Earlier this week, an Illinois mom was told she could not breastfeed at a YMCA pool. She was told by the lifeguard that she needed to go into the restroom to feed her 7-month-old daughter.
Understandably, she's upset, and that's why she plans on meeting with the COO of the YMCA -- though her hopes for the conversation might surprise you. She's aiming to use the incident as an opportunity to educate people and also to help women understand their rights as far as feeding their babies in public.
And while I get what she's saying and agree that breastfeeding moms need to be able to nourish their children whenever and wherever they happen to be -- there really are a few places where it seems a bit out of place.
Sit back down and stop yelling at your computer. I'm not saying that women should not be allowed to breastfeed in public. Still, I do think there are certain instances where they need to be a little more discreet about it -- either by covering up or moving to an area where there are fewer people.
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Whether it's purpose is to feed a baby or not -- a boob is still a boob. Sometimes it's a little uncomfortable to see in certain situations, like the ones listed below.
- The Pool -- Might as well start with swimming pools since the mom from Illinois is who got me thinking about breastfeeding in public in the first place. Pools generally have tons of kids in and around them, and as the mom of a 7-year-old, I wouldn't want him splashing around and seeing a mom sitting near the pool with the top of her swimsuit down. I already shudder at the thought of him looking at breasts when he's a teenager, let alone as a second grader.
- Restaurants -- I've seen moms feeding their babies in restaurants on several occasions, and I'm fine with it when they're wearing a coverup. But I do remember one occasion where I looked over at the table next to me in the middle of my meal and saw a boob in its entirety (before the baby had latched on -- so I saw this woman's bare nipple). It made me feel very awkward and uneasy. It was just so ... out there. Didn't have much of an appetite after that.
- Airplanes -- Yes, I KNOW babies need to eat on the plane as much as anywhere else, but this one honestly has more to do with safety than anything else. With all of the cases of creepy men groping women or hitting on them mid-flight -- the more covered up moms are, the better. Honestly, I'd probably ask the flight attendant to seat me in a row of women if I was a breastfeeding mom.
- Kids' sporting events -- Again, there are just too many children running around, and it's probably not a good idea for them to look to the sidelines and see breasts staring back at them. I just keep thinking about my own child and what he'd think (or say out loud) if he were to see too much skin.
- Church -- It's wonderful when moms want to bring the kids to church and nurture their faith early on. But a coverup is a necessity with a baby in tow. Do I really have to elaborate here?
Are there any places you make it a point to be more discreet while breastfeeding?
Image via Jason Pratt/Flickr