Monday, February 28, 2005

Is it a right, or indecent exposure?

A story in the local daily paper this morning dealt with breast-feeding in public, and West Virginia's proposed Child's Right to Nurse Act, the recent breast-feeding bill introduced in the state Legislature after a woman who was nursing her child at the Charleston Civic Center was asked to move to the bathroom because passers-by were offended.

Several points need to be made on this issue:

First, it's a well-known fact that breast milk provides the most complete form of nutrition for infants. We should not discourage mothers from giving their babies the most nutritional form of baby food.

Second, breast-feeding is a natural process, and is not indecent, and people should not be offended by the sight of a mother breast-feeding her baby.

Third, children do not have a “right to nurse,” and they don’t need one.

Fourth, we do not need a law to make it legal to breast-feed infants in public. In West Virginia, the Legislature has a host of truly serious problems to address, and breast-feeding isn’t one of them.

Fifth, breast-feeding is a personal matter, and should not be flaunted. Breast-feeding mothers should not be forced into restrooms or other such places, but they should exercise modesty and judgment when breast-feeding. They need to be careful, thoughtful and considerate about where, when and how they feed their baby.

Sixth, breast pumps allow mother’s milk to be collected and saved for later. Why not use one and avoid having to breast-feed the baby in public, at least sometimes?

The coordinator of the West Virginia WIC program made a pretty good point when she said, "Personally, I don't see what the problem is. People walk around every day wearing vulgarity on their clothing and watch it on television, then we take a beautiful thing like nursing and act like it's obscene. The majority of mothers who do it, do it discretely, so there shouldn't be an issue."

And, if mothers do indeed “do it discretely” people ought to shut up and leave them alone.


JL Pagano said...

Amen to every single word.

People who are offended by breast feeding in public have some pretty serious issues if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe I'm reading this!I am mought nigh eighty-three years old and I can't recall whether my mother fed me in public or not, but with my raucous voice today,I must have been a loudmouthed baby, too. I suspect that when I let loose, she had to stuff something into my mouth. I cannot fathom why people would consider breast feeding vulgar. It must be the result of the gradual degradation of Mother Nature's best feeding device for infants of all mammals into a sex symbol when it is on a human female. It is the reason we classify those animals as mammals.
Breast feeding when I was young not only furnished bonding, it along with a few square meals in subsequentyears is what caused me to eventually grow into a 245 lb, 6'3" weakling. And since when did it take a legislature or congress to tell a kid that it should eat when it is hungry? And why take it to a restroom? Would the objector want to go to an old-fashioned outhouse to eat his bologna sandwich? I grew up with one of those and still used one occasionally only six years back and I can tell you now,they aren't apt to give you much of an appetite. And today's restrooms may smell a little better, but they aren't really all that much cleaner.

Unknown said...

My motto is: Less violence, more breasts...

Vitriola said...

Can never quite believe this still comes up as an issue.

That said, I agree with the idea that some degree of discretion should be assumed if only to stop other people from feeling awkward... it's only fair...

Anonymous said...

Give me a break. If the local government has a law against public nudity then no exposed breast. If you want to breast feed in public then lobby your local government to change the law. Keep in mind that once you change the law we can all go about shirtless. Really if you want to feed your kid via breast milk get a pump and feed them via a bottle. Don't try to force me to see your tits. Give me a break!

James Shott said...

I don't consider a mother discretely feeding her baby public nudity, and I doubt any serious law officer would, either.

My daughter #2 just had a baby in April. When we visited, she often was feeding the baby in my presence. Couldn't see the breast much at all.

In order to be offended by my daughter's approach to breast feeding, you would have to be really trying to see something you don't want to see, or you'd have to be a jerk.

It can be done discretely, it should be done discretely, and as long as it is done discretely, it's nobody's business.


answer-man said...
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PantyhoseGirl said...
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