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American Moms Freak Over Breastsucking Infants

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In this country, we want our breasts to be large, full, and barely covered by skin-tight Hooters' t-shirts. What we DON'T want, apparently, is to see pictures of babies doing what babies have done since the dawning of mankind: nursing at the nipple of their mother. The outrage over a cover shot on BabyTalk magazine for an article on breastfeeding is hysterically ironic.

For the affront, the magazine received anguished comments such as:Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

"I was SHOCKED to see a giant breast on the cover of your magazine."

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"I immediately turned the magazine face down."

And, of course, the obvious, "Gross."

A society obsessed with erectile dysfunction, desperate housewives, coin slots, and camel toes can't seem to handle the basic function of the human milk delivery system. While no one is advocating breasts flopping in the breeze and milk squirting willy-nilly a la A Clockwork Orange's Korova Milkbar, this whole shock and awe over nursing infants is beyond ridiculous. What's most appalling about this overreaction is that those who are expressing the most outrage are primarily women and mothers themselves.

Excuse me while I roll my eyes completely in the back of my skull and dislodge them from their retinal nerve endings.

Only in the United States is it Milkbarconsidered a "sexual" thing to see a breast performing as it was designed to perform. Babies don't consider it sexual, and any mentally stable lactating mother certainly doesn't find it sexual. Who finds it sexual? The prudish, sexually repressed mentally ill, that's who. There are even mothers who breastfeed who find public nursing "uncomfortable." This really is, perhaps, the most disturbing notion of all. If anyone should understand the fundamental nature of breastfeeding and its health function, it should be those who actually engage in it.

 As with many bad things in our society, I blame the religious fundamentalists. And Mel Gibson.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingSadly, the downside of this self-inflicted concern over modesty merely makes women who might otherwise want to do the healthiest thing in the world for their newborn that much more reluctant to do so. Just as the American Academy of Pediatrics is in the process of pro-actively promoting breastfeeding as the healthiest choice for infants under one year (though many experts suggest the benefits continue well past the first year), we are still saddled with the subconscious baggage of our forefathers.

The statistics of breastfeeding are overwhelmingly in its favor, as for example, these from the FDA website on breastfeeding:

"Human milk contains just the right amount of fatty acids, lactose, water, and amino acids for human digestion, brain development, and growth.

"Breast-fed babies have fewer illnesses because human milk transfers to the infant a mother's antibodies to disease.

"Breast-fed babies are protected, in varying degrees, from a number of illnesses, including pneumonia, botulism, bronchitis, staphylococcal infections, influenza, ear infections, and German measles.

"Mothers produce antibodies to whatever disease is present in their environment, making their milk custom-designed to fight the diseases their babies are exposed to as well. "

Breastfeeding can also likely help prevent obesity, certain cancers, and facilitate mother/child bonding.

Interestingly, and perhaps perversely, these days, the educated and relatively well-off breastfeed at a much higher rate than those who are not. College-educated mothers breastfed at a rate of 52%, compared to 28% for those with high school degrees. Only 30% of women below the poverty line breastfeed, compared to 46% above the poverty line – and this despite the fact that infant formula is costly ($1200 to $2300 per year).

Breastfeeding, of course, is FREE.

How does the U.S. 70% breastfeeding-at-birth rate stack up against its developed peers? Scandinavia, maybe the happiest and healthiest people in the world, hover at 98% collectively as newborn breast feeders; the UK goes 69%, Germany 86%, Italy 85%, Australia 87%, and trailing the list is France at 50%. Those statistics speak volumes: the French are half-assed.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Celebrities and their babies have tried to make breastfeeding chic – one would think it would rub off on the regular folk. I mean, all the cool kids are doing it. 

Only Britney Spears seems too dumb to figure out how to do the right thing for her children. Need more be said?

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About Dawn Olsen

  • http://www.ladydragonfyre.com Lady Dragonfyre

    lol awesome! I reacted with disgust when I heard about the Babytalk breast scandal as well. Apparently, it’s ok to have revealing pictures of women showing off their cleavage (among other parts) on the covers of men’s magazines, but God FORBID we see a breast in a magazine that’s not used strictly for the sexual pleasure of men (and some women!). But, to be fair, the mag’s intended audience probably plays a strong role, too. I just can’t comment on that because I’ve never read the magazine.

  • http://www.lorimortimer.com/blog lori

    Great rant, Dawn, especially in pointing out the absurd double-standard for breast “exposure.”

  • http://www.djradiohead.com DJRadiohead

    Well said, Dawn, and I mostly agree with you. It is funny that the only time anyone gets upset with a breast being bared is when it’s on the halftime show or when it is attached to a baby.

    That said, I guess I will risk the scorn of millions because I am one of those repressive, evil, backwards cavemen who would prefer to not see them plopped out at a restaurant or at the mall when I go to buy a CD.

  • http://www.lorimortimer.com/blog lori

    Turn your head, DJ, turn your head.

  • http://www.djradiohead.com DJRadiohead

    That seems akin to telling people not to rubberneck at accidents along the highway thus bottling up traffic. I get what you’re saying, Lori. Maybe I’m all the wrong in the world about this but I don’t feel comfortable on those rare occasions when I am out in public and *BAM!* I can’t unsee it. Sure, I look away and no long-term psychological damage has been done (well, I am pretty sure that’s not what did it). I am just not comfortable with it. One cavedude’s opinion.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    dj…just imagine her in her underwe…

    shit, wrong topic.

  • http://www.lorimortimer.com/blog lori

    You’re not such a cavedude, DJ, because you’re not saying women shouldn’t do it or that there should be laws against it. You’re just saying it makes you uncomfortable and would rather not see it.

    Like the everyone else, you probably wish you didn’t see lots of other things in public, too. 8-)

    But a baby’s gotta eat. And if nothing else, it helps keep the little one quiet.

  • Dawn

    I have no issue with people feeling uncomfortable seeing someone else’s breast. Any self-respecting mother will be discreet and modest. My issue is that people take it much further and act like breastfeeding is a dirty thing, and you know, it’s really quite natural.

    I would much rather see an inadvertent nipple glimpse of a breastfeeding mom, than a full on ballsack shot at the pool. Because honestly, that’s an image NO ONE should be forced to see, except of course those who are official “ballhandlers”.

  • JadePhilosopher

    Don’t forget – defecating, urinating, and procreating are all natural, normal, and necessary, too!

  • Martin Lav

    I say the more breasts the better. In fact there’s no more beautiful sight than of a breast doing what it was intended to do….. :-)
    The issue here is that breasts have been taken out of context by both men and woman. It’s too unnerving for most of society to see them used as intended, while we see them “diplayed” so proudly most of the time. Hell as the article points out most of the complaints are from women, but then again, women are the ones that get the breast implants when it is well known that most men aren’t that interested.
    DJR: me thinks you have mommie issues….
    Dawn: stay out of the pool!

  • Angie

    There is no nipple showing on that babytalk magazine cover, so I don’t see what the fuss about. This magazine is geared towards mothers anyway and that’s what breasts are intended for. The photo was taken in good taste and looks perfectly fine. The problem is that our society bombards us with images of breasts strictly as sexual objects of desire which some people obviously can’t shake from their minds. If it bothers you look or walk away, not that hard to do people.

  • duane

    I always bust out laughing when I hear about these jug heads who find public breastfeeding to be offensive. Why can’t these breastfeeding knockers simply acknowledge a basic mammalian function? When we will be able to say “ta ta” to these archaic notions and live within the headlights of reason? I think these boobs need to be smacked upside their melon heads, or maybe they should be put on a rack. I wish they would just can it.

  • jennie

    As a nursing mother myself, I choose to breastfeed in public when my son needs to eat. However, I am also one of those that don’t want to see it. I cover my son and myself with a blanket or a sarong of some type. If women do not have access to something like this they can still be discreet enough with their shirt. I appreciated the article in BabyTalk and I was shocked that a large amount of the population thinks that breastfeeding in public should be illegal. Those people should be driven to the desert and deprived of food and water until they are in the “privacy of their own homes”!

  • Dawn

    Excellent point Jennie – I too am a breastfeeding mom and I breastfed/feed both of my kids well into their second year, but I also used good sense and didn’t display them to the world. It wasn’t so much out of courtesy to others as it was my own sense of decorum and taste. Really, you can do the right thing without being a total boob.

    That last one was for you duane. PS – you need help :)

  • granny

    Jade Philosopher wrote “Don’t forget – defecating, urinating, and procreating are all natural, normal, and necessary, too!”

    True. Eating, however, is also natural. How would you react to somebody demanding that YOU eat in the bathroom? How would you react to somebody demanding that YOU cover up your head whilst eating?

    Ridiculous, isn’t it? Yet that is what mothers are told to do!

    There is a simple solution. If you do not want to see a baby eat, then look away.

  • Linda Sellars

    Yep…I agree…feed ‘em in public, just cover it up. No big deal….

  • http://www.dabydeen.com/ Andy Dabydeen

    The crazy people are taking over!

  • Jen

    You discuss in your article that low income women are less likely to breastfeed despite the fact that its free. There’s a simple reason for this. Women with higher incomes are more able to afford to take time off work after the baby, and are more likely to have jobs that offer flexible schedules. Low income women don’t have these opportunities. Implementing a paid maternity leave program would give low income women the opportunity to breastfeed, allowing their babies to receive the health benefits.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Could be worse. Imagine if milk was made from the male reproductive organs.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Matt…… No I better not.

  • shana

    I think bfeeding hangups are a byproduct of the fact that it disappeared from our culture around the 50’s. Once you do it, or are around it in an everyday setting, you get used to it, you don’t feel like you can’t ‘not’ see it. When I was pregnant I had to watch a LLL tape of a breastfeeding mother, and I did think it was kinda gross. But I went on to nurse my daughter until she was 3, and loved it. I nursed in public all the time and no one EVER gave me a hard time. God I was ready, but no one ever did. Most people smiled. It’s a pretty sacred thing to see if you just calm down and stop thinking it’s something you’re not supposed to see. I didn’t mind being watched. I was discreet but proud. It’s important for women to nurse publicly so more people get used to seeing it instead of remaining woefully ignorant (of which I was once guilty).

  • Roy Potter

    Apparently, watching the mayhem and murder of humans is more appropriate to the fragile and misguided religiosity and morality of westerners than the life-giving and beautiful act of naturally nursing a child. As Isaiah said, “the world will go away backwards.”

  • Chas Warren

    Those who are offended by breastfeeding are probably those who undress in the dark, who have never seen their spouse naked, and who are disgusted at themselves for masturbating.

  • http://david.shackelford.org Dave

    I thought it was hilarious that you associate breastfeeding hangups with Mel Gibson (how many kids does he have?) and fundamentalism. The people I know with hangups are only nominally religious and came from more uptight (culturally, not religiously) families. And the exceptions to that group of anti BFers tend to care more about breast/body shape than they do about infant health.

    I haven’t seen prudishness play any role whatsoever. In fact, the communities you generalize about tend to have a lot of children and tend to be extremely PRO breastfeeding. Anti-BF tends to be more about narcissism these days.

  • Wes S.

    Please. The real scandal here is the way that a tiny magazine has successfully drummed up a staggering amount of free publicity and money by putting a woman’s tit on the cover.

    This topic has, as has been suggested, damn little to do with natural biological functions and it’s useless to pretend it does.

    Let’s all agree we should crap, pee, masturbate, fuck, eat, breathe, sleep and breastfeed in public or else stop talking about nature and biology as if that was somehow a justifcatio of public displays and the public’s reaction to them.

  • http://crzyfolk.com shiek neilbinladen

    cut of they heads immoral westerners.we let our babys suck goats milk from the source while our women work growing poppies.hak tooie death to photographer who took photo of naked breast immoral infidel stone women whofeed babies naturally in public .this is detrimental for moral muslim men as we cannot stop staring at your big floppy american type breasts hak tooie

  • http://homeschoolphilippines.blogspot.com trinainmanila

    Strange, indeed. What’s so sexual about breastfeeding?! To tell the truth, it hurts like hell, it makes your nipples raw (as in blood-oozing kind of raw), and it causes your breasts to sag. Not exactly sexy now, is it? I never realized that breastfeeding in public holds that much stigma in American society, though. In the Philippines, a lot of women would kill for the chance to breastfeed their babies, in public or anywhere else. But laws dictate that they have to go back to work 60 days after giving birth, and without lactating mother-friendly facilities in the workplace, their breasts soon dry up. More than half their salaries then go towards infant milk formula. Ironic, isn’t it.

  • http://www.i-q.com Haakon Rian Ueland

    You gotta be kidding. In my country, Norway, women breastfeed in restaurants, the streets, on beaches, in coffeshops… and nobody gives a damn.

    You americans are truly weird. Kids watch countless number of murders on the TV every year, kill eachother at the age of 10 and bring guns to school, and you care about such a natural, loving act?

    Damn.

  • Dawn

    I just have to point out a misinterpretation of the facts stated in comment #18. Actually you are completely backwards Jen, many of the women cited as below the poverty line are also unemployed WIC recipients, the reason that educated and well-off women breastfeed at a higher rate is because they are more informed of the benefits of breastfeeding, take part in pre-natal care and therefore more inclined to do what’s healthiest for their child.

    They are also less likely to have some of the physical issues associated with mom’s who can’t breastfeed, such as drug addiction, sexually transmitted diseases or improperly nourished bodies.

    It’s sad, but established truth. It’s also interesting to note that studies have shown breastfed children score higher on IQ tests, which they associate with many of amino acids and compounds found only in breastmilk which cannot be created in artificially created milk formulas.

    One more example of how the rich and educated continue to rule our society, and the poor and uneducated can’t or won’t capitalize on opportunities to balance the equation.

    Breastfeeding saves money in infinite ways AND improves the health of your child. Why wouldn’t you do it if you can?

  • Dawn

    Also, I went back to work after having both of my children and I continued to breastfeed no problem. It’s not an all or nothing thing. Your breasts only dry up if you do not breastfeed at all over the course of several days. Breastmilk is created in a very sophisticated manner, tailored to meet the needs of the situation. Your breasts will make as much milk as your child needs, it never goes to waste and it never spoils. Other than the time aspect involved in actually sitting down to breastfeed, there are almost no downsides. And truly, what kind of mother doesn’t have some time to sit, relax and nurse their child on occasion?

    My son is 2 1/2 and we have a busy life and I manage to nurse him several times a day without it interferring with all of my responsibilities.

    Unless you physically can’t breastfeed, all the rest is just guilt-abating excuses for not doing the right thing for your child.

  • Michael

    Dawn,

    I very much enjoyed your article. You (and all) might enjoy the site nursingmothercom It gives an amusing and informative look on the practical benefits of breastfeeding a child. My wife breastfeed our two children for many years, and it was a wonderful experience for all concerned.

    I am a bit puzzled by your isolated statement,
    “As with many bad things in our society, I blame the religious fundamentalists. And Mel Gibson.”

    Where in the world did that come from? Perhaps it is from the circles I find myself in, but most of the women I know who have breastfed for an extended time are in or close to the camp of “religious fundamentalists.”

    Please don’t paint with the broad brushstrokes of prejudice!

    –Michael

  • yellowbus47

    Come on people what are breast for?? not for a baby??That is why they are there.

  • Grandma D

    I think that breastfeeding is a beautiful, natural way to feed your child. My great-grandma, grandma and mom all breast-fed, I did with all 3 of my children. My daughter and daughter-in-law have chosen to feed their children this way also. As the generations before me we have encouraged and educated our children in the benefits to mom and child of breastfeeding our young, while also explaining that while using discretion it can be done at home as well as in public. I find it sad that women attacked the magazine for showing something nature intended. The comments that it is okay to show a woman’s breasts for sexual purpose is okay, while for a child’s feeding is not are archaic. Breastfeeding has been around a lot longer than today’s dress code body exposure has ever been. I hope more mothers learn that it is best for baby. We have two mothers here at work that came back after their 6-week maternity leave and pump regularly to take home to their babies. They are not ridiculed for it, they are praised for caring.

  • yellowbus47

    respond to coment #28
    excuse me,I am an American and I am an individual I do as I wish because I am free to.Do not put all americans in a group of 1 we are not, we are indivduals with our own minds.Yes I my be weird in some things BUT I am also very smart in other areas.I am glad I live in the USA and I see nothing wrong with breast feeding a child anywhere, if that child is hungry feed it, so here is one AMERICAN to you that is not weird.

  • harbeas

    No wonder we are among the most sexually repressed societies on earth. It is ok to depict murder, rape, and all the blood and gore you want to see in a movie(ie., cult movie Texas Chain Saw Murder), but god forbid that we show a bare breast feeding a baby! Are we really that ridiculous?

  • RedTard

    “Actually you are completely backwards Jen, many of the women cited as below the poverty line are also unemployed WIC recipients, the reason that educated and well-off women breastfeed at a higher rate is because they are more informed of the benefits of breastfeeding, take part in pre-natal care and therefore more inclined to do what’s healthiest for their child.”

    Amen, Dawn. Breastfeeding takes more discipline and effort. If those poor women had the willpower to take a task on like breastfeeding they probably could complete school or hold a reasonable job as well. They don’t breastfeed for the same reasons many of them are in poverty in the first place: ignorance, poor decision making, and laziness.

  • Universal Richard

    What is sooo pathetic is that this is the only country in the world where people get upset to see babies feeding. May be because there is such a lot of sexual filth everywhere that a simple baby feeding breast is an unknown condition. Does this tell you what the general morals of the Americans are?

  • Mehmet – The Turanian

    This again is a proof therefore, that mankinds greatest and most dangerous enemy is pure stupidity!!! One can only hope, that these horrible, illminded Stupids extinct by themselves without harming the rest of the world, but unfortunately this hope seem not to be fullfilled soon…
    So dear mothers of the world feed your Babies like the Nature (God) has mentioned it, but please also support them to become well educated and good peoples with free minds…
    In reference to the film Raven: “Mother is the Name of God in the hearts of all children (& babies)…”

  • RedTard

    “What is sooo pathetic is that this is the only country in the world where people get upset to see babies feeding.”

    Let’s not go overboard there, skipper. I doubt countries where women can’t go outside by themselves allow breastfeeding in public. You may get an snotty look here, but I doubt we’d stone you.

  • RedTard

    “This again is a proof therefore, that mankinds greatest and most dangerous enemy is pure stupidity!!! One can only hope, that these horrible, illminded Stupids extinct by themselves without harming the rest of the world,”

    There’s nothing more stupid about not wanting to see a woman’s breast than not wanting to see a fat guy in a thong, a ballsack, or someone taking a crap. The most dangerous enemy to mankind are those people who devalue others opinions to the point of wishing they would become extinct.

  • Endymion

    I can’t believe this, lay off Mel Gibson!

    ;)

  • http://lena Lena

    Being a mothr of two and having brest fed them both I shake my finger at mothers everywhere that find this GROSS!!!! It is natural to breast feed and when your child is hungry you need to feed them (I’m noting going to be held up in the house for 8 months! And being on a parenting magazine GOD HELP YOU ALL that feel that it is wrong to show this image. He planed for us to feed them from our breast. This is the most beautiful gift you can ever have to see your baby nursing and knowing that you are the only one that can provide that for them. I feel it should be the law that all mothers breast feed. So for all of you that like to whay sex tapes and look at nude magazines you should so to hell before you judge a magazine that is made for mothers that should get all their infromation from these magazines I salute you. KEEP SHOWING THE BREST FEEDING CHILD. And for you mothers that get grossed out don’t read the magazine and don’t getto feel the joy from nursing your child.

  • Mehmet – The Turanian

    To Red Tard: I think you misunderstood my writing a bit. My comment is not an answer to any of the other comments written here before mine… And by the way I even don’t wan’t anybody to die whether he is stupid as hell or the most mindfull – I think it is pretty clear that I only mentioned stupidity itself. Clear???

  • Dawn

    Fuck Mel Gibson, sideways, up the keister, with a diamond-encrusted dildo.

    ‘Cuz what the world needs now is another anti-Jew, conservative religious dickbag blaming all the worlds woes on God’s chosen people. What a jackass. I said he was an anti-semitic back when Passion of The Christ came out and people acted like I got into the magic koolaid or something and whoa hoo, lo and behold who turns out to be a Jew-hater – Mad Max himself. Color me shocked.

    Oh, and breastfeeding boobies RAWK!!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Dawn, I agree whole heartedly with you dear, but we’re going to have to talk about some of those fantasies of yours…

    This has been a recorded announcement…

  • Dawn

    Yeah, I have some issues Jet, it’s true :)

  • http://www.ladydragonfyre.com Lady Dragonfyre

    Dawn: Fuck Mel Gibson, sideways, up the keister, with a diamond-encrusted dildo.

    Yep, and you can just leave it up there afterward. He won’t be able to shit on Jews anymore.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Look, the problem a lot of people have with public breastfeeding is that it’s a release of bodily fluids. You wouldn’t like it if I spat, sneezed and whipped out my johnson and played with it at a restaurant, even though those are all natural biological functions. How is whipping out a breast different?

    And just to be clear, being male, I’m perfectly happy with breasts being whipped out anywhere, I’m just devils advocating. And being a Libertarian I’m not terribly concerned about people whipping out their johhnsons in public to show us their shortcomings either.

    Dave

  • Dawn

    Dave, last I checked I have never heard of errant breastmilk making its way where it wasn’t intended. Breastmilk doesn’t have a mind of its own, it only does what it was intended to do, and that is release in the mouth of a suckling babe.

    Now, I will say that extreme pressure will cause breast milk to flow, but unless you plan on going over and squeezing said breastfeeders breasts (which will surely result in a punch in the face or a sharp kick to the groin) the chances of encountering said fluid is remote and exceptionally unlikely.

  • Dawn

    Oh and yes LadyDF, Mel will hopefully think twice about shitting on the world’s most shat on people in the future, lest he hurt himself :)

  • http://stacischoff.blogspot.com/ Staci Schoff

    Yes! And seriously, these women who say their husbands just can’t bear to see a milimeter of breast skin without becoming aroused? GET THESE MEN SOME THERAPY for gods sake!

  • catwoman

    The article was great, and we should have more pics that display women’s breasts as something much more than toys. Instead of bashing BabyTalk for the photo, lets turn that energy towards Playboy and nudie mags that feature scantily clad and naked breasts EVERY month!

  • http://metamaggs maggie

    It is interesting that when looking at the magazine cover many people only see the breast. I think the point of displaying the beautiful picture is to capture the look of contentment and adoration on the face of the baby being fed. What a cutie!

    I too am a breastfeeding mom. It is not an easy path to take in the beginning. They feed so often and the soreness and sleep deprivation make it pretty hard on you. However it is so worthwhile once you get going. As far as breastfeeding in public goes, I never hesitated. It didn’t even register in my mind that anyone would care because it is just eating really. The blanket thing only lasted until my son was about 5 months. His little hands are too quick and he wants to look around however I’m not that exposed either. You can be discreet without a blanket.

  • http://stacischoff.blogspot.com/ Staci Schoff

    #48 Dave, the difference is there is a real human being present who NEEDS to eat. Period. And any decent mother is going to meet that need immediately without worry for who is so uptight and ridiculous that they can’t bear the sight of a baby eating.

    Additionally, it is LEGAL to feed a baby in public; however, it is NOT legal to whip out your johnson in public. Another important difference.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    We need to fix that legal thing with the johnson whipping and all.

    Dave

  • http://www.lorimortimer.com/blog lori

    I love how feeding an innocent, hungry child is equated with spitting, taking a shit, and whacking off.

    People are fucked up.

  • Martin Lav

    whipping out their johhnsons in public to show us their shortcomings either.

    Speaking for yourself Dave?

    Dawn,
    I generally agreed with your article, but to attack Jen’s posts by paint brushing all women NOT breastfeeding under your social-status line as being on welfare or lazy, is pretty dispicable in my book. I think that most of the women that find it troublesome and I do believe the surprise of the article was that it was mainly women that found it troublesome, were probably a little higher up on the socio-economic scale and consequently your theories may not add up.
    As I said previously I would never protest to see more breasts or children being nourished, however, I do find it disturbing that many so-called liberal minded self-righteous, holier than everyone else, think it’s necessary and their right to nurse their children well into the toddler stage. Maybe the article should have considered a time limit because the picture implies an infant, while you kid apparently walks up and pulls on your shirt.
    That I would find objectionable.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Toddler stage? Ever seen an 8-year-old nursing? Now that’s just creepy. And it DOES happen.

    Dave

  • Martin Lav

    My son is 2 1/2 and we have a busy life and I manage to nurse him several times a day without it interferring with all of my responsibilities.

    This is creepy enough for me, without having to visualize an 8 year old. My kids were “off the bottle” by the time they were 2 1/2 and were having food droll out of their mouth in public.
    Now that’s disgusting too…..

  • Lisa

    “so-called liberal minded self-righteous, holier than everyone else, think it’s necessary and their right to nurse their children well into the toddler stage.”

    Um, it is necessary and well within a women right to breastfeed into the toddler stage. Remember, the APA recs are minimums. In other words, the APA recommends a minimum of one year breasfeeding. Also, I would love to know how many people out there have seen a 2 year old walk out to their mom in public and nurse? Or even nurse in public under a blanket at 2 years old? For that matter, how many people have actually seen a full breast while encountering someone nursing in public? Most of the time when I nurse in public, no one even knows what I am doing.

    Why is it that people alway try to compare nursing in public to deficating in public or having sex in public? Why isn’t is compared to simply eating in public, which is what nursing in public is. I seriously hope none one is trying to imply eating and deficatin in public are comparable. Apples and oranges.

  • Dawn

    Martin, I was not saying that all poor women who don’t breastfeed are lazy or anything else. My point (and this is statistical and empirical data) is that by not nursing they are doing themselves and their children a great disservice – and honestly hasn’t society done enough disservices to the poor for them to foist more on to themselves. In a roundabout way, I was trying to stick up for the poor and uneducated, because they are the group most likely to benefit from breastfeeding.

    As for what my child does, well I guess the specifics of that are really no one else’s business, because I don’t make it a public issue. I rarely if ever nurse in public, even when my child was small. But I sure don’t act like a fucking asshole if I see someone else nurse their child in public no matter the age.

    I see people beat their children in public and no one says a thing, but God forbid someone nurse an 8 year old or a 8 day old – even though it’s the same frigging act.

    Some people are so fucking stupid.

  • Nancy

    Dave #48 – ROTFLOL! First time I’ve ever heard it referred to as a “johnson”! Out of curiousity to those women who have breastfed their kids, at what point do you stop, or intend to stop? Do you intend to continue nursing them til they go to kindergarten, or what? I have to agree, that’s not only creepy, but degenerate, like the young Emperor in ‘The Last Emperor’.

  • Vickie

    While I did breastfeed both of my children til they were a year old, and I do understand all the good reasons to do that, it does bother me to see kids that can walk, talk and go to the bathroom by themselves still at the breast. I have seen 4-5 years old still nursing and wondered what was the deal with that.

  • Martin Lav

    The poor uneducated uninformed “bottle feeders”, if they could read, afford to have computers or were told what to do and how to do it by self-righteous holier than everyone know it alls like yourself, then you wouldn’t maintain your superior position for long.
    Then what would you do?

  • shawn

    “As with many bad things in our society, I blame the religious fundamentalists. And Mel Gibson.”

    This is the most inflamatory remark I have heard.

    seriously.. blaming the religious community?!

    How about blaming the dumb ass femanist movement instead? they are the ones who trumpet that anything remotely traditional and feminine are evil and should be rejected. It wasnt the religious community that made it dirty, it is the feminists who are rejecting the basic human principals of being female.

    They attack the traditional role of motherhood. preferring to slap their 3 week old babies in daycare, so they can continue their climb up the corporate ladder, instead of doing the more meaningful job of raising their own children.

    dont blame religious people. the sqeemishness Americans feel about breastfeeding is due to the wonderful feminists.

  • Nancy

    That is kind of sick. From what I’ve read, once the kid is past toddlerhood, medical & psychiatric experts agree it’s not a good thing to do, as it starts to create problems involved with sexuality. People forget that even little infants are sexual beings, and little kids are, too. Hence the recommendation that parents not walk around nude in front of kids who have reached the stage of ‘cognizence’.

    I thought it was interesting that it was WOMEN who objected to the giant boob on the magazine cover, but then, I guess not a whole lot of men read that kind of thing, so they wouldn’t be aware of it, generally.

  • RedTard

    “Then what would you do?”

    Probably be satisfied that the world was filled with healthier, happier, better bonded babies.

  • Martin Lav

    Nancy,
    It’s like the surveys taken by men and women in regards to breast implants (PC: augmentation) women want them AND bigger, while men generally could care less. Same thing I think.
    It’s the self-centered nature of the “modern” woman that’s at work here…..

  • Vickie

    And probably not a lot of lower income – poverty stricken women read the magazine either. The cost is probably prohibative for them. So was it our higher educated, upper crust women/mothers complaining about the picture?

  • Nancy

    Somewhere during the course of this thread someone brought up an interesting point, that it was mainly during the 50s that breastfeeding started losing ground. Actually, it was the 30s, and coincided with the rise of the giant multinational food corporations like Nestle & Beatrice, who had a stake in selling as much of the new fangled baby formula as possible. I’m trying to find advertising from that era, because I seem to remember (very dimly) seeing one from the 40s that implied strongly that only primitives, the ignorant, and The Poor breast-fed, while intelligent, modern, attractive women did not.

  • Dawn

    In most third world countries, where people can’t afford inferior milk substitutes and survival from the elements, disease and malnourishment is a part of their everyday life, they breastfeed their kids as long as the child and mother deem it mutually beneficial. Unless you are forcing your child to breastfeed against their will, or you are engaging in acts other than plain old breastfeeding, then whatever you “read” Nancy is really plain untrue.

    And Dave, I seriously doubt you’ve seen A LOT of 8 year olds nursing. Leave it to certain people to pick one obscure example to paint an entire group as bad.

    As for the poor and uneducated being inferior I have zero tolerance for people not doing the best they can for their kids. What fucking excuse does a person have to drag their kids down just because they choose to live life in an unpleasant manner.

    Oh, and for those offended by my “religious community” comment – I could try and explain satire, comedy, sarcasm, humor and so forth, but really, why bother, it would be so completely lost on you. Besides, don’t you have some homos to hate, or abortion clinics to blow up somewhere?

    (see, that was a joke – you’re supposed to snicker, chortle, laugh, giggle or whatever it is you uptight folks do.)

  • Nancy

    What are you talking about? I’m talking about pediatric reports by the AMA, and latterly, about how the food companies are responsible for a good deal of it. In fact, I remember a scandal not too long ago where one of them (Conagra, I think) was severely criticized for trying to convince the very poor of Africa to buy baby formula instead of breastfeeding, via the very same sales tactics.

  • Dawn

    That is kind of sick. From what I’ve read, once the kid is past toddlerhood, medical & psychiatric experts agree it’s not a good thing to do, as it starts to create problems involved with sexuality. People forget that even little infants are sexual beings, and little kids are, too. Hence the recommendation that parents not walk around nude in front of kids who have reached the stage of ‘cognizence’.

    Um that’s what I am talking about Nancy, unless there are two Nancys here.

  • Bessie

    I am a mother of 3 beautiful children with whom I breastfed each until their 18 month birhtday. What’s the big deal?? Babies have to eat, we eat when we want to. Of course we’re not nursing on a breast but it’s not all that different. It wasn’t even a question in my mind not to breastfeed my children it was just so natural to do so. If you can’t handle seeing a baby breastfeeding turn your head, walk away, remove yourself from the situation if it’s that bothersome but how dare anyone make a women feel uncomfortable for doing what’s best for her child. Breastfeeding is BEST!!! And to anyone who thinks otherwise get a grip, it’s a boob.

  • Lisa

    “Out of curiousity to those women who have breastfed their kids, at what point do you stop, or intend to stop? ”

    Almost all children, if allowed to self wean without influence from the mother, allow themselves to wean between 2 and 4 year of age. This what a child will choose, not the parent. So, I find it hard to argue that what a child is biologically inclined to do at 2, 3 or 4 is “wrong” or “gross”.

  • Jen

    In response to post #29
    Dawn, you seem to believe that poverty is the result of laziness or some character flaw. In actuality, the majority of children from low income families have parents who are employed. With the minimum wage at $5.15, many of these parents have to work two or more jobs in order to stay afloat. With such hectic schedules, and workplaces that don’t accomodate mothers who have to pump milk, it is understandable why many low-income mothers don’t breastfeed.

  • Martin Lav

    Jen, you must be be uneducated or something not to understand Dawn’s point……SHE was able to do go back to work and “manage” after all and it’s not her fault that the poor are uneducated and they can only work minimum wage jobs that don’t allow them to carry a suckling infant around all day……

    #75 the problem with your theory is that these high and mighty liberal types that have little or NO tolerance for someone doing the absolute best for their child, encourage the nursing well beyond the kids natural weaning age. These are the same type that push their kids around in a stroller until their 7 or 8, let their kid carry their blankie and such their thumb because they don’t want to discipline their kids.
    WaWaWa…

  • RedTard

    “Dawn, you seem to believe that poverty is the result of laziness or some character flaw.”

    Then she’s quite enlightened because that’s a fact.

  • http://www.ladydragonfyre.com Lady Dragonfyre

    For all you ladies who breast feed, I’m curious about something.

    I have two nieces. The oldest was bottle-fed, the younger was breast-fed.

    When my younger niece was breast-feeding, my sister couldn’t stand to close to another woman because my niece, if she was hungry or even nervous, would grab for the other woman’s boobs. She did this ALL the time! She even made a bee-line for me once. We were at the beach, and I was wearing a bathing suit. Before I knew what was happening, the little rascal suddenly grabbed my bikini top and pulled it halfway over my head. I just fell face down in the sand and tried to fix my top while my sister laughed hysterically. Several teenage boys whistled and cat-called. I was 13 at the time, and completely mortified.

    Even after she was weaned, she grabbed for other people’s boobs for comfort, just as another child might suck his thumb or carry around a security blanket. She kept up this habit until she was about 4 or so. At that point it was nearly impossible to take her out in public, as she’d suddenly run over to other women and try to grab their boobs.

    My bottle-fed niece never exhibited this type of behavior – she sucked her thumb and had a blankie instead.

    Have any of you ladies experienced anything like this??

  • harbeas

    Staci, it is women who need the therapy if they have a problem with a man being turned on by the sight of a breast. Seems to be that is a perfectly normal reaction by the male species. Accept it!

    Otherwise he probably is a homosexual.

  • Lisa

    “mighty liberal types” – I am sure if I reversed that statement and said that sexually oppressed conversatives are the reason breastfeeding rates in the US are atrocious, you or someone else here would be up in arms. (not that I believe that, but for the sake of agrument….)

    I agree that child should be the one to lead the weaning process and that in most cases, a 7-8 nursing is doing so with the influence of the parents. However, if they are that crunchy, they are probably against the use of a stroller. :)

  • Dawn

    I have known many breastfed children and not once have I noticed a child who grabbed at anyone’s boobs, including those of their mother. I would give a serious smackdown if one of my children “grabbed” at my breasts. Mutual respect should be taught early on.

  • http://www.ladydragonfyre.com Lady Dragonfyre

    I agree. Unfortunately, the behavior was encouraged by family members who thought it was funny. >:( I spoke out several times, especially after the beach incident, but I was told to “chill out.”

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Maybe the full size image makes the situation more clear, but looking at the small digital reproduction of the picture from the magazine cover, it could just as easily be an elbow the baby’s mouth is on.

    Now wouldn’t that be a hoot?

  • http://www.noodad.com Christopher martin

    For a man’s perspective on this issue, see Noodad.com. Basically, a breast is a breast. And there ain’t nothing wrong with that.

  • http://www.prrag.com John Guilfoil

    I think one of American culture’s biggest problems is the attempt to over-sensitize ourselves to nudity.

  • Martin Lav

    “I would give a serious smackdown if one of my children “grabbed” at my breasts.”

    Nuff said.

    “would grab for the other woman’s boobs”

    and some kids grab other kids bottles. Yeah I hear this is epidemic in breast fed kids. One even tried to grab my man-boobs one time. This is the biggest reason we started to replace breast milk with infamil and breasts with silicone in this country.

    “Dawn, you seem to believe that poverty is the result of laziness or some character flaw.”

    “Then she’s quite enlightened because that’s a fact.”

    Maybe we should have free breast feeding stations in poor rural areas, where these poor uneducated hill billies can bring their kids in and let them suckle on the teat of an educated liberal. We could even have the federal government fund it….

  • http://www.rodneywelch.blogspot.com/ Rodney Welch

    That cover is the definition of irony: it sends out one message by professing it’s opposite.

    The fake, family-values message is “Women should breastfeed; it’s beautiful, natural, this is what breasts are for, what Dawn said, blah, blah, blah.”

    But the REAL message, the one the photographer and art editor are sending with a certain winking, subversive wit is much more cynical: tits sell magazines, and the bigger, the better.

    This discussion is obvious proof of the fact. How else are you going to get mass culture interested in a publication called Baby Talk?

    Tits are an immediate attention-getter, and Baby Talk recognizes it as much as Maxim or Playboy or Dawn Olson — who made sure her strident, screaming defense of all things natural and motherly was wrapped up with a suitably lurid, lookee-lookee title. Heaven knows I wouldn’t have clicked on it otherwise.

  • Martin Lav

    That might be your own “implants” talking.

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/summer_mommy Jen

    haha! this was refreshing and hilarious. thank you for joining my side on this!

  • http://marilynbb.blogspot.com/ Marilyn Barnicke Belleghem

    What an interesting collection of opinions that totally reveal the maturity and developmental stage of the writers. Some adults enjoy suckling and having their heads on a breast. Is there jealousy hiding behind the criticisms?

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    I still think it’s just an elbow until someone manages to prove otherwise, as I stated previously in my critically acclaimed and award-winning Comment #85.

  • Martin Lav

    Yeah and that look on the baby’s face is not contentment, but more like “your kidding me right? I’m supposed to suck on this thing?”

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Oh, Martin. I said those exact words once. I won’t say in what context. (Hush your mouth, Jet!)

  • Martin Lav

    I’m surprised you could speak with that thing in your mouth….

  • http://www.lorimortimer.com/blog lori

    Which begs the question, Why is that photo on the cover of a magazine called “Baby Talk”?

  • Martin Lav

    Maybe it’s because if they could talk with their eyes, that baby would be winking…

  • http://nattybug.stumbleupon.com Nattybug

    The only people who have a problem with breastfeeding seem to be those who have never done it. I breastfed both of my kids (and in public no less) with pride despite the rude comments and nasty looks. I plan to do it again in the near future, as well. I have even been told to do it in the bathroom, but I just responded with (I wouldn’t eat in there, why should my baby?) I think a baby nursing at the breast is nothing short of beautiful. I applaud all the mothers who persevere in feeding their babies in this most natural of ways.

  • Les Slater

    Dawn #71

    “As for the poor and uneducated being inferior I have zero tolerance for people not doing the best they can for their kids. What fucking excuse does a person have to drag their kids down just because they choose to live life in an unpleasant manner.”

    What an arrogant, ignorant, self-serving, middle class comment.

    You have the luxury of being “an avid reader of high quality tabloid fare, enjoys gardening and scatological skywriting.” and who knows what else.

    You seem to have leisure time. Many working women get low pay and have to do more than one job.

    In addition woman are faced with doing most, if not all, household chores and child rearing. The lower on the economic rung have the most burden in this respect.

  • Dawn

    Yes Les, I suggest you believe everything you read, lest you be called a gullible fool.

    I may be middle class, but I am hardly arrogant. I can’t say I am none of the other canards you assigned me.

  • Les Slater

    Dawn,

    I read this whole thread including your post.

    Despite your protestations such as to Martin in #61, you make comments such as in #30:

    “And truly, what kind of mother doesn’t have some time to sit, relax and nurse their child on occasion?”

    Yes, what kind of mother?

    Your #71 lays it out. Sarcasm? I don’t think so. Sounds rather arrogant.

    Originally, when I parsed the first sentence of the paragraph from #71 which I quoted, I saw some ambiguity but that ambiguity could not detract of the essence of the whole paragraph.

    Les

  • Dawn

    Les, you clearly don’t get it. And by “it” I mean anything and everything.

    And the irony that is so rich from you calling me arrogant might just be enough to feed a third world country.

    Sorry bub, but your fingerpointing on me is a wasted effort. I am well-aware of my parental flaws, but I sure as shit know that I would do the best for my child regardless of my economic status.

    Since you know NOTHING of my upbringing and background, I think you better back the fuck off acting like you can judge me personally. Making broad and obvious generalizations about groups of people who I feel don’t live up to some pretty basic standards that we all as humans should agree on, is totally different than you telling me I am arrogant.

    I am many things, plenty of which are bad, but I am not arrogant. You don’t know me, so don’t pretend that you do.

  • http://www.breastfeeding.com Candy

    I can’t believe there are still people who get grossed out by a baby breastfeeding. It’s sad really. I’m grossed out by the thought of thick nasty smelly infant formula, that’s what grosses me out. I mean, formula was created for emergencies, when a baby can’t get human milk – but people have come to think that it’s just as good. Really sad. Everyone who has a baby should at least give breastfeeding their best effort – read up on it, take a class, join a support group… I don’t think it’s any more a choice than where the baby will likely come out. (of course in Brazil, you can just have a C section if you don’t want to ruin your vagina)

  • Les Slater

    Dawn #103

    “Making broad and obvious generalizations about groups of people who I feel don’t live up to some pretty basic standards that we all as humans should agree on,”

    So, is this the way you really feel? It fits very well with your comment in #71. So, your #101 was just blowing smoke.

    I do not know you well. I have only read a bit in this blog. Are you arrogant? Maybe not in general but you do persist in ‘Making broad and obvious generalizations about groups of people’.

    My replies, as well as others, have been to rebut the ‘obvious[ness]’ of your generalizations.

    I have read your #61 which in part says: “I was not saying that all poor women who don’t breastfeed are lazy or anything else. My point (and this is statistical and empirical data) is that by not nursing they are doing themselves and their children a great disservice …… In a roundabout way, I was trying to stick up for the poor and uneducated, because they are the group most likely to benefit from breastfeeding.”

    It is your concise generalizations such as are in your #71 that belies your #61. You do BLAME the poor.

    Like I say, I don’t really know you but in many ways you are like a liberal. At least you have much in common with them.

    From your original post: “As with many bad things in our society, I blame the religious fundamentalists. And Mel Gibson.”

    Blaming Mel Gibson is pure nonsense. You also do not attempt to justify blaming the ‘religious fundamentalists’. Typical liberal.

    You know what they say about liberals? One mugging and they become conservatives. There is a grain of truth to that. Your post and comments show that when you are challenged you fall back to the party line, e.g., #61. Other times you let your real feelings blurt out such as your #71. You defend your real feelings in #103.

  • http://www.rodneywelch.blogspot.com/ Rodney Welch

    Actually, that’s not what they say about liberals, because liberals get mugged as much as anyone and it doesn’t neccessarily change their thoughts on social justice or the plight of the poor. With many, it only deepens their beliefs.

    Some years ago, Irving Kristol helped found the neoconservative movement. When asked for a definition, he said that a neoconservative is “a liberal who has been mugged by reality.”

  • Dawn

    Les,dude, I made a valiant attempt to express myself, but clearly you are denser than lead and completely humorless, therefore I give up, as I have better things to do with my time, like spend it with my kids and make broad sweeping, though insightful, generalizations about various groups of people.

    Have a nice day, but please feel free to go argue with someone who gives a crap.

  • http://www.ladydragonfyre.com Lady Dragonfyre

    You seem to have leisure time. Many working women get low pay and have to do more than one job.

    What about pumping the milk into bottles to use later? My sister was dirt poor and working two jobs to get by. She was only making around $9 an hour, she had another kid to feed, and was a single mom. She rarely had the time to nurse her baby whenever she was hungry, so she’d fill up bottles in advance. I don’t know HOW she did it all.

    I think apathy and ignorance play a significant role. However, ignorance and apathy know no class boundaries, and they CERTAINLY don’t recognize educational levels.

    Just my $.02.

  • http://chantalstone.my-expressions.com chantal

    Dawn….great article!! i can’t possibly go through all of these comments…some are just plain ridiculous.

    But I do have a few comments:

    re#80…Lady Dragonfyre–I nursed my youngest until she was 21 months, and for a long time afterwards, she would still stick her hand up my shirt–for comfort, especially if she was tired or cranky. She even did it to my mom a few times. She’s 3 1/2 now and still tries to put her hand in my shirt once in a while, but as she grows more independent, she’s beginning to stop. All of this is perfectly normal and a healthy behavior….shes a very well adjusted, normal and happy child….and cute too!

    #95-Silas….I almost peed my pants, I laughed so hard.

    and #108 LDF—excellent point.

  • Les Slater

    Ms. Dragonfrye #108

    I am no expert on child nutrition but do believe that breast-feeding is best for the child for many reasons.

    I also don’t think the question of breast-feeding is totally an economic issue. The sociology of the health of evolving society, and how this is differentiated along economic strata, is a complicated one.

    Exhaustion is one factor, education is another, and Madison Ave’s tentacles can’t be far from the surface either.

    The maturity of the mother, whether she was prepared for motherhood, or even wanted a child, are certainly factors.

    The polarization of society around the issues of sex education, safe sex, pregnancy prevention measures and the woman’s right to choose abortion are all part of this.

    There is also the deterioration of education in public schools.

    The effects of all this weigh most heavily on the working class women.

    To say “What fucking excuse does a person have to drag their kids down just because they choose to live life in an unpleasant manner.”

    They choose? Just read the language here. What fuckin’ arrogance!

    $.02 worth? You undervalue your contribution.

    My wife worked, breast-fed and used the pump. And yes, there were occasions where breast-feeding was in public.

  • http://www.literaryillusions.com/ Ashtyn

    What did people expect to see on the cover of BabyTalk Magazine? Seems like the perfect place to have a naked breast on the cover, if you ask me.

    People that are anti-breastfeeding are just an odd bunch. It’s one of the healthiest things you can do for your child and an excellent bonding experience.

    If people can’t handle seeing such things perhaps they should go back in their caves and play with themselves…in the dark, of course.

  • Emily

    Jade philosopher said:
    “Don’t forget – defecating, urinating, and procreating are all natural, normal, and necessary, too!”

    Why yes, they are! And isn’t it strange that we allow babies to defecate and urinate in their diapers in public. Newsflash to you – we make certain concessions for babies because they’re BABIES, and can’t just “hold it” or “wait an hour until lunch”. When they need to eat, they need to eat NOW.

  • nugget

    I’m not going to repeat how I misread that title.

    yrwlcm

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I cannot believe that anybody wuld make a fuss over that magazine cover. And mind you that this is comment #114 here on BC!

    Will no one see the dawn?

  • mrsLolly

    For the exhibitionists among us:
    plan ahead–PUMP!
    *You can pretend all you want – but it IS uncomfortable for everyone around you to whip your boob out in public while your infant suckles. I made it a point to feed my baby before i went to eat and had a bottle on hand just in case. Newsflash-i fed her before i went shopping and had a bottle on hand (again, just in case).
    Yes there are emergency ocassions where the bottle spills or you didn’t plan on being gone for so long: excuse yourself to the car for 20 minutes and put on some classical music so your baby can relax.
    Remember – it is about the health benefits, not to make things easy for an unprepared mommy. Feeding a baby a bottle is a very wonderful bonding experience for daddy too…so he can feed for once while you eat a meal in peace!
    *As for the breast on the cover? I agree w/the post about the free publicity…lol. I’d rather not have it on the cover–i’d rather just see a cute pic of a baby, but i’m certainly not outraged.
    *Most studies show that anything beyond a year is not nearly as beneficial to children. It’s time for little Timmy to learn how to drink out of a sippy cup and stop grabby at mommy!! Once they get lots of teeth and start demanding “nunnys” ….hello Gerber!!!

    And to all of you who missed the tongue-in-cheek tone of “I blame it on Mel Gibson” maybe you should read other blogs where you get the humor!

  • http://www.dominickevans.com Dominick

    You know, I am not one for attachment parenting. I think when a child reaches a certain age they need to give up the tit. However, my partner and I have talked at length about breast-feeding any future children we have and she and I both agree breast milk is best, especially for young babies.

    I think it is not just breastfeeding that is viewed as gross these days. We have really become a society so locked up and repressed that any form of nudity is seen as disgusting. We are going backwards from the freedom of “Free Love” and seeing beauty in things that are actually quite natural.

    If we look back at Ancient times and civilizations, its seems they were much more progressive. They proudly displayed nude artwork, statues, and it is even said that Socrates used to walk around nude because that was an acceptable practice.

    Ultimately, we have taken the beauty out of the human body. Now, I am not recommending we all strip down and start walking around au natural in the tradition of the Ancients. However, when we see a breast (perhaps my favorite of the female anatomy) we need to stop acting like Michael Jackson being caught with his pants down and his hand on a little boy’s willy and start acting like mature individuals who can appreciate that which fed us and nourished us back when we needed it the most.

  • http://breastfeeding larry

    i havnt seen this come up.women have told me that they have erotic feelings while breas feeding.this plus a little exhibitionism thhrown is why they do this in publiic. hey,everybody ,see what a wonderful mom i am.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Some characters on Seinfeld report erotic feelings while eating pastrami. Does that mean eating pastrami in public should be outlawed as lewd and lascivious?

    Clearly “larry” couldn’t be bothered to reach for the Shift key; perhaps he was typing with just one hand because he found his own argument so highly stimulating.

    Normal healthy people will recognize his argument is tiny and limp.

  • Snipe

    Just another uneducated American male posting here. As best as I can tell, breasts are specifically designed in mammals to create and deliver milk to offspring.

    Anyone imparting added sexual connotation to simply SEEING a fraction of a breast doing what it is designed to do should get a little professional help.

    We went through this in the West with Victorian era prudishness, when some people found ANKLES overly sexual. You know what? Sensibility took hold and we got over it. I think the same thing needs to happen here.

    You can make any thing and any individual body part sexual in your mind. (Some people call them fetishes). What you invent in your head is your issue, not mine.

  • Jen

    In this blog its mentioned that 98% of Scandinavian mothers breastfeed. This is most likely due to these countries’ progressive maternity leave programs. For example, in Sweden, a woman gets 18 months maternity leave, receiving 90% of her salary for the first 12 months, and the standard maternity leave rate for the remainder. In order to increase the rate of breastfeeding in the U.S. the proper support systems for mothers need to be in place. Criticizing women who live below the poverty line really won’t accomplish anything.

  • French

    I agree with most of your article, but what’s the point in making insulting comments like “the French are half-assed”. I won’t play your game and insult americans …

    For the % of breast feeders in France :

    45,6% in 1995
    46,4% in 1996
    48,8% in 1997
    48,3% in 1998
    50% in 1999
    52,3% in 2000
    54,5% in 2001
    56,2 % in 2002

    You could still say that those figures are low compared to other countries, but at least they keep increasing, and that’s a good point.

  • Martin Lav

    NOTE: WEBSTERS DEFINITION OF ARROGANCE:

    I just have to point out a misinterpretation of the facts stated in comment #18. Actually you are completely backwards Jen, many of the women cited as below the poverty line are also unemployed WIC recipients, the reason that educated and well-off women breastfeed at a higher rate is because they are more informed of the benefits of breastfeeding, take part in pre-natal care and therefore more inclined to do what’s healthiest for their child.
    -Dawn

  • http://momsmilkanywhere.blogspot.com Chrissy

    Oh, thank you, Dawn. I have recently become an accidental lactivist after a friend of mine was asked to “cover up” after trying to get her fussy 3-month-old son to nurse at a local grocery store. Yes, perhaps there was a little bit of incidental flashage, but so what? And this is in Portland, OR, which is a pretty progressive town and has one of the highest breastfeeding initiation rates in the country.

    Why can’t we moms who insist on nursing in public just cover up? Well, forgetting the fact that some babies just won’t tolerate it, it just perpetuates the idea that breastfeeding is shameful and shouldn’t be seen by the general population. Plus it’s beyond difficult to get a fussy baby latched on while trying to keep a blanket over your shoulder while said baby is screaming and trying to pull it off…

    Until baby bottles are banned in public (after all, those nipples don’t look all that different from the real thing), I’m not going to feel too bad for the people who ask us to cover up because they don’t think seeing a nursing baby is “appropriate”. After all, how are people going to get comfortable with it until they see it on a regular basis?

  • Dawn Dawn

    Hey French, with all the French who smoke, I’d just as soon they not breastfeed. I don’t like France. Sorry, as an entity they really have sucky policies. I am sure there are lots of cool French people though. Maybe you are even one of them. But your French leaders and Jew-hating history are reprehensible.

  • Nancy

    The French are a marvelous people. I think they’re peachy, and if you don’t go over there with an Ugly American attitude, they usually don’t reciprocate with a Nasty French ditto. I mangled the language, massacred verbs & tortured adjectival endings past endurance, and those dear people just smiled, prompted me along, and then went the extra mile to help me find what I wanted, etc., and then some. I only met one louse, and he was actually Italian. Show just a tiny interest in things Francaise, and they respond with loads of hospitality, kindness, and good will. Vive les Francaise! Also I didn’t notice any more people smoking over there than do here. They’re just a little cleaner about ditching their ciggarette butts than we are, usually being careful to put them in the public recepticles provided instead of pitching them around left & right like we American slobs tend to.

  • Martin Lav

    French women have small breasts?

  • Chanda

    This is a good read, I like to see everyone talking about Breastfeeding because it moves us in the right direction. I really hope we are coming to a tipping piont here where breastfeeding in public will be just feeding in public and breast milk will be milk and if you want cows milk you will have to ask for that by name. The more we see it the more normal it will become. I am one mother who is working for that by supporting Breastfeeding women and feeding my son when ever he needs to eat or recive comfort.

    Thanks to Les who put things so well from the male perspective. Your wife is a blessed woman.

    As to #65 I think you were rebutted by Snipe #119.
    It was the Victorian era that made pregnat women stay indoors once they were showing and got so turned on by legs that chairs and tables had to be fully covered.

    And then you throw in the powerful formula companies and the HUGE profits that they make. I could write volumes on that outrage, giving it away in third world counties so the women ues it and then thier milk dries up and they have to buy the stuff.

    Dawn, I really do love your blog, and I do get your humor, LOL on the mel thing, but to balme the poor for being poor and doing the bottle thing may not be so fair. Yes, some people get there, or stay there for good reason, by making bad choices in life. Others end up there due to life handing them lemons and they are unable to make lemonaid. If ALL moms had more support, if we had paid leave for ALL new moms, time and a space to pump at work, then ALL children would recive the benfit of breastmilk. I wish that was the country we lived in. America has many great things, but support for women and children…we lke to think we do, but when you really take a deep look at it we still have a long way to go as a nation. So yes, some low income women choose formula due to lack of education on the topic, and others work hard to BF but face an up hill battle. I am on a hotline that is for BF women to call with questions and I got a call from a WIC mom who was BF but could not get a job when she asked where she could pump. Her case worker told her to give up and just go with formula. She called us to get support in educating her case worker. So the working poor are not all doing bad by their kids.

    My parting comment is, we all see what is in our hearts. If you see sex in the breast, then it is sex. If you see love and milk, then there it is. The wonderful thing is, it is both, it just depends on the context, and on the cover it is the latter.

  • lactivist

    After reading this thread, I am still amazed at the attitudes toward breastfeeding. I’m nursing AND pregnant. I can only imagine what someone would say if they saw me nursing my one year old once I started to show. You know what, there’s nothing wrong with it! You know what else? Most women who nurse in public get so good at doing it (without a stupid blanket that many babies would hate) that only another nursing mom would catch on. You don’t have to have the whole thing hanging out in order to nurse.

    I’ll stop nursing my babies in public when everyone else learns to chew with their mouth closed and not commit other gross behaviors while eating. Oh, that and when I don’t have to see many of the other gross things out there.

  • Brian

    The anti-semetic charge against french people, (yes french people, not french officials) is equally disgusting Dawn Dawn. It is just an excuse to be an anti-french bigot. Tell me why it is bad to be against jews but a-ok to be an anti-french bigot? And I’m sure there are cool jewish people to, but to be honest most I have worked with fit the stereotypes fairly well, sorry.

  • Stan the man

    Another classic double-standards example of America’s penchant for getting its priorities wrong … and a slap on the wrist here for you, too, Dawn. Gibson’s real crime wasn’t that he got outrageously drunk and like plenty of other drunks of all creeds and persuasions said things he shouldn’t have (as I’ve said elsewhere, a crime punishable only by extreme and cringe-worthy embarrassment). No, the real crime was that he was driving while drunk (yes, Mel, the car is a Lethal Weapon in the wrong hands). I imagine the outcry would only have been marginally less hysterical had he simply hit someone in a car smash.

    Also, can someone tell me how can I get fined for smoking in many public areas of New York, just as an example, and be treated like a leper because of it, with people histrionically coughing as they walk past in the street (let’s not worry about the diesel fumes spewing into the air, though), but I can go out and legally buy so-called cop-killer bullets in a gun shop a few blocks away, and be congratulated by half of America for owning a gun (I don’t, by the way) under a 200-year-old law that was aimed at letting specially raised 18th century civilian militias bear arms to fight King George’s redcoats? Long time ago, that.

    Come on America, time to get ALL your priorities right.

  • 44 and breastfeeding

    My 4th child is 14months and I am still feeding him 6 times a day/night. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was blessed to have another child at this late age in life and I will give him the best. My other children are 16, 18 & 23. I will be a grand mother next year and happy about it. I breastfeed in public no shame in that at all. I don’t even associate guilt or bad feelings to doing so. It’s natural it’s free it’s the easiest while out and about to do and it’s the best for your child. I feel sorry for mothers that can’t breastfeed for whatever reason, I also feel sorry for the mothers that have to leave their child in day care and go back to work. I don’t have an income, not wealthy, just get by on one income but would not have it any other way. All children need their mother to guide them and money does not replace this time spend with them. Regards Proud to feed in public.

  • Martin Lav

    Glad you are home raising your child, more women should do that and 1 income should be enough. In regards to the breast feeding, for some reason (maybe my own hangups, I dunno) I feel uncomfortable with a 14 month old running up to his mom and taking a drink in public. I bet your other kids are mortified…..be honest….

  • 44 and breastfeeding

    Martin Lav,

    No actually my others kids were breastfed (son)till 12 months, the 2 daughters till they were 18 months so they don’t think anything of it. My youngest will only be fed in public when there is no other option, usually tired and goes to sleep. The funny thing when my 16 year old is watching TV and the little one get’s loud she say’s to him “Booby” to try to get him to go to me and be quiet for her.

  • http://www.siliconglen.com/news Craig Cockburn

    In Scotland, it’s now illegal to stop a woman breastfeeding in a public place (this includes pubs, restaurants and any other place where children are admitted). Wake up America, join the 21st century.

  • http://breastbreastfeeding larry

    az has passed a law that breast feeding is not decent exposure. i still think that this should be a private time between mother and child not a time shared with the general public!!