How Do You Respond to Anti-Breastfeeding Sentiment?
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been:
- called a “militant whack-a-doodle” lactivist (directly or indirectly, it makes little difference);
- been in the hot seat with several family members who do not agree with my position on a mother’s right to nurse in public (covered or not); and
- engaged in a heated debate with several misinformed women who do not see a need to normalize nursing, but who are quick to condemn any mother who nurses her infant unfettered by hooter hiders or the like.
With the support of several incredible people (thank you R., M., T., A., and others who left comments on this site or the other), I was proud of myself by responding to most of the comments with dignity and respect, despite the fact that I did not receive the same courtesy. Only once did I really lose my cool – at the insistence of one person who said women nursing in restrooms is preferable to nursing uncovered in public.
I will write on this subject more in-depth at a later date, but I’d like to open it up to all of you:
What are your go-to arguments when confronted by someone who does not support a woman’s right to nurse uncovered in public?
I’m talking about those people who say:
- Breastfeeding makes me uncomfortable.
- You shouldn’t let other people see your breast while nursing (especially my husband, son, brother, daughter, whatever).
- If you must nurse in public, do it somewhere out of public view or cover up.
- Would you urinate in public?
- Would you have sex in public?
- Breasts are too sexual to expose.
- Nursing in public goes against our cultural norms.
- (Fill in the blank on why you should not nurse in public or must cover up)
Hopefully you will never be chastised by people who do not approve of nourishing/comforting your child whenever the need arises; but just in case you are, I’m sure you will feel more confident with some facts and anecdotes in your back pocket. (I’m thinking about creating a resource page of short and sweet responses. Perhaps even creating a little card that mamas could print off & carry for added reassurance – maybe one that they could give to anyone who questions their right to nurse in public.)
Please share your advice (or comment with a link to a site that has good suggested responses), maybe it will help another mama in an awkward situation.
What a blessing it will be when the world agrees with my friend, Raegan, who observed: “There is nothing more beautiful than a contented, nursing child.”
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"How Do You Respond to Anti-Breastfeeding Sentiment?"
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