As humans, there are certain necessary things we do in private (for the most part). We defecate, urinate, have sex, pass gas, shave our bodies, and clip our toenails. We all do these things. It’s natural, but we choose to do them behind closed doors. If we were to see someone doing any of these things in public, we’d gag, look away in disgust, or keep staring because we can’t believe our eyes.
However, one natural act that has always lingered on the border of what is and isn’t acceptable to do in public, is the act of breastfeeding. Some people believe breastfeeding falls under the same category as the actions mentioned above. It may be natural, but it should be done in private. No one needs to see that, especially in the middle of a crowded bus or at the food court in the mall.
Others think that as long as women cover themselves with a blanket, then it’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with feeding your baby if she’s hungry, just be discreet about it. It’s not meant to be a public show.
And then there are some who don’t care if women cover themselves or not. Women’s breasts have a purpose, and seeing these body parts used for what they were intended to do shouldn’t offend anyone.
Personally, I don’t think it’s a big deal if a woman’s breast is exposed in the process of breastfeeding. Not having kids myself, I don’t know how I’d feel about whipping out my own breast in public, but I’d like to think that my maternal instincts to feed my hungry child would obliterate any self-conscious feelings I may have. I could be wrong, though. Either way, I don’t understand why it makes people so uncomfortable to see it in public. Why is it more acceptable for women’s breasts to be displayed and used for sexual purposes, but not for feeding their baby?
I’m happy to say that the controversy isn’t stopping us from breastfeeding our children. Of Hispanic mothers, 80% attempt to breastfeed, which is great news considering the many advantages it provides both mother and baby. Whether you choose to do it in public or not is your choice, but it’s also your legal right in 45 states. So keep it up, Latinas! Maybe if we do it in public more often, we can help change people’s minds into believing that breastfeeding is beautiful, too