Opinions on Breastfeeding in Public

Opinions on Breastfeeding in Public

What do you think of a woman breastfeeding her baby in public? I asked on Twitter and Instagram
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Picture this, you’re strolling through the mall and to your left you see a woman sat on a bench cradling her baby...except the baby is feeding on the mother’s breast. How do you feel about that?

This past week, in my reporting class, I was asked to go create a vox pop (basically comments from the public) about their opinions on women breastfeeding in public, because where I am studying, Salford, England, has a charity called B.O.O.B.S that supports women to be comfortable breastfeeding, even in public settings. As I suspected, the people I talked to all said that it doesn’t bother them at all, but I did receive one response that surprised me. The way in which one woman answered me was (and I’m paraphrasing here) ‘No it doesn’t bother me. I don’t see it as a current problem, and don’t think has been for a while.’ I interpreted this as her having a sort of condescending tone in her voice, as if she was really thinking ‘Why are you asking people about this? Everyone accepts it, who cares?’, but this struck my curiosity, is it really comfortable for everyone? So I tested my theory through Instagram and Twitter polls.

The results of the polls clearly show that women breastfeeding in public is widely accepted, but there still are people that don’t necessarily approve of it or feel like it depends on the situation. So, I asked people that took part in the polls why they answered the way that they did.

Makes them uncomfortable: “It makes me feel uncomfortable because I do not want to see another woman’s boob. I am the first one to say, if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all, but I don’t think it is always appropriate to just whip out your boob. Women can always pump too. If a woman is covered up, then I am totally cool with it. It is a very important bonding experience for both mother and baby, and I just feel that it is more of an intimate thing that should be done in privacy. I do not have kids yet, but I do not think I would be comfortable breastfeeding in public. Maybe if I had one of those scarves or blankets, I would feel more comfortable.” -Female, 21

It depends on the situation: “I'm totally good with the idea of women should be allowed to breastfeed in public, it's natural and they're just feeding their kid. However in certain settings like say, a restaurant, where food and drinks are being served, doing that flat out at the table makes me uncomfortable because food handling and food service have health codes and to me, that just makes me uncomfortable. But a woman should have every right to feed their child with a bottle as they do with their boob, I just get weird in restaurants.” -Female, 21

Totally comfortable: "I do not mind breastfeeding at all in public because I think there is an international stigma about it which needs to be gotten over. It is one of the most natural things a woman can do and the benefits to the child are vast, which is another reason I am all for it. I think mothers should breastfeed their children if possible and the declining or low rates of breastfeeding may be due in part to this stigma." -Male, 21

My opinion you ask? Generally, I am completely comfortable with it. If a woman is lucky enough to be able to breastfeed her baby (not every woman actually can), she should be able to do so wherever/whenever she and the baby please to. It’s completely natural, and NEWS FLASH that’s actually why women have breasts. But, if it does make you uncomfortable, I can understand that too, because in reality it still is a form of public nudity (except it has a crucial purpose). Either way, a baby needs to be fed when it’s hungry and if that means it’s while they’re out it public, so be it, if it bothers you then just look away.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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My First Year Of College Wasn’t Great And That’s Okay

I didn’t adjust as well as I thought I would, but I made it.

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Everyone always raves about how much they loved their freshman year of college. The independence, the parties, meeting all these new people from different places. It's a big milestone in your life. But not everyone has an amazing first year. And I'm one of those people.

Don't get me wrong. I was so excited about college. Finally getting to be on my own, experiencing all these new things. I even met people in my class before we moved in. And the first month was a blast...but then it wasn't anymore.

Eventually, I slid into this “funk", you could say. I was depressed. I never wanted to leave my bed. Some nights, I didn't even wanna eat dinner. And soon, my friends noticed but soon just stopped inviting me out.

At first, they still would, even though the answer was always no. But I guess they got bored and tired of me always saying no.

Soon, I didn't feel like I even had any friends and at one point, I even found myself debating going home to avoid being alone in my room all weekend. I would force myself to make plans, but found myself not wanting to go out because I got ignored every time I did. It wasn't worth it.

I was homesick, isolated, and just wanted to fit in.

When the year finally came to an end, I couldn't be happier. But now that it is over and I'm home, I realize how much I miss the people that were there for me. The people that came into my life unexpectedly, but it was hard for me to really recognize they care about me.

I absolutely hated my freshman year of college. Yeah, it started out good and I found my sorority, but I never felt like I was wanted anywhere. I felt so alone. I became so incredibly isolated and distant and it took a drastic toll on me as a person.

But in spite of all that, I realize that maybe that's how it was supposed to happen. Because I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and it will all play out.

This being said, my first year might not have been what I thought or hoped for. But I can truly say I am excited to see what my next year holds.

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