originally published 9/13/13 on The Purple Mama
We’ve all heard it. Some of us have probably said it. “I support nursing in public, but some women just whip it out…”
And it baffles me every time. I mean, have you really ever seen someone do this? “I’m gonna feed the baby now – HEY EVERYONE HERE COMES THE BOOB! WOOHOO!” It makes us sound like Nursing Moms Gone Wild.
And let’s look at the but, shall we? (Heh.) If you say “I support nursing in public but…” then you do not support nursing in public.
Here’s the thing. All I’m trying to do is feed my kid. I’m not trying to flash anyone. Honest. But my baby (and many others) won’t nurse under a cover, nor should he have to. It’s summer. In Florida. Y’all, it is effing hot. A nursing tank top is part of my daily outfit, so there’s going to be some boob showing while I’m feeding my boy. And that’s ok. Breasts are primarily for nutrition. Breasts are not sexual organs or genitalia. Breasts are loved around the world because they are the first thing we ever knew and loved.
Please know that the mother you see is only trying to nurture her baby or toddler with the food that is meant for her little one. Why should she be banished to solitary confinement so she can nurse? Why should she have to remove herself from social situations because other people aren’t yet comfortable with the normalcy of nursing? She needs to be with the rest of us, because that’s the only way people will get used to seeing it. That’s the only way we can truly re-normalize breastfeeding.
Breasts are not sex organs. We are not whipping them out for you.
We. Are. Mothering.
It needs to be said again. And again. And again.
So next time you see a nursing mother, or a bottle-feeding mother (because people aren’t always nice to them either, but that’s another article coming soon), please give her a smile, a friendly nod, or some sign that says “hey, thanks for doing what you do, and keep doing it.” And here’s the key: do that even if you don’t agree with what she’s doing. Because that, my friends, is how we will bring back the village.
Please tell me your story, and how much support you did or didn’t get. Let’s figure this out together and make things better for all moms.
Much love and purple to all of you,