There are so many arguments for and against breastfeeding in public. It gets compared to all sorts of adult behavior such as eating, peeing, taking a dump, having sex, etc. Often we say “I’m just feeding my baby!” Well, actually you’re not. You’re being a mother. Breastfeeding is much more than eating. Which is why the argument “if you can eat in public then so can my baby” isn’t really a great argument. It just adds to the concept that there are stipulations on how, when and where we can latch our babies to our breast. The reality is our breast is where a baby is biologically wired to be whether they are eating, sleeping, getting comfort, feeling secure, growing, developing their brain, etc. We don’t need arguments for breastfeeding in public. It’s a narrow view of the issues to lump breastfeeding into a group of behaviors that require etiquette and stipulations like talking on a cell phone. Negativity toward breastfeeding is a much deeper issue than when and where everyone feels it should take place. Society has become alienated from the our natural purpose to birth, breastfeed and care for young. Discomfort with breastfeeding is just a symptom of a larger problem. We need to normalize nurturing. Go outside and breastfeed, hug, kiss, hold hands, laugh and smile. Normalize parenting, normalize relationships, normalize family, normalize intimacy, normalize nurturing, normalize society, normalize love.
Abby Theuring, MSW