When Gisele said there should be a law that required moms to breastfeed for 6 months, Bethenny Frankel said it was absurd -- that breastfeeding wasn't for everyone because it could be really difficult. She did stress that it was definitely worth any sacrifice and incredibly rewarding, though.
When Ameda ran their "I Breastfeed Because..." campaign, Frankel put her weight behind that as well, getting enough support that Ameda was able to donate $10,000 to the Human Milk Bank Association.
But then, Bethenny gets on stage with non-mother Rachael Ray ... and pretty much says that breastfeeding is gross and should be hidden.
A woman stands up in the audience and asks Bethenny what her opinion is about nursing in public, and Bethenny decided that it was funny to make it out to be some joke and says, "I think, unless you are Pamela Anderson, you shouldn’t be showing anyone your breasts besides your husband and your baby.”
Rachael, who has no children and hasn't breastfed a day in her life, chirps, "Exactly!"
But then Bethenny continues:
I really do. I think you should find a corner, or there is always a back room, I just think it makes other people uncomfortable. When you are a mother, you think everyone is ‘in on’ what you’re ‘in on’ [...] but they’re not. Because I didn’t know anything about [breastfeeding] until I was pregnant and I was sensitive to the fact that it would have flipped me out. So I think, just keep it private. But definitely breastfeed and do things your own way, but in that one way, I would keep it a little bit private. Whipping out your boob at the dinner table is a good diet tip for everyone else.
(Am I the only one who instantly thought: "No one puts Baby in a corner!")
I googled Bethenny and came across quite a few pictures of her in swimsuits and tiny, low-cut dresses, irony not missed by Bettina at Best for Babes either. So I guess what she really meant is unless you're doing it to attract men, you shouldn't have your breasts visible? I suppose she forgets though that more of her breasts are visible when she intentionally is showing them off than when she's just trying to feed a baby.
She's right, you shouldn't be waving your breasts around for just anyone to see. But that's not even what was discussed here. We're not talking a Pasties fashion show. Showing them off versus trying to just feed a baby? Two totally different things. But to then say that women need to hide in a corner or a back room, or that it'll make people lose their appetite? Sounds like she needs some more mature friends and family, and a little growing up herself.
I have no problems with people who are uncomfortable nursing in public. Moms who are so uncomfortable that they pump and bring bottles have my support. It's a lot more work for them, breast milk is best from the tap, and I'd love to help them feel more comfortable to make their lives easier, but you know what? The baby is still getting breast milk, and that, above all, is the most important thing.
I, myself, probably would have continued to use a cover if my daughter hadn't fought with them and refused to nurse with one (very common) -- not because I'm ashamed of nursing (covers are like bright glaring 'I'm breastfeeding!' signs), but because I'm modest about my own body. And my kids come first.
However, I find it completely and utterly inappropriate to pretend like my own level of comfort (or Bethenny's) should be pushed off on other people. If someone wants to sit in a private room, so be it -- as long as they're breastfeeding. But if someone is more comfortable than I am, then GO FOR IT. My own level of comfort should NEVER become the standard for others. It's like saying because I won't wear a bikini, it's disgusting and rude for anyone else to.
Bethenny ... go back to your overpaid dramas and leave it out of your parenting advice. Your own discomfort shouldn't be held as the standard for everyone -- trust me when I say there are many things you've done publicly that other people think is way, way more embarrassing and tacky than just feeding a baby.
Do you feel Bethenny was out of line?
Image via Rachael Ray Show