Tuesday, April 6, 2010

breastfeeding in the news

CNN is reporting on a new study that says if more moms breastfed for the first 6 months of life it would save nearly 1,000 lives and billions of dollars each year.

"The United States incurs $13 billion in excess costs annually and suffers 911 preventable deaths per year because our breastfeeding rates fall far below medical recommendations," the report said.

Those are some pretty staggering statistics. 13 billion!

TheFeministBreeder has a fantastic post on the topic that I urge you to go read. I couldn't say it any better.

In other news, a Minnesota mom was kicked out of a restaurant for breastfeeding her baby in plain view. This happened in a state where the law clearly says that women have the right to breastfeed anywhere. The police were actually called to the restaurant when the parents protested being asked to leave.

This is so outrageous! I can't believe that not only did the restaurant not uphold the law, the police didn't either!

We need to get over our aversion to seeing breasts being used to feed babies. That is what they are for! I applaud this woman for feeling comfortable enough to breastfeed in public. So many women don't because we just don't see it enough. I have breastfed Asher in restaurants and other public places plenty of times. I have always tried to be fairly discreet about it. But at the same time, I don't think we should have to feel like we HAVE to cover up while we feed our babies. We are doing the most natural thing in the world--giving our babies nourishment. That should be celebrated--not seen as too shameful to do around other people.

Coming back to the first news article, I think if more women saw other women breastfeeding, it would be easier for them to also breastfeed and do it longer. We need a serious culture shift in this regard.

***Please read the comments. There are some very interesting things brought up and I've responded to some of them.

[image source]


  1. Personally, I'm not comfortable breastfeeding in public. I will do it if necessary, but I would much rather find a secluded spot, and I ALWAYS cover up no matter where I am (unless I'm home in a room with a closed door). That being said, I have started nursing my third baby during Relief Society, simply because I don't want to miss out on the lesson when I so rarely have quiet spiritual time to study and ponder.

    I'm also not comfortable with other women breastfeeding without making an attempt to be discreet. I would never say anything to them, but I just feel that breasts should not be exposed in public--I will NEVER forget having dinner at someone's home who I didn't know well, and she breastfed her baby at the dinner table without making any attempt to latch the baby on quickly, cover up, etc. She was talking animatedly and taking her time, and her breast was exposed for a good long time (no baby covering it). My husband was sitting right across from her, and I was really, really, really uncomfortable with the situation.

    That all being said, I think women should be able to breastfeed wherever and whenever they need to, but I also understand the POV against women who are very careless about how much of their breasts they're exposing in the process of feeding their babies. Breasts have been so sexualized by Western culture that I'm personally not comfortable with seeing someone else's lengthy breast exposure, even if they're nursing. I'm all about quickly latching the baby on and off, and covering up either with a shirt or a blanket--I really don't want to see anything.

  2. Katrina, I love how passionate you are about these vital subjects! As a male, I am of course very sensitive to (and conditioned by) the hyper-sexualization of the female body in our culture. And all things being equal, consideration and discretion are beneficial. At the same time, and perhaps more importantly, I think that the normalization of breastfeeding is the easiest and one of the most important steps in reclaiming breasts as instruments of nourishment, rather than sexual objects. I love the empowering idea that "normal" is simply a cultural construction, and our culture is very sick in this respect. I hope that more women can feel more comfortable with breastfeeding, both in private and public. I think our entire society would be better for it. And it has to start somewhere.

  3. I agree with you completely, Katrina! Have you seen this post? I love the way it's written and how it explains something I can't put into words.


  4. I exclusively breastfed/feed my kids, and I am 100% for it. I am like Rachael, though (the top comment). I think it should be discrete. It's natural, but so is taking a shower. I know that in cultures where the women never cover up, people don't think twice about it. If that were our society, fine. But I think if we want people to think breasfeeding is good, we shouldn't gross them out exposing ourselves. It's kind of a middle ground. My SIL did not want to breasfeed (my brother begged her, and she did for 18 mo actually). But the reason she didn't want to is from people in her ward growing up nursing in church and nipples hanging out. She thought it was so gross the idea of breasfeeding made her sick. So to promote breasfeeding so more people want to do it would be to make it appealing for those who aren't used to it, not forcing things on them they don't want to see and making them think it's nasty. My 2 cents.

  5. Couldn't agree more, Katrina. Yes, we should be sensitive to the fact that breasts have been sexualized to the degree they have in Western culture. But on the other hand, I'm all for showing by example that nursing is really their primary function--not the other way around. I think there is a way to be sensitive of others' feelings and still show people that BF in public is okay. I think this is especially important to show young women. I used to work with a woman who thought that breasts were so exclusively sexual that the thought of nursing a baby totally grossed her out. That's so sad.

  6. I appreciate the thoughtful comments so far. I want to stress that I am NOT saying everyone needs to go around flashing their breasts while they breastfeed. But we should be able to breastfeed in public without feeling pressure to put a blanket over our babies. Lots of babies will not tolerate that as they get older. And if sometimes the baby pulls off and you see some nipple, that shouldn't be a huge deal.

    The fact that so many people are "grossed" out by seeing the female breast feed a baby is precisely the problem. I truly am for discretion but I also feel strongly that breastfeeding shouldn't be done only in our homes, or the bathroom, or a designated nursing room.

    If you feel more comfortable covering up and your baby doesn't mind, that is great. I love lightweight nursing covers for that reason. But as Asher got older he wouldn't stay under them anyway, so I have definitely nursed him without a cover in public too. Its not that hard to be discreet once you've practiced it.

    The more we see breastfeeding in public, the more we will all feel more comfortable with it, and the more women will breastfeed. It is so sad, how many American women do not breastfeed or stop after just a few weeks or months. There is so little support in our society for breastfeeding.

    Kelli, I love that post you mentioned. Everyone should go read it. She makes so many excellent points about modesty and breastfeeding and how messed up our view is on the subject.

  7. When we visited Niagara a few years ago, I ran into the hotel lobby and found a quiet corner where I could breastfeed Sydney with as much privacy as possible (we had to wait to check in, and she was ready to eat). Spencer found me, and said there were 2 other ladies nursing their babies in the middle of the lobby- totally uncovered. He felt really uncomfortable, and I'm sure he would have been way more uncomfortable if it had happened before we had kids. I think if women want to nurse in public, they should at least try to find a discreet place to do it. I don't want to see anyone else's boobs, hungry child or not.

  8. It's just flesh. Same as the stuff covering your arm or your face.

    And for that lady in the restaurant - her baby was only doing what everyone else was there to do - eat. So what if it didn't come served on a plate and eaten with a knife and fork???

  9. i am totally with you, katrina. i think breastfeeding is beautiful, actually, and i always appreciate seeing a woman who is not afraid to breastfeed her baby in public because i so want that to become more mainstream. that being said, when i breastfeed in public i definitely make every effort to cover up because i certainly don't want to make anyone uncomfortable, and i can understand how seeing a strangers exposed breast could make some people feel a little awkward. however, i really cannot handle it when i am totally covered, but still obviously nursing my baby, and i get looks like i should be secluded in my car or something. people, breastfeeding children is something we should WANT for all children, and we should celebrate women who are on board with that! i have been reading a book called "disease proof your children" and i cannot even begin to tell you the incredible benefits of breastfeeding until age 2 (yes, TWO!). i am actually going to write a post about it soon because i think the information is so important. anyway, i am with you here :). and i am so excited to see how breastfeeding both of your babies goes when your sweet girl arrives.

  10. Liz, I've read that book too. Its fantastic. It was around the time that I started getting into plant-based eating and reading Dr. Furhman's books, that I became even more committed to nursing well into the second year and beyond. There is no better substitute for breast milk, even for a toddler.

  11. Katrina, I'm not saying this to disagree with you at all. I think you made some good points. I nurse openly at home, and usually with a cover on when I am out. If there is a nursing room, I use it. I often find a private corner. Occasionally I find myself without a cover, and I just nurse, being discreet. And I would have no problem with people breastfeeding around me, exposed or not (to an extent). But as far as promoting breastfeeding, I think my point is a good one. Most people do not eat a vegan diet, do not shop at health food stores, do not read attachment parenting books, and could care less about what is natural. This is evidenced by diet pills, processed foods, sexual preferences, etc. The cultures where breasfeeding is an open thing have been like this forever. They are used to it. I just don't think the way to convince people that breasfeeding is good is by showing them, just because they aren't used to it, and they probably will be uncomfortable. The last thing I want people to think is that people who breastfeed are weird, granola, or whatever they want to think. I think a better way to promote it is by talking about how much you enjoy it, how your baby never seems to be sick, the health benefits, and encouraging them through the first little while. I often tell people, "I think nursing is extremely difficult the first 2 weeks, sort of difficult the first 2 months. After that it is so wonderful." I say this because I have lots of friends who are sure they cannot breastfeed. I know some people genuinely cannot. But about half the people I know say they can't. And I think it's just so hard at first they think they can't. If every woman started breasfeeding in public, there's a chance the next generation would grow up accustomed and would accept it. But that's never going to happen, so I think the occasional woman nursing will spawn awkward feelings in people.

  12. Erin, thanks for your input. :-)

    I agree that talking about breastfeeding, offering encouragement, etc are a totally necessary part of promoting nursing. And I realize that not everyone is "crunchy". But I completely disagree with the notion that we should just give up and say "oh well, people will never be ok with this so let's not make them uncomfortable". Change happens one person at a time. Your example of breastfeeding is going to touch the people you know and then they will hopefully breastfeed and encourage others also. That is how it works. Each of us influencing those around us.

    And sure I am into a lot of "crunchy" natural parenting stuff, but I honestly don't think that I come across as being radical or weird. So I think seeing someone "normal" breastfeed in public is a good thing.

    Again, I'm not saying we need to go out of our way to breastfeed in front of people or be exhibitionists. I just think that we should be ok with feeding our babies when they need it wherever we may happen to be.

  13. First, let me just say that Katrina, I would never say you're a radical. But you are RAD. :)

    Anyway, I read both articles when you posted them to Facebook and I have to say that I agree with you.

    I'm one of those girls who's very, very private, especially about my body, so when pregnant I was VERY opposed to the prospect of nursing the Boy in public. I had planned to pump and he would just take a bottle in public.

    HAHAHAHAHAH! Yeah, he didn't think that was a good idea. The child wouldn't even consider a bottle until he got so hungry that he would eat anything anyone would give him.

    So I nursed him in public. I got over it. (Favorite spot of all was at Maple View Creamery--it just seemed SO appropriate. But that's neither here nor there.) And I think that as women keep talking about it, as doctors keep talking about it, other people will get over it too. My strategy is just to be very laid back about it--because it is totally NORMAL and natural there's no reason to question it or make a big deal about it and hopefully as I talk to other women they'll hear that in my voice and be more willing to try to breastfeed.

    And for the record, my child LOATHED nursing covers and blankets from day one so I never used one to cover up. The most successful thing was to layer and use an extra t-shirt or sweater that I had been wearing...or else the Boy's favorite blanket. Those were the only things he wouldn't pull down. And I nursed him in the middle of Savannah's Forsythe park, with tons of people around and no one stared but the squirrels. It's so not a big deal...I think we all think that other people are staring at us a lot more than they actually are.

  14. I think it's sad when people compromise or vilify parts of their humanity because of arbitrary social constructs. WE ARE NOT Western culture, we simply live IN it...if that makes sense. I think it behooves us to transcend our society's norms sometimes, especially in cases like this. I think breastfeeding is incredible and that it's oppressive to the best within us to make nursing mothers feel that they are doing something shameful or disgusting that should be relegated to a corner in a bathroom.

  15. I'm always torn in these discussions. I'm a huge breastfeeding advocate. I'm also a big fan of being kind to others. Even people on this post have admitted seeing another woman's breast makes them feel uncomfortable. I think it's rude and inconsiderate to not care that people don't want to see a breast while they are eating their dinner, or shopping at Target, or whatever.

    I'm all for nursing in public, but I think people should use a cover or be discreet about it. Leaving your breast out, exposed, for long periods of time isn't fair for people who don't want to see it. Do I expect exposed nursing moms at a mommy and me yoga? Sure! Out for a nice anniversary dinner with my husband? Not so much.

  16. Wow, soo many fabulous comments! I love breastfeeding and though it has never been easy with any of my three to start, it became easy with time and we've created an incredible bond that I cherish. I found myself nursing and/or prego for about 5 1/2 years straight. It's been a few months since the explorer weaned himself and I look back at that time with them, with great feelings of love and peace. It was a large part of our life, our home, and we really learned to nurture each other. I hope that within the next year, that great phase of three more kiddos so quickly will begin again. :)

    With my first, the latching was very hard and so I didn't bother to cover...it was so easy, and when my girlfriends came to meet the builder, they thought the whole breast-feeding thing was oh, so beautiful. (none of them had been a mother yet). I was blessed to have these friends who were celebrating this time in our lives with us. Moments later, my FIL arrived from out of town. He took one glance in the living room at all of us and ran to the back room where my MIL was. :)

    I quickly learned that he and my husband's family were not ok with breastfeeding in public or even around family. The breastfeeding moms were expected to hide in a back room, a bathroom, or even the car. Actually, my SILs mostly pumped. In some ways, I think it was looked at as a "chore" so why not pump and get on with life? I tried pumping just after my third was born. I had so much milk that I gave it away to a SIL and a best friend who weren't producing enough, or couldn't (lyme disease) for their newborns. It was a blessing to help them, but I think it was harder for me to pump and I was much happier when I was simply breastfeeding my lil' one.

    So I finally reach my query to you all. If we back up to where many says it is "gross" to breastfeed in America, at least. I am curious as to WHY?

    Sure, women's bodies are all about sex, and a selfish society that wants women only for this purpose may find breastfeeding children as a way to take that away?

    I think about my grandmother who was put to sleep with each childbirth, once in labor, and when she woke had a baby in her arms. She also said that at the time the doctors told them that formula milk was actually more nutritious and therefore "better" for the baby.

    So many in this generation never breastfed. They never partook in these special moments whether during and/or after childbirth. Obviously, everyone of them probably have different feelings and emotions connected to the idea of breastfeeding. Some have told themselves that it isn't healthy, or it isn't proper or just plain inappropriate...that modern convenience has made breastfeeding...a convenience...no longer a chore....

  17. Well, my grandmother obviously must have missed out. When I was breastfeeding my first and she came to see him for the first time...we were still working it out and there she was on top of us practically, with her head right next to the baby's and my breast.

    (i luv my grommie, but truly, she has no boundaries). Clearly, she wanted to know what it was like...since she missed out.

    Ok. I know most won't react this way, but since mothers and fathers of that generation thought breastmilk was unhealthy, unsafe, and perhaps even dirty. It sent a message to their children and following generations.

    Back to pumping. So I watched my SIL pump and then she'd pass the bottles to my FIL and MIL to feed the baby. She had other things to be done: help at the school, feed the horses, and workout. Her baby the majority of his time with his grandparents. She didn't have to be there for him and he still got that good breast milk. But the opportunities to share that time together as mother and child were lost. She took the convenient road. And that worked best for her.

    We all have our own challenges. For me it was keeping up with the older siblings while breastfeeding. I have just one side that works, so it takes twice as long. I have a vivid memory of breastfeeding #3 while changing #2's dirty diaper on the bathroom counter...while #1 was pooping on the potty (still learning). Here we all were in the tiny bathroom
    doing what needed to be done. It wasn't the best time to breastfeed, but the baby wasn't done and the other's couldn't wait. Such is the life of a mother eh? :)

    It's not easy to breasfeed. It is a HUGE committment, and there are amazing rewards. I just can't help but think that some things in life are hard, but the blessings are far greater.

    Yes, we need to share these special moments with others if we want to help change stereotypes. It will take all of us, sharing our opionions and experiences a little at a time. :)

    Hugs to all you breastfeeding mommas! luv, trina

  18. I've been interested to read and follow all these comments. One question I have for everyone who is disturbed by Western sexualization of the breasts, which are biologically intended for nursing babies--do you think that women should wear shirts, period? Because it seems to me that if something is generally accepted by polite society as warranting clothing covering it, then we should make an effort to preserve modesty whenever possible, including breastfeeding. That's just my two cents--I view it more as a modesty issue than as a "gross!" kind of thing. I wouldn't routinely display my breasts in public, so why would I do it when I'm nursing? It's the exact same part of my body year in and year out, even if it is being used to feed a baby.

    Don't get me wrong, I 100% believe that women should be able to breastfeed whenever and wherever they want. I'm just saying that, for me, it's not so much an issue of ick factor as modesty. I'm curious as to whether anyone else feels this way.

    And, for the record, I am not one of those people who loves breastfeeding. So maybe I'm a little biased. I nurse my children as long as I can because I feel like it's my responsibility to get them off to a good start, but it has always been physically painful (sometimes agonizing!!) for me for the duration, so I've never really enjoyed the experience. I do, however, appreciate the one-on-one time with my little baby, especially as my household gets crazier and crazier!

  19. I think it's rude that everyone is concerned with what strangers may or may not be comfortable with and no one is giving any thought to the needs and comfort of the nursing babe or mama. Don't they deserve respect also? Should I spend half of church in the stinky mother's lounge because my daughter eats frequently? Should I not travel on an airplane because I know she'll need to nurse during takeoff? If someone wants a nursing mom to cover, the next person wants her in a corner, and the next wants her in the bathroom, and the next wants her to just stay home. There is no pleasing everyone. Heck, I met someone once that said she used to think children should NEVER be seen in public. Like, ever. There are lots of things people do in public that I find inconsiderate and that I don't want to see, but it's their right as long as they aren't literally shoving my face in it. I can look away, or walk around them. For the record, I pull down my tank top, pull up my shirt, and latch baby so that pretty much everything is covered. That works for us, but I know a mama whose baby refused to nurse with anything covering the breast (even her shirt), and I don't think her right to eat in public should be eliminated because of it. I'm also not sure where all these topless breastfeeding moms are hanging out, because I've never seen one!

    Tia- I wouldn't expect to see a nursing baby when out to a nice dinner with my husband either, but that's because I wouldn't expect to see a baby at all.

    Rachael- read the post that Kelli Nicole linked earlier, that's exactly how I feel. Also, I wouldn't normally show my thighs to the world, but I do when I go to the beach. Lots of body parts are like that, and none have as great a function as breasts. I don't think there is anything immodest about breastfeeding (and I have always been pretty self conscious about my body, and actually, probably would not show my thighs at the beach or anywhere, ever, but you get what I'm saying).

    Another thing- Have you looked into physical reasons why nursing is painful? Like tongue tie? It's genetic, and can make breastfeeding excruciating. Sometimes tongue tied babies have trouble getting enough, but not always. A simple clipping does wonders (as I learned with my baby after weeks of exclusive pumping).

  20. Amen, Brie! I totally agree.

    Again, I urge everyone to read the post that Kelli linked to. It is an excellent discussion of breastfeeding and modesty.

    Rach, I hear what you're saying but I still don't agree. Showing some breast while nursing is completely different than showing breasts for other reasons. And again, I'm not saying anyone needs to be out there exposing their entire breast for long periods of time to breastfeed. Even without a cover, the baby does cover most of you. Like, Brie, I usually pull my shirt up so that my shirt is covering the top part of my breast. Then if Asher pulls away I pull my shirt down to cover my nipple. I have also heard of babies who won't nurse with fabric around them. If I have a baby like that, I will do what I have to do to still nurse him/her. If that means showing the world the top of my very white bosoms, then so be it. :-)

    Oh and Trina, I've never understood the appeal of pumping all the time either. It seems like twice the work to me. And if you are letting someone always feed the baby the bottle, you are missing out on all the bonding.

    Thanks for all the great comments, ladies!

  21. I know many people will disagree with me, but I think I'll share my thoughts anyway because I think this is a blog where I can safely express my opinion without people getting angry and unreasonable about it.

    I am supportive of breastfeeding in public. But I don't think it's too much to ask for people to be a little modest. Covering the top of the breast with your shirt is not very difficult or inconvenient for most people. As some people have commented, some babies can't even stand that, but for most people, it shouldn't be a big deal.

    I think something that is important to recognize is that breasts are sexual. That is a beautiful thing too, but it is something that is private that should only be shared with our husbands, and I think that is why many of us are uncomfortable when we get a glimpse of a woman's breast when she's nursing her baby. Yes, at that moment the breast is not serving its sexual purpose, but the thought does come to mind for some people. During my teenage years, my mom breastfed three babies, and she started breastfeeding them during sacrament meeting. That's fine (she had been living in the mother's room for years!), but she wasn't very modest about it, and my sister and I had male friends who told us that it made them uncomfortable--these are deacons and teachers who are passing the sacrament. Yes, other people around us should try to be understanding and respect us if we want to nurse our babies in public, but like I said before, I don't think it's too much to ask for us to show a little respect in return by being a little discreet. For the record, my definition of breastfeeding immodestly is breasts hanging out for unreasonable periods of time and significant amounts of skin showing as the baby eats. I know there are circumstances where you have to show a little more, but for most people using a cover or at least covering the top of the breast with your shirt is not terribly inconvenient and it doesn't affect the baby's comfort during the feeding.

    Most places should be okay to breastfeed modestly--restaurants for sure. I don't know what the police were thinking. But I think there are a few contexts where it's not appropriate to nurse a baby. If you're sitting up on the stand in sacrament meeting, for example, that's not the place to whip out the breast. With a cover, maybe that would be okay. But maybe this paragraph goes without saying.

    I think the most important thing we can do to help people become more comfortable with public breastfeeding is teach our children that it's okay, so that we are raising a generation of people who are more comfortable with it. As for the "grown-ups," I don't think there are very many people who are going to be more comfortable with public nursing by seeing women nursing immodestly. That's only going to build the resentment. If we try to show that we respect their feelings of discomfort by doing basic things to be modest, we will make a lot more headway. Yes, it would be better if the problem didn't exist, but since it does, we need to consider that.

    I'm planning to nurse the rest of my babies more in public. Nothing is more unpleasant than nursing your baby in the mother's room with tuna-fish diapers in the trash can, especially when you're also missing Sunday school, and I'm not going to do it any more.

    (continued in next comment)

  22. And I can definitely relate to Rachael's comment about not loving breastfeeding. I wanted really badly to be the kind of mom who thinks it's amazing, but sometimes I can't stand it. Sometimes Baby K thinks the milk won't come out unless he's kicking my arm, pinching my breast with his nails, scratching any skin within reach, and yanking on my hair. And then he got teeth and decided it's fun to bite and squeeze (I think I've finally cured him of it, though). It's getting better. I've had to realize that even though I don't love it as much as I thought I was going to, I'm still a good mom and I still love my baby very much. And I can definitely relate to Rachael's comment about not loving breastfeeding. I wanted really badly to be the kind of mom who thinks it's amazing, but sometimes I can't stand it. Sometimes Baby K thinks the milk won't come out unless he's kicking my arm, pinching my breast with his nails, scratching any skin within reach, and yanking on my hair. And then he got teeth and decided it's fun to bite and squeeze (I think I've finally cured him of it, though). It's getting better. I've had to realize that even though I don't love it as much as I thought I was going to, I'm still a good mom and I still love my baby very much. We have a lot of fun together. I'm hoping I get at least one baby who likes to snuggle and eat calmly, though.

    I hope I haven't offended anyone by my comments. I don't think I have. Thanks for facilitating a constructive and contention-free conversation about this subject, Katrina. It was nice to have a place to express some things I've been thinking about without being in danger of getting into an argument or not being respected.

    --Marcelaine (from the ch2ward)

  23. I did read the article Kelli linked to, but bottom line for me is still breasts are inevitably sexual, and I don't think their public display is appropriate. I think nursing in public is appropriate. I think nursing without a cover-up is appropriate, if that's what your baby insists on. But I don't think exposure like Marcelaine described is appropriate--I totally agree with her assessment. And I also agree with the point made about how more public/exposing breastfeeding is likely to damage the cause rather than promote it--I am NEVER going to be comfortable with other women exposing their breasts around my husband and sons.

  24. sorry, did that sound too inflammatory? :-)

  25. I appreciate what Brie said about we can never please everyone. Some people are too darn picky and want what they want. Good point. I always nurse my babies on planes (and we’ve had many flights), and don’t think anything of it. I’ve never considered breastfeeding a reason to stay out of public. But I honestly don’t mind nursing rooms at church. Ours doesn’t really stink, and it gives me the chance to talk with my baby, which I wouldn’t do while sitting in Sacrament Meeting.

    We stayed with my husband's grandparents for a month, and every day at dinner, I nursed, with a nursing cover. I could tell his grandpa was uncomfortable. Sometimes he'd ask if i wanted him to step out. I told him no, and continued feeding because I thought it was silly, if nothing is showing, that I can't feed my baby in the house where I live without going in a back room. Yep, I'll never please everyone. But it's that generation, as dailydelights said. My MIL asked if I were taking a certain vacation, and I told her I was still nursing, so couldn't leave the baby (anyone have any tips on this btw. i'd love a getaway with my hubby, but don't want to stop nursing). Anyway, the baby at the time of the vacation would have been 8 mo old. She said, "Are you going to nurse that long?" She never really nursed, but I was surprised she thought 8 months was a long time. So I think even this generation has come a long way.

    One time, when leaving on the East Coast, I was nursing my baby while parked on the side of the road (just pulled over to feed). I wasn’t being too discreet because it was my car. Then I looked up and saw a teenaged boy who was stopped at the stop sign staring at me. There’s a chance he was thinking, “Wow, how beautiful. I hope I marry a woman who breastfeeds.” But I doubt he was. Who knows, though.

    One time I forgot my nursing cover, and went into the bathroom to feed. I don’t think I’ll do that again. That’s stupid I should have to sit on a toilet to feed a baby. So I guess I’ve come around to where you said initially, Katrina. I’ll feed when I need to, but not bare my breast. Thanks for the post.

  26. I'm so glad I read all of these comments, because they are shaping my viewpoint.

  27. I want to leave one last comment. I'm dating a guy who's 30 and he has a roommate that's 28. I've talked extensively about breastfeeding, including breastfeeding in public, and other "parenting" type things (birth for example) and his 28 year old roommate flat out told me that I've changed his opinion of many things, particularly breastfeeding and breastfeeding in public, and I've never even done it (since I have no children). I don't think it's too much to believe that we CAN change people's views for the better or at least help people to be more tolerant and accepting. I never talked bad about people who formula feed or use bottles in public or anything like that, I only spoke positively about breastfeeding and it has apparently done wonders. If his future wife breastfeeds I'm sure she'll appreciate his support. I occasionally talk to people in my social circle about it casually and I really think it helps the 20-something people I'm friends with be a bit more open to new ideas.