Thursday, November 30, 2006

let's hear it for boobs!

It's a bit out of date now, but a couple weeks ago a woman was hassled on a plane because she was breastfeeding her child.

People are worried about what effect it will have on kids to see people breastfeeding. They don't worry about what effect it will have on kids to see people bottle feeding.

What effect does this have on kids? They learn that bottle feeding is normal, and that breastfeeding is not. Backwards!

Every time I think of someone saying "shame on you" for showing boobs, I want to say "shame on you" to someone for showing a baby bottle.

The article I linked above is sub-headed with "Files complaint saying she was being discreet, airline disagrees". I think that misses the point: discretion is counter-productive here.

Hey moms: if you're breastfeeding, don't hide it! Sure, I know you can do it discretely, but I encourage you to do the opposite. Make sure everyone can see what you are doing with your boobs.

When baby is hungry, don't whisper to your partner "honey, he's hungry". In a full voice, declare that you're going to feed your baby. Take your top & bra off before you latch on. Boldly demonstrate your technique. Sit in the middle of the room. On a stool. In the light.

Don't be ashamed of it, be proud! Make sure everyone knows how proud you are of what you are able to do for your child. Set an example for all the girls that see you ("Oh, I can do that when I'm a mom one day") and for the boys ("Oh, when I'm a dad one day, the mom of my child can do that"). You're doing them a great service.

Don't hide it, flaunt it!

With that in mind, here's a link to the Wikipedia article on breasts: I love the fact that Wikipedia doesn't self-censor around sex. That page is filled with boobs.

Let's hear it for boobs!

2 disclaimers are in order:

1) none of my 3 children were exclusively breastfed, but not for lack of trying. I can't attempt to take the holier-than-though attitude of saying that everyone should breastfeed, period. Instead, I know that it can be very hard, and may not always work out. But part of the reason is that as a breastfeeding mom you are isolated, shunned, and shamed, so it's hard to get the emotional and logistical support you need. If we celebrated & displayed breastfeeding, it would be easier to get that support.

2) I enjoy the appearance of breasts, and I do mean sexually. So I could just be saying this so I can see tits more often. It's nice when my various interests align.


chasmyn said...

A most excellent post. It's wonderful to read men chiming in in support of breastfeeding.

Also: welcome home! I look forwarde to hearing about your trip!

Avaylee said...

I had no idea that WA state is one of only 12 states that does NOT protect a woman's right to breastfeed in any public place. Woman are encouraged to do so, and it's not considered indecent exposure, but any place of business in the state has the right to ask you to leave, move to the restroom, cover up, et al.

Looks like I have some email writing to do before the next state legislative session goes into full gear.


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