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Stop Covering your Boobs

World Breast Feeding Week started last week and a lot has been going on. Some of it has been making the news and even more of it has been circulating around social media. Mothers all over the word have been getting together for “nurse-ins” and “latch ons” where basically, breastfeeding mothers get together and breastfeed. It’s all about mothers supporting each other and even more importantly trying to ‘normalize’ breastfeeding.

Unfortunately nowadays it’s more common to see a mother feeding a baby with a bottle than nursing her baby. Why are we so afraid of seeing a tiny bit of a woman’s breast when our society is so sex obsessed? We plaster half naked women on billboards to sell everything from cars to beer yet we ask mothers doing the most natural thing a woman can do, breastfeeding, to cover her baby and her boob. Some people say that we need to be “discreet” in front of others, especially when there are children around. I don’t see anyone running around covering up billboards of bikini clad models with their boobs and butts hanging out when we drive by with our children, or censoring commercials our kids might be watching or magazines they might spot in a bookstore. And why exactly don’t we want our kids to see a mother breastfeed? I may be attacked by feminists for this but women’s bodies were created to grow babies and be able to feed them – it’s part of nature. There’s nothing sexual about, there’s no reason to be ashamed of it, it’s what we should be teaching our kids is the right thing to do. The last thing we should be doing is hiding it and simultaneously teaching our kids that bottle feeding is the norm.

Last week a mother in Burleson, TX was asked to cover up while nursing her newborn in a local recreation center and then a mother nursing her baby on an American Airlines flight was also asked to cover up and be more discreet. Here is clip of the video of the mother being asked to leave and here is a copy of the letter from AA.

The problem is that first of all, why should we have to cover up when we’re doing what God intended we do with our boobs? And second of all believe it or not, not all babies like to be covered while nursing. Annabelle hated it, I couldn’t nurse her covered. She cried, screamed, kicked, threw it off and created a huge scene that could have been avoided, and drawn much less attention, if I had just nursed her without a cover. Sadly for me, as a first time mom without much support I felt like I had to be covered or go somewhere private to nurse her because it was really just impossible to nurse her with a cover. I would find private nooks, corners, nurse in the car, pump and use a bottle in public. Why should a mom have to go through that to nourish her baby? It’s ridiculous and unnatural. If you just don’t get how a baby wouldn’t want to be covered go ahead and watch this clip of a mom trying to breastfeed her child that is refusing to be covered.

25 months of breastfeeding makes you tired of playing those games and it gives you a thicker skin, next time there’s no way I’m putting myself through that. Now I know my rights and if baby doesn’t want to be covered baby won’t be covered. Period. I don’t care who doesn’t approve. The point of Word Breastfeeding Week is to give women the support they need to be confident when they breastfeed.

If you’re struggling with breastfeeding I would suggest finding a lactation consultant, finding a La Leche League group meeting and finding some online support, there are a ton of facebook groups for breastfeeding mamas. And most of all know your rights. This is a a website with breastfeeding laws by state. Knowledge is power, don’t let anyone push you around for doing the right thing.

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