Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Breastfeeding is love, why hide it?

Remember the complaint I filed against The Block FM and the host's remarks about Breastfeeding in public is rude and should be done in private? Well, in today's show they had co-host Cassie and she was 'somewhat' FOR breastfeeding in public BUT she said that women need to cover up when breastfeeding a child. Seriously? Are we still dealing with the mentality that breasts are sexual objects and breastfeeding a child in public should be hidden because is obscene? I mean, we are mammals - we have breasts - we make milk. It's what breasts are for!

Some women may feel comfortable wearing a cover while breastfeeding, but to be honest, I have worn covers and they are uncomfortable not only for me but also for my baby. Covers are hot, they are inconvenient, they make the breastfeeding experience very difficult, not to mention that it attracts even MORE attention to the breastfeeding mother. Babies are annoyed by blankets over their heads when they are feeding from their mothers, sometimes they scream because they feel suffocated, I mean mine does! We are sending a wrong message when we tell a breastfeeding mother to cover up. We are telling them that breastfeeding is shameful therefore should be covered. Wait a minute? I thought breastfeeding is the most beautiful thing...?

Breastfeeding can be a challenging experience, so why adding another way to make breastfeeding a difficult task when it is supposed to be care free, natural and convenient? Many mothers give up so early because they feel pressured by society that breastfeeding in public is obscene or needs to be hidden, many cannot afford breastmilk pumps - they are expensive and time consuming, specially if you have several other children. How do we expect to continue to breastfeed our children and enjoy the benefits longer enough when we are put down by society because 'breastfeeding in public' is shameful and should be done in bathrooms stalls? Isn't that unhygienic anyways?

They also commented on how much breast the lady at the game exposed while she was breastfeeding. Tim said it was about 5 seconds before the baby latched back to the nipple which is VERY common in active babies or babies that are distracted by other activities while feeding, in this case = a ball game! Babies, ALL babies, are mobile - I believe there is no such a thing as discreet breastfeeding. It's hard to keep a baby in the breast the whole time. Just like another human, they take breaks after each mouthful, they breathe in between, they get distracted by other people around them and go back to their business, back and forth. It was not like this woman was topless showing off her package, she was just doing what nature intended us to do.

A discrimination like this should not be tolerated, even though they insisted that they did not "discriminate". Really? Let's change the scenario... How about if someone who feels uncomfortable of having a Latino man next to them and tweets that this man should go somewhere else because they don't like Latino men and they feel they should have their own place?


SIGHS! Anyways... I was able to get a hold of Cassie and I was asked to be in their show 8:40 AM. PST 12:40 EST (my time!). I really think someone should defend our right to breastfeed in public, with a cover or not - it's not about the mother's rights to breastfeed, it's all about the child's rights to be breastfed! ANYWHERE!

3 proofreaders making corrections!!!:

Kelly on August 12, 2009 at 11:19 AM said...

"Covers are hot, they are inconvenient, they make the breastfeeding experience very difficult, not to mention that it attracts even MORE attention to the breastfeeding mother."

Bingo. And the feeling of "shame" that a breastfeeding mother has to feel by having to cover up can lead to less positive breastfeeding outcomes, and shorter lengths of time for breastfeeding, when the WHO recommends at least 2 YEARS!

And when's the last time anyone asked a woman wearing a bikini to "use a cover" while walking around? U see much more breast w/a bikini than w/a mother wearing a couple shirts breastfeeding an infant at a ballgame, I'm certain.

When breasts are seen as sexual, everyone is all for baring as much skin as possible.

When breasts are used for feeding, suddenly, everyone wants women to cover up.


Good for you for going on their show. Hope they'll listen to you!

TheFeministBreeder on August 12, 2009 at 11:37 AM said...

Careful! Cassie's very first tweet to me yesterday was calling me a "MORON" - in all caps. You saw everything else she wrote, I'm sure.

I won't listen because stupidity makes my ears bleed, but @mrJohnCC will be listening, and he'll give me the details. I just hope you can get through to her, but A.) she's a lawer, so she's probably good at arguing things that aren't even the truth and B.) She's fundamentally invested in not changing her mind/position.

Just don't let her get to you. And tell us what happens!

Baby Signs(R) With Elizabeth ICI, INC. on August 12, 2009 at 4:48 PM said...

Oh I Love the video, so funny and makes a great point!

I was very shy about breastfeeding in public at first, so I chose to go into another room, the car, etc. But by my third little boy I was over it :) It doesn't bother me one bit to see women breastfeeding in public or to have my kids see another woman breastfeeding... my second actually named my breasts "baby's" as in property of his baby brother... that's just what they're there for!

PS - thanks for the post on my blog. That's not me, it's our wonderful marketing director Linda. The flip guides are great and one of my most used tools when I got started signing. At only $9.99 for one is a great deal! But for parents just getting started I recommend getting the complete starter kit for only $39.95 because it includes the quick reference guide and so much more!

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