I am a firm believer in breastfeeding, not only is it natural but also very economical and if you take care of yourself with a decent healthy diet it is far better than any formula made in a laboratory. I believe breast fed babies get a much better start in life and I feel very sorry for the mothers that want to breastfeed but for some reason are unable. For myself it was very much a bonding time with my children and back then it was commonplace to breastfeed and none of us ever felt the need to feed in public. I made a point of feeding my children before I ventured out, if for some reason I had no choice but to be out at feed time I expressed milk beforehand – it’s not rocket science.
Recently while at the local shopping centre I walked past a young Mum seated in the middle of the main area – her tank top was pulled up around her neck with bubs attached to one breast while the other breast kept an eye on passers by. No modesty sheet no nothing! I believe the baby would not have starved if Mum had walked the extra two minutes to the comfort and privacy of the air conditioned mothers’ rooms. The baby cannot possible be relaxed or feed properly with all the Christmas carols blaring through speakers, people staring as they walk past and throw in comments from a group of smart mouthed pimply faced teenage boys and you have a recipe to draw a lot of attention to yourself.
When I was finished shopping and feeling totally fed up and sick of fighting my way through crowds I decided to relax with a cuppa, a young Mum came in with a tiny baby and sat right opposite me at the front of the shop. The Mum opened her blouse and bra and started to feed her baby. I immediately thought ‘here we go again’, everybody and their dog was having a good look as they walked past. I don’t get why mothers feel the need to feed so openly, where is the pride? Why sit at the front of the shop when there was plenty of room in the quiet dimly lit areas at the back? t the very least it would have provided a degree of privacy.
I was watching a story on the news tonight about a young Mum breastfeeding her baby in the change cubicles in Kmart,everybody was up in arms because she was told it was not very hygienic and asked to leave. Well call me old fashioned but I agree with Kmart, it’s not necessary; the mum said bubs was screaming and she had no option. Maybe she was too busy shopping and stretched out bubs feed time to the point the baby was screaming. Organisation, pride and respect for yours and your baby’s privacy is the key. We all know breast is best for baby but it is also a personal choice and there is no need to shove it down everybody’s throats because no amount of public breastfeeding is going to change the minds of some!