Nurse-Ins Are an Awful Way to Fight for the Right to Breastfeed in Public

Rant 196

nurse-inHave you ever gotten kicked out of a store for breastfeeding? Gotten dirty looks while breastfeeding your newborn at a restaurant? Or maybe you were minding your business on an 18-hour flight and someone asked you to cover up your breasts while nursing your baby. What can you do but oblige your uncomfortable hosts? Well, many new moms are organizing and staging nurse-ins.

That's one way to get the public's attention.

When a restaurant manager says you can’t breastfeed in her establishment, go back the next day with 100 of your closest nursing friends and  sit down and breastfeed your babies all at the same time. That'll show 'em. Right?

I'm not so sure.

I worry that with all those exposed breasts, people are missing the point.

Moms should be allowed to nurse their babies anywhere. You feed a baby when she's hungry -- and if we mothers are expected to run home every single time our child cries out to be fed, we'll be trapped in our homes for most of our babies' early years. That is not fair to the mothers. We are nourishing our babies not exposing our breasts.

But while I believe in the right to protest, I don’t agree that forcing patrons to watch you nurse to make your point is the way to go. It’s one thing for one mother to be nursing her child someplace; it’s quite another when there's an organized drove of nursing mothers descending upon an establishment.

I mean, if you need to feed your baby, by all means feed your baby. But purposely going in there to feed in protest is basically shoving your beliefs down anyone within eyeshot's throat.

Some people are a little more modest and don’t care if you breastfeed in public or even notice but once you are standing there saying look at me, my breast are exposed and I am feeding my baby, FUCK YOU, that's combative. And then the focus becomes about women being combative rather than doing what comes naturally. The victims of the discrimination become the aggressors.

Moms, in all honesty, I think it would be more productive to breastfeed when you need, wherever you need, stand your ground and if you really want to hurt the business, protest in front of the business and inform their customers that they are not breastfeeding friendly; boycott their stores. Hit them in their pocketbooks and they will pay attention.

Do you think nurse-ins are an effective way to get the public to become more accepting of breastfeeding in public?

Image via Flickr/ DailyCloudt

baby health, breastfeeding


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handy... handy0318

Since the 1960's I've seen a lot of civil rights movements.  One thing I've learned... Anytime anyone wants to be able to just live out their not only God-given, but Constitutionally protected rights... it pisses people off.

Why anyone should be offended or pissed off by a mother feeding her child the way God designed for babies to eat is the result of a combination of good marketing by formula companies convincing moms to bottle feed at the same time Hollywood and Playboy were sexualizing breasts. 

I find the comparison to Rosa Parks apt... A woman nursing a baby is no more offensive than a woman sitting in the front of the bus... People being offended and angered by the former are no better than people who were offended by the latter.  

Deliberately pissing people off is a proven, effective way to change attitudes... As time goes by, more and more will wonder... "Just what the heck is so offensive about this anyway..." and then things will change.  Until then, if the nurse-ins are causing anger, one should consider why... why is the sight of women using their breasts for the express purpose God designed them provoking? Until it's no longer provoking... perhaps we should support those who are doing something about it. 

Brittany Rose Westfall

Breastfeeding is a civil right! God you are ignorant. Civil rights movement is still going on. Civil rights for gays, civil rights for bfing moms, civil rights for fair laws for minorities. The civil rights movement never ended, and to think it did is laughable. I am fighting for my right to bf in public, and nurse-ins are non violent protests of that exact thing. you are right, the laws are on our side, but those the majority of the public still look down upon it, even when you do bring a pump. And if you bottle feed your baby AT ALL, pro bfing moms target you. Palease, take your raging bs elsewhere. You're harse words, anger, and namecalling have no effect on this mama. *Brush that dirt off your shoulder*

wamom223 wamom223

Brittany I will say whatever I want when I want because I am an American.  You do not speak for me, you aren't smart enough.  Those women are making things worse for breastfeeding mom's not better so as a women it is my responsibility to stand up and say something.  I will always support a woman but I have no time for dumb ass bitches and I wont defend them and I wont look the other way either when they are trying to act like they speak for me.  You want to back this foolishness that is on you but you have no right to say I should support this and yes you come off like a fanatic.  You come off like a fanatic that needs to move on with her life.  I don't even know what the point of your personal story was other than to point out you don't know how to let something go.  

LuvMy... LuvMyDandD

LOL wamom. My point was that your breasts were made for feeding, NOT entertaining. But whatever, because if you read my posts you would have seen where I stated I never breastfed! I don't expect you to come around to my point of view because you are hung up on your prudish points.  Have a great night!

Billy... BillytheMom

Do commenters mind saying where they're from? I have never had a negative reaction to breastfeeding in public and have asked my friends about it too. The only time I've ever even heard of people being asked to leave or even cover up is on TheStir... I'm curious where this is going on and wondering if it's a regional thing? I live in Southern CA...

wamom223 wamom223

Honey you got the law which means you got your right.  What is left is changing people's minds and you aren't doing that so why not think of something else.  Also civil rights are written out in the constitution and breast feeding is not listed.  You are the ignorant one.  Don't repeat what you heard about the constitution read it yourself or you look like an idiot.  You are not fighting for your right to breast feed in public because you already have the legal right and from your personal story you know that so I don't know what your deal is other than you are a fanatic.  Also obviously I do  have an effect on you because you keep coming back for more.  This fight you are in is failing and its time to look for something new.

gabe05 gabe05

I spent seven years of my life breastfeeding my three children.  I nursed in restaurants, on rides at Disney World, at ball games, at dance recitals, in the back pew at church.  Once each child turned two, I was extremely careful about nursing in public as I knew that would be offensive to many people.  But in all those years, I never had a single negative comment from anyone about it.  No, I didn't use a cover or even a blanket.  I wore an undershirt all the time and used my shirt to cover my skin.  The only time any skin could be seen was during the three seconds it took to get the child latched on and then it was only the far side of the breast.  

LuvMy... LuvMyDandD

I think people who resort to " but I have no time for dumb ass bitches and I wont defend them and I wont look the other way either when they are trying to act like they speak for me." are silly too, but still, it's your right and I would fight for it. That must be because I'm such a bitch...too bad you think you're better than everybody but the only way you can state your point is to name-call.

gabe05 gabe05

The choice is not between being immodest in public or staying home or giving expressed milk.  With practice in front of a mirror, you can breastfeed in public without offending people or feeling exposed.  You don't have to use a blanket or a nursing cover that draws attention to what you are doing.  I had many conversations with people while nursing who were shocked when my baby popped off and turned to smile at them with milk dribbling down his or her chin.  They had no idea that I was nursing until that point. 

Brittany Rose Westfall

I'm in MN, I'm not even going to dignify your response with an answer. If you can't have a mature conversation with out name calling, or make relatively coherent sense, then you don't deserve an answer. And to those who need clarification, My personal story was to show that I have gotten a negative reaction to bfing, and how it is supposed to be handled by an establishment. It does not matter what that establishments policies are, the LAW states women can bf in public. Whether it is one woman, or 30 women. When one woman does it, its easier to target them and make them feel horrible. But when 30 women do it, it shows that women will stand together against anyone looking to violate the rights of moms ability to bf in public. I am so sorry for you wamom, I really am, that you feel that I am an fanatic, or a wacko, or a dumb a** b****, but it isn't me who doesn't get the point the article is making. I get the point that is being made. I just vehemently disagree with it. And don't EVER call me unintelligent again. Of all things, that is something I am certainly not. Disagreeing with you, certainly doesn't make me unintelligent.

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