Parent Time

Tastefully Breast feeding in Public Places:
Legal Issues, Special Aid and How to Cover Up

Breastfeeding in public is one of the most-discussed areas of nursing, and can causes friction between family members, friends and outright strangers. Some people believe public breastfeeding to be natural and beautiful, a sharing of the nurturing process between mother and child. Others feel it is a private and intimate act, which should be sheltered from the eyes of others. Yet other people think that breastfeeding is perfectly fine—they just don't want to see it at the dinner table.

It's all very confusing, because the breast in this culture, is considered more than a baby bottle: it's essentially considered the primary sexual attribute of women. Men judge women by their breasts-their size, perkiness and cleavage. Breasts can make the difference between getting a good job and getting a great one, as male employers notice your breasts long before they know the color of your eyes. Millions of dollars are spent each year on breast enhancement surgery because ambitious women who want to maximize their options in career or husband hunting spend the money to get the goods that nature hasn't provided in enough abundance. There is even a joke that goes thusly:

Q: Why do women have breasts?
A: So men will talk to them.

Having thus hyper-sexualized that part of the body, the culture then proceeds to regulate its appearance. Even when a baby is attached to it, a breast is a breast, and in the puritanically small minds that so often prevail, a thing that incites men to sexual frenzy. It's idiotic, but there it is, and local laws and regulations may reflect the awful truth: your breasts are not your own to be hidden or displayed. They are part of the public domain and thus subject to the laws of the land. In some backwards places, you may suffer stares of disgust and whispers of outrage, be ousted from a mall or restaurant or even receive a citation for baring your breast in public, even when it is to provide the finest kind of nourishment to a beautiful baby . You have two choices: you can go ahead and breastfeed in the open and duke it out each and every time someone else is offended, or you can do what women have done for centuries and put a tiny little receiving blanket over yourself and your baby and nurse your baby in a shady little tent.

When it comes right down to it, each woman makes constant choices about how and when to expose her body. When you're a teenager it might be short skirts: when you're pregnant, you may opt for belly-baring fashions that remind us that the first religions honored women's fecundity and big, round goddess bodies. Once you have a little one latched on, you now have to decide which Madonna you most want to resemble: the one from 2,000 years ago or the one who infuriated the church by making sexy videos with semi-religious overtones.

There's no reason to breastfeed openly unless you're interested in inciting comment. Clever tops, nursing bras and breastfeeding covers can keep you looking modest no matter what a wild thing you are. If you're traveling, especially to other countries, find out how women breastfeed in the places where you're going so you don't offend the citizens of that land. With airplanes the cattle cars they are today, it's a consideration to your seatmates to ask the flight attendant if there's a special place where you can spread out a little to nurse. Otherwise, do use a cover to save total strangers their peace of mind. In churches or synagogues, nursing mothers generally leave the service and find a quiet, private room in which to breastfeed. In restaurants, you may find resolute opposition to nursing in public. Some people find that seeing a baby feeding interferes with their enjoyment of their own food. And it's not just breastfeeding that puts them off: many an iron-stomached person has been rendered virtually seasick watching a doting parent pushing food into the drooling, messy mouth of a teething child.

Continue reading more information about Breast Milk Formula

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