Your opinion
Yes, breastfeeding in public
63.5% (251)
63.5% (251)
No, only done in private
19% (75)
19% (75)
I have no Opinion
17% (67)
17% (67)
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Poll: Breast feeding

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I never understood something. Why do people take offense when a woman is breast feeding in public?

That is what breast are for, it is healthier (in most cases) then formula, especially in the early months of life. The only, ONLY, thing I can think of is the sanitation argument and even that is rather weak, because the breast does not touch the table and the babies mouth (usually) does not touch the table. But the babies mouth is going too be dirty anyway so its a moot point.

I just say let women do what they believe to be best for their child and let them do it in public.

At least in the US we are weird about breasts. Somehow showing a woman's nipple is like opening the Arch of the Covenant at the end of Raiders. If we could just get over the initial "OH MY GOD, A NIPPLE OR BOOB!!!!" we could all start realizing that boobs are just boobs. While you can view them in a sexual context you can also view them in a non-sexual context. It is all situational.

I've always been for the allowance of breasts in public. I don't understand why women aren't allowed to go topless just like men are. It's not like you're whipping off your pants. Breasts are just flabby pecs (yes I know there's differences, but those are internal, not like you can see them) and if I have to look at Bob's man-boobs then my girl boobs shouldn't be that offensive. It's not a freedom I would probably take part of, simply because I'm too shy, but it should be my choice.

I'm especially offended by women not being allowed to breast feed in public. They're doing something natural and helpful to their baby. I've never heard a good arguement for why it can't be done in public.

I don't see how it's unsanitary, it's just a breast and milk, if it's THAT unsanitary then a woman wouldn't be allowed to feed by formula either.

I don't understand why people get in a tizzy if a child sees it. A breast is not going to jump out and attack them and it's not going to scar them for life.

Well, I have no idea why some people consider it wrong since it's only a natural thing to do, and it's actually why breasts exist in the first place, I mean I have no problem with it, but when it happens I do have to look on another direction, because well, nudity in general makes me uncomfortable and nervous, even if it's a shirtless guy, but that's not really a good excuse to stop anyone from doing something that quite frankly should be considered normal.

Some people are just stupid prudes. Not much else to it. Women should be allowed to go topless just like men can if they so choose.

Do it in private. Nobody else wants to see your kid suckling away. We don't care if you think breastmilk is bestmilk, they invented breast pumps for a reason.

For that matter nobody else wants to see your kid in the first place.

I don't, however, have any issue with women being allowed to go topless in public. This is fine by me. Just don't latch the little shitstorm onto one of 'em while in visual range.

Gilhelmi:
I never understood something. Why do people take offense when a woman is breast feeding in public?

That is what breast are for, it is healthier (in most cases) then formula, especially in the early months of life. The only, ONLY, thing I can think of is the sanitation argument and even that is rather weak, because the breast does not touch the table and the babies mouth (usually) does not touch the table. But the babies mouth is going too be dirty anyway so its a moot point.

I just say let women do what they believe to be best for their child and let them do it in public.

Well "breast milk is better" is true, but then you can bottle breast milk too you know. Most working women (and some others for various reasons) do it.

The issue is around propriety. If it would be unacceptable to just pull out a breast for fun, why is it acceptable to be equally open to whip it out for baby food instead of using bottled breast milk, or going to a private spot?

The reality is most women who breastfeed aren't show offs and still remain modestly covered throughout breastfeeding in public, for those, there is no real issue. But for those that choose to be more showy, well, they aren't any different than women who walk around topless for other reasons. There is a time and place for topless.

some peopel might find it off putting...in a "squick" kind of way rather than "sexual"

I would personally never do it in public (nor would I have a baby, so whatever), but I see nothing wrong with it at all.

TestECull:
Do it in private. Nobody else wants to see your kid suckling away. We don't care if you think breastmilk is bestmilk, they invented breast pumps for a reason.

For that matter nobody else wants to see your kid in the first place.

I don't, however, have any issue with women being allowed to go topless in public. This is fine by me. Just don't latch the little shitstorm onto one of 'em while in visual range.

I hate looking at pregnant stomachs, but I wouldn't expect pregnant people to stop appearing in public just because I happen to find it terrifying. 0:

Chemical Alia:

I hate looking at pregnant stomachs, but I wouldn't expect pregnant people to stop appearing in public just because I happen to find it terrifying. 0:

1: Expecting them to wear clothes isn't unreasonable though.

2: Where'd I say terrifying? Do quote it.

TestECull:

Chemical Alia:

I hate looking at pregnant stomachs, but I wouldn't expect pregnant people to stop appearing in public just because I happen to find it terrifying. 0:

1: Expecting them to wear clothes isn't unreasonable though.

2: Where'd I say terrifying? Do quote it.

1. I've never seen anyone breastfeeding totally topless.

2. You didn't, I was referring to myself.

I picked "I have no opinion", but I don't see what's so "offensive" about a woman just taking it out to feed her child. No-one's making you look at it, so don't be such a baby about it (see what I did there?).

TestECull:
Do it in private. Nobody else wants to see your kid suckling away. We don't care if you think breastmilk is bestmilk, they invented breast pumps for a reason.

When a kid's hungry, a kid's hungry. There isn't always a "decent" place to go and do it. Like, say, an airplane. Surely you wouldn't expect women to try and squeeze into that little bathroom and try to feed? Plus, you're talking about feeding...in a bathroom. A public bathroom. I wouldn't eat my lunch in a public bathroom, and so I wouldn't expect or even want a woman to feed her baby (who will be much more sensitive to germs) in one.

Also, I worked at Disney World for a while. Since it's Florida state law, women are allowed to breastfeed anywhere in the park. The only thing they are required to go and sequester themselves for is "pumping," or filling bottles with breastmilk to use to feed at a later time (which they could do at the park First Aid center). And the more I thought about that, the more it made sense. Like the airplane, there are few sanitary and private areas to go.

I'm sorry that you find it visually displeasing, but if I have to put up with fat, hairy old men strutting about topless and showing off their disgusting belly-buttons, forced to be outies due to their obesity, I think you can handle a woman breastfeeding a child.

I don't find women breastfeeding babies in public offensive at all. However, I've had the misfortune of working in a cafe where a woman came in and sat down (without ordering anything) and started breastfeeding her child who was at the very least 3 years old, but could also easily have been 5. Never seen the place empty so quickly. If they're old enough to ask for it, they're too old!

The "it's natural" argument really gets on my nerves. Pissing and shitting are natural, but people generally don't think that makes it OK.

It doesn't bother me really, but I think that it bothers some people should be enough to make people not do it in public. Since there are breast pumps and such there is no real reason why you would have to breast feed in public.

So just be a decent human being and don't needlessly make other people uncomfortable regardless of how irrational you consider their discomfort

If a baby is hungry, it's hungry. Most women who breastfeed use a blanket.
Just don't look, if it makes you so pearl-clutchy.

Honestly, nobody is forcing anyone to look.
If I tried to ban everything I didn't like from being outside there'd be nobody left outside.

Seriously, if seeing someone breastfeeding weirds you out, I gotta say that maybe you should seek some therapy to determine why that is. It's hard to get more nonthreatening and natural than that.

If a child needs to feed, then yeah in public. What are you going to do, give him McDonalds to tide him over until he gets home?

People take offense to breastfeeding in public because it requires that there be both a woman and a child in public. Not at home, specifically, in the kitchen.

Aside from that, it's just kind of squicky. Like going to the bathroom isn't generally a sexual thing (I used "generally", Internet), but still nobody wants to see you do it, and most people don't want other people to see them do it.

Really, breastfeeding is somewhere between evacuating your bowels and picking your nose when it comes to "public" settings.

It isn't that there is something "wrong" with it, it is a natural and beautiful thing, it's just that nobody wants to see you do it at the bus stop, in the mall, or at a restaurant. Like sex or pooping (again, dear Internet, in general).

Personally, I think "meh" about it, and if it is such a problem, just cover it with a blanket.

Skipper zammo:
The "it's natural" argument really gets on my nerves. Pissing and shitting are natural, but people generally don't think that makes it OK.

It doesn't bother me really, but I think that it bothers some people should be enough to make people not do it in public. Since there are breast pumps and such there is no real reason why you would have to breast feed in public.

So just be a decent human being and don't needlessly make other people uncomfortable regardless of how irrational you consider their discomfort

There's always the flip side argument of this, which is that just because you're uncomfortable with something doesn't mean others have to quit doing it. I feel like tolerating other humans beings is a skill that we're trying to convince everyone is not necessary, but it really is. As for the earlier examples of urine and feces, they both have a strong disturbing smell that agitates other humans, and for the case of feces, they have lots of germs that can easily be transmitted to other humans because presumably you'd leave the droppings on the ground, right? So others could accidentally step in them; they'd get in the way; kids crawl around...you get the idea. Same with urine, really. Urine is mostly sterile, but it still has a reek, and people don't like it. Breast milk is going to the baby and, as far as I guess, probably has no real revolting quality to it in terms of smell or whatever.

I think women should be able to go topless just like men, but then again, I think that if there were a way to make it sanitary, people should be able to go out naked. Frankly, I don't see what the deal is with humans and being ashamed or secretive about our bodies. News flash: unless you're a very special edge case, almost 50% of the human population has the same basic genitalia as you do. They may be differently sized or shaped, but really, they're about the same. They're not creepy or disgusting. They're body parts. Good grief.

tl;dr there is nothing special about boobs, so women should be able to breastfeed if they like, anywhere that it would be appropriate to bottle feed.

2 things:

1. I don't think it should be a problem. It kind of weirds me out when people derive sexual connotations from breasts when said breasts are being used to nurture a baby. If that makes you hot and bothered... well, I won't say what I think.

2. Obviously, there is a polite and respectable way to go about it. If I'm in a cramped tram or bus and some woman infront of me just whips out her tit, without so much as a "sorry about this... babies amrite? *rolls eyes*" I might take offence. Even if its acceptable, it can still be construed negatively when people just flagrantly do things without considering others.

To recap, it should be fine, but said feeders need to be considerate at the same time. Which they generally are from what I've seen.

EDIT: Before it happens, No, I'm not some creepy Breast Feeder stalker... I've been in places where it just happens in much the same way as someone scratching their head. They are at the very least, discreet about it.

Lilani:

When a kid's hungry, a kid's hungry. There isn't always a "decent" place to go and do it. Like, say, an airplane. Surely you wouldn't expect women to try and squeeze into that little bathroom and try to feed? Plus, you're talking about feeding...in a bathroom. A public bathroom. I wouldn't eat my lunch in a public bathroom, and so I wouldn't expect or even want a woman to feed her baby (who will be much more sensitive to germs) in one.

Hey, lemme show you this new invention that negates this issue.

image

See, this miracle invention lets you feed a baby pretty much anything without whipping the girls out. So what you do before taking the kid into public is you pump a bit of breastmilk out, fill a few of those with said breastmilk, and then put them in a bag alongside the fresh diapers and whatnot. When the kid starts annoying everyone in a three block radius because it's hungry you feed it from the bottle. That way you don't have to latch it onto a tit in public, yet at the same time it still gets the same nutritional benefit as if you had done so.

An additional benefit of doing this is that, if he's crazy, dad can also take the kid out on his own and still feed it! See, he doesn't have working tits, but if mom fills a few bottles in the morning with her milk he can still take care of this basic need without resorting to formula. Gosh, isn't modern technology absolutely wonderful?

I swear it's like nobody in this world can not fathom putting anything but formula in a baby bottle or something. Holy shit people. They're fancy cups with a fake nipple on 'em, you could put any liquid you wanted to in one. There's nothing stopping you from filling one with gasoline, although using that bottle to feed a baby is for obvious reasons not a good idea.

Aurora Firestorm:

Skipper zammo:
The "it's natural" argument really gets on my nerves. Pissing and shitting are natural, but people generally don't think that makes it OK.

It doesn't bother me really, but I think that it bothers some people should be enough to make people not do it in public. Since there are breast pumps and such there is no real reason why you would have to breast feed in public.

So just be a decent human being and don't needlessly make other people uncomfortable regardless of how irrational you consider their discomfort

There's always the flip side argument of this, which is that just because you're uncomfortable with something doesn't mean others have to quit doing it. I feel like tolerating other humans beings is a skill that we're trying to convince everyone is not necessary, but it really is. As for the earlier examples of urine and feces, they both have a strong disturbing smell that agitates other humans, and for the case of feces, they have lots of germs that can easily be transmitted to other humans because presumably you'd leave the droppings on the ground, right? So others could accidentally step in them; they'd get in the way; kids crawl around...you get the idea. Same with urine, really. Urine is mostly sterile, but it still has a reek, and people don't like it. Breast milk is going to the baby and, as far as I guess, probably has no real revolting quality to it in terms of smell or whatever.

I wasn't really comparing breast milk to urine and feces but rather making the point that something being natural doesn't automatically make it acceptable. But I can see how you'd think I was.

And while I agree that people need to learn to be more tolerant of others I still feel that it's just nicer over all to minimize the stuff you make others put up with. So while I wouldn't begrudge a lady breast feeding her crying baby in public, I do think it really wouldn't have been too much hassle for her to pump some milk into a bottle if she knew she was going out in public

TestECull:
-snip-

Rather than typing out an elaborate response, I'll put it this way. Some women don't want to bother storing and carrying around the bottle, and some women just want to breastfeed.

image

Not your body, not your baby, not your problem. Nasty old men get to strut around in public with their shirts off, and they have no constructive reason for doing so. They just do it for the hell of it, because they want to. And I don't go around asking them to stop doing it because I don't like it. I look away and move on with my life.

Lilani:

TestECull:
Do it in private. Nobody else wants to see your kid suckling away. We don't care if you think breastmilk is bestmilk, they invented breast pumps for a reason.

When a kid's hungry, a kid's hungry. There isn't always a "decent" place to go and do it. Like, say, an airplane. Surely you wouldn't expect women to try and squeeze into that little bathroom and try to feed? Plus, you're talking about feeding...in a bathroom. A public bathroom. I wouldn't eat my lunch in a public bathroom, and so I wouldn't expect or even want a woman to feed her baby (who will be much more sensitive to germs) in one.

Also, I worked at Disney World for a while. Since it's Florida state law, women are allowed to breastfeed anywhere in the park. The only thing they are required to go and sequester themselves for is "pumping," or filling bottles with breastmilk to use to feed at a later time (which they could do at the park First Aid center). And the more I thought about that, the more it made sense. Like the airplane, there are few sanitary and private areas to go.

I'm sorry that you find it visually displeasing, but if I have to put up with fat, hairy old men strutting about topless and showing off their disgusting belly-buttons, forced to be outies due to their obesity, I think you can handle a woman breastfeeding a child.

He did point out that there are breast pumps, so it was a little odd of you to go jumping down his throat saying how there aren't private areas to breast feed everywhere. Since mothers can easily carry breast milk in bottles to feed their infants without breastfeeding in public.

OF: That said, I'm kinda in the middle on this one. I don't particularly want to see it, and I think it would just be polite to find a spot that was, if not private, at least out of the way. That said, it's polite to hold the door for someone, I don't launch a shit-storm if someone doesn't.

There's no issue with breast feeding in public. However, if you try to do it, without covering the breast and your child you have no right to complain if some guy/girl is just looking at your bare breast. If someone complains about it still then for pete's sake, the baby is only eating.

Well, I am personally fine with women walking around topless (why the hell is this still illegal in the states?), so I see no problem with it. I find the "controversy" over it inane.

TestECull:

Lilani:

When a kid's hungry, a kid's hungry. There isn't always a "decent" place to go and do it. Like, say, an airplane. Surely you wouldn't expect women to try and squeeze into that little bathroom and try to feed? Plus, you're talking about feeding...in a bathroom. A public bathroom. I wouldn't eat my lunch in a public bathroom, and so I wouldn't expect or even want a woman to feed her baby (who will be much more sensitive to germs) in one.

Hey, lemme show you this new invention that negates this issue.

image

See, this miracle invention lets you feed a baby pretty much anything without whipping the girls out. So what you do before taking the kid into public is you pump a bit of breastmilk out, fill a few of those with said breastmilk, and then put them in a bag alongside the fresh diapers and whatnot. When the kid starts annoying everyone in a three block radius because it's hungry you feed it from the bottle. That way you don't have to latch it onto a tit in public, yet at the same time it still gets the same nutritional benefit as if you had done so.

An additional benefit of doing this is that, if he's crazy, dad can also take the kid out on his own and still feed it! See, he doesn't have working tits, but if mom fills a few bottles in the morning with her milk he can still take care of this basic need without resorting to formula. Gosh, isn't modern technology absolutely wonderful?

I swear it's like nobody in this world can not fathom putting anything but formula in a baby bottle or something. Holy shit people. They're fancy cups with a fake nipple on 'em, you could put any liquid you wanted to in one. There's nothing stopping you from filling one with gasoline, although using that bottle to feed a baby is for obvious reasons not a good idea.

You Sir make a lot of sense glad to see that brains still exist, in an age where children are not allowed to watch road runner because they might copy it these types are all over forums nowadays.

I don't have a problem with it and I don't understand why anyone would. Breasts aren't just a sexual thing, she's feeding her baby. That's what they're for

If it bothers you so much then don't look.

I think it's fine in most public settings except in say, a restaurant or diner. Seriously I'm trying to enjoy my meal, I'm glad you love your child and want to nurture him/her. But I don't want to see all that going on. This rule especially applies if your baby is screaming... LEAVE then come back when he/she is done.

Other then say that setting it honestly doesn't bother me.

Screamarie:
I don't see how it's unsanitary, it's just a breast and milk, if it's THAT unsanitary then a woman wouldn't be allowed to feed by formula either.

Just like urine and spit are just urine and spit. They won't kill you or anything, but you don't want them on your swimming pool or on your restaurant floor.

I didn't even want to take part in this argument, but come on. Milk not being that unsanitary is a very fair point but hair isn't that unsanitary either, and we flip if we see a bunch of them floating on our soup.

ElPatron:

Screamarie:
I don't see how it's unsanitary, it's just a breast and milk, if it's THAT unsanitary then a woman wouldn't be allowed to feed by formula either.

Just like urine and spit are just urine and spit. They won't kill you or anything, but you don't want them on your swimming pool or on your restaurant floor.

I didn't even want to take part in this argument, but come on. Milk not being that unsanitary is a very fair point but hair isn't that unsanitary either, and we flip if we see a bunch of them floating on our soup.

Yes, but hair is dead cells growing out of your head, milk is...milk. Just like the stuff you put in your coffee or cereal. And she's not squirting it around the room, the baby is suckling it.

not a problem at all.
just apply some common sense when doing it, i am OK with you loving your kid and the fact that you have bodily functions but if you insist on feeding your kid in a restaurant try to cover it up or fill a bottle in advance or something. it's the same issue i have with people making out or smoking where other people eat.

I never had a problem with this. Sure it makes me slightly uncomfortable but that it. It's not like it's hard to look the other way or just ignore it.

Hazy992:

If it bothers you so much then don't look.

Also this. You don't have to look at the mother breastfeeding her baby, It's not like they force you watch them do it.

I'd say bottles are better for in public. I recently went out to dinner with my sister, brother-in-law, and my new nephew. My sister started breastfeeding while we were waiting for our food, and it was a bit awkward for me.

Yeah, when the baby's hungry you feed it, but the bottle just makes it a bit less awkward for everyone else. Of course, when there isn't a bottle readily available, the obvious choice is just breastfeeding.

In short, public breastfeeding is okay, but bottle feeding is preferable.

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