There has been lots of talk about breastfeeding in public after a woman in Target was harrassed by an employee because she was breastfeeding her baby in the store.
A nurse-in was organized for breastfeeding mother's to protest the incident. You can read about it here on CNN.
The protesters did accomplish one thing for sure. They got a lot of people talking about breastfeeding in public. I've seen quite a few articles for and against it and the comments are quite strong on both sides of the fence.
I breastfed both of my children for 15-17 months each. I never thought that I would be a breastfeeding advocate, or that I would even be able to breastfeed my children. I didn't really know many breastfeeders at all. I have many memories of bottle feeding siblings and baby dolls, but not breastfeeding. I'm so thankful that I was able to breastfeed successfully because I know so many that weren't.
My husband is not a big fan of public breastfeeding even after 2 babies and 2+ years of me breastfeeding them. It drives me crazy! Honestly, I think he just likes to debate, so he'll pick certain topics to debate with me. I think he would make a great lawyer.
I'm a very modest person and wasn't sure if I ever would breastfeed in public especially knowing my husband's view. I was so worried of someone getting upset or staring. There's also the chance a student my catch me. Yikes. I didn't breastfeed in public often, but there were times that I did. I'm so glad that I was left alone to do what I needed to do for my baby and wasn't harrassed. By that point, with a screaming hungry baby in hand, my husband just wanted the baby(ies) happy and didn't really care if I had to nurse in public. I used a nursing cover when I could, but my son absolutely hates anything on his head. As soon as he was able he would pull on it anyway.
I'll never forget when I took my daughter with me to our school's Christmas party that was at a coworkers house. She was not quite 3 months old. Everyone was in the living room area and there was an open, empty room right (or living room extension) next too it. I decided to go in there to nurse my daughter since it was away from everyone yet I could still see and hear what was going on. A friend/coworker came in and started talking to me. She thought Sissy was asleep. I didn't have a nursing cover on, but I had everything covered the best that I could. She even got really close to look at her face and asked if she was sleeping. I said, "no she's eating/nursing." It was so funny because she backed up and said she had no idea. SO...breastfeeding can be done discreetly without covering the baby under a nursing cover.
With this whole debate I feel like if a company doesn't want women to breastfeed anywhere they want in their place of busines, then they need to provide a nice clean room (NOT a bathroom) that has a comfy chair with armrest for nursing moms (ie BabiesRus). Oh how I would have loved to have a place to breastfeed in public places. It is not comfortable to try to nurse a baby while sitting on a bench or anywhere that doesn't have arm support. At least it wasn't for me. Although, I know a woman that can breastfeed her child while shopping (as in while walking, pushing a buggy, and tending to 6 other children) and no one knows.
I don't get as fired up about the whole topic as some Mom's, but the "breastfeed in the bathroom" comment is one that does hit a nerve. I'm not going to go sit on a toilet in a dirty stall and feed my baby. It's just not going to happen. I don't even like using public bathrooms at all let alone to feed my baby. My husband does agrees with me on this one.
I wish that everyone saw breastfeed the same as feeding a baby a bottle. Pumping and feeding a baby a bottle while out isn't the right solution either. Mother's that have had to pump for work or have had supply issues know this doesn't work for everyone. I hated to pump and had issues getting enough for my kids while I was at work. I definitely wouldn't use up my pumped supply to feed my baby when I have "fresh milk" ready to go.
I just don't think some people will understand unless they have a baby and they are the one breastfeeding.
I say if you don't want to see it, then don't look. I'm subjected to many things that I think are obscene every day...especially if I shop at Walmart. ;) If I don't want to see it, I don't look. Even then I just don't see how somone could see breastfeeding as obscene.
When I see a breastfeeding Mom in public, I'm not offended. I do look away to give her privacy that she deserves (no one likes to be stared at), but I secretly applaud her for sacrificing for her time/body to her baby and giving her baby the best nutrients that she can possibly can.
Oh and for the record, I don't think Target the corporation should be looked poorly on because some employees don't know their stance especially this time of year. They are probably seasonal employees anway. I bet they will be getting a training video or sessions for their employees after all this publicity. I still love Target. :)