Sunday, February 1, 2009

I don't get why people are ooked out by breastfeeding

So I can understand people being all anti-public-breastfeeding.

~ I don't agree with it of course, but I can understand it. One, Americans are a bunch of fucking uptight people in general. Just look at other countries commercials and you can see how close minded we are. For fuck's sake, i got slapped with sexual harassment over THIS commercial I watched at work. Yes, a real sexual harassment issue. I got suspended without pay for 2 weeks!

~ Two, some public breast feeders are crude. I've seen women just slap out a big saggy breast at a restaurant. Like full fledged entire breast. I personally have breastfed everywhere. But I'm discreet. I'm ~not~ embarrassed and I do ~not~ cover up with a blanket (I think it's unfair to make your baby swelter underneath a blanket or cover to eat) but I do ~not~ show anything. I always wear a tank top underneath my shirt so when I lift up my shirt, my stomach isn't hanging out. Before I lift up the shirt, I get my breast out over the tank top. So I lift up and tank top covers bottom, while my shirt covers the top. I latch baby on half under shirt, so when I lift i up, the breast is covered by the baby. As soon as baby is done, shirt goes down and that's that.

But why are some women all grossed out by breast feeding? I have seen women decide on formula feeding before even trying because the thought of breast feeding grosses them out.

~ I think this is a personal decision and it's the woman's to make. I am not judging their decision. But I am questioning the hows and whys of the decision to begin with. I wonder if they can't get past the sexual nature of breasts, so that interferes with the idea of breast feeding? Maybe? If so, I can understand that for the same reason some woman would never give a blow job without trying it first.

I just love it so much. Just the idea of allowing my body do something so natural. Feeding my child with my body alone for the first 6 months. And then continuing to give breast milk only (no cow's milk, formula, etc) for the next 6 months after solids are introduced. I love the bonding feeling I have with my child, although I don't think I'm bonding anymore than I would if I was giving a bottle. Maybe it's just the closeness I feel being part of it? I've never bottle fed more than a bottle here and there, so I can't really compare.

I am a bit of a hypocrite though. Because I find breastfeeding an older toddler totally "gross". Again, it's a personal decision per woman and I'm not judging someone else's decision to do so. I just couldn't. Maybe I was traumatized before I had kids because one of tom's relatives was breastfeeding her almost 3 year old and while I was talking to her, he kept saying "boobie, mommy, boobie!" while he kept unbuttoning her shirt. Okay, to me, that's fucking weird. Asking for it by name? Unbuttoning the shirt? I had to move away from talking with her before he commented on how much he liked her bra.

I guess we all have our opinions on all aspects of everything. I guess I just need to accept that without questioning it.


MrsSpock said...

First off, who in the hell would feel sexually harassed by that commercial? It's hilarious! Would they feel as "harassed" by listening to the song "Funky Cold Medina" and hearing the "Sheena was a man" part? Come on....Though it is definitely NSFW....

I have never been weirded out by BF in public. I honestly think you can see more boobie on the cover of Cosmo than by the typical nursing mom. I had a super cute nursing cover that I used in public. I would never flash a nip, and wouldn't expect another woman to do that in public, but I've never seen one flashed by a nursing mom before, except by a close friend in private.

Elana Kahn said...

I totally agree with you. I also think that while breastfeeding is great, once a kid can ask for it, weaning is looong overdue. :-) It's funny, though, because I have a friend who is VERY tall (so is her husband), and I was watching her nurse her little girl (who was probably 12-18 months at the time) and it skeeved me out cuz she looked big enough to be 3!

Sarah R said...

I totally agree--I have gotten into debates (in the debate forum) on the board I belong to. I mentioned that we are prude here compared to other countries and this religious anti-BF lady jumped all over me! It's kind-of funny, actually.

The fact is, if we didn't have formula, everyone would be forced to breastfeed (or buy breastmilk, or find a wet nurse--you get my drift). It's so easy today because people don't even have to TRY it. I'm not saying everyone should, but because I know what it's like, I wish everyone would at least TRY it before dissing it.

My SIL is a prime example. She was like, "UGH, I don't understand why anyone would do that to themselves". Um, because it's completely natural? My body makes it for a reason? Because it's actually EASIER than dealing with bottles and sanitizing and all that crap? Maybe I'm just lazy. *wink* Especially in the middle of the night, it is far easier to put him on the breast than it would be to walk out to the kitchen and prepare a bottle.

I don't understand the "BFing is gross" crowd. Not one bit. Formula, made from cow's milk--it came out of THEIR udder--is that not grossER? They think because it's in a can and whatever that it's somehow the same, but it's not. It has corn syrup solids in it.

If I'm going to put something into my baby for an entire year, the first 6 months of that being the only food he gets, I feel much better with it being mine. :)

Good post!

PS, I'm also a discreet nurser too. I did; however, have a lady on my forum (same one as mentioned above) compare nursing in public to having sex in public!! OMG, she said that they're both private acts that should be done at home. GOOD GRIEF.

Jenera said...

Though I don't BF, I don't find it gross at all. If you are able to, more power to you. I also don't mind women BF in public. I've seen many women do it in stores and restaurants and malls. I have been lucky though and not see someone just whip out a big 'ol boob.

I heard one argument from a woman that said our kids should not be subjected to the site out in public. I thought that was stupid. Kids should know about BF and to know if someone is doing that, there is nothing wrong.

I also agree with the BF toddlers. If you still want to give them breastmilk, do it in a cup or bottle or whatever. Having a talking human attached to your chest is a bit weird.

the mol said...

I'm absolutely all about breastfeeding. Whenever your baby needs to eat. I'm the same way with always dressing appropriately for nursing in public so that I don't show much. I doubt that my kid could have tolerated formula even if I did want to give it to him.

I'm going to go ahead and say that it's not a big deal to breastfeed toddlers--my son nursed to 15 months and the only reason we stopped then was because we all got a stomach virus and he was in the hospital for chemo. It's different with older babies because you can tell them to wait until they are home, or you can get them down to 2 or 3 feedings a day (which also means that they don't need to start drinking cow's milk at age 1). When they can "ask" for it isn't really fair, because my son said "ma ma ma ma ma" in a certain way from about 9 months old, and I knew that he wanted to nurse. I wasn't about to cut him off just because I knew what he wanted.

You'd be surprised at how many 2 and 3 year olds still nurse before bedtime.

nancy said...

Mol - like I said, I'm a hypocrit. But when I say toddlers, I mean 2 1/2 - 3 year olds and above. I breastfed my 12 month olds, 15 months isn't that much different. And when I say "asking for it" I mean "mommy, boobie!". All babies "ask" for it, hell, my newborn roots for it (as all newborns) so that's still asking for it. kwim?

Heather said...

So sorry to hear about the work thing. I watched the commercial and thought it was hilarious!!! BFing in public has never bothered me and I've done it before too. Using the same techniques that you mentioned for discreteness. Once an old lady came up to me and starting talking about DD when I was nursing and asked if she was sleeping. I said yes, LOL. She had no idea what I was doing. I think she needed a better glasses prescription.

Hollie said...

That commercial is funny and horrible! I've been shown much worse at work.

I don't understand the anitBFing thing either. I had my hairdresser tell me she was freaked out when people BF at her shop, even discreetly. The kids have to eat! Moms can't go forever without feeding. I haven't experienced public BFing yet, but I'm going to try and see how I feel. It doesn't bother me at all doing it at home in front of people, even my grandpa and brother. They don't stare, so why should anyone else. That is good advice on wearing two shirts. I didn't think of that. Although it gets freaking hot around here sometimes. I bought some nursing shirts which will be nice for public feedings.

I think it is strange to BF 3 year olds. And while I know BFing is great, I'm looking forward to it being done.

IdleMindOfBeth said...

How's this for gross?

Morgan said...

LMAO at that commercial!! I showed everyone here at work and they died laughing, thanks we needed that around here!!

Anyways, ok I'm going to be honest, real honest here. You hit it dead on the spot for me and why I just can't breastfeed. I wanted to so bad but I just can't get over the "sexual nature" of breasts. I am NOT saying I think breastfeeding is sick or somehow "sexual" or something sick like that...but I've always been a big boobie girl in bed. I like having mine licked, sucked, rubbed, squeezed, and fondled LOL! So with that said, something about having Kevin do it AND a baby weirded me out, so yeah it's the "sexual nature" part about boobies that I couldn't get over so that's why I chose not to BF. I know what you are thinking because I know how you think ;) "you cant get over that to do what is best for your baby?"....but for some odd reason no I couldn't but sometimes I regret it and I really wish I could have gotten over that and did what was best for Mason.

KatieM said...

I definately fall into the "I love breastfeeding" catagory, even though I totally respect people who don't do it, because as you say, personal choice. Right now Cullen in the process of cutting out one of his own feeds during the night (he only wakes once anyways), and I cried the other day when I realized I would only get to feed him once before he left for the babysitters instead of twice.

I mean, seriously, how crazy is it that I am ~sad~ my son wants to sleep through the night!

nancy said...

Morgan - do you pump and bottle feed breastmilk? If so, that's the same for the baby healthwise! :)

MrsJoyner said...

Okay, this has nothing to do w/the topic, but it's the most recent post, so there we are. I just looked at your tickers..and OMG..Karl is over 3 weeks OLD!? How is that possible. I was just thinking, wow, Karl must be a week old by now. WTF!? Where is time going? But anyway, the kids, are gorgeous as you well know and I hope you are completely on the mend ASAP.

Supermom said...

OMG, that commercial was HILARIOUS!!!!!! I cannot wait to show it to my husband when he gets home.

I am currently breastfeeding baby #4. I love it! I love having that special time with each of my children. I love the ease of it. No matter what anyone says that is why we have breasts. Believe it or not they aren't just for others to enjoy sexually. LOL

I too am discreet about it. I never just whip out my goods for everyone to see. There is a right way and a not so right way.

Thanks for this blog. I enjoyed it.


Jennifer said...

I'm a fellow BFing advocate (not that I go around and promote it, but you kwim). My DH was weird about BFing in public and doesn't think it's appropriate. We've argued about it, but even so I never felt really comfortable doing it in public. Part of it is because I never bought nursing tops to do it more discretely. I usually sat in the car.

I went to our work Christmas get-together and took DD with me. When she needed to nurse I sat in a open room next to the living room where everyone was opening ornaments and a coworker came in started talking to me. She was talking for awhile and asked if DD was sleeping and started to look closely at her. When I told her she was BFing she said "oh!" and backed away a little.

I know I can do it discretely, but for some reason I just didn't feel comfortable doing it in public very often.

I also agree with the older toddlers nursing. 3 and up is a bit too old for me! The video of the 8yr old nursing is just disturbing. I nursed until 14 months. It was a little sad to stop, but she hasn't missed it one bit.

nancy said...

Beth - OMG. I just watched that. Holy Shit.

sacredandscarred said...

I love my breastfeeding tops, they make life so much easier.

I do think that breasts are so sexualised in western society that people can't get their heads around the fact that they are glands and their purpose is making milk. Very sad.

I think it's very important for kids to see breastfeeding, to know that it's normal. Part of the reason breastfeeding is so hard is that many moms have never seen another woman breastfeed whereas in other cultures kids grow up seeing everyone around them breastfeeding so it's normal and they see how it's done, plus there is experienced support on hand.

I'm also pro-toddler-breastfeeding, and the plan for now is to wait for TTG to be done with it. The natural age of weaning (Dettwyler) is thought to be between 2 and 7 years. I offered TBB a couple of breastfeeds when TTG was first born, TBB was 4 then.