to feed a child. And whether it's done covered, in a private place, or uncovered in the middle of a restaurant, does not define the amount of respect you have. The stigma needs to end. We are just trying to feed our babies.
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