A women’s right or crime women were blessed with the ability to offer the most natural and beautiful act a mother can do for her child. Breastfeeding is a treasurable bond shared between a mother and a child. There are many great benefits of breastfeeding for the mothers especially. Controversy arises when nursing mothers choose to perform feedings in public areas. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion most of the time when it comes to breast, when it’s breastfeeding everyone in society shuts the door. Although breastfeeding in public is deemed to be offensive by many, breastfeeding is a vital and natural act. Breastfeeding is one of the healthiest choices for babies. It has been shown to be good for babies by building their immunity against illness and infections.
Breastfeeding is also giving you a lot of time to bond with your child. I believe every woman should be able to breastfeed their children in public areas and people in society shouldn’t be so judgmental over something so natural to do. In the article “Social Media is Helping Moms Win Over Public Breastfeeding,” Darlena Cunha, a Florida-based contributor to The Washington Post, states that two women were mistreated and made fun of because they were nursing their children in public. Kristen Hilderman was told to cover up by a United Airlines employee. “She posted an image of her full complaint, which she described how she was treated, and garnered support from people across the United States, who then sent the company a barrage of complaints on Facebook and Twitter.” (Cunha 1).
In January, April Leamy was at a local restaurant in Florida named Fia’s Ristorante and Pizzeria when she stood up for herself when she was asked to stop breastfeeding her child: She and her family paid for their check and left; their dinner only half-eaten. Later, she posted her story to a support group of mothers, and the woman took to the restaurant’s Facebook page, launching comment after comment in defense of public breastfeeding. Two days later, the restaurant owner Chris Paladino sent her a private message apologizing. Then he took it a step further and publicly declared the restaurant a pro-nursing safe place. A victory for mother and businesses alike, I’m sure. (Cunha 2). Even as we band together on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media outlets to fight to normalize what is already perfectly normal, we sometimes have to fight those networks also: The problem isn’t social media; it’s our cultural fixation on women as objects to titillate and entertain rather than woman as human beings with lives and hardships.
By using social media to mobilize our efforts to gain the right to breastfeed without being harassed, we are turning the tide slowly- one picture, one instance, at a time. But until we can affect a deep change in the way society views on a woman in general, and breastfeeding mothers in particular, we will not be able to win the war. (Cunha 2). We shouldn’t have to throw a blanket over our child’s head or go into a gross bathroom to feed our children. I feel like it shouldn’t be such a huge deal to others, but I can’t change what people believe in. Women shouldn’t have to be asked to leave somewhere because our babies are hungry, and we should have to right to enjoy society without people judging women for breastfeeding their child in public. It seems everyone has an opinion on the subject, regardless of whether they’re a mother or a woman themselves. Some people see the act as indecent, while others view it as a normal aspect of motherhood.
In 2018, “4,072” people took a survey whether they agreed or disagreed that women should have to right to breastfeed in public places. “68.02 %” people agreed, “21.45%” people were in the between, and “10.53%” disagreed. (“Public Opinions about Breastfeeding”). Today, breasts have become synonymous with sex in American Culture. Advertisements and billboards can expose woman’s breast and new mothers can’t. Breastfeeding is not equivalent to masturbating, having sex, or peeing. In the article, “7 Reasons Why People Need to Get Over Women Breastfeeding in Public,” Allison Crist states “If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable while being in the vicinity of a mother who’s breastfeeding, I hope you are just as uncomfortable walking past magazines with women bent over, propping their boobs up.” (Crist 3). Nursing in plain sight is neither unsanitary nor impolite. It’s unsanitary to take your baby to their restroom to feed them. You wouldn’t want to go sit in a bathroom and eat your dinner. Or would you want to eat with a blanket over your head? “It is ridiculous to expect mothers to literally cover their children’s face in order for them to eat, so stop telling them to do so.” (Crist 4). Newborns need to be fed every three hours at least.
A mother shouldn’t have to rush to an unsanitary bathroom or a private place. She shouldn’t have to hide something that is a natural process and something that must be done. When your baby is hungry, your baby is hungry and the first thing that comes to a mother’s mind is feeding her child. She isn’t worried about what people think or what they are going to say. It takes a lot of confidence to breastfeed in public and people make those mothers uncomfortable because they are doing what’s right for their child. People will say mean things, or you will be asked to leave because other customers don’t agree with breastfeeding in public. Babies who are not breastfed in places other than home will eventually become used to being fed in one place. Therefore, the nourishing mother will basically become house bound. It is extremely important for mothers to get out of the house following birth, so they don’t become depressed and feel cut from the rest of the world. Postpartum depression is a real thing. And a lot of new moms experience it. Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that can affect woman after birth. Mothers with postpartum depression experience feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that may make it difficult for them to complete daily activities for themselves and others.
People make it where mothers are too afraid to even breastfeed in public and having post-partum depression doesn’t make it any easier for them. Although most states have a clarity law in which the government has set forth to allow women to breastfeed in public without being arrested for indecent exposure, no federal law addresses this specifically. In the article “State Breastfeeding Laws,” the National Conference of State Legislatures mentions “All fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location.” (“State Breastfeeding Laws”). We shouldn’t have to worry about if we are going to get in trouble or arrested for feeding our children in public. According to Susan Condon, “Not only is it legal to breastfeed in the United States, but many states have enacted laws to protect a woman’s right to breastfeed in any place, public, or private, as long as she’s authorized to be there. Some states have laws so strict that asking a nursing mother to stop, cover up, or move elsewhere is a violation of her civil rights and give her grounds to sue for damages in a court of law.” (Condon 1). Mothers who choose to breastfeed feel the positive effects out weigh the negative aspects of breastfeeding.
So, if they are strong enough to endure the pain and irritations that breastfeeding brings them, they certainly take their job as a mother as a high priority. Those women should be praised and not frowned upon. They made an ultimate decision to nourish their children with the milk they naturally produce; which does not make them an out cast of our society. Women have lives just like the rest of us do. If they choose to put their life on hold to nurse their children, that should remind some people how important life is. This is the main reason breastfeeding should be condoned and not shunned. Life is such a beautiful thing and the woman who gave birth to life and choose to continue their lives with having a child that is dependent on them in such a major way are a strong and powerful part of our society. I propose we make breastfeeding in public not a controversy.