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25 Comments

I’m not going to get into the ‘breast is best’ debate. Personally, I think breastfeeding is best for my child but I completely understand for many women, breastfeeding is not possible.

In the end, it comes down to personal choice and what our bodies can or can not do. You can’t force someone to breastfeed who isn’t comfortable with it or is in constant pain. Likewise, so many women find disappointment that their bodies won’t let them breastfeed.

This is not the point of my post.  What I want to talk about is the shame many women feel to feed their babies in public.

One lady I know recently encountered the disapproval of one man while feeding her baby. She wrote an open letter to said gentleman. I think her letter says it all. To all the breastfeeding haters, you are all only here because your mothers fed you as we feed our babies. Have a think about that.

An Open Letter to The Man Who Shook His Head:

To the man who gave me a disapproving look and then shook his head while I breastfed my baby…

I wanted to publicly apologise for my behaviour. As you sat down to have your lunch I proceeded to remove my breast and breastfeed my baby. At least that’s what you assumed I was doing, underneath my wrap. You are indeed correct. I was breastfeeding my baby.

This may come as a shock to you but you do not look like the Mona Lisa while eating that seasoned bit of cow you were chewing in your mouth. I would have loved to have given you the same look you gave me, however unlike you I understand that food is a need, not a want. Just like you need food to survive, so does my baby.

I also understand that without breastfeeding you would not be alive to sit there so smugly and shake your head at me.

This was not actually an apology nor was it written for you. It was written for all the mothers that breastfeed and all the mothers that don’t. What we do is nothing short of a miracle! It is human nature in its most natural form. We are mothers. We use our motherly love to keep the human race going and we don’t need your disapproving looks while we do it.

Rant over!!!

Actually F*** you

Now, rant over!!!

Sincerely,

Your Mother, Sister or Daughter

——————————–

How can someone judge how a woman feeds her baby? Why is it ok to bottle feed your baby in public but not breastfeed? We are doing the same thing, providing life and nutrients for our babies. Three cheers to this lady. As a breastfeeding mother, I am proud that we have some great women standing up for our rights.

Breastfeeding is not easy. It is only made harder when we feel trapped into only feeding our babies hidden away in a dark room.

I am equally as proud of the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA). I don’t believe any other country has a breastfeeding association that does as much for women’s rights to breastfeed as ours! We are a lucky bunch of mummies to have such supportive advocates.

Also, a big shout out to all the wonderful cafes, restaurants and venues listed in the ABA’s Breastfeeding friendly list! Thank you for supporting mums whether they breast or bottlefeed. To find local venues in your area see here!

And congratulations to all the breastfeeding, bottle feeding and mixed feeding mothers. Thank you for nurturing your baby. Thank you for giving your baby what it needs. Most importantly, thank you for giving it to them when and where they need it.

Have you ever had someone make you feel uncomfortable whilst breastfeeding your baby? Please share in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

  • I agree in feeding your baby whenever and wherever. Stuff what anyone thinks.

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  • That is the worst open letter penned thus far. I agree though that people need to be more accepting. I used to worry about it with my first (also a bit nervous) and what everyone thought including judgment from my inlaws for breastfeeding until 2. Now I do it anywhere anytime he needs. If people can’t handle that – then too bad. I do what is best for my baby.

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  • Think breast feeding inpublic acceptable but i would also cover my breat,not because I was ashamed, but so many perverts around hone in on this natural sight. Seen it happensad vut true. We still have lot to learn in our world

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  • I wish I’d had the guts to breastfeed in public, but I didn’t. Not because I was worried about what others thought of me breastfeed, but what others thought of my breasts. I’m just very self conscious and thought people would think they looked hideous. I wasn’t breast fed myself but I wish I had been, and I breast fed all 3 of my kids and am so glad I did! Really, any brave mother who breastfeeds in public is a hero in my book. And it’s none of anyone else’s business what she’s doing.

    Reply

  • I am a passionate advocate for breastfeeding. I too understand that some women just can’t do it and that is ok too. I love the open letter this woman wrote… it is a natural and normal thing to do. Go breastfeeding mummas go. I applaud you and I will be joining you soon.

    Reply

  • I always fed my babies in public if they needed it. I would usually try and find a quiet spot (only for my own comfort and less distraction for bub). I never had anyone make me feel uncomfortable but I know it happens which is terrible in this day and age. Really, how hard is it to just look away if you’re uncomfortable…a lot easier than making a woman go off to find somewhere private to feed her crying baby.

    Reply

  • i loved breastfeeding,k i didnt shove it in peoples faces but if my babies needed feeding i didnt think twice.

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  • Breast feeding is natural and normal and is not shameful! If anyone has a problem when you feed, then quite frankly, too bad! Ignore the looks, gestures, rolled eyes and words, they are not worthy of contemplation or thought.

    Reply

  • I could not breast feed my first bub as no matter what I did there was no milk. it turns out that when I had bubs no2 my milk came in at day 10. Not all mums get their milk on day 3-4. Drugs given in labour can delay the milk coming in as well. There is nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public. it can be done discreetly and it is beautiful.

    Reply

  • I was unable to breastfeed but support all mothers that can and do. If we continue to talk about this, we will continue to see change. I have sat and continue to sit with many mums who do breastfeed. It’s as normal to me as sitting there having a coffee with a mum.

    Reply

  • So ridiculous. Milk is best. Feed your baby when- and where ever they need.


    • I agree – I never understand the upset and angst around breastfeeding. If people do not like it – simple – look away!

    Reply

  • I never received any negative comments but I was always very discrete, usually with bub partially wrapped under a bunny rug. I actually had a few occasions when strangers came up whilst I was feeding and gave their admiration thinking bub was just asleep in my arms.

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  • We lived in the UK when I breastfed my kids and I never really felt that someone made me feel uncomfortable and I did breastfeed in cafe’s, church and supermarkets. I breastfed my son until he was 4, but once he could walk we did it in the privacy of our bedroom at home.

    Reply

  • I am still breast feeding my 13 month old and have thankfully only ever had positive experiences feeding in public. I do get a lot of people say wow you are still breastfeeding, and I find that a bit hard to reply to.

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  • As a breastfeeding mother I don’t object to others breastfeeding their child, but I do object to those who don’t even try to be discreet. I am happy to breastfeed, but I don’t like showing other people my breast – that is what a lot of people object to I think.


    • Nursing is a wonderful thing between a mother and a baby and if its done discreetly its a beautiful part of nuturing a future individual.

    Reply

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