Whenever a new mother tells me about a situation where she felt discriminated against for breastfeeding, I always figure that it will be the last time. After all, we are in the 21stcentury now, right? I guess I just don’t quite get it.
Let’s consider this a minute, and pardon me for stepping up onto my soapbox while we discuss.
Breastfeeding is a personal choice that is about mother and baby and nourishing and nurturing. NOT sex.
Breastfeeding in public is typically discreet. I have yet to meet a mother who completely undresses from the waist up to breastfeed at the mall.
Breastfeeding is legal. I won’t pretend to know the exact laws everywhere, but I do know that there are federal laws in the United States that support breastfeeding. In New York state (where I am) breastfeeding is accepted wherever you and your baby are. No. Matter. What.
Certain things in life may make people uncomfortable. That’s just how it is sometimes. That doesn’t mean it’s ok to approach someone and tell them that what they are doing is “wrong” or that they should hide while they are doing it. If we did that every time someone did something that made us uncomfortable, it would be chaos. Can you imagine? How about chewing with your mouth open? Or crunching too loud when you eat? Every time you see that should you approach the accused chewer and tell them that they should hide somewhere? I don’t think that would go well (although I do know people who do this, but I don’t recommend it for everyone).
Know your breastfeeding rights where you live and wherever you travel. And listen to the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast this week to hear more about how to advocate for yourself if this should ever happen.