Should woman be allowed to nurse children in public accomodations?

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  1. Credence2 profile image80
    Credence2posted 5 years ago

    This is one of those stories that seem to have legs and one that we are going to hear more about. It is one of the few forum topics where I have not  expressed an opinion either way. I am hoping that the hub pages community will weigh in, share thoughts and allow me to evaluate each side, if there is an alternate side

    http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/chick- … 56622.html

    1. IslandBites profile image87
      IslandBitesposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Definitely. There should not be any problem with a woman breastfeeding a baby, it is a natural process. People who see something wrong or sexual with that, have issues. On the other side, just to avoid problems with ignorant people, maybe using a blanket to cover is necessary.

      1. xstatic profile image60
        xstaticposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        I agree comp;etely

    2. LauraGT profile image91
      LauraGTposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Of course!  You're allowed to eat in public, why shouldn't an infant be. 

      While I think women can and should be discreet (and most are - who the heck wants strangers looking at their nipples?), I don't think women should even feel compelled to "cover up."  Really, not much is showing when a baby nurses - the baby's head blocks and "view."  If more people nursed in public, people would know this and there would be no "controversy." 

      I openly nursed my children in public - I was lucky to receive nothing but praise.  I think as more and more women make statements by nursing openly as these women did, it will become more accepted. 

      In many states, nursing in public is protected by law, as it should be.

      1. IslandBites profile image87
        IslandBitesposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        I agree 100%.

  2. psycheskinner profile image84
    psycheskinnerposted 5 years ago

    Yes, they should.

  3. profile image0
    Beth37posted 5 years ago

    Nursing in public is necessary. A new mother can't stay home all day, nor can a baby survive without food. There is nothing sexual about it, obviously and absolutely nothing wrong with it. I do very much however, not want one of my kids, especially my sons... or even my husband, if I'm being honest, to sit down in a room, or walk by a woman with an exposed breast. I don't think that in any way makes me anti-breast feeding. It would be incredibly hard for a 14 year old boy, or any man actually, not to be extremely uncomfortable. I can't think of any reason why a woman couldn't use a light weight blanket/sheet. It's just considerate of others.

    1. LauraGT profile image91
      LauraGTposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      This idea that nursing includes an "exposed breast" is a misrepresentation. There is a brief moment when the baby latches on when perhaps the nipple and some of the breast is exposed, but otherwise, there's really nothing to see.  Women don't take off their clothes - they simply lift up a shirt (so perhaps you might see their midrift for a minute, but that's nothing too shocking) or wear nursing tops.   It really just becomes the concept, then, that is "uncomfortable" to people.I think if people do it more openly (and discreetly), that discomfort will fade away.  In many cultures, this is just a non-issue.

    2. A Troubled Man profile image59
      A Troubled Manposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      That is a very narrow minded view. As there may indeed be some men who are "extremely uncomfortable" with breasts, it is because they too are very narrow minded.

  4. HollieT profile image84
    HollieTposted 5 years ago

    Do men and boys feel uncomfortable on a beach where women bathe topless?

    1. profile image0
      Beth37posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Hollie, no they don't. I wouldn't take a 14 year old boy to a nude beach though. I don't think you mean to make this comparison do you? It kind of turns it sexual. Yes, boys do want to see naked women. I don't dispute that.

      1. HollieT profile image84
        HollieTposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        I don't know about the beaches in the US, but in Europe the beaches are not nudist beaches per se, but many women bathe topless. You have no idea when you go on to the beach whether they'll be topless women. The only way to be sure that your son would not see a woman bathing topless would be to never take them to a beach.

        I raised this issue because you said it would make your son and husband feel uncomfortable to see a woman nursing because part of her breast would be exposed. But men and boys see topless women all the time with all their breasts exposed, without feeling uncomfortable. So what is it about nursing that suddenly creates discomfort?

        1. profile image0
          Beth37posted 5 years agoin reply to this

          Yeah, I wondered if it was a nationality difference. Im aware of the European way.
          I went to Africa for a while and they told us don't worry about the top... hide your legs. lol... So I get it. It's different all over. I know nursing is a pure and beautiful thing... not a sexual one, obviously. I just know a boys tendency to desire to see all things hidden when it comes to women. Maybe it's just an American thing... maybe it's just a me thing... I just would prefer to shelter them for as long as possible. They have enough of a battle to fight without it being in their face. I really do support a woman's need and right to feed her child. I just want to be able to say "Hey, is it alright if I want my sons, especially, not to see your breast?" I think it's good that we got to share two perspectives on this topic... the interesting thing is there are even more. It's good to have open discussion. smile

          1. PrettyPanther profile image85
            PrettyPantherposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            Prudes abound in the U.S.  It is not the responsibility of anyone to spare the prudes just so they won't be uncomfortable.  No harm will come from anyone, child or adult, witnessing a woman breastfeeding.  If a prude happens to see it, he or she can simply look away or leave.  A breastfeeding woman is under no obligation to spare you or your child from seeing a breast.

            1. wilderness profile image97
              wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

              +1

              I do wonder, though, about the concept (presented in the OP link) that business basically have the right to make the call themselves if breastfeeding in their establishment is OK.  On the one hand there is nothing wrong with breastfeeding, but on the other it could well cost the business income and it is, after all, their business, not that of the mother.

              So while we've pretty much decided that breastfeeding in public is OK, should we force business owners to allow it inside their business?  Not sure about that one...

              1. PrettyPanther profile image85
                PrettyPantherposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                I'm not sure about that, either.  I guess I don't feel strongly enough to recommend a federal law, but I do believe that feeding your infant when needed without having to leave a public place is a reasonable thing to be able to do.

                1. wilderness profile image97
                  wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                  I'm with you (I think).  I've sat at tables with a breastfeeding mother and it didn't bother me any although I know it did some others at the table. 

                  Yet...business owners have rights, too, and we've already eroded too many of them in the theory that their business belongs to the public somehow.

                  1. profile image0
                    Beth37posted 5 years agoin reply to this

                    Allow smoking and nursing at the same table in every restaurant in America, I say! wink

          2. wilderness profile image97
            wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            Question: do you find the twin growths of fatty tissue on a woman's chest to be intrinsically evil and harmful somehow?

            Because that seems to be the major problem here.  An opinion that the mere sight of a woman's breast will harm any male, and doubly so for a young one.  It isn't seeing a baby eat that is objectionable; it's the sight of a female breast that is somehow harmful.

            Eliminate that silly thought from the culture and the whole question goes away.  Restaurants and other businesses will no longer worry about losing customers over the sight of a breast - breast feeding becomes nothing more than feeding a baby, not some evil thing that will cause our society to fall apart. 

            No one complains at the site of a dog or cat nursing their young, no one thinks it will cause harm to young children; why is the sight of a human breast any different?  Other cultures have not always maintained that fiction - it is time that Americans learned, too, that there is no intrinsic evil in a woman's body.

          3. HollieT profile image84
            HollieTposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            Beth, I think you kind of hit the nail on the head. It's a cultural thing. It simply doesn't surprise me to see topless women on the beach, or nursing mothers in a cafe. And it wouldn't surprise my son or ex husband, they're not uncomfortable with it either- suppose we are desensitized. You mention Africa and exposing legs, exposed body parts that we in the western world take for granted. Which, to me, just goes to show that our discomfort when it comes to breasts and nursing are a cultural construct. I just believe that with the will we can overcome whatever discomfort we might feel, and if we can do that, our children wont see it as a big deal either.

            1. profile image0
              Beth37posted 5 years agoin reply to this

              Thanks Hollie. I spose there are aspects that I was trying to avoid bringing up. As LauraGT stated, some women are modest, while Ive seen others just take it right out for every man woman and child to see. As I stated several times, I think it's not only beautiful, but necessary, but I know the male mind... most of us do. All of a sudden, the thing Timmy lay dreaming about 24/7 is now on display in front of him... so he's now got the image of his neighbor's breast in his head every time he sees her... I don't know, seems less than ideal. My main point was just to avoid a lack of modesty, but as you said, in different areas, totally different culture. I understand.

              1. A Troubled Man profile image59
                A Troubled Manposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                lol Obviously not. You have a very narrow minded view of the male mind.



                And, you now this how?



                Modesty has nothing to do with it. It is the feeding of a baby. You should know that if you have kids.

                1. profile image0
                  Beth37posted 5 years agoin reply to this

                  *know

  5. BigJulesMags profile image80
    BigJulesMagsposted 5 years ago

    Hollie: No!

    1. HollieT profile image84
      HollieTposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      So, what's the issue with women breast feeding in public places??

      1. LauraGT profile image91
        LauraGTposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        And, there is SO much less to see when someone is nursing. Shirts teenage girls wear to school expose much more than most moms expose when they are nursing!

        1. profile image0
          Beth37posted 5 years agoin reply to this

          Laura, I understand. I nursed my kids. I have also seen women nurse in public, including the moment of attachment. I understand the process. I can tell you I have seen more of them than I wanted to. It's just my opinion, but to me, it's just a matter of making ppl around you comfortable when it comes to baring oneself. My only point was that it should be done in such a way that your breast isn't exposed to people that don't have a choice in whether or not they see it. But I do support a woman's need and right to feed their baby in public, please don't think I would be against that. Again, it's just my opinion.

          1. LauraGT profile image91
            LauraGTposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            Hi Beth.  I think we're saying *almost* the same thing.  I just think we need to push the envelope a little bit - US breastfeeding rates are abysmally low, and I think a lot of it has to do with negative social attitudes about breastfeeding, as well as unsupportive policies and media stories.

            I think our society should do everything we can to make sure women feel comfortable nursing in public, given how healthy it is for mom and baby (without marginalizing people who don't nurse - I nursed one and not the other, so I got both sides!)  The vast majority of women are *very* discreet.  So much so that many don't nurse in public or feel like they have to hide when they do. That mean others don't see women nursing and this myth that they are flailing their breasts around in public inappropriately exposing young boys is perpetrated. If if not that extreme, it still doesn't become part of the fabric of our society, making people uncomfortable when they see it.  This creates a harmful cycle, making it more difficult for women to nurse publicly.  In terms of not having a choice about seeing it - of course you have a choice - don't watch!

            One solution - instead of giving women formula in the hospital, give them 2-3 nursing tops!  smile

            1. profile image0
              Beth37posted 5 years agoin reply to this

              I understand. smile

  6. profile image0
    Beth37posted 5 years ago

    Thanks for letting me share one opinion on the matter. That's all I really had to say, life's too short. smile

  7. profile image0
    delleaposted 5 years ago

    I suppose that evaluating each side would depend on which side the mother was breastfeeding her child on at the moment? smile I know, it's a bad joke, just kidding... but in all seriousness women were genetically designed by the Creator (if you have faith) to breastfeed their children. A baby's gotta have nourishment, and I highly doubt that mothers were feeding babies with cow's milk or had containers of powdered formula laying around to feed their babies with at the dawn of time. After all, the best nourishment a baby can get  is from a human mother's breast milk, so no, I don't have a problem with it.

    1. profile image0
      Beth37posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I don't think anyone so far has argued that. I think you're right.

 
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