Let’s Normalize Nursing in Kansas City

December 31st, 2009 by Dionna | 54 Comments
Posted in Breastfeeding/Lactivism, Feed with Love and Respect

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While perusing blogs last night (Tom and Kieran were asleep in bed. Without me! I celebrated with a glass of wine.), I came across this post by a fantastic lactivist. She found two YouTube videos by campaigns aimed at normalizing nursing in public.

Normalizing breastfeeding is something near and dear to my heart, and I would love to put together a video of women in and around Kansas City nursing in public.

That is where I need your help, dear friends and family. I know many of you have your own pictures of nursing in public, we can start with those. But in the coming weeks, try to remember to grab the camera when you go out – let’s get some good shots.

I’m thinking . . .

nursing at a Chiefs game

nursing at Crown Center

tandem nursing in a local bookstore

a toddler nursing during a local concert

nursing by a Plaza fountain

Let your imaginations run wild, but let’s try to have most of the pictures be identifiable as NIP in KC.

You can email your pictures directly to me: codenamemama @ gmail.com (minus the spaces, of course). I reserve the right to edit, make changes, etc.

Please forward this to every breastfeeding mama you know in the area – let’s get a video made within the next several months.

(By the way, I’m also researching how to change the breastfeeding laws in Kansas and Missouri to make them more breastfeeding-friendly. Maybe this is just what we need to kick start such a movement!)

Here are the videos from other city campaigns:

54 Responses to:
"Let’s Normalize Nursing in Kansas City"

  1. Monica

    If you’ll follow me around with a camera, I’d be happy to get you some shots! lol Let’s plan a Plaza trip when it warms up a bit, get some shots by the fountain. Anyone up for a Crown center/union station playgroup? I think this is a great idea. Especially if you submitted it to the newspaper or something (I don’t think they’d run them right away, or in a prominent spot, but it might get the wheels turning or get some back page space, huh?)

  2. I nursed for 13 months in many locations. I never nursed while shopping. I don’t think I would have been able to focus on shopping. Stopping by from SITS!

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Ha! Sometimes it can be a distraction for the mama, but usually I feel pretty comfortable if Kieran is in a carrier.

  3. Heather   xakana

    I have plenty of pictures from nursing at the zoo–I sent one to you of Lilly right before her 3rd birthday, but I don’t think you can tell where I am. I’ve got another, but it’s during halloween, so that doesn’t really “normalize” anything, lol, when she was a baby. Problem is that I take most of the nursing pictures and I can’t take any while tandem nursing in public (which I’ve only done once, due to the difficulty involved–I tandem on my side, lying down, primarily) as I have to c-hold if not lying down. I can ask Brandon to take a few public pictures if I think of it, though, if the kids do NIP.

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Definitely get some more if you can, and Brandon can try to make the background recognizable!

      • Heather   xakana

        We’ll see how we can do with backgrounds. I got one nursing in El Maguey today, lol. At the very least, I’ll have some pro-Full Term Nursing pics at the end of this ;) Unfortuantely, with it being winter, it’s harder to get landmarks in, since it’s so freaking cold out. I’ll see if I come across anything that says KC or some such thing while we’re out and about tomorrow.

  4. Monty

    TAKE THIS AS CONSTUCTIVE CRITISISM NOT AS ME OFFENDING YOU. Ok, sister from a mans point of view, this is all great and trust me I beleive that all mothers have the right to BREAST FEED there child anywhere they want. Where I disagree is that I and possibly others want mothers like the ones posted in the article you posted to be more considerate of others. (SOME ARE) The one picture of a mother breastfeeding while walking through a store is a little much. You are correct in the fact that the breast has been symbolized as a sex object. I feel and will always fell that women that brestfeed in public need to cover of be discreet about it. Alot of the pictures in the other article most women were discreet or covered with there clothing. The other mothers that did not, they looked at this as an oppurtunity to show a different side.

    I AGREE WITH THE ONE THAT COMMENTED ABOUT, AND I AM PARAPHRAZING DONT USE THE CHILD TO MAKE THE POINT.

    I love you and dont get upset this is why i defend our country, your right and my right of free speech.

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      But why is the mother and child’s right to breastfeed inferior to your right to feel “more comfortable”? As someone who has fought in the military, it surprises me that your sensibilities are so easily offended as by a mother nursing her child.
      I it makes you uncomfortable, instead of staring at the child nursing, why not just look away?
      Problem solved.

    • Heather   xakana

      Hey, I’ve nursed my LO in a shopping cart without flashing breast. My LO was hungry, I couldn’t sit to do it, so I just let her under my shirt. It made pushing the cart iffy, lol, but it worked. *shrugs* But I couldn’t nurse in a carrier like most mamas I know.

      BTW, my husband disagrees with you entirely. He’s not uncomfortable with breasts in public, nor does he get “turned on” by nursing mothers. He just sees it as normal, even before we had our first baby–and he was only nursed for 9 months, so it doesn’t even have anything to do with length of nursing time. In fact, I have yet to meet a man who was made uncomfortable by my nursing–women, yes, but never a man. In fact, I’ve had half a dozen men start talking to me, not realizing that I was nursing and one from another country, where it’s more normal, tried to talk to the baby, too, even though he did realize that I was nursing.

      Your sister is right… the more exposure, the more normal it is, the less people will be uncomfortable with it. Imagine if it had been the norm when you were growing up–you wouldn’t be uncomfortable and you’d be right there next to my husband, your BIL and many, many other men, giving your sister the props she deserves.

      I’m sorry that the environment the country gave you as you grew up taught you this discomfort. It’s not fair to you, any children you may have, your wife if you have one, your sister, or any other people who were given the same problem.

      No baby nurses to prove a point and sometimes where they want to nurse isn’t convenient. Sometimes you think a shirt will provide better cover than it does when you put it on. And sometimes, baby will have none of that “covered breast” situation–my oldest was terrible about pushing my shirt all the way up my breast, though I pushed it down over and over. My youngest does not do that, but the fact is that neither of them will allow a cover even if it was convenient (totally not) to have one.

      The only time, btw, that I’ve ever had an issue with nursing in public–an old woman complained, and there wasn’t even an inch of breast showing. My baby’s head was partly under my shirt and I was turned away from the store (not that anything was showing anyway). There was a girl two feet away from me with a plunging neckline (from a shirt she bought in that store, it appeared) showing about four inches of each breast. An old woman complained about ME.

      The manager who ejected me from the store was demoted, admonished, reeducated and the store policy was changed nationwide. I didn’t even have a chance to complain–I just wrote a journal about how upsetting it was and the MALE vice president of the company contacted me with an apology, educated himself on infant nutrition and had the policy of his stores changed to educate management that it is illegal to discriminate.

      So, your perspective is not shared by all men by any means.

    • Emily

      I agree with Monty. Completely.

  5. MelissaAnn

    monty, the thing is.. most older babies/toddlers will not allow you to cover up. I always want to cover up (it’s my personal preference, but it rarely works for us. Just food for thought.

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      True. And mothers with tiny babies are probably fiddling with getting the latch right, keeping the baby on the breast, making sure baby doesn’t fall asleep during the first 2 minutes (at least that was my experience), so a blanket wouldn’t work then either.

  6. Monty

    I understand older children squirm and wiggle, discretion to me with your older child is you have fed or nursed before you went into Price Chopper or Sears, if it is just because the child is scared and needs a little bit of secureness than be discreet go somewhere out of the main view of the crowd. Most of society to me has not gotten used to a 2 to 4.5 year old breastfeeding. So that is my point thanks.

    • Heather   xakana

      And as long as women do what you’re suggesting, society will never get used to it. So those with older nurslings have an even greater importance in nursing in plain sight.

  7. Mike

    Hey, “Dee Dee”….it’s your cousin out here on the *real* Left Coast (ha).

    I just spent the better part of 4.5 years, deeply entrenched in a social agenda plan (translation: humanities degree) here in the San Francisco Bay Area that would make your views on breast feeding look like a Blue Dog Democrat (think about communal breast feeding much? They want it out and shared out this way between a series of nursing mothers). ;-)

    To each one’s one, I suppose. I’m a “look-awayer” mostly out of privacy for the family having a dinner session.

    I don’t suspect that whippin’ ‘em out at a store whilst one shops is going to become the norm (even out here) quite yet. BUT, you do have attrition on your side: Gen X might be 50/50 on the matter, while Millennials and their descendants might eventually demand it. :-)

    Do as you wish; so long as kids breast fed in the middle of church don’t grow up to be criminals, then that was the nation I supported in the service.

    I’ll look away without making an eye roll, and make ya happy by keeping my yapper shut, whereby respecting your cultural norm. And when I don’t agree with you on the level of discretion, you’ll make me happy by smiling and saying, “At least you extend the same degree of tolerance to me that I should to you.” A meeting in the middle? :-)

    (I love you all the same, and wish you well on this activism thing you’re doing…..come on out and visit us, by the way…..I have *LOTS* of activists out here for you to meet, aside from your catching up with your ‘ole cuz!)

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      I completely respect your desire to look away. I don’t know that I want someone ogling my breast while I nurse ;)

      For the record, I shopped and nursed all the time when Kieran was younger and could be more easily carried in a sling/baby carrier. *No one knew.*

      Parts of this whole debate are ridiculous for simply that reason – nursing in public usually isn’t that big of a deal, no one can tell.

      Thank you for responding, and I would love to visit :)

  8. Monty

    its not inferior, you may be discreet and your child may sit still, but there are the few that make it wrong for others. I AM NOT SAYING THAT YOU SHOULD NOT FEED YOUR CHILD! Look we have a society that is what we built, I have seen other societies that are totally different.

    And to answer your question, yes you did make it sound like “we need to swing our breasts out and feed our children in public”

    As I walk through any store or public location I dont want to see women WALKING and feeding UNCOVERED, I dont want my grandchildren to see this as well, now if he asks what that women is doing while sitting and feeding discreetly i will answer him, which I highly doubt that he will know what is even going on and I will not have to explain to him at 5 to what ever age what you are doing.

    GOD BLESS YOU ALL AND HAPPY NEW YEARS, AND YES I WILL CONTINUE TO DEBATE THIS WITH YOU ALL.

  9. Monty

    sorry had to post this, would this be something to make normal
    http://www.unassistedchildbirth.com/miscarticles/milkmen.html

  10. Alissa

    Hey Monty, what about a woman in a wheelchair? She could be sitting down and nursing discreetly or even (omgz) UNCOVERED while also going through the store. Wow! How does that work out with your approved method of child feeding in public?

  11. Monty

    look how ever women want to breastfeed is the way you are going to breastfeed, My opionon is just this, normallity is discretion, the new you is to go out and feed whenever and however. I do not disagree with Dionna or anyother mother on the topic of breastfeeding is healthy for the child, your topic is BREASTFEEDING IN PUBLIC. My point was if a man could breastfeed (NOT LACTATE) would you want to see that in public. I am 43 and have two teenagers that my wife breastfed, they are strong willed and beautiful kids, my wife discreetly breastfed in public, at times she would ask me to stand in front of her if in a tight spot in PUBLIC as so no one could see her do this.
    I am in no way saying go hide, I am in no way saying that breastfeeding is bad, I am saying please do it as discreetly as possible.

  12. Mom

    Dionna, time for a little enlightenment here for you old Mom…what is “Tandem nursing”?? I can’t get enough of a hint from what you and others have said to decide what it is.
    And Monty…I do not think that Dionna…or any of the other nursing Moms on here are advocating that they just need to “let it all hang out”…any time that I have been around any of the nursing mothers in Dionnas’ parenting group, they are discreet and matter of fact with their nursings. Dionna even tells Kieran that her breasts are “Only for Papa and Kieran to see”. Thankfully things have changed since I was nursing your sisters, when I had to cover them with a blanket ( which they ALL hated, it would have been a lot more discreet to just nurse without the blanket than to keep fighting them to keep it over their heads!!). Nursing is such a beautiful, deep connection between Mother and Child…such a loving thing for a Mother to do for her child, why should it be something that needs to be kept hidden? Dionna’s entire point here is that it would be nice if Dillon didn’t HAVE to question about “what that lady is doing”…that it would just be something as normal as watching a baby drinking from a bottle or a sippy cup, or any other activity that he is used to seeing going on around him any day of the week!!
    I love you all…even if you agree to disagree!!! :-)

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Tandem nursing = Nursing more than one child, not necessarily at the same time.

    • Heather   xakana

      Awesome post, Dionna’s Mom ^_^ My mom didn’t know what tandem nursing was, either, until I started doing it. She’s always saying how great it is that we have access to all this information now days.

  13. Monty

    I KNOW WHAT BREASTFEEDING DOES FOR THE MOTHER AND CHILD, I KNOW WHAT BREAST MILK DOES FOR THE CHILD, I GOT THE POINT OF BREASFEEDING IN PUBLIC, I AM NOT SAYING COVER YOURSELF OR GO HIDE. I AM ASKING NOT JUST FOR ME BUT OTHERS LIKE ME BE DISCREET, I DONT WANT TO WALK BY IT HANGING OUT LIKE THE ONE PICTURE ON THE SECOND VIDEO WHILE SHOPPING.

    MOM YOU STILL RESPECTED OTHERS IN BEING DISCREET WITHOUT THE BLANKET, SOME WOMEN WILL TAKE THIS TO THE NEXT LEVEL AND HANG IT OUT.

    IF I WERE TO SEE A WOMAN NURSING LIKE THAT I AM GOING TO ASK HER TO BE RESPECTFUL AND COVER UP OR GO SOMEWHERE, I AM NOT SAYING THAT IF YOU ARE DISCREET AND RESPECTFUL THAT IT IS RIGHT FOR SOMEONE TO COME UP AND SAY THAT YOU ARE WRONG TO DO THAT.

  14. Monty

    I POSTED THIS BEFORE I READ THE MOM2MOM THANKS DIONNA, THAT CONVERSATION WAS A FAMILY CONVERSATION AND KENZIE SAID AND I QUOTE ARE YOU EMBARRASED TO DO THAT IN PUBLIC UNQOUTE. I AM DONE WITH THIS PEACE

  15. shanna

    I love this! I am not in Kansas or Missouri but I do appreciate the effort. EVERY state needs laws that protect breastfeeding mothers and NIP. I am from FL and the law there is AMAZING. Women have the right to nurse anywhere they are allowed to be at regardless of covered/uncovered and if the nipple shows a bit in the act of nursing it doesn’t matter women are protected. It was awesome to live in a state such as that!

    Heather, I love your response.

    Monty, there’s no need to yell. It’s a boob, that’s all. Nothing more. If you don’t want to see it, go cover your head with a blanket. There aren’t a lot of women who nurse with it all hanging out, those are an anomaly. MOST either use a cover of some sort, nurse in a wrap/sling, or can do it very discreetly with out a cover.

    I am a very proud breastfeeder so I just wanted to respond to this :) I live in Kentucky lol. :) Good job moms in doing what’s best for your baby and for trying to raise awareness.

  16. Alissa

    Bravo Dionna’s mom! Great post. Monty, listen to your mama and be nice! I’m starting to think you’re actually trolling and just want to fight.

  17. CodeNamePapa   CodeNamePapa

    The question is, Emily, what would JESUS think about the subject?

    Would he want mothers and children to huddle in the corner like second-class citizens? I’m pretty sure Big J would be all “hey, mama, keepin’ it real, I see… proceed, lady, proceed!”

    I’m curious why you’ve had such a change of heart about this subject. You know, Dionna has nursed Kieran in your house and you didn’t seem to have a problem with it. What difference does it make to you if some lady is nursing her kid out in a store?

    Since Monty is replying “from a man’s point of view” let me share my own – NURSING IN PUBLIC IS NO BIG DEAL. The AP dads that we know are completely ok with it too. Why? Likely because 99.999% of the time our wives very “discreet” about it. And i don’t mean “using a blanket” (which is one of the most stupid ideas I’ve ever heard of – only a newborn would allow themselves to be covered up like that – Kieran stopped being ok with that at about 3 months old.)

    Here’s the real gist of the matter:
    When a mother nurses in public, she’s showing basically nothing.
    I know this as a fact because I’ve been shopping with my wife and nursing son for over 2 years now. After about a month of going out to the store or restaurant and Kieran needing to nurse right now, please both Dionna and I became 100% comfortable with the process.

    And why? Because nothing is showing!

    And if nothing is showing, why are all the anti-nursers getting their panties in a bunch?!

    Trust me, if Dionna was walking around the grocery store with something exposed that I (as her husband) didn’t feel was appropriate, I’d have an issue – but the thing is, she shows nothing, so I (the husband, remember) am 100% ok with it!

    And IF I AM OK WITH IT, why are there so many other people who have an issue?

    The only arguments I’ve heard is “it makes me uncomfortable” and “I don’t want to see that”… Uh, what makes you uncomfortable? There’s nothing to see!!!

    Yeah, people are thinking “well, there was this one time, I saw this lady, and her kid was nursing and blah,blah,blah” – there are 100 times more women who wear slutty outfits out in public leaving LITTLE to the imagination.

    Where’s the outrage?!?! Why does that sort of clothing/skin seem to get a “free pass” by our society, but a nursing mom gets stares and glares – especially when the mom is FEEDING THE CHILD!

    Perhaps stores should have “slutty-attire hours” and women wearing skimpy clothes can only shop during those times. We wouldn’t want anyone getting uncomfortable by seeing lotsa boob, now, would we?

    When I see a woman dressed like she’s on her way to her job as a “dancer” (gotta earn those tips $1 at a time, right?) I can either ignore it, or I can find someplace online to complain about it (that’s always effective) and the fact of the matter is it really doesn’t matter to me in the grand scheme of things. Hey, look, extra cleavage – who cares – everyone is desensitized to this, for some reason.

    To the people who are “uncomfortable” with nursing moms: why are you not focusing on all those hoochie-mamas with cleavage down to their stomachs? It’s those women who are causing harm to our society and they way society views women. It’s those women who are indirectly teaching young, impressionable boys and girls that “these breasts are for sex sex sex and nothing else.”

    And that’s just not what they’re for!!!

    • CodeNamePapa   CodeNamePapa

      I guess what I don’t understand is Monty, Emily, whoever else is “against” Dionna’s view on this – have you suffered some sort of mental anguish that was caused by a mother nursing a child? I don’t think that’s true. I don’t think nursing mothers and their kids degrade our society one bit.

      So, where’s all the angst coming from?

    • Emily

      Tom:

      For one, please don’t mock me asking if Jesus was going to be a part of your Christmas, when this has nothing to do with that. Second, I just voiced my agreement with Monty. I don’t know why that would be considered “angst”. However, if people cannot disagree with these blogs, then why post them publicly? Isn’t open discussion part of the point?

      I have not had a change of heart regarding breastfeeding. When Dionna did it in my home, I did not mind it at all. My sister has an infant and is breastfeeding. But you know what? Even when breastfeeding is the most NATURAL and beautiful thing a woman can do for her child, it does not mean all men (OR WOMEN) are still comfortable seeing it. For example, my father would feel completely awkward seeing my breast or my sisters’ breasts, because we’re his daughters, and that is wierd for him, even when we’re just doing as nature intended. Out of respect for that, I am not going to force him to watch me breastfeed. That does not make him “prudish”. As for my sister, for example, out of respect to the rest of the family eating Christmas dinner at the table, she went to another room and quietly breastfed in there. This was HER CHOICE, no one asked her to do this. Any of us who wanted to join her could at any time. She left the door open so she could still listen to conversation. This is how I intend to be. I also have another sister and a sister-in-law who breastfed starting when I was 10 years old and I never minded it. I watched my best friend pump her breasts when she could not get her twin infants to latch on to her naturally. None of this made me uncomfortable, or filled with angst.

      Frankly, going out to public places and taking pictures of myself breastfeeding at them, in the name of “normalizing” breastfeeding, seems like it is in fact making an example of your child. I watched that slideshow, and by the end of it wanted to say, “Oh come on!” Breastfeeding should be a beautiful, intimate thing between mother and child. Not everyone in the park, restaurant, grocery store, whatever. Sit on a bench with a blanket. I don’t care. All these other women will probably eat me alive for saying that but I am okay with that. I personally do not feel inclined to shove my future breastfeeding down society’s throat to make it more “normal”. Seems to me it will turn more people off to it that way than on. Then again, I also plan on occasionally pumping my milk, leaving my child with a trusted family member, so that my husband and I can go enjoy dinner and a movie alone. And, I know you will probably disagree with that as well.

      • Dionna   CodeNameMama

        Emily,

        I respect your sister’s choice to go into another room. I’m not advocating for women to always nurse right up in someone’s face.

        I just wrote a really, really, super long response and decided to just make it another post. I’ll be publishing it soon.

        I don’t want this to be something that polarizes us, just so you know.

  18. Mom

    Tom….I just have to say…I love you!!!! lol You are super!!!

  19. DT

    I just love the fact Jesus says “keepin’ it real.”

  20. Monty

    TOM: Now that you have brought out the point that your child is 2, this is my opinion. You and Dionna have accepted and are comfortable with the fact of your child nursing tell they decide to quit. I felt so uncomfortable when your child asked to nurse. KEY words ASKED. I also was upset that the argument of breastfeeding is natural and everyone should support her cause. Yes breastfeeding is natural and I do not disagree with her view on public feeding but being respectful, In no where have I said that nipples and boobs are flying out of the shirts, what I am saying is that I dont want that to happen. If everyone is taking my view out of context then so be it. I feel uncomfortable with the whole notion of a child coming up to mom and asking for breastfood. I do not remember anyone in my family as a kid dong this, i do not remember or even now remember seeing this, maybe I wasnt looking for it and it was happening, but there was no consideration of saying hey Monty, my child is 2 and the child still nurses and do you mind, hey Mackenzie my child is 2 do you mind if I nurse my child. Hey Monty and family I want to tell you something about what I have learned this is how I do it and do you think it will bother you. No there was none of this, it was bam then bam. I am not argueing about this just leting you know my opinion.
    Sorry for any angst or inconsideration!
    Love you all and please understand where I am coming from, generations are different and they will continue to change, at the rate right now we might be naked again.!!!!!

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Again, your discomfort with me nursing my toddler is a completely different subject. I invite you to read this post on why extended breastfeeding is beneficial and normal: http://codenamemama.com/2009/12/01/mama-milk-dance/
      By demanding that nursing mothers ask you (and every other Joe Blow in this world) if it’s “ok” if they nurse, that is putting the child’s needs in an inferior position. I am not going to ask every stranger I happen to pass (while I’m nursing) whether they approve of me nursing in public. That is outrageous to suggest.

      I just do not have the energy to give a thoughtful response to every argument you scratch up. You obviously have bigger problems with breastfeeding than what are addressed in this post. That makes me sad for you, but I won’t debate every single point.

      I will respectfully agree to disagree with you.

  21. Monty

    Your right, no one and absolutely no one in this world should disagree with you. Everyone should bow down to you on this or anything you suggest. Every single person that has given there perspective on the subject you presented are wrong.

    I will respectfully agree to disagree with you.

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Not respectful.

      That’s not a productive (or mature) way to argue a viewpoint, nor will you win any supporters by being snide.

      If that’s all you have to add, please refrain from commenting further.

    • CodeNamePapa   CodeNamePapa

      Monty, Dionna doesn’t need to ask permission from you or anyone else… that’s the entire point of this post, and the campaign she’s trying to get going.

      She’s not harming anyone by nursing Kieran in public.

      It’s normalized for her, and her “mission” is to make it normalized for others, too. She’s not out to “force” her opinion on others. She’s done a damned good job of fielding dissenting views and staying on-topic.

      Trust me, she’s done her research, she’s not making her decisions about nursing based solely on emotions, snap judgments, or outdated prejudices.

      Prejudice is “pre-judgment” and you’ve really only continued to express your judgments on her views without “walking a mile in her shoes” and really understanding where she’s coming from.

      Do you think I’ve been brainwashed into thinking what she is doing is ok? She’s just cast a spell on me but deep down I disagree?

      Nope. Not at all. Like she and I have both said, initially it was weird for both of us for her to nurse in public… but once we got used to it it’s normal now.

      Her goal is to increase the number of people who view it as normal, too.

      As far as you feeling “uncomfortable” with Kieran nursing… her #1 responsibility is to her child. No-brainer, right?

      You know she wasn’t trying to offend anyone, and you’re saying you accept her choice to nurse, etc. but you’re also saying you’re still offended.

      If you were truly uncomfortable with the idea of Kieran asking to nurse, or were upset that she didn’t “run it by you first”, Dionna (or any nursing mom) would have no issue with you relocating yourself to a different part of the house for 5 minutes.

      Your father doesn’t hang around for nursing sessions – and that’s ok, we’re not insisting the family gather around for nursing time, are we?!?!

      As it was, you (and just about everyone else in the house) were all sitting or standing in that one spot in the kitchen as Kieran nursed. It almost felt like people were gathering around.

      Number of uncomfortable people I noticed? ZERO.
      Doesn’t seem like you were uncomfortable, were you?

      Yes, Kieran is 2 years old and can verbally ask to nurse… big deal! He also asks for us to help him blow his nose and he tells us when he’s poopy (sometimes)… the child is asking for his needs to be met. Why are you being so adamant against the needs of a child being met – why do your feelings have any bearing – in this situation you don’t count, neither do random people at a Royals game, or the mall, or wherever.

      Dionna nursing Kieran in public harms… NO ONE.

      You keep saying for Dionna to “do her research” and she has – she’s found multiple sources that say “let the kid nurse until the kid is done because there continue to be health benefits” – it’s not your job (or even my job) to tell Dionna and Kieran “ok, that’s enough nursing, you two!”

      Your entire problem is that nursing is already normal for Dionna, Kieran, me, other AP parents, and the random people at the store nursing their kids.

      That’s it!

      At no point in this post or elsewhere has Dionna said that you or anyone else who disagrees is “wrong”. She’s simply trying to change the prejudices of those who simply haven’t ever had any contact with nursing.

      • emily

        Tom, you stated this:

        “At no point in this post or elsewhere has Dionna said that you or anyone else who disagrees is “wrong”. She’s simply trying to change the prejudices of those who simply haven’t ever had any contact with nursing.”

        I’m sorry, Tom, this is not entirely true. No, Dionna did not say that my statements were wrong, not directly anyway. But she didn’t say that she RESPECTED my opinions, either. She said she “respects my sister’s CHOICE” to go to another room to breastfeed, not that she respected my opinions. She posted an entire blog entry in response to how “wrong” she thinks my comments were. No, Dionna never said directly that me, or her brother, are WRONG in our thought processes. (or 20 other women on the mom2mom site for that matter) But she seems to refuse to acknowledge that people are entitled to different viewpoints other than her own. She says she can “agree to disagree” but I don’t think that she can. She says she doesn’t want this to “polarize” us, but if that was true she would have respect for a friend’s opinion that differs from hers. Perhaps I wouldn’t feel compelled to make this final statement to my conversation with the two of you if I hadn’t felt so singled out by you, Tom, when all I did initially was to state that I agreed with Monty’s first comment. And even as a female, I still agree with much of what he says.

        For the record, I do not disagree with your intentions to make public breastfeeding more socially acceptable. I do disagree for you alienating people who don’t wholeheartedly agree with the way you choose to go about it.

        I know nothing I say will be right in either of your eyes, and this will be the last you will hear from me on the matter. I just felt compelled to defend my position since I have felt under attack for simply agreeing with a different viewpoint than your own. This kind of thing happened with the Santa thing too (in fact in THIS string, you mocked my line of questioning about it with the Jesus remark) and I realize that there is no reason to express my opinion anymore. Happy blogging.

  22. Monty

    delete my posts.

  23. Monty

    TOM: to answer if I was uncomfortable while she fed i sat with someone in front of me, yes,i did not look, i diverted myself somehow, and Kenzie asked the question because she did not know what to do. I did not know what to do.

    Why is it wrong for me to be uncomfortable?
    Why is it wrong for someone to say something if they are uncomfortable?
    Why can’t the person ask?
    Are you sure that nursing in public dosnt hurt anyone? (physically no)
    Are you against bottle feeding of anytype?
    You would be the first to say something back in a store, restraunt, bicycle shop etc if someone walked up and asked you to cover.

    capital leters not yelling
    I HAVE READ AND UNDERSTAND WHAT THE NUTRITION VALUE IS TO THE CHILD AND WHAT IT DOES FOR NURTURING. I AM NOT DEBATING THIS.

    Dionna’s and your point is that normalizing breastfeeding in public is that everyone should be comfortable CORRECT?

    My point is I am not comfortable, wether I move or not, you are not in my brain and can not answer for me PERIOD.

    I still hate changing my clothes in a locker room, I will wait as long as i can to do it and I am 43 years old. (SIMILE)

    My other point on this matter is that not everyone will be comfortable and there will be people that will not breastfeed in public and there will be people that will say things to others that do breastfeed.

    and finally Yes I have debated this intesively, you keep telling me to feel comfortable and I will not, its my choice, and it is your choice to tell me but dont tell me that my problem is its normal for everyone, its normal for you, Dionna and your AP friends, there are others that you are not being considerate about. THIS IS MY DEBATE

    ONE MORE TIME: I KNOW THE BENEFITS OF BREASTFEEDING, I AM NOT COMFORTABLE AROUND IT AS OTHERS IN THIS WORLD.

    • Heather   xakana

      Hey–you said your wife nursed in public, discreetly. I am no less discreet without a blanket than I was with one (in fact, the opposite–I kept flashing when I used the blanket and that made me very uncomfortable, but once I learned to use my shirt and hand instead, I stopped showing anything). And as one of Dionna’s AP friends, I find your comment unfair.

      It’s not that YOU are wrong to be uncomfortable (my husband wouldn’t want to see his sister’s breasts, either, but he would never tell her not to nurse), it’s that the outlook people are being taught about women breastfeeding–that it’s all about the breast or that it’s akin to flashing in public–is wrong. In most cases, all you can see is the nursling’s head and maybe the skin on mom’s side or whatever the nursling pushes away from his or her face.

      As for asking for it… my four month old could sign milk. By 9 months, she could ask for it verbally. Are you saying I should have punished her ability to communicate by depriving her of the healthiest thing I will probably ever do for her? No, I’m sure you’re not. It’s really the same thing, even if it doesn’t seem like it.

      Two is the MINIMUM age recommended by every medical organization on the planet to set as the goal to nurse to. But, to put that in perspective, my minimum healthy weight would be 160lbs. Wouldn’t it be better for me to go past that, to a healthier 140? It’s the same for nurslings.

      It’s strange, because few people in your generation nursed for so long (I, myself was nursed past age 2–I don’t recall any of it and I have a friend who was nursed to age 4 and doesn’t recall nursing, either–my sister had no idea she was nursed so long, actually, and was surprised to find out), but it’s only recently in human history that children have been nursed for such a short period of time and we’re finding out more and more that nursing longer (the worldwide average is 4.2 years, but that doesn’t mean every child nurses that long or stops that soon, obviously) may help prevent many of the issues assaulting us today that people in history didn’t have to deal with as much, such as diabetes, obesity and even cancer.

      You can agree that it would be wonderful that, if because your sister followed her research and instincts, your nephew grows to be a psychologically secure man who lives past the age predictions of our generations? That is Dionna’s goal, indeed, the goal of all of us–to raise healthy, well-adjusted children who live long, happy lives and grow to have healthy attitudes for their own family.

      Wouldn’t you want the same for your own grandchildren when/if they come? That is why Dionna wants nursing in public normalized–so women don’t have to feel that they have to hide at home or give their baby a bottle (not all women can pump and not all babies will take bottles) just because their little one still needs to nurse. No one is saying that there is anything wrong with women who prefer to cover up or step into a nursing room (if a nice one is provided–some are little more than filthy, cold, damp closets). But just as they should be able to nurse with comfort, so should a mom whose child will not tolerate a blanket (or who can’t get latched using one, or whatever reason she has for not using one). And the more it’s seen in public, the more it will just be the way it is and the fewer people will be uncomfortable with it.

      • Heather   xakana

        After all, isn’t that how this country was built? Fighting for what you believe in and when something is not for the greater good, working to change it?

  24. MelissaAnn

    i know it’s off topic, but…
    as for the 2 yr old asking about it, making people comfortable… I am SO sick of hearing that…. if another child of the asked for milk, sippy, or bottle, no one would have a problem… imo, it’s the same thing.

  25. MelissaAnn

    ….in fact, most people would think it’s cute… same goes for a nursing toddler acting out nursing with his/her dolls…. if it was a bottle people would say, “awe.” Not looked horror struck.

    • CodeNamePapa   CodeNamePapa

      Kieran often makes sure his babies get some mama’s milk, too… it’s amazing at oh, 18-months, or so, he was making sure his stuffed friends were getting some love and attention, too!

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