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Breast-feeding in public – what’s wrong with it?

August 17, 2006

I’m not a mother, and I’m fairly sure I won’t become one, at least not anytime soon (sorry Mom).  I have a fascinated, yet distant, perspective toward having babies.  They’re beautiful little miracles but maybe not for me, not yet.  It seems as though everyone around me is making the decision around children, and I know several people who are either pregnant or are new parents.  So lately I’ve been highly conscious of what it means to have a baby today in this crazy world we live in.

It would seem that people are more offended by the sight of someone breastfeeding in public than they are with seeing someone’s thong sticking up out of their jeans or other form of nakedness or outright sexuality judging the response to the cover of Baby Talk’s August issue.  It “boldly” depicts a photo of a child nursing.  The magazine has already received over 5,000 letters from “outraged” and offended readers and observers.

baby at boob What’s the big deal?

I don’t get it.  Why is this such an offensive picture?  Lisa Moran, the executive editor of the magazine, has my full support in her decision to work on breaking down the negative view around breastfeeding.

From an article on the response to the mag: “She said the Babytalk cover photo marks the first time a major parenting magazine in the United States dares to break the taboo about showing a woman’s breast and the outrage it has prompted is not about to discourage editors from doing it again.

“This hasn’t scared us off at all,” Moran said. “We’re thrilled and hopefully this will help women get more support for nursing.”

She’s clearly a great advocate for children and women – it’s just too bad that we live in a society where her point of view is considered “radical.”

It’s positively marvellous and truly amazing to me that a baby can live and sustain life in the first year through her or his mother’s breast-milk alone.  I see babies over a year old, and they’re BIG – and I have to shake my head at the notion that the baby’s mom was able to provide all that nourishment through a natural bodily function.  The notion that this very intrinsic part of sustaining human life has been relegated to the private sphere of everyday life is a travesty.  Moms should feel free to breastfeed when their child is hungry, and that’s that.


9 Comments leave one →
  1. August 17, 2006 8:47 pm

    I love that a woman’s right to breastfeed in public is the first statute listed in Chapter 109 of the ORS, the chapter defining parent-child relationships. It’s just so positive! (

  2. guffie permalink
    August 18, 2006 12:18 am

    I agree with you. People, what do you think breasts are for? Yeah, they make milk for babies. Duh! Why we have to run around screaming obscenity for a natural action like this, I will never understand.
    I wonder if it speakes to how women are more valued as sex objects than as mothers. I live in Europe and there are boobs on tv commercials, bare breasts on beaches, whatever. No one seems particularly offended, or all that interested, to be honest. I don’t know why Americans can’t settle down a little bit. Women have breasts. All Mammals have breasts. They are there for a vital reason.
    What’s next, outlawing breatfeeding? I am sure big Pharma would loooooove to get every baby in the US on formula from day one.

  3. August 23, 2006 1:44 pm

    that’s a great looking breast…that kid is lucky.

  4. Will Von Wizzlepig permalink
    September 14, 2006 3:47 pm

    People who are offended by boobies violate the first rule of public nudity: a naked woman is not offensive. A naked man, on the other hand, with his obvious protrusion and inferred intent is an implicit, you’re-going-to-get-humped, offensive, penetrative threat- to women, homophobes, and various household objects.

    It’s difficult to imagine what ideas might cause someone to feel offended over this- let’s see what we can come up with:

    1. Not sharing with everyone else

    2. Can’t see, baby in the way

    3. Childhood trauma involving loose swimsuit, class field trip

    4. Can’t help but think of ‘Baywatch’, no kleenex nearby, very difficult situation

    5. Confusing the concepts “breasts” and “IRS audit”

    I’m not really sure what the fuss is myself. Animals walk around with their genitals and asses jutting out for all the world to see, and so far not one pet-related magazine has featured a special issue on the controversy over exposed dog poopers, with a big butthole on the cover. Perhaps they should. The pet clothing industry must not have that kind of clout.

  5. tmx permalink
    January 2, 2009 4:47 am

    I would never do that to my own child – that is disgusting and wrong. How can any woman assault her own child by putting one of her private parts in his or her mouth. I am a woman and I would never do that to my child. You people are sick.

    • Lauren permalink
      August 1, 2009 7:34 pm

      I cannot believe this. Breasts were designed for one purpose, which is to feed babies. And yes, somewhere along the line breasts became sexual, however this interpretation of breasts should not justify depriving babies of the best possible nutrition source for infants!!
      I think you need to grow up and get over yourself! If it wasnt for the sexual interpretation of breasts then we would not have this problem!
      If you are uncomfortable with it, its up to you to deal with it!
      I believe i speak for the itelligent people of society when I say that it is perfectly natural. Breasts were created to produce human milk for goodness sake, why should babies be deprived of this?
      I understand that some people may be uncomfortable when it is done in public. This is because we do not see (other people’s!) breasts on a regular basis. However we should all be capable of overcoming this silly idea of breasts being ‘perved on’ or sexual! Its ridiculous, grow up!

      I know for certain that if and when i have a child, i will always put my child’s health and needs before the thoughts of childish, idiotic, ignorant and quite frankly the most ridiculous ideas of other people.

  6. Terry permalink
    February 16, 2009 4:12 am

    tmx you will let your husband suck on your tits and stick his hot dog inside you but you wont let your child suck on your breast

    boobs were created to do only one job, give milk to babies.

    you are a sick woman

    I support Lactivisim

  7. Jim permalink
    October 20, 2009 2:19 pm

    I like boobs.

  8. Vivian permalink
    December 6, 2010 3:10 pm

    I thank God that breastfeeding in public is legal in Puerto Rico! There are laws against a person who interfeers with a mom and her child.

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