10 Men Confess How They Really Feel About Moms Who Breastfeed in Public

Judy Dutton | Aug 4, 2015 Baby

men feel breastfeed public nurseToday, moms have the right to breastfeed wherever they want. Yet while moms are legally in the clear, nursing in public can still dredge up mixed emotions in many ... even those dads whose babies are benefiting from this on-demand food.

Of course, if you ask your husband or partner how he feels about your nursing in public, most will respond with a PC, "Whatever you're comfortable doing, honey!" Yet deep down, if given the chance confidentially to speak their true feelings, men have a lot more to say on this subject.

Curious how dads really feel when their partners breastfeed in public? Read on as 10 men with very different perspectives spill the beans.

 

Image via Markus Gann/shutterstock

 

  • 'I'm Against It -- Toplessness Is Too Enticing'

    1

    "When my wife breastfeeds in public she covers herself with a blanket, so it doesn't bother me. But it would if she didn't. I know it's not a popular view, but I find, uh, toplessness enticing among the females of our species. So to encounter it in a situation where I'm supposed to be casually interacting with the female in question like nothing is happening -- and trying to find someplace to look that doesn't seem like I'm not trying to look elsewhere -- makes me profoundly uncomfortable. Of course I appreciate that it doesn't have anything to do with me, but since you asked, that's how I feel."

  • 'It's Fine Provided She Covers Up'

    2

    "My wife breastfeeds in public and while I think it's downright medieval to think she should only do it at home, I do appreciate that she covers up. I know another mom who lets her boobs all hang out and it's off-putting. People just don't want to look at that. And given it involves so little effort to use a cover, I think it's incumbent on women to work within cultural conventions and show some modesty."

  • 'I'm All for Anything That Keeps Babies Quiet'

    3

    "What about it? If the kid is hungry, the kid needs to eat. My wife used one of those modesty blankets for a bit with our first, but it was too much trouble and it got in the way. I know some people -- mostly guys, it seems -- get their knickers in a twist about it, but I would think a screaming baby would be far more upsetting."

  • 'I'm Okay With It Anywhere Except Planes'

    4

    "I loved how my wife decided to breastfeed our daughter -- I think that's why she never caught a cold in her first two years -- and was okay with her breastfeeding in public since hunger strikes whenever! But the one time it did make me uncomfortable was when we were on a plane. While I know she 'had a right' to nurse right out there in the open, I'd have preferred she cover up. Some guy was sitting right next to us, and it was just a little too close for comfort."

    More from The Stir: Breastfeeding: How Much Do You Know About What's Legal? (QUIZ)

  • 'I Respect It but Don't Want to See It'

    5

    "It is beautiful and a wonderful bonding experience. But I don't want to see it is public. Many things are natural, healthy, and wonderful but are not things that I want to see. I think many men feel this way. It is funny to me that often open dialogue on this issue is unwelcome."

  • 'In My Medical Opinion, Baby's Needs Trump All'

    6

    "I have the benefit of medical training, so my opinion is skewed: I never had any issues when my wife breastfed our kids in public. If anyone objected -- they never did -- I was ready with a dry, detailed treatise on nutritional biochemistry and the essential immunological benefits of breastfeeding in the first year of life. See? You're bored already."

  • 'It's Fine As Long As No One Takes Photos'

    7

    "The only time it bothered me was the time some stranger took a photo of my wife breastfeeding without her permission. It was all over before I could react. While it's possible this man's intentions were harmless or he wasn't even aware that my wife was nursing, that lone instance made me more aware that people may have bad intentions, and that we should exercise caution."

    More from The Stir: 10 Ways to Say 'I'm So Sorry for Breastfeeding in Public' (Not)

  • 'Baby Fine, Toddler No'

    8

    "I was fine with my wife breastfeeding our baby, but once he became a toddler who could walk and talk and ask for 'booboo' I got reeeeaally uncomfortable with her nursing him in public. I definitely feel we got some awkward side glances from strangers."

  • 'Please Keep Your Bare Breasts At Home'

    9

    "When my wife breastfed in public, I felt sympathy with Muslims and Orthodox Jews. I think women should keep bare breasts at home. I did not like it at all. Unfortunately my wife was part of a very militant 'all kids must breastfeed' group. It wasn't the only thing we disagreed about; we ended up divorcing when our girls were 5 and 7."

  • 'It's Time to Evolve'

    10

    "My wife breastfed our daughter and while she was discreet, it wasn't as a result of what I wanted -- nor should it have been. Breastfeeding is a natural act, not a sexual or voyeuristic display. If, for some reason, you are offended by women breastfeeding in public, perhaps you should look at your own mental state. Ask yourself the question, 'Why am I so attracted to this woman breastfeeding?' Maybe there is some deficiency in your own character that needs chastising instead of the woman nourishing, caring for, and comforting her child. The fact that breastfeeding in public is even an issue illustrates what's wrong with society. We are a faux-puritanical, two-faced society and it is absolutely ridiculous, bordering on evil. It's time to evolve!"

    More from The Stir: What Men Really Think of Pregnant Women's Bodies

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