Babies: 6 - 9 Months

Poll about nursing in public

In general, nursing in public doesn't bother me.  BUT one time it did bother me.  I was at Costco with DH shopping, and I got a coke at the eatery at the front of the store and was waiting on him.  I sat at one of the tables, and was facing another table with a husband, wife, their toddler, and an infant.  Wife was facing me.  Wife starts to breastfeed.  No biggie.  BUT, apparently the baby wasn't latching on.  So mom is squeezing her boob around, rubbing the nipple on the baby's mouth.  Baby would eat for a minute and stop, leaving a giant bare boob with a huge nipple pointing right at me.  Then mom would proceed again with rubbing the nipple over baby's mouth to get him to latch, etc.  There was more bare boob exposure than baby actually eating.

I couldn't help but stare.  It reminded me of the scene in Sex and the City where Miranda is in her apartment and breastfeeding in front of Carrie.  She is completely exposed with swollen breasts and huge nipples, and well, that was just sort of shocking to see in public.

I also might not have felt a little judgy about mom needing to cover up a little bit or try to nurse elsewhere if the mom had seemed frustrated by the process.  She wasn't.  She was eating her fries, talking to her toddler and husband, all with her exposed boob hanging out.  Had it been a situation where she was really frustrated about baby having trouble latching or something I probably would have had some sympathy.

Since were were just in Costco and it was just me, it was more of a situation where I was kind of surprised, but it didn't make me uncomfortable.  But I do have to admit that if I had been in a sit down restaurant, and especially if I had been with my dad or had a middle school or teenage boy with me, it would have made me uncomfortable.

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Re: Poll about nursing in public

  • I voted for #1 (cover up a little when the baby isn't feeding).  I really could have done without seeing her giant nipple staring right at me for long periods of time.
  • There isn't a choice for:  "She should have kept feeding her baby as she was"...which is what I pick.  You should have looked away, etc if YOU were uncomfortable, IMO.
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  • For me personally, I don't like having my whole bare breast exposed in public.  I usually have a blanket or whatever nearby to cover up my nip when DS isn't actively eating.  Or I just feed him when he's more interested.
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  • I mean, it would be nice if she at least tried not to have boobies hanging out all over the place...but there are far worse things in the world.
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  • image .KRM.:
    There isn't a choice for:  "She should have kept feeding her baby as she was"...which is what I pick.  You should have looked away, etc if YOU were uncomfortable, IMO.

    Whoops - I meant to put an option like this.  Can polls be amended?

  • I cover up or take C to another area when he needs to eat in public.  If he would just eat, I wouldn't worry about it, but he's very easily distracted and pulls off to look around and see what's happening.  I don't care if people see me BFing in public, but I don't want my nips hanging out when C is being curious and not eating.  So I voted for the first option also.
  • You didn't even put an option that it wouldn't bother me in the least. I personally am still timid about exposing all of myself but that's MY hang up. Honestly it's reading and hearing stuff like this that makes it worse. Why should that mother have to hide herself? So what if a man or teenage boy is present that's what boobs are MADE for! Trust me they can see just as much on tv or in the grocery store checkout line with magazines. If the mom was comfortable then that's her poragitive. I wish I could be more brave like her because it would make my life easier.
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  • image LuvMyBostons:
    For me personally, I don't like having my whole bare breast exposed in public.  I usually have a blanket or whatever nearby to cover up my nip when DS isn't actively eating.  Or I just feed him when he's more interested.

    This! I either bring a bottle, nurse in a mother's room in a department store or go to the car. I'm just not comfortable exposing myself in public even if I am feeding my child.

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  • Hm. NIP really doesn't bother me...most mothers do it rather discreetly. I have never come across a situation like the one you are describing where the mother is pretty exposed (it sounds like the baby really wasn't hungry in which case I would have covered up and tried again later). So I guess I think she should have covered up and moved somewhere her little one would have been less distracted.
    image

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  • I find it funny that because a person is not comfortable with having themselves exposed they expect other people to try to hide or cover themselves. Why? If it doesn't bother them why should it bother you? Those laws are in place for a reason to make the BF mother comfortable.ETA- me wanting to not be exposed is MY hangup so I don't understand the need for someone else to cover up if they are comfortable.
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  • image anabell0920:
    I find it funny that because a person is not comfortable with having themselves exposed they expect other people to try to hide or cover themselves. Why? If it doesn't bother them why should it bother you? Those laws are in place for a reason to make the BF mother comfortable.ETA- me wanting to not be exposed is MY hangup so I don't understand the need for someone else to cover up if they are comfortable.

     

    I actually didn't reveal what I voted, just explained what I would do in that situation.  But if a mother doesn't mind exposing herself like that, more power to her.  If I was there, I probably would have just looked away, the end.

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  • The only time i would nurse without something covering me and baby would be if i were in our car, usually in the back seat! eek. I would of turned around or went somewhere else if i were you!
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  • image anabell0920:
    I find it funny that because a person is not comfortable with having themselves exposed they expect other people to try to hide or cover themselves. Why? If it doesn't bother them why should it bother you? Those laws are in place for a reason to make the BF mother comfortable.ETA- me wanting to not be exposed is MY hangup so I don't understand the need for someone else to cover up if they are comfortable.

    I nursed my DD up until about a month ago, and this included at my brother's wedding reception, in the same room. When your child is hungry, you feed them, we all know that. I had a hangup like you, and never had myself all hanging out, I always used a cover when NIP.

    I think the problem people have with NIP is that the boob is no longer thought of as a means to feed our children. They have been turned into such sexualized objects, and it's "taboo" to have them exposed in public. I believe it makes people uncomfortable to see a woman NIP because to most people (my opinion), boobies = sex.

    If a woman feels comfortable to NIP in public without a cover, all the power to her, I think it's great that she's that comfortable. It's the rest of society with the sexual hangups.

     

  • image LuvMyBostons:

    image anabell0920:
    I find it funny that because a person is not comfortable with having themselves exposed they expect other people to try to hide or cover themselves. Why? If it doesn't bother them why should it bother you? Those laws are in place for a reason to make the BF mother comfortable.ETA- me wanting to not be exposed is MY hangup so I don't understand the need for someone else to cover up if they are comfortable.

     

    I actually didn't reveal what I voted, just explained what I would do in that situation.  But if a mother doesn't mind exposing herself like that, more power to her.  If I was there, I probably would have just looked away, the end.

    I know you didn't but others did state what they do and that the mother should have done some covering up as well or leaving. I guess it just makes me sad to think so many other women are judgmental on this especially BF moms. Look at the poll and how many people voted they are uncomfortable with NIP period.
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  • image anabell0920:
    I find it funny that because a person is not comfortable with having themselves exposed they expect other people to try to hide or cover themselves. Why? If it doesn't bother them why should it bother you? Those laws are in place for a reason to make the BF mother comfortable.ETA- me wanting to not be exposed is MY hangup so I don't understand the need for someone else to cover up if they are comfortable.

    I agree completely.  

    In this situation, I would have just looked away.  OP, why didn't you just turn your head, sit somewhere else not facing her, etc.  I think it was pretty rude for you to sit there and stare at her, actually.

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  • I wouldn't have been bothered in the least, and I wouldn't expect any nursing mother who is comfortable doing so to cover up at all. DD will not tolerate having her head covered when nursing anymore. So if she is pulling off alot I just kinda pull my shirt down and back up or whatever, if I even think of it. She was just trying to get her baby to latch on... that's part of BFing. If it makes you uncomfortable, look away. Honestly... if you REALLY can't pry your eyes away from a boob, buy a magazine.
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  • I voted that she should have used a cover up, or gone somewhere else if the baby was fighting it that bad. That's what I do, and I do it for consideration for others, not for me.

     I couldn't care less if Joe Schmoe sees my boob, but I do care about being considerate and open-minded enough to know that not everyone is cool with seeing me exposed. Just because you don't think a naked boob is a big deal, doesn't mean you should force that on other people.

    It's not about rights, IMO. Of course she has a right to NIP.  It's about being considerate to those around you. She should have used some consideration and discretion.

    Signed, mom who NIP all the time.  

     

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  • image KRISTA555:

    I voted that she should have used a cover up, or gone somewhere else if the baby was fighting it that bad. That's what I do, and I do it for consideration for others, not for me.

     I couldn't care less if Joe Schmoe sees my boob, but I do care about being considerate and open-minded enough to know that not everyone is cool with seeing me exposed. Just because you don't think a naked boob is a big deal, doesn't mean you should force that on other people.

    It's not about rights, IMO. Of course she has a right to NIP.  It's about being considerate to those around you. She should have used some consideration and discretion.

    Signed, mom who NIP all the time.  

     

    How exactly are people going to get used to and comfortable with NIP sans cover if they never see it? If someone is that uncomfortable they have every right to get up and leave. The person trying to feed their kid shouldn't be the one making sure an inch of skin isn't exposed or where is the nearest dirty bathroom.
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  • image anabell0920:
    image KRISTA555:

    I voted that she should have used a cover up, or gone somewhere else if the baby was fighting it that bad. That's what I do, and I do it for consideration for others, not for me.

     I couldn't care less if Joe Schmoe sees my boob, but I do care about being considerate and open-minded enough to know that not everyone is cool with seeing me exposed. Just because you don't think a naked boob is a big deal, doesn't mean you should force that on other people.

    It's not about rights, IMO. Of course she has a right to NIP.  It's about being considerate to those around you. She should have used some consideration and discretion.

    Signed, mom who NIP all the time.  

     

    How exactly are people going to get used to and comfortable with NIP sans cover if they never see it? If someone is that uncomfortable they have every right to get up and leave. The person trying to feed their kid shouldn't be the one making sure an inch of skin isn't exposed or where is the nearest dirty bathroom.

    But the OP isn't talking about an inch of skin. She's talking about a big giant nipple staring her in the face every few seconds when the baby pulls off. 

    I think uncovered NIP can be very discreet and considerate. Most people don't even notice what's going on. But, the OP said the baby was fighting the breast and the mom was being anything but discreet about it. That's what I take issue with.   If the baby was fighting it that hard, the considerate thing to do would've been to cover-up, stop feeding, or at least face the wall.  I would never recommend a mom go to the bathroom to feed her baby. There are many things you can do to be discreet that don't involve going into the bathroom.

    ETA: Just as with anything, I think there is a right way and a wrong way to NIP uncovered.  I believe, if the OP's story is true, that the lady in question was being inconsiderate of those around her.  

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  • image KRISTA555:
    image anabell0920:
    image KRISTA555:

    I voted that she should have used a cover up, or gone somewhere else if the baby was fighting it that bad. That's what I do, and I do it for consideration for others, not for me.

     I couldn't care less if Joe Schmoe sees my boob, but I do care about being considerate and open-minded enough to know that not everyone is cool with seeing me exposed. Just because you don't think a naked boob is a big deal, doesn't mean you should force that on other people.

    It's not about rights, IMO. Of course she has a right to NIP.  It's about being considerate to those around you. She should have used some consideration and discretion.

    Signed, mom who NIP all the time.  

     

    How exactly are people going to get used to and comfortable with NIP sans cover if they never see it? If someone is that uncomfortable they have every right to get up and leave. The person trying to feed their kid shouldn't be the one making sure an inch of skin isn't exposed or where is the nearest dirty bathroom.

    But the OP isn't talking about an inch of skin. She's talking about a big giant nipple staring her in the face every few seconds when the baby pulls off. 

    I think uncovered NIP can be very discreet and considerate. Most people don't even notice what's going on. But, the OP said the baby was fighting the breast and the mom was being anything but discreet about it. That's what I take issue with.   If the baby was fighting it that hard, the considerate thing to do would've been to cover-up, stop feeding, or at least face the wall.  I would never recommend a mom go to the bathroom to feed her baby. There are many things you can do to be discreet that don't involve going into the bathroom.

    But WHY should the nursing mom have to move/coverup/whatever if SHE isn't uncomfortable?  The person who is UNCOMFORTABLE in the situation should leave/move/look away.  The CONSIDERATE thing to do is for the person who is uncomfortable to STOP STARING.     

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  • I nurse anywhere and everwhere (espcially if Harrison is hungry). Even if he is hungry, there are times that he is very distractable and will latch/unlatch, latch/unlatch until he gives up and just stays latched. I can't always "go somewhere more discreet", especially if Preston is with me. That being said, I almost never use a cover up (Harrison just pulls it off), but I do layer, so that I'm covered on the bottom of my boob and on the top. I don't have humungous boobs anyway, so it's easier for me to just bend over enough that no one sees.
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  • So wait is it just the nipple that is offensive or what about the areola? Cause I gotta admit I got some big ones or what about my skin leading up to both? I just wanna be sure what's " considerate". Or should I just not NIP at all because to some that is the most considerate thing to do. Don't you see why this isn't a out making OTHERS comfortable. If it was I am sure there would be no NIP ever.
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  • I agree with anabelle.  People will never get used to NIP unless situations like this happen.  I don't think women should be discrete in public.  I think they should let it all hang out.  Why?  Because big old swollen boobies and huge nipples are a part of nursing.  Nursing isn't sexual, therefore bare breast including bare nipple while trying to get your baby to nurse, needs to be shown more in my opinion.

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  • image anabell0920:
    So wait is it just the nipple that is offensive or what about the areola? Cause I gotta admit I got some big ones or what about my skin leading up to both? I just wanna be sure what's " considerate". Or should I just not NIP at all because to some that is the most considerate thing to do. Don't you see why this isn't a out making OTHERS comfortable. If it was I am sure there would be no NIP ever.

    Well, the line has to be drawn somewhere.  My comfort level is to not see entire bare breasts exposed for extended lengths of time.  When you are in public, what is acceptable is about EVERYONE's comfort and what is most reasonable for everyone.  Yes, it partially is (or should be) about the comfort of everyone else.  It's just about being polite.  Hell, I'M perfectly comfortable naked, but I don't show up to a family beach stark naked and think everyone else should get over it.  There are plenty of other things I refrain from doing in public, and it's completely out of consideration of other's comfort.  I don't expect a woman to cover up a baby's head or worry about someone getting a glimpse of a nipple.  At the same time, I shouldn't have to get up and move because the level of exposure is extreme. 

    Clearly, we disagree about where the line should be drawn.  So, where do you think it should be drawn?  If a mother is breastfeeding her child nearly every hour, should it be okay for her to simply not wear a shirt or bra in public at all if she's comfortable with it and she considers this the most convenient way to breastfeed?  If you think this is too extreme, then how much boob exposure is acceptable and how much is not? 

  • The law states that a women is allowed to nurse in any place that people go to publically...restaurants included!  It would be discriminatory to ask her to cover up.  The way I see it, you are in the wrong if you ask a women attempting to feed her child to cover up.  That's the LAW.  It's there for a reason.

    This might make some people roll their eyes, but not all that long ago, eating in the same restaurant with an African-American made some people uncomfortable.  So...was it right to make them leave?  Nope.

    A women feeding her child is doing nothing wrong.  If you can bottle feed your baby in public, then I can NIP.  If you don't like it, you should take a look at why it makes you uncomfortable.  After all, I'm just doing the best thing for my baby. 

  • image miaomi:

    The law states that a women is allowed to nurse in any place that people go to publically...restaurants included!  It would be discriminatory to ask her to cover up.  The way I see it, you are in the wrong if you ask a women attempting to feed her child to cover up.  That's the LAW.  It's there for a reason.

    This might make some people roll their eyes, but not all that long ago, eating in the same restaurant with an African-American made some people uncomfortable.  So...was it right to make them leave?  Nope.

    A women feeding her child is doing nothing wrong.  If you can bottle feed your baby in public, then I can NIP.  If you don't like it, you should take a look at why it makes you uncomfortable.  After all, I'm just doing the best thing for my baby. 

    Well said.
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  • image miaomi:

    The law states that a women is allowed to nurse in any place that people go to publically...restaurants included!  It would be discriminatory to ask her to cover up.  The way I see it, you are in the wrong if you ask a women attempting to feed her child to cover up.  That's the LAW.  It's there for a reason.

    I'm not talking about not allowing a woman to nurse in public.  I think a woman should be allowed to nurse in any place that a woman can give her child a bottle. 

    I'm also not talking about the law.  I'm talking about etiquette.  Just because something is legal doesn't make it polite.  Yes, breastfeeding is what is best for your baby.  However, letting a boob hang out when your child isn't even eating isn't necessary to breastfeed.

  • image Go_Dawgs:
    image miaomi:

    The law states that a women is allowed to nurse in any place that people go to publically...restaurants included!  It would be discriminatory to ask her to cover up.  The way I see it, you are in the wrong if you ask a women attempting to feed her child to cover up.  That's the LAW.  It's there for a reason.

    I'm not talking about not allowing a woman to nurse in public.  I think a woman should be allowed to nurse in any place that a woman can give her child a bottle. 

    I'm also not talking about the law.  I'm talking about etiquette.  Just because something is legal doesn't make it polite. 

    You're right a women showing her nipple so she can feed her child is just plain rude! Oh and your comparison about being naked isn't the same thing. You walking around naked isn't for any reason. I just find it funny and sorta sad that you expect other people to live their life so that YOU can be comfortable. Just as easily as she could cover up you can get up and walk away. Luckily the law is on the mom with her big swollen boobs and nipples even if she wants to flash them.
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  • I am not personally very comfortable NIP because I tend to be very exposed. In this situation I would cover myself  up.  That said, I don't think the way I personally feel about NIP should have any bearing on whether other people do it, and how they go about doing it.

    If someone is uncomfortable, they can stop looking. I guess I'd liken the legal vs. polite argument to any other right - for example, you have the right to free speech and you can say whatever in public.  If you are saying something that is offensive to me, I'll leave.  Yeah, I may not think you should be saying it and I wouldn't personally say it, but I'll defend your right to do it. 

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  • Let me preface this with "I have no issue with NIP."

    I've got a few questions, however:

    It is perfectly legal to be affectionate with another person in public.  Are you comfortable with an all out makeout session in public?   

    What about a beach where someone undoes their top to avoid lines on their back and you're exposed to the majority of their boob?

    I understand that these examples have nothing to do with a primal mean of feeding a child, but they both do entail having a right to do or not do something.

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