I remember the first time I breastfed in public. Tilly was 2 weeks old and I was at my partner’s footy game. I felt awkward, anxious and uncomfortable. Nobody was at all bothered by it, but in my head I imagined that everyone was staring at me.
It is totally overwhelming getting out and about with a newborn when you’re a first-time mum, and you worry that you have absolutely no idea what you are doing. The thought of having to whip out my boob in public was kind of terrifying and I secretly hoped that Tilly would just sleep through the entire outing.
On this occasion, I was the only person making me feel self-conscious. I’m very glad that nobody has ever made me feel uncomfortable when I’ve needed to breastfeed. But I don’t blame myself for feeling worried initially.
We live in a society that doesn’t bat an eyelid when someone posts a provocative photo of themselves on Facebook, but a photo of a breastfeeding baby is reported as inappropriate.
We live in a society where cafe owners ask mothers to take their babies into the toilet to breastfeed.
We live in a society where some wanker tweets, “If you breastfeed in public, don’t blame me for staring at your tits”.
We live in a society that makes us feel guilty if we formula feed, but then tells us breastfeeding is something that needs to be hidden away at your inconvenience.
If you are offended when you see a baby breastfeeding, it says more about YOU than anything else. I think we could all agree that the majority of women are very discreet and there really isn’t much to see; so what is it that makes you feel so uncomfortable?
Are breasts so overwhelmingly sexual for you, that the fact that their primary purpose has nothing at all to do with sex confuses you?
If a baby is hungry, why on earth should that baby have to wait until it’s more convenient for YOU to get the nourishment it needs? How selfish does that make you, prioritising your desire to make your awkward feelings go away over the needs of a helpless infant?
If a mother wants to share what is truly a beautiful and bonding experience in a photograph, why shouldn’t she? What is wrong with your mind that you could look at such a photo and think negative thoughts about it? It is not inappropriate, it is not sexual, and if you think it is then there is seriously something wrong with you.
Breastfeeding is natural and an amazing experience to have as a woman and a mother. I don’t understand why this is an issue in the first place.
Check out this link I came across of breastfeeding celebrity mums. It is beautiful images of motherhood like these that should be celebrated in our society, not seductive photos of women with their tits and asses hanging out and nobody batting an eyelid.