In a local newspaper, The Mountain Eagle, they have a page they call Speak Your Piece. Anyone can call or email and say anything on their mind and it is published within reason. Recently, a 78 year old woman spoke about public breastfeeding and how she was offended by it. In the next issue a local nurse practioner wrote a wonderful letter to the editor explaining why breastfeeding was the best and healthiest choice for a mother to make for her infant. Now, in this Wednesday’s paper, a woman complains again about public breastfeeding, but this time equates it with sex in public. Not only did she do this, but she also refers to breastfeeding women as being similar to a sow or mother hippo. She spoke of how her husband couldn’t stop staring at a breastfeeding woman in a Hardees and her huge breasts. The “gross milk” dripping down her child’s chin. Oh, and God forbid, the child had to have been over two years old.
I’m sick of hearing these kinds of remarks! If you want to equate me with a sow, that’s fine and dandy. Her teets and mine serve the same purpose. When you equate my breastfeeding my child with a sex act, then I get infruiated. Are we that influenced by an over sexed media that we can’t let go of a brought on picture of what breasts are for long enough to realize they have a higher purpose than to sexually attract a potential mate? For those who might believe in natural selection and the like, why do you think a man might be attracted to breasts? Duh, it means the female is able to feed his offspring. Then, to incinuate that breastfeeding is actually a sexual thing is beyond perverted. My breasts aren’t much more to me than a functional appendage. Yes, they are dag gone beautiful too, because they can feed my daughters. But, what about feeding a baby is sexual? Nasty people get your mind out of the gutter! I will breastfeed rightfully whereever I like, and I am able to do so modestly. If you can’t seem to stop staring at my feeding my child, because you feel it is sexual, I’d be very concerned about your perverted mind.
I have mentioned this statistic in another post on the topic of breastfeeding, but I have to say it again. There is something horribly wrong when Kentucky ranks 49th in the US for mothers initiating breastfeeding. Even more wrong is that in some eastern Kentucky counties only 1 in 5 newborns leave the hospital having been offered the breast. Why is that horrible? It tells me our healthcare system is failing to educate us on the appropriate nourishment for our babies. It tells me mothers considering nursing are not offered the support they need to succeed. That is a sad, sad thing. We as a people deserve more than that.
I hope more mothers step out to defend their right to breastfeed and do so in public. I have never seen a mother breastfeed in public here. I’m glad someone else did. It’s good to know I’m not the only one. I hope more mothers breastfeed in public so the people like this woman will begin to realize that breastfeeding is eating, not sex.
Okay, off the soapbox and on to bed.