Well I don’t want to rehash and start fights and arguments and beat a dead horse. Buuuuut, I just gotta get this off my chest so then I can just post this blog post and move on with my life.
So yes I believe breastfeeding in public is just fine- uncovered! I will tell you why if you give me the time. And if you still disagree with me that’s fine you have every right to your opinion and we can still be friends but I hope even though you do disagree with me, you still listen to what I have to say.
But first, where do you stand on the issue? Vote on our poll below!
Before I start let me speak to those who think that nursing in public is not ok (especially uncovered) and who are my fellow moms who breastfeed. You know when you feed your child..that moment when you look down at their precious face eating and your heart just absolutely melts. You feel like Heaven couldn’t be any closer and this moment between you and your baby is truly the most beautiful experience? When your baby has been screaming all night but then they calm down and start to eat and you think there has never been a more angelic being on this earth? That to me is a spiritual, heaven sent experience. I honestly believe nursing is something God gave mothers to experience with their children to bond them, continually, multiple times a day to bring us closer together. Just hold onto that moment and think of that warmth and love you felt.
And now, someone tells you that not only what you’re doing is inappropriate..but other people could view it in a sexual way and you need to hide that from the world.
Does that not disturb you? Who is right here? Where is that negative message coming from? Do you honestly in your soul believe that God would give you the opportunity to be a mom, have the experience of nursing your child and throw it back in your face like you are some slutty heathen? I am being 100% serious. I do not think that God wants you to “cover up” while nursing. You can if you want to! But no I do not think that he gave women breasts to feed our young only to say cover up or you will cause sexual desires in everyone around you.
We are more deep as creatures than that. We are not two dimensional people that can’t understand the difference between sexuality and natural, pure motherly feedings.
There is a time and a place for everything. And while nursing our young, it is ok if your breasts are displayed. I will go as far to say, if you are one that says, “I’m all for breastfeeding, just keep yourself covered while doing it.” I’m sorry but you do not understand what nursing is about. If you turn it into a possible sexual experience for others, you are taking something, dare I say sacred, and turning it to smut. If your child looks at a woman nursing and asks you what she is doing, you tell them, “She is feeding her baby,” and your child will say, “Oh, ok” and move on. It’s that simple. But not everyone thinks it is, and that’s why I have this 10 hour long blog post. To prove to you, it’s ok, they are nursing their baby.
A little bit about where I’m coming from:
- Grew up in a conservative LDS (Mormon) home with no breastfeeding to us 6 kids
- Grew up in a pretty liberal hippy town (the beautiful Asheville, NC) but can’t recall much breast feeding in public and if I did, I obviously don’t remember it so therefore had no intense opinion over it
- Still a devout LDS Mormon with conservative political views (Ben Carson 2016!!)
- Believe in being 100% obedient to God’s teachings the best of my ability and that obedience brings true happiness
Although I’m super religious please don’t feel like I’m trying to preach to you today, I just wanted those that are Mormon reading this to know these things about me and I tell you I’m conservative so you can see this issue isn’t restricted to a political party view
- My husband gets uncomfortable about women nursing in public and doesn’t get why I do it but doesn’t tell me not to..he just thinks “it’s weird” (He was the youngest of 7 kids and didn’t change a diaper till our son was born so he hasn’t been around babies much)
- I am HUGE advocate for abstaining from pornography and I have studied a lot about the evils and problems surrounding pornography including sex trafficking (Become a fighter here!)
Don’t care what religion you are (or aren’t) or what your political affiliation is..welcome to my blog!
I had no opinion on nursing in public growing up before because my mom didn’t nurse us so I never saw it. My mom never shared her opinino on it, so I never thought about it and whenever I’d see a woman nurse in public, I’d just look away. Even with a cover I sometimes felt a little uncomfortable just because it was something I wasn’t around a lot growing up. But I was like, whatever, you gotta feed your baby and that was that.
Then I had a child. I knew I would want to wear a cover when I nursed because I don’t like to even have a lot of cleavage let alone have a boob out in public. (or so I thought) Then along comes my son who HATED being nursed especially under a cover. He was notorious in the NICU because latching him on he would scream bloody freaking murder for 30 minutes before finally giving in and latching on. So a cover was straight up not an option. I had dozens of different nurses and lactation specialists come in and help me teach him to latch on to breastfeed him. They’d yank on my breasts and try to help me and it didn’t phase me because I was so focused on trying to feed my son.
One day I was having a good time for once nursing my son in our NICU room and some ladies asked if they could come in and talk to me about a breast pump. There were probably 5 women or so. I was without cover, clothes, or anything on my top half and said I was feeding my son but if they didn’t care, I didn’t care. They said they were fine and all 5 women filed in and talked to me about a breast pump for about 10 minutes and then left. No one acted disgusted or judgmental or stared at my boobs or anything. I didn’t think anything of it until months later I laughed at how I would have never thought I would do that before. Motherhood really does change you.
When you have to feed your child, you feed your child.
After we brought him home he still wouldn’t let me wear a cover in public. I would practice at home but he would rip it off and scream. I couldn’t see him underneath the cover so I really struggled with getting him to latch on. I finally gave up. A friend gave me a nursing cover and I kept it with me and luckily when we were on a plane ride he let me somewhat use it because we were like 2 inches from the guy next to me and I felt bad and then when I was at the pool a few times he let me put on a cover because I felt uncomfortable with that much breast showing.
So now I’m a huge advocate for women to nurse in public: with or without a cover. Do whatever. But can we for the love of everything stop acting like these women are heathens for nursing in public?
Why? Well then, let me explain.
Sorry this is so long, but I believe these things needs to be addressed.
A lot of moms have gotten slack from people for nursing in public. I personally see this only being a problem in say the last 30 years..I haven’t been alive for 30 years but just as I’ve studied history and follow cultural changes that’s what I’ve witnessed in my lifetime and I can’t figure it out.
Maybe it’s been because a lot of women started using formula and nursing in public was less seen in our culture, maybe it’s because air conditioning came into existence and people stopped nursing out on their front porch? I know it sounds silly but I am really trying to grasp why a culture becoming more and more open with sexuality and wearing less and less clothing is somehow becoming more and more upset about nursing in public.
Nursing in public: Is it immodest?
Short answer: No.
Why? Well why do we dress modestly? I’ve got a whole blogpost on that here. But if you’re a Mormon, it’s a commandment so we strive to follow it.
Is there ANY mention of breastfeeding anywhere in Mormon doctrine? No.
(No mention of if it’s immodest or not)
Why? Because you are feeding a child and there is a time and a place for everything. And nursing a child is the most innocent of experiences in this entire world. Stop ruining that.
For those mothers out there..when you were in labor and had your child I don’t think modesty was an issue in the moment of you pushing your child out of your body. Is that different? My simple answer to you is: there is a time and a place for everything. Sometimes it’s appropriate to let your doctor see parts of your body that you normally keep covered. But the public is different? Good point, let’s talk about that.
First of all let’s just talk about how much boob is actually showin here.
Here’s a picture of me nursing my son:
Here’s another one:
Here’s another one:
Look at his outfit here it cracks me up, it was his Daddy’s when he was a baby!
Get the point yet? Ya um I didn’t adjust myself in any of these pictures. I didn’t try to cover up I just opened up my computer’s photo booth while I was sitting on the couch and this is what it looked like. Can you see skin? Perhaps. Can you see nipple? You could if my child moved which he does.. but will you recover? Ya. You’ll be just fine. Why? Because it’s not a sexual act. This is not sexual. Breasts are apart of a body for the sole purpose of feeding a child. The other stuff is just secondary and isn’t the purpose.
Boys have nipples and wear their shirts off all the time. There’s a nipple-right there! Just a fun fact for ya. (yes I know people can view women’s breasts sexually but I’m just sayin.)
So you can’t see much skin when I nurse because I nurse with the shirt lifted up, some people don’t. Which is where I could see where you could legit feel uncomfortable. But you see, sometimes I used to get uncomfortable with it too but you kinda get over it. Why was I uncomfortable? Because a lady’s boob is out and that’s a little strange I don’t see that very often. But is it bad? No I don’t think so because she’s feeding her baby and I think that is what is most important and oh ya.. BREASTS ARE MADE TO FEED BABIES. Let’s not forget that.
I am discreet for my own comfort level. I don’t want to get nit picky and talk about how much boob is showing etc.
As a side note:
What would happen if more women fed their children in public uncovered? Maybe our sons would see breasts more and learn to look away and have more self restraint or simply learn that breasts are not just a sexual object but also used to feed the young. How on earth could that possibly go wrong??? I mean, seriously what is everyone so afraid of?
For the Mormons in the bunch:
Ya I get the modesty thing. I get where you’re coming from. But it has nothing to do with it and there’s 0 doctrine on it and if it reallllly mattered as much as people act like it does, we would have someone release a statement or talk about it in general conference but they haven’t. Why? Because feeding your baby is not immodest. There are dozens of photos, pictures, statues, paintings of LDS women nursing in public without a cover. There are depictions of Christ himself being nursed by his mother Mary.
Mormon artifacts below:
But to say it’s against our beliefs is entirely NOT ok.
To teach others that it’s not ok at church..is not ok.
Learn the doctrine teach the doctrine. Not doctrine, so please stop acting like its’ doctrine.
To be rude, say rude things, be judgmental of someone who nurses in public is not ok.
Just because culturally we have become uncomfortable with the site of a woman nursing doesn’t mean it’s bad.
Furthermore it makes me upset that you take something so beautiful and natural and even a spiritual bonding with my child and try to manipulate it into what could be a sexual experience for someone else. Ya it disgusts me. It also hurts me when I am supposed to feel ashamed to nurse my baby in public like I’m some sort of sinner. Please, there are wayyy worse things I do in my life than breastfeed my child in public.
Lastly: put yourself in our shoes!
What if my kid doesn’t let me put a cover over him but I want to? Do you want me to go hide in a nasty bathroom and feed him? Hide in my car? Leave a restaurant and let my food get cold? I mean ya it wouldn’t be the end of the world but it’s just stupid. Sorry but it is.
If my kid is hungry and I stop to feed him in public at least he’s not screaming bloody murder which is the alternative. So if you want more screaming hungry babies and less boobies..well that’s your prerogative I guess. We all can think what we want!
Oh and it’s legal. God bless America!
So if you have a problem with it, take it to the polls and stop harassing women that are 100% protected by law and me for that matter. I will stand by them and their rights to nurse in public, uncovered or covered.
To summarize my thoughts:
Breastfeeding is not immodest because there is nothing sexual about it. Stop making it sexual. It is a beautiful heavenly bonding experience with baby and mother and you are helping destroy that by proclaiming it is indecent.
Stop being rude to people who nurse in public. It’s not illegal so stop accosting women for doing something they have every right to do and take your opinion to the polls.
If a woman is breastfeeding in public it’s not to get attention it’s to feed her baby. Simple as that.
Some babies will not wear covers anyways so stop acting superior that you wear a cover and that all women should feed their children with them.
Sometimes there isn’t even a bunch of skin showing and you wouldn’t even know she was breastfeeding
If you don’t want women to feed their children in public, don’t’ get mad that their child will then scream at the top of their lungs because they are starving
Let’s all move on with our lives onto more important topics like saving baby lives.