Recently there was an incident at a local restaurant wherein a nursing Mama was asked to cover up.
I happen to know that the owner believes in his heart that nursing, and the possible view of flesh that accompanies it, is inappropriate in a “family” restaurant where “10 year old boys” might catch a glimpse of something. The owner genuinely feels like he is protecting his patrons, who in turn feel like they are protecting their innocent children from indecency.
CHILDREN NEED TO SEE BREASTFEEDING.
Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell.
No wait, I did.
Ten year old boys and every other age of boy NEEDS to see a baby suckling on a nipple until it becomes BORING. I guarantee you if my 15 year old son was in the room with a nursing mother, he probably wouldn’t even notice it. Just like if someone were eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich he wouldn’t really care. Or if someone were BREATHING it wouldn’t much draw his attention.
A big part of it would probably be that breastfeeding reminds him of his mother, and his mother’s boring friends, and his aunt, and all those other tedious not-sexy females (no offense to my friends or sister, but I’m sure you understand what I mean!)
It’s a baby eating. Seriously, the most boring, tedious thing in the world. (Well, okay, when you’re the one feeding the baby, it’s pretty magical and fantastic sometimes, but usually even for the Mama, it’s pretty run of the mill.)
And girls need to see it. They need to see that it’s no big deal, that it’s everywhere, that choosing to breastfeed does not mean fighting with blankets to cover the baby’s head or fighting with restaurant owners (to cover THEIR heads.) They need to see that they would be fully welcomed, supported, even IGNORED by doing what is natural, commonplace, no big deal.
And PUL-EEEEZE don’t start with the “pooping is natural but you don’t want people doing it in the middle of a restaurant.” There is NOTHING smelly, disgusting, repulsive, horrible, gross, or otherwise distasteful about breastfeeding.
If you think there is, you have serious mental issues. I’m not kidding. If it gets you so worked up you can’t enjoy your dinner, then you need to deprogram yourself from the cultural cow manure you’ve been taught and haven’t had enough sense to cure yourself of yet.
News flash: that’s what grown ups do. We take all the erroneous, unhelpful garbage we were taught and we learn a better way to think and live.
If you were raised by racist parents, didn’t you have enough decency to try to overcome those absurd prejudices? If you were shown by your father that it’s okay to beat one’s spouse, did you not have enough humanity to re-educate yourself about how to treat others? If you were told that boobies are for men’s pleasure alone, and that breastfeeding is a yucky private thing that no non-slut would ever do in public, don’t you have enough intelligence to detach that asinine idea from its death grip on your psyche and kick it to the curb where it belongs?
Just try. I believe in you.
Or at the very least, keep your stupid prejudices to yourself and try to act cool while your children witness something that will change the world for the better: the shift from feeding babies pretend food to feeding them liquid gold.
Trust me. You WANT your grandkids to be breastfed, even if you don’t know it yet. Even if the thought of it makes you feel all wiggly inside.
That’s where society is headed — for all the psychological, social, environmental, nutritional reasons that point to breastfeeding as The Way to nurture a baby (and toddler!), we are moving toward the day when a mother nursing in public is normal. To make this happen, the next generation has to SEE breastfeeding, literally and figuratively, as NORMAL.
When you work to hide it, to shelter the kids, you don’t even understand the damage you do.
So quit it.