It's Your Turn: Facebook readers share thoughts on breastfeeding
Editor’s note: This “Your Turn” segment includes selected remarks from more than 120 posts to the Echo Press Facebook page, which asked readers for their thoughts on whether breastfeeding should be allowed in public places (which is legal).
Jody Wagner: Yes, it’s ridiculous. They use breasts to sell everything and that’s ok with society, but a mother feeding her child is offensive? Time to take a look at our values!
Lorna Newman: My daughter would not eat with a blanket on her head; she would scream and get frightened! What would you rather have: A woman feeding her baby, who mostly you can’t see anything anyway as the nipple is in baby’s mouth, therefore covering the part most sexualized and the tops and nursing bras cover the rest of the breast leaving all to see but a baby eating, or would you prefer a screaming, hungry, inconsolable baby?
Abigail Vondal: I have nursed all five of my daughters. I did so whenever and wherever. I have never exposed myself. Nursing is a bonding experience that I did not want to share with anyone but my children. On occasion, I have been at my older girls sporting events and I would discretely go under the bleachers and nurse and be done. No offending anyone (although, how could anyone possibly be offended by the most natural act on Earth!). I have seen women who don’t mind exposing themselves whenever and wherever. I say do what makes you comfortable. To me, it was always an intimate thing that I didn’t want to share with anyone but my babies and my husband. Plus, it’s free! Just my opinion!
Miranda Lavender: Minnesota law allows breastfeeding women and their nurslings to nurse in public, anywhere where they are legally allowed, covered or uncovered. It’s legally not considered nudity, folks!
Jodi Smith: I’m a huge advocate of breastfeeding. I encourage all mothers to do it. I breast fed all of mine, even beyond the socially accepted time frame. However, I’ve also witnessed breastfeeding moms pair up and go to public places obviously making political statements, actively looking for attention and controversial stares and confrontation to which I thought was completely tasteless. … I wanted to slap them and tell them they were being counterproductive in their cause and are breastfeeding for the exact wrong reasons. But I didn’t. The point is it shouldn’t be a controversy or issue at all. And I find it frustrating that people take it to an unhealthy extreme, both moms and on onlookers. It’s about babies, not politics.
Amber Guntermann: If a female can wear a bikini in public (private areas covered by fabric) then a mother should be able to breast feed her child in public (private areas covered by child's mouth.) If a child should not be left in a hot vehicle in the summer, that same child should not have to be covered when breast fed.
Lexi Arp: Yes, public nursing should be allowed, not only because it natural but because moms need to get out. My daughter eats for 30-45 minutes, every hour. If I couldn’t nurse in public, I’d never be able to leave the house. As for designated areas, the idea is nice but then I’d just be stuck sitting in one of the areas. I get my shopping (and everything else) done while she's eating.
Jeanine Huberty: Babies need to eat. Is there any other argument? There are so many women that wanted to breastfeed their children and simply could not and others that are working very hard to maintain supply, keep a baby latched, or pump while at work. If you’re feeling like women exposing their breasts to feed a baby is sexual, I suggest doing a Google image search of nursing mothers. I think you’ll see in those photos the difference between a mother using her breasts to nourish, comfort, and bond with her child, as opposed to the over-exposed media depictions of sexual arousal of breasts and nipples. As a nursing mom, I have overwhelming support from family, friends, co-workers, and complete strangers to continue on this journey. I love Alexandria; I hope you are a community that continues to support its newest citizens!