Public Breastfeeding – Why is this an Issue?

There are a lot of parenting issues out there.  Some of these parenting issues are crucial, both to the health of the individual and the health of the majority (vaccinations).  Some of these parenting issues are a matter of prerogative.  (How ’bout using cloth diapers or babywearing?)  And some of these parenting issues are absolutely stupid.

Yes, I said it.  It is stupid.  And the number one on my “this is stupid” list is public breastfeeding.

Public Breastfeeding - Why is this a Problem? (Cloth Diaper Addicts)It’s not stupid for women to breastfeed in public.  Quite frankly, I think it’s stupid for women to not breastfeed in public.  Kid is hungry?  Please, please feed it.  Given the choice between glimpsing another woman’s boob or listening to someone else’s kid scream, I’d much rather risk viewing boob.  If I’m offended by it, I can look somewhere else.  I can’t exactly listen in the other direction if the kid is screaming.

Nevermind what’s best for baby.  People who are offended by public breastfeeding don’t care about what’s best for someone else’s child.  Instead, they are stuck in the mindset of a toddler: they expect the world to cater to their whims and wishes above the needs of others.  And quite frankly, for a grown adult to expect a parent to care more about a stranger’s sensibilities than the needs of their children is just… well, asinine.  I’m inclined to think that the people who have the issue need to be stuck in a room to listen to a recording of a screaming baby for fifteen minutes.  Just fifteen minutes of that sound may be enough to change their views on it.

Maybe I’m a little testy about the “leaving a baby to cry” concept because I’ve spent the last forty-five minutes listening to either a cranky baby cry because she just had her shots today or listening to a cranky toddler scream because I can’t tend to his whims fast enough while dealing with the cranky baby… but the last thing I want is to listen to a baby cry over something that can easily be resolved in a first world country (hunger) and should be resolved (feed the kid!).

Quite frankly, even if someone is offended, they still need to suck it up.  In 48 states, the law is on mom’s side: she can breastfeed, period.  In Canada, not only can mom breastfeed wherever and whenever, to ask her not to is considered sex discrimination and is actually flat out illegal.  Remember, I’m saying this as a mom who doesn’t breastfeed, cannot breastfeed, and will never breastfeed.

This rant is brought to you by:

Katie Couric

The Breastfeeding Professor

Jerks at Applebees in Georgia


About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. Well said!

  2. I have been through it – back with my first baby I found myself HIDING in the dressing room or my car to nurse, by my third, I was like – Fluff this – this is my baby and I will feed her, LOL!!!

  3. I don’t know why people can’t just accept that this is a normal part of life and nurturing…..every mammal does it. As long as you’re not whipping out the boob and hanging it all over for everyone to see, big deal. Keep yourself modest and don’t plop the nipple out in the open.

  4. Vicki Hall says:

    I agree breast feeding should be done where ever the baby needs fed. Its ok for people to walk around in skimpy clothes nobody gives it a second thought. Breast is best and I think women need to be praised for choosing to breast feed not discouraged.

  5. People need to stop worrying so much about what women do with their breasts. Babies need to eat, plain and simple. Breastfeeding is one way to feed a baby. People need to get over themselves.

  6. Agreed! IF the baby is hungry, or needs comfort, please feed it. Wherever you are, whenever it is! I always give a friendly smile when I see women breastfeeding and hope I will sometimes get one in return.

  7. Alaskanmompov says:

    With both my kids I would in public. I used a blanket to cover, but isn’t that why we are blessed with breast is to feed our children.

  8. JacklynnFry says:

    My second child is now 6 months old and I nursed my first until 13 months. I’m not quite sure I understand why people have such an issue with nursing in public. I do use a cover but even if I didn’t you wouldn’t see much… much less than on TV. This should just be a non issue and instead it’s a battle.

  9. Onica (MommyFactor) says:

    Its so sad that people make such an issue out of a mother taking care of her baby. Interesting to know about the laws in other countries.

  10. I really don’t understand why people have to make such a big deal about public breastfeeding. I’ve nursed in public and used a cover. I’ve also seen moms not using a cover. There are far more offensive things in public display than feeding an infant.

  11. It’s so sad that this is even an issue.

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