Thursday, March 5, 2009

Breastfeeding Freaks...The REAL problem with breastfeeding in public!


If you've followed my other blogs, you may have noticed that I've focused on breastfeeding lately. Or more specifically, breastfeeding in public.

Rhode Island just changed its breastfeeding law. Previously, women were spared from being charged with public indecency. Now they have the legal right to BF in public and the right to sue an establishment if it infringes on those rights. Righteous.

Then a woman turned the BFing in public thing on its head by breastfeeding while driving. Nope, not kidding. And the frustrating thing? I mean, beside putting her child's life at risk? The lil girl was an extended breastfeeder. No prob with that, but what I'm saying is that the mom could have handed her a piece of fruit if she was hungry, not put her life in danger. She's a regular walking, talking tot.

My biggest irritation with this story, though, came after I wrote it.

In these BFing blogs, I mentioned a couple of recent incidents where women were asked to leave restaurants (if you can call either Denny's or McDonald's "food") for breastfeeding their children. The fact that these were in Southern states made me muse: Should the North carpetbag good breastfeeding manners?

Apparently it can't. And leave it to good ol' Facebook to remind me.

There I was, screwing around instead of working, and some guy instant messages me. Let me tell you about this "gentleman". We're from the same small town in the 'burbs of Chicago, which for FB translates to "friends." I can't remember talking to him, like, ever. He was kind of a dork, and not in the cool, "I listen to too much NPR" kind of way (yeah...keep telling yourself that you're cool, Cate).
Hmm. Seems more pathological than dorky after this "conversation." I put in bold some of the nastiest stuff.

Our IM correspondence:
11:50amJoe
So do you breast feed in public?
11:56amCate
yeah. Pretty much anywhere. But I have shirts and tanks to hide most of me.
11:56amJoe
Good story!
11:56amCate
the chick who did it while driving?
11:57amJoe
So you just don't get naked and feed your baby while driving??
That was crazy! How do you do that and drive and talk on the phone?
11:58amCate
not so much. He always tries to take the wheel, and then we fight over it, and then my 3yo tries to get into the fun (a poor attempt at a joke, I know)
I know! Plus, the girl is between 1 and 2 years old, so she could have simply been handed a snack, or the cell phone to play with!
11:59amJoe
LOL, the 3 yr old tries to drive or suck on the other boob?
11:59amCate
neither. I lock em both up tight. The furthest they've gone w/o buckling is up the driveway
12:00pmJoe
I guess there is a better time and place to feed your baby! Like pull over and feed it.
12:00pmCate
That's what I said!
And if you have another adult in the car and it's a desperate situation, climb over the seat and put yourself in danger, not the kid!
12:01pmJoe
Thats good, child safety should come first
12:01pmCate
It seriously makes breastfeeders look like fanatics
12:02pmJoe
Yes, it does
12:02pmCate
Plus, she has other kids, so it's not like it's the 1st time, I'm sure
12:02pmJoe
Just like the ones that whip it out when out to dinner and feed the baby
Some people never learn what they do makes others look bad
12:05pmCate
A child has to eat though. I'd breastfeed at a pizza place or something, but generally no one knows. Like I said, I've got clothes that hide it.
I don't like the idea of "going in the bathroom" because I don't even like to USE a public bathroom, much less feed my baby there
And that was mostly when he was a little guy. Now he's old enough to eat his own food
12:06pmJoe
But do you whip out your big DD boobs for everyone to see and then say your going to feed the baby?
12:06pmCate
No ones knows, like I said. Most women I know don't take the whole breast out!
Maybe at home?
12:07pmJoe
Or would you have you two or three year old hang off your boob while everyone watched?
12:07pmCate
No, but most of the people I know who do extended BF, they only do it at night.
12:08pmJoe
If you leave them hang out there it is like a dog feeding your puppies!
12:08pmCate
My son is almost one, and we'll probably stop in a few months.
I just don't know anyone who does leave them out. Really, they just feed their baby and tuck em back, even in the company of friends.
12:09pmJoe
When he gets older he will go back to breast feeding again!
LOL
Thats the right way to do it, I think feed and put them away or less you have a few to feed like that lady who just had eight kids!
12:11pmJoe
YOu have cute kids by the way!


WTF?!
Repeat after me: breast milk is food. Breasts bring that food to babies (whether they're DDs or not!). Babies need to eat. And sometimes, they need to eat in public. And that's okay. They should be allowed to.
Because I'll be damned if I have to hide out in a stinky bathroom to feed my child. I'll be in there when people with poor table manners eat in the bathroom. Because I find that offensive.

You know, just when I think that BFing is pretty widely accepted and BFing in public isn't too big a deal, I get this weirdo.

Yeah, the guy left me speechless. Yeah, the guy offended even me. Yeah, the guy made me wonder if creepy men are trying to get a peek when I feed Elijah in public.
Yeah, I'm deleting him from my FB friends. Right after I post this so he knows what the sane, normal world thinks of his vulgarity.

And yeah, ladies, I checked. He's married. Sorry to break your hearts!

2 comments:

Vijay Owens said...

I just don't get what's worse: that we feel so necessary to defend how discreet we're being and STILL are looked at as freaks, or that it even matters if we're discreet or not! I mean I don't WANT to sit in public with my whole boob hanging out, and luckily for me that's not necessary. But really what is the big deal? It's NORMAL. Anyone who thinks that nursing is gross or inappropriate in some way needs to look at their OWN hangups and ask themselves why they feel that way about something so completely natural and beautiful.

Cate said...

You're right!
Clearly you see that I'm trying to placate him with some normal, natural info, and he keeps going back to Titty Talk.
I'm just painted into a corner by this convo. I was defending the *right for Elijah to EAT*
Today I realize: why try to make something seem normal to a guy who is so obviously not?!