Breastfeeding in Public Controversy
I was scrolling through my Facebook feed over the weekend and came upon a video where actress Allyssa Milano was defending public breastfeeding as a guest on the Wendy Williams Show. Wendy made it known that she does not agree with breastfeeding in public, because she associates women's breast with something more sexual. And that in itself is a problem! Breastfeeding in public has been a very controversial topic. To think something that should be so natural causes so much uproar. Babies do have to eat, and the same way you can bottle feed a baby in public you should be able to breastfeed in public. As it turns out, breastfed babies have rights too. In fact, state law protects a woman's right to breastfeed in public. If you're not familiar, look up the breastfeeding laws in your state.
Mothers are encouraged and told that breastfeeding is best for both babies and mothers. So why should mothers be made to feel shame and embarrassment for doing so in public. The next time you're out in public with your baby, and asked to relocate or stop nursing remind them of this… state law says a mother can breastfeed her baby wherever she is legally allowed to be. We are bombarded daily with images of women’s body parts and cleavages, yet we frown upon a women breastfeeding in public.
This video is a perfect reminder of how much more work needs to be done regarding making public breastfeeding a topic of normalcy. In the video Alyssa Milano who is a breastfeeding advocate, was asked to comment on the response she receives for posting breastfeeding photos on her Instagram feed. Her answer shows how important it is for mothers to be confident in our choices and to be able to stand up for protecting the rights of our children.
If you're still not sure how to respond to criticism of breastfeeding in public, here is an awesome article by Annie Reneau over at Motherhood and More.