breastfeedingBy now everyone in America should know that it's legal to breastfeed in public (hey, I said should know -- I didn't say they do). But if you've ever wondered whether seeing moms nursing in public on the news all the time is actually doing anything good for women, how's this little tidbit? In a recent survey by Lansinoh, moms admitted their number one worry about breastfeeding their babies wasn't whether they'd produce enough milk or whether their bosses would be cool about setting up a pumping station.

Nope; turns out moms are far more terrified of having to actually nurse their babies in public! And really, can you blame them?

Not every woman actually wants to breastfeed in public. In fact, many of us would rather crawl under the couch than risk someone seeing the skin of our saggy mom bodies.

I say this as a woman who struggled with an eating disorder for years, as a woman who has never (and will never) worn a bikini in her life. I am not a skin shower. Even having my father-in-law at my house shortly after giving birth sent me into a panic. I would scoot immediately upstairs when my daughter got hungry. I was right there with the 40 percent of women scared of breastfeeding in public.

And you know what? It's OK that they're scared. Breastfeeding, breasts, bodies -- they're all very personal.

The problem is, nursing in public is the hot button issue these days. Every time I turn on the news, there's a nurse-in here, an outraged mom there. And I get it. We have the right to do it, but to paraphrase a certain comedian, we often don't have the ability because of backward thinking morons who can't separate breasts from sex.

I wouldn't suggest by any means that we stop the fight. But the rather large number of women who are scared makes me wonder if we do need to step back and re-evaluate how we fight the good fight.

Could it be that we're so vehement we're scaring women?

Maybe what we need to get out there is that breastfeeding in public is a right, but it's not a necessity. After all, if women are so scared of breastfeeding in public that they don't breastfeed at all, we haven't just lost a battle; we've lost the war!

Do you breastfeed in public or are you a little more shy?

 

Image via Daquella Manera/Flickr