Monday, May 24, 2010

BHaG is anti-breastfeeding.

Generally speaking, I'm for breastfeeding. I respect every mother's right to choose what is best for her and her child, even if that's not breastfeeding, but MY intention is to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months, and almost exclusively for another 6 months after that. That said, no matter what your personal decision is regarding breastfeeding, I think that most women (especially mothers) can agree that a woman should never be pressured to NOT breastfeed. In fact, I think that women should be encouraged and breastfeeding should be as comfortable as giving a kid a bottle.

In Illinois (as in most U.S. states and on federal property) a woman has the right to breastfeed anywhere that she is allowed to be. Still, some businesses are not aware of this, and try to get breastfeeding women to leave or stop breastfeeding. Unsupportive public opinions can make the difference between successful breastfeeding and a mother deciding to switch to a bottle.

I recently came across this article from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine: The 10 Commandments of Dining with Little Kids. In it, the author says:
Yes, I have seen table-side breast feeding at a four-star restaurant. If at all possible, take it to the ladies room. (Note: most upscale restaurants have really nice restrooms!)
What amazes and scares me is not only that this article was written by a woman, but that she claims not to be 'anti-kid'. I have more than a few issues with this:
  • Yes, a bathroom might be very nice, but no one wants to eat in one, and I think there are very few people who would want to spend up to 30 minutes of their meal out sitting in a bathroom.
  • Handicap stalls are for people with disabilities, not for breastfeeding mothers. 
  • Who wants to wait in line for the bathroom while a mother breastfeeds, especially if there are not multiple stalls.
  • She also includes the 'commandment' "THOU SHALL TRY TO QUELL HIGH-PITCHED SCREAMING". I don't know if anyone has noticed, but a hungry baby tends to be a loud baby. 
  • Most mothers who breastfeed show surprisingly little to no boob.
  • You don't have to look, in fact, it's rude to stare. 
  • Society has created this insane oversexualization of breasts and has turned them into a taboo. Exposure to breasts being used for sustenance should be encouraged, not exposure to breasts as a way to use sexuality to sell products.
  • Eating as a family is a positive experience and should be started as young as possible. Eating while breastfeeding is also a great way for the mother to make sure that she is getting the nutrition necessary to continue breastfeeding. 
  • The author is definitely anti-kid if she does not support breastfeeding. Breastfeeding has been shown over and over to provide the best nutrients for a child and lowers the rates of SIDs. 
Yes, I'm using this article as a sort of sacrificial lamb, but if people are not called out when they do not support breastfeeding, no change is going to be made. We should not isolate mothers, we should not discourage breastfeeding. End of story.


  1. WOW that is insane! I cannot believe a magazine especially a current one would print a statement such as that! I personally have yet to become comfortable with breastfeeding my baby in public and it is mainly because of opinions such as this! It is so sad! I am super comfortable doing it at home around my older daughter I hope someday when she has her own children she will be comfortable to feed her baby when and where she wants!

  2. Stephie, thank you so much for your response! I was really surprised too, but I've gotten feedback like what she wrote in the article in person before from friends when I was talking about my breastfeeding plans. Kudos for breastfeeding around your daughter! children need to see that breasts are more than just sex objects!

  3. This makes me so angry I have no words... what kind of prudish, uptight society do we live in where we can feed ourselves and not feed our children at the same table because it involves *GASP* a breast.

    Nevermind that we might be eating a chicken breast.


  4. PS-- Cheryl were you even aware Kelli was nursing Sawyer during class like three times last week?? I don't think anyone else noticed either.

    Point of fact.

  5. I posted this on Fb. This makes me so mad I can't even stand it. I'm all in knots over this.

    And for the record, I nursed Finn EVERYWHERE. When I was buying a car, on the massage table, at the oil change place, at my inlaws, at restaurants, at parties (walking around with him in my arms at the breast), I mean EVERYWHERE.

    And I never cared, and I would do it again. It's a boob people, we see then on TV, myspace, Facebook, commercials... but god forbid we see them with a baby attached. Go cleavage, but not the most precious bond of mother and baby! UGH! I'm SO MAD!

  6. "I am absolutely APPALLED that your magazine would put out an article that tells breastfeeding mothers to nurse in the bathroom! I will never buy your magazine again, nor any product endorsed by your company. I will also be telling everyone I know what a shameful company you are and that they should also consider boycotting your magazine and all products endorsed by you. Your company will never see my family's hard earned dollars again. How dare you undermine the health of mothers and infants with such an ill-devised article."

    I suggest going to their website and letting them know. I wouldn't be above contacting Wal-mart either to let them know how offensive their products are to me and that I don't care to see them on the shelf. I had to create an account to send feedback off the BHaG website.

  7. I am assuming most nursing moms are doing it discretely. I have nursed at the table...and I'll tell you what, I don't even think my waitress noticed! It's not like we just whip it out for the world to see....people need to get over it. It is a boob. Big deal!

  8. Everyone who commented here: check out my new post! BHaG recanted and apologized!