A friend forwarded me some info on the topic of ‘breastfeeding in public’ yesterday, as a suggested topic for a post. Before even reading it, I thought – No way – I can’t. Not because it’s too controversial or contentious, but because I don’t really have a fixed opinion on the topic. Surely I need a strong opinion to write a meaningful post?
After thinking further, I considered that maybe my lack of definitive views was not as lackluster as it initially seemed. It might be even quite refreshing to read something about the topic that isn’t fierce and heated.
That’s not to say I don’t care about the topic, I do. I breastfeed my son for a short period of time, so I do understand a mothers dilemma. We can’t just sit about the house for the duration of our feeding career because the odd person may be offended if we feed our baby in public. A woman has every right to feed her baby wherever she chooses to, and no one should stop her. However, I can see both sides of the coin.
Feeding is in my opinion a fairly intimate experience. It also involves body parts that society believes (rightly or wrongly) we should keep private (unless we are taking a trip to a nude beach, or visiting our friendly spray tan lady). And while I generally believe we have the right to feeding a baby wherever we like, I can understand why some people do find it offensive. While most mums cover their breasts so well you would hardly even know they were feeding, there are others who are more relaxed. And as I have well experienced while breastfeeding myself, babies pull on and off the boob regularly, resulting in the occasional full frontal view for others nearby. For most people, this is just amusing, as not an issue. But I can understand the odd person, particularly men, who might find this a bit confronting. No one expects to see boob when they are quietly sipping on a latte or wandering around Chadstone shopping centre.
We all have the right to our opinion, maybe my middle ground as a mother is not going to be enough for some. But for now, I’m just happy to be a floater.