(You’re) Having My Baby

20 Jan

Nope, I’m not pregnant. I don’t intend to be enceinte for at least 10 years (but Philofelinist, it will be harder to have healthy kids in your 30s and 40s. Yes but in 10 years there will be all these medical advancements so it will be less of a problem). The debate about breastfeeding in public is the hot topic right now. I chose a song I dislike to be the title.

In the news lately was a young mother who is stirring the breastfeeding in public debate. She her three kids to a swimming pool on a hot day. She breastfed the baby sitting on the edge of the pool with her feet in the water whilst the other two children played. She was asked to move to a more secluded spot or to a chair after a complaint and it was suggested that she cover the baby with a blanket. The mother was so ‘humiliated’ at being told this in front of her children (aged 5, 6, 11months) that she left in tears and was refused a ticket refund though her visit was cut short. The story made the news as some other young mothers were planning a ‘nurse-in’ in protest at the pool and later at a television station because of a television personality’s comments that mothers should be discreet. The council apologised it would have been water under a bridge but this woman seems to be determined to be martyr for discrimination. The original issue I believe, the mother not being allowed to breastfeed at the side of the pool, rather that not being able to at all. She had the right to but really, a high traffic area like the side of a public pool probably isn’t an ideal place to do it.

Breast feeding in pubic is a bit of a hairy topic. Mothers have the right to breastfeed wherever they want. This means that they have the right to do so immersed in water, in a crowded restaurant and so forth. People are often put off the sight of a baby having its lunch in full view in public. They find it unsavoury to see an uncovered breast whilst they’re having their own lunch. Those against obvious breastfeeding in public liken it to other unpleasant bodily functions, just because it’s legal, doesn’t mean it should be done. Few are against breastfeeding in public, a baby must have its nourishment after all, but believe that mothers should display a bit of modesty and cover the baby with a blanket or at least try and find a mother’s room to do it. Some militant feminists say that it is not something to hide away as only those who are put off by a woman’s breast must have sexual issues.

Very few babies will be inconvenienced by the 2mins it takes to put a blanket over its head. Very few babies will mind if they’re moved a couple of metres away to a more comfortable spot away from others.

We don’t live in a prudish society and aren’t disturbed by breasts but it is unnecessary to see full breast and nipple in public. Breastfeeding seems like such a private act. Women should not have to hide away to a toilet but modesty should be exercised. A blanket covering the baby would be suffice. There is feminism, women’s rights and there is common sense about where to breastfeed and a respect for fellow patrons.

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