Sign Demands Breastfeeding Moms 'Cover Up': Think This Is What They Had in Mind?

If you need to breastfeedA sign asking breastfeeding mothers to “please cover yourself” has triggered an avalanche of social media posts with women obediently doing precisely that.

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After BreastFeedingMamaTalk.com released a template of the sign and examples of two moms breastfeeding while covering… their faces, Facebook and Twitter went wild with further examples of women feeding their babies while covered in towels, blankets, curtains, and even Darth Vader masks (hashtag: #ThisIsHowWeCoverBFMT and #Brelfie):

Thought I would do something different and fun with this!! I have this picture in the comments except it's without the...

Posted by Breastfeeding Mama Talk on Sunday, May 3, 2015

Reactions were mixed, to say the least. (When are they ever not, on the Internet?) Some saw the response as fitting and suitable. While others called the moms in the photos radical, militant exhibitionists (which, by internet standards, is actually pretty tame).

So which was it?

I found it hilarious. And appropriate.

Personally, I’m always a fan of making one’s point with humor, rather than howling, name-calling and finger-pointing (on the part of either side).

The way some people feel about public breast-feeding, that's how I feel about loud, public confrontations. They offend me. And annoy me. Mostly because if there’s one thing I learned a long time ago, it’s that volume and righteous indignation are much more likely to cement someone’s opposing position than they are to change their minds. (Plus, I’ve seen too many of these arguments play out over the head of a baby who, while the adults yell and stomp their feet, is desperately pursing his tiny, rosebud lips, gulping like a fish, trying to latch on – and to hold on through the melee.)

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I also happen to prefer a classy community effort on social media to a class-action suit. Not every disagreement warrants immediate litigation.

But most of all, I love that these women are employing the classic writer’s maxim: Show Don’t Tell.

Instead of spilling barrels of literal and cyber ink to assert their position, preaching either to the choir or to the intractably nonconvertible, these moms are calmly demonstrating how ridiculous such a request is. Would you expect an adult to eat while they’re being slowly smothered? Would you agree to do it yourself, merely because someone, somewhere might find your table manners and unique chewing style offensive? So how can you demand the same of a baby?

In this case, a picture really is worth a thousand (angry) words, and, even better, it is delivered with a light touch – always preferable to heavy rhetoric which (see above) is more likely than not to backfire (again, on both sides).

Finally, my favorite part of This Is How We Cover is that, by obscuring their faces, these smart moms have given themselves plausible deniability for when, ten years or so down the road, Junior stumbles upon the photo (the Internet never forgets anything) and brings it to Mama for verification.

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“What? That? That isn’t me. I realize the breasts may look familiar but, honey, you can’t prove it, can you? Now run along and play. And delete the URL from your browser. Permanently.”

On the other hand (breast?), some mothers may proudly blow up the photo, frame them, and hang it in the living-room as tangible evidence of their commitment and contribution to the cause.

It’s a totally personal decision for everyone.

Just like whether or not to breast-feed.

Or when and where to cover up while doing it.

What do you think of how these moms responded? Tell us in the Comments!


Image via Breastfeeding Mama Talk

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