Breastfeeding In Front of Other Kids: Gasp! How Crazy!

Michele Zipp

little girl holding baby
Adeline holding Penelope.
Nursing in front of kids
is about as crazy as ... eating in front of friends. Totally wacky, right? Sure, sometimes it can be weird to eat in front of people if you have an eating disorder or some weird hang up about putting food into your mouth, but hello, breast milk is food for baby and baby doesn't have a hangup about food ... yet (though if we chastise breastfeeding moms as much as some of us do baby may start to get a complex).

And when baby has to eat, it's really quite simple, baby should eat. And as a lot of us say, we don't go into the bathroom or under blankets when it's time to eat, so why should baby.

Oh ... is it because there is a breast involved? Oh holy breast of woman -- the most sexual sight my eyes have seen. Surely it will be blasphemy if someone caught a glimpse in the throes of ... of ... a baby eating. And how dare someone do it in front of children!

This weekend I was at a friends house when it was time for my 8 month old twins to eat. And you know where I nursed them?

Right there in my friend's family room.

I was visiting my friend Tina, her husband Rob, and kids Katie, 8, and Robert, 3. Her sister, another close friend of mine, Terumi was there -- Terumi is pregnant with her third and hoping for a successful VBAC (good vibes to Terumi!). Her kids -- Adeline, 6, and Sophia, 3 -- were there along with "big" Terumi, their incredible mom.

When it was time for the babies to eat, Terumi suggested the couch in the family room saying she nursed Sophia there and it was really comfortable. The family room was right off the kitchen where we were all gathered, eating, talking, being in awe of Katie's latest art project. I sat down on that couch and nursed Penelope. Adeline sat next to me, curious but maybe remembering when her mom nursed her sister. And soon she would be there for her mother nursing her brother.

Penelope finished and then was ready to eat some bananas and Tina got out the highchair for Pippi to sit in. While my husband fed her to an audience of kids, I went into the playroom with Hunter only because he gets distracted and I need things to be quiet when I nurse him. But soon Robert, Sophia, and Adi came in the room with Adi asking if she could play with Hunter when he was finished eating. I said "of course" and they waited, quietly, on the floor in the room.

I felt so comfortable, so at home, that I almost didn't think about it until I read Christie's piece on how CBS news says it's awkward to breastfeed in front of other kids. I felt so lucky to have friends who welcomed me to nurse where it was best for me and the babies. Encouraging friends with kids who don't get uptight or go blind at the sight of a woman feeding her babies. Oh my god, my eyes! A nipple in a baby's mouth! I will never see the same again!

Would I swim topless in their pool? Of course not. But we should all know that is not the same thing. Shouldn't we? Nursing is natural. And if you are in a situation where you nurse in front of other kids, it's great for them to see to know how and what baby eats.

Is our society that freaked out by breasts and are brainwashed by the sexualization of teets that so many have forgotten that they supply baby's food? And why force their weird thoughts onto me or any breastfeeding mother? Don't give me a complex about my breasts!

We shouldn't fear breasts -- no matter what they are used for ... food or fun, nourishment or naughty stuff. But don't confuse the two! And as I look down at my two, it makes me realize the power of the breast ... and I'm so glad I was born with them.

What do you think? Nursing in front of kids -- okay or WTF Michele you are a freak?

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