Why should we breastfeed in public? Because, although a perfectly natural and normal thing to do, breastfeeding in public is not practiced often enough to be considered a common thing, like dining out or eating a hot dog on the go. The more public we get with this, the more will the world be to accepting it.
I believe that I am not the only person who doesn’t serve lunch in a public restroom, or with a huge scarf over my head, so that the world won’t see me chew. I usually enjoy somebody’s company while I do this, and the room is nice and clean and perfectly ventilated. Breastfeeding in a public restroom is not hygienic, stressful, uncomfortable and actually proves a lack of respect for the little baby. Breastfeeding while the baby is hidden under a scarf is not only illogical, but also dangerous during the early month’s of a baby’s life. Basically, if you see something that you don’t like – don’t look anymore! Is it really easier for us to ignore a homeless guy on the street rather than not staring at a mother feeding her baby?
Nice quick story: a bus driver once received a complaint from an angry passenger that there’s a mother breastfeeding her baby in the bus. The driver answered: “Rather than having a baby that’s crying and screaming and annoys everyone in the bus, I’d better have a well fed baby!” Then he politely asked the passenger to either leave the bus at the next stop or sit down. That’s the way to do it!
Now I don’t want to go deep into the details why would a mother even dare to leave the house with a baby that might sometimes need to be breastfeed hourly, because I don’t really want to come up with excuses for a mother breastfeeding her baby. I am just trying to prove to you that the problem are actually those who consider this act unnatural and wrong. It’s about the survival of our species, in the end!
The people who are considering this wrong are actually the problem, not us, the mothers who choose to breastfeed in public. We shouldn’t keep our breasts away from a hungry baby, just like we shouldn’t lock the kids inside because there are dangerous people outside or they could get bitten by an angry dog. The more we manage to breastfeed in public and get people used with this image, the healthier our kids will be and the better their overall health.
Succeeding with breastfeeding is greatly influenced by being able to feed the baby when he requires it and working mommies are at a disadvantage here because they can’t find a proper place to breastfeed or if they choose to do it in public, they get the evil eye from passers by. This is how you start switching to the less healthier bottle, and this is why we should first change the mother’s approach before trying to change the opinion of the public: all breastfeeding mothers out there should find the strength to start breastfeeding in public and show everybody that this is why breasts exist (sorry, guys!). They are here for feeding and they are here to stay just for that!
So, with these in mind, we really have to consider that mothers have one huge duty to our baby: to make sure that all their needs are met. We shouldn’t lock ourselves inside or just replace the natural thing with something prepared in a lab. Instead, we must make sure that we are there for our baby whenever he needs us and, most importantly, wherever that happens.
Breastfeed in public, don’t be afraid!