Friday, May 8, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen, it's time for another edition of He Said, She Said. This occasional Georgia Mae feature allows our resident man blogger and I to discuss different, though not necessarily opposing, thoughts on different issues. This time around, though, our our opinions are at odds. Read on to find out what we both think about breast feeding in public.


He Said

In the three-plus years of my marriage, I've learned to make compromises. For example, when the wifey and I ride around town together, I'm often subjected to listening to the whiny Christian rock songs she likes. Some of 'em sound like T-Pain WITHOUT using a vocoder.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Lord's music, but some of those nasally singers make a brother want to lose his religion. But the music inspires the wifey, so I endure it.

That's what makes me a good husband, you see.

However, one issue that we have yet to find a middle ground on is breast feeding. She's made it clear that if we ever have a little Edd Jr or Edwina that she'll whip out her mammaries in public if the little one is ready to get his or her grub on.

Playa, no.

Listen, I'm not against breast feeding. Nor am I a knuckle-dragging cretin who wants to keep his woman in the kitchen (we're in a recession - I'm more than happy for her to get a check). But some things need to be kept at home. I don't see breast feeding as a disgusting act, but I do not want some weirdo leering at my woman while she bares her goodies.

For those of you saying "no one would do that," trust me. There are some sickos out there. I should know, I'm friends with at least four of 'em.

If Lil' Edmond is hungry while he's in Wal-Mart, hook that dude up with a bottle. That's what they're made for. There is no need for him to be nibbling on nipples in a department store.

Breast feeding is a beautiful, intimate act between mother and child, and the sanctity of that act should remain private and not be on display for the world to see.


-- Edd



She Said

It's so hard for me to debate the issue of breast feeding in public because I can't even wrap my brain around why people are so weird about it when, to me, it's such a natural act.

Edd, I know you're probably picturing me stripping from the waist up in the middle of Target to feed our little one (who will not be named Edwina, by the way), but there are ways to breast feed in public without exposing the girls. Some women practice indiscreet public nursing as a way to push the public into accepting it, but others believe the best way to promote change is to quietly nurse everywhere you go so people will realize just how natural it is and stop treating it as some obscene act. You'll be happy to know I fall in the latter category.

If doctors are telling women that it's best to breast feed exclusively for the first six months, but society is calling them lewd for nursing in public we're almost leaving new mothers housebound.

Breast feeding is at the center of much debate right now as some women are beginning to question just how beneficial it is and are pointing out some of the problems with breast feeding exclusively, such as: it cuts men out of the feeding process (which reinforces the sexist notion that caring for the baby is the woman's job), it makes it difficult for women to return to work (unless they opt to use a breast pump throughout the work day, something that's nearly impossible for some women working blue collar jobs), and some folks who are pro-breast feeding have a tendency to look down on women who choose not to breast feed as bad mothers. And that's just lame and unfair.

Nonetheless, just as women should be able to freely decide not to breast feed, we should also be able to freely breast feed without stigma.

I have yet to decide if I'll breast feed exclusively because, well, I have yet to decide if I want to give birth to a little rugrat in the first place. But if Baby Jae gets hungry while we're dining at Applebee's I have no qualms about pulling out a bosom buddy for her. Whether it makes people uncomfortable or not, I have a legal right to do so and that's the bottom line.

-- Javacia

Now it's your turn. What do you think about breast feeding and nursing in public?

7 comments:

  1. Being that I'm about to shoot one of these things out, I've been thinking about this a lot lately.

    I think I fall right in the middle of your debate.

    I plan to breast feed. I think there's a way to do it outside the home without setting your lady parts out on a table and making a big scene about it. Women do it all the time and I barely even notice.

    That being said, I would probably veer toward finding a ladies' lounge or a dressing room where I could do it privately, if possible. Not because I think there's anything wrong with it, at all. But because I'm shy and a bit anti-social and I don't like people all up in my business.

    Also, I will prepare bottles for my hubs so that he can feed him, too. I just took a million hour breast feeding class at the hospital and there's no reason you can't feed a baby breast milk from a bottle from time to time. I mean, what if I want a girls' night out? Sorry, but my boobs are coming with me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well let me start off by saying that I am glad you won't be naming your child Edwina (Edd, you knew that Jai would never go for that!)

    As for breast feeding, I think that it is a great thing to do and while I am not yet married and don't yet have children, I have already made up in my mind that I will breast feed.

    Now, as Jai states, there is a way to do it without just showing off the girls for the whole world to see. They have blankets and such for that. Also, some places actually have areas where you can take care of that or you can always go to the ladies room for that matter.

    Bottles are not always convenient, like most people think they are. Sometimes you can't warm them up and sometimes the baby just doesn't want it.

    Now, I do agree with Maisy on allowing the hubby to feed the baby...well, in that case, a bottle will work and Dad will just have to work with the little one and comfort him/her during the feeding time.

    Breast feeding provides a bond between mother and child that a bottle can never take the place of, you know? So I think that as long as it is done discreetly with consideration, it's OK.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What I find most interesting is that we're still having this debate in 2009. Before formula, that was the ONLY source of food for a newborn. So now, we have the right to choose to or not to breastfeed. Then we've got the women who want to but either don't produce enough, the child is allergic to it, or can't because of having to go back to work (in environments that make it impossible).

    My issue is that some people seem to have a problem with it no matter how indiscreetly it's done. Yes, I will breastfeed, provided I can. No, I will not be one of those women who thinks it's okay to just whip it out bare just because I can legally. Just because you've become a mother, doesn't make you less of a woman. AND, as a woman, you'd never do that and think it was Ok.

    I agree with you Jai. I will not be sitting home the entire time I breastfeed. I don't like when people have children who can't sit down/still or who don't stop running and screaming instead of eating at a restaurant. If they don't feel guilty or shy enough to keep their unruly kids at home until they learn how to behave, why should I feel guilty or too shy to feed mine?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I LOVE this debate! As a nursing mother I have had to deal with everything that was mentioned. My husband was just like Ed! He was weirded out about nursing in public, but when our daughter would not take a bottle I had no choice.

    Now I have to say in Ed's defense, bottles are a nice convenience sometimes! I wish my child would have taken a bottle because I would have had a LOT more freedom!

    There are ways to nurse discretely. I have nursed everywhere and honestly I don't care what people think! If my child is hungry I will feed her! With that being said I have used either a nursing lounge, a nursing cover, or a dressing room in the store.

    Nursing is so taboo in the US anyway that it's hard to feel comfortable, so I try to encourage other moms when I see them nursing.

    This will be a never ending debate, but I say if you chose to nurse exclusively more power to ya!

    ReplyDelete
  5. My two cents...human breast milk is best for the little crumb snatchers. Our little ones are not cows therefore cow based formulas arent for them. Here in lies the cause of allergies and whatnots. Whether the little munchkin nibbles on a nipple or a bottle they should be receiving human breast milk. It also provides them with their first set of "vaccinations" as well for those out there who are certain MMR vaccines cause autism (that's another debate in and of itself).
    Yes it should be done in a discreet manner. Im a pediatrician and I am still weirded out by walking in on a mom nursing her little one. Nursing is an intimate and private act. I can't fathom enjoying my Ben and Jerry's with colostrum on the table but hey that's just me.
    More education is needed regarding nursing. If you desire to breastfeed let your OB know. Tell them that once you give birth you want your little directly on your breast so they can instinctively latch on. Once they are snatched away from your womb and given to the exhausted intern (i.e me) to count their fingers and toes and are whisked away to a nursery to bake in an incubator they loose precious bonding time. Also tell your OB that you don't want to be rushed into a c-section unless medically necessary. Women who have c-sections are kept away from their rascals for at least 12 hours plus the pain associated with the surgery makes moms less willing to breastfeed.
    Having kids is no easy task and this includes feeding them. Similac and enfamil is making millions off of American women by making us feel that no work should be associated with rearing kids. This couldn't be further from the truth. Yes there is a learning curve with breastfeeding but it's a test that is worth studying for. Breastfed babies are significantly healthier. They dont get colds and ear infections as often and they have less cavities. So go ahead and whip out your nip!

    ReplyDelete
  6. And I think Edwina is just an adorable name! Although I will definitely be calling her by her middle name whatever it may be LOL

    ReplyDelete
  7. Amen to that Courtney!! Breastfeeding is hard work and requires a lot of patience... the first 2 weeks are HORRIBLE! But it's so worth it! My daughter was never sick and only had 1 ear infection. I think C-section vs. natural birth is another good debate topic!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Search Our Site