What Pisses Me Off: Breastfeeding!

I am a firm believer in breastfeeding, not only is it natural but also very economical and if you take

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. WeΒ all know breast is best for baby but it is also a personal choice and there isΒ no need to shove it down everybody’s throats because no amount of public breastfeeding is going to change the minds of some!

Share your thoughts below.

  1. I agree. Have nothing against breastfeeding and where it should be done. These woman have no modesty when feeding their babies. I do think they like the attention by not using a little cover.

    • Julie  

      If breastfeeding in public offends you so much, cover yourself, so you don’t ‘have to see it’.

      • BreNext time you want to eat put something over your head or go into a cupboard and eat in the dark. That is what you are asking parents to do with their babies. Also when were you last in one of these “parents” rooms. Often there’s no feeding area or only one and they can smell terrible. I am proud that my daughter in laws both comfortably breastfeed in public.

        • Patricia  

          No, she is asking for discretion, just simple modesty, what harm does it do to cover your self discreetly, I would have thought that this was normal practise, but there is the defiant element In this argument, as long as the babies are fed and happy, it just a slipping of standards in modesty, nothing is left to the imagination, let it all hang out!

      • cathy  

        oh come on there are plenty of cute itte musim bunny rugs that are light and airy .they dont seem to mind throwing them over the pram hoods i am not anti breast feeding my daughter breast fed all of hers but she did it with modesty .one off mine even breast fed twins without drawing atteion to it .some woman are just showing off cauer its a big topic right know

    • or maybe they place more importance on feeding their children , and don’t worry about your hangups !! what next? are you wanting to cover up cows breasts in every paddock around Australia too?

    • Fran  

      There is a thing called modesty. Something that some mothers don’t have. The attitude of covering yourself so that you don’t have to look is similar to smokers who believe they have a right to jeopardise others health as well as their own so they can smoke where they wish. Another name could be selfish. Others do not want to see your breasts in public as much we do not want to inhale stale smoke from cigarettes. Think of others not only yourself.

      • There is a massive difference between smoking and FEEDING a baby. I am an ex smoker (one who always tried to stay away from people even more so if there was kids around)
        There is nothing making you look except for the fact that you see breasts as sexual. Do you also have the same disgust for ANY male that walks around without a top. I’m not just talking about the fat hair guy even the hot ones?? I guess not. Because a mans nipple and mammary tissue is not sexual. NEWS FLASH neither is mine.

        I would rather see a baby being feed than half the pigs who haven’t learnt to chew with their mouths closed.
        Feeding my baby will not affect your health but it will affect his. Although it may affect your health of you are dumb enough to sexually discriminate against me or my right to feed my baby where ever I am, when ever he is hungry

    • No modesty or no hang ups? They have left behind the society imposed shame that woman are supposed to feel about their bodies. Well done them.

    • Try being modest when you are exhausted from feeding a newborn all night long and can hardly keep your eyes open.
      Get real people..
      Babies come first.

      • Moira  

        I had four babies, all grown up now and I never ever had to feed them when out shopping ! I fed them in the comfort of our own home in privacy. I was never UP all night FEEDING either !

    • Theresa Rose-Ham Well actually, I have and did. It does NOT hurt to think of others and how they may feel. This is half the trouble in the world, people do not give a damn about others.

    • Theresa Rose-Ham I nursed both of my children and my daughter nursed her child both at home and in public. Being in public, one should have some dignity and not fully expose oneself.

    • Emma Mogg  

      Well at least you were polite enough tokens your small minded and self confessed old fashioned opinion to yourself.
      I doubt very much the young mother had both bare breasts ‘out on show’ whilst using her right as a mother and legal right as an Australian to feed her child. It’s people like you and those who agree with you that make this world a sad place. To find offence in a child being nourished is down right outrageous.
      I’ve said it a thousand times, if you find breastfeeding offensive DONT look. You seem to be more worried about the sexualisation of these women feeding their children to those around them then the fact that they are giving their babies the best possible nutrition possible at the time when the babies were hungry.
      Do the world a favour and stop being a keyboard worrier. The only person doing any wrong here is you!
      Lord have mercy if someone like you ever have the nerve to say anything like your small minded thoughts in this ranting story to me while I harmlessly feed my child, number one it’s just plain rude and two it’s illegal to do so in Australia under the 1984 Sex discrimination act. So next time you are shopping and see a mother feeding her child, give her a nod and a smile rejoice that women are strong and be proud to be a friendly face in a world of shaming. Raise eachother instead of pulling eachother down!

  2. There is always exceptions to the rule.Most women behave properly

    • And society sure does hammer in to women what is proper or not about their bodies. Breasts are apparently improper.

      • Patricia  

        This is not about bodies its about behaviour, in this case modesty, yep I know that is a word or action that is rapidly going out of fashion, that doesn’t make it right, the babies come first, we all agree on that, perhaps shopping malls should cater for nursing mums, a nice relaxing room with comfy chairs etc, so mothers can feel valued.

  3. There is nothing shameful about breasts they are designed for feeding , feeding a baby is the most natural thing in the world. If you don’t like it dont look, I can’t believe a woman would say such a thing.

    • I actually don’t look but in central london when u get on a bus on oxford street n some woman is sat right in eye view with everything hanging out … u don’t have a choice

      • Anna  

        I agree. Besides, you don’t know what perverts are around, and you can’t talk to them about what’s natural and one’s rights. While a breastfeeding mother may be sitting there thinking of her rights, a pervert could be watching with all kinds of frightening things going through his/her mind, dangerous. I in fact do like to see a baby contentedly feeding, but there is a place for modesty and self respect. Some people wear their right to feed in public like some kind of badge of honour.

    • Kerry Goodwin  

      I dont have a problem with breastfeeding but wish women would be more discreet about it.

    • so whats wrong with that Sonia? Why do you find breasts offensive? Do you look at your own and say oh heck I don’t want to see them? Why do women need to be more “discreet”? Why should they feel the need to cover them up?

      • Anna  

        Probably for the same reason the same breastfeeding woman would not get around with her breasts uncovered if not feeding a baby.

      • Anna  

        Probably for the same reason the same breastfeeding woman would not get around with her breasts uncovered if not feeding a baby.

    • I don’t find breasts offensive but nor do i need to see them in my face in full glory while going to work on the bus

    • I was in Sydney when I had to feed one of my boys. I was out in the open and no one knew what I wasaid doing. That was over 30 years ago

    • In your face? Was she standing right up against you? I suspect not and if she was sitting and you spotted them as you walked past why would immediatebreaction be one of disgust or revulsion rather than, oh thats a lovely thing to see. It’s great to see a naturally nurtured baby”? Might pay to do a little self-exploration of your beliefs.

    • Another thing many men find it embarrassing. If a man looks at a women’s breast he can be charged with purving but if it is, as you say “in your face” where does he look so he does not get accused of same.

    • Sorry Lynne McDonald Modesty – being made to feel you need to show less of yourself in every context to avoid others feeling uncomfortable. I find your comments quite outdated and indicative of limited deep self analysis. If the men in your world also find breastfeeding embarrassing to see it also says a lot about their attitudes to women, sexuality, motherhood and nature. Quite sad. I’ll leave it at that and head back to work with my breasts covered BTW. πŸ™‚

    • Nope, Lynne. Breasts are dual purpose. Watching someone feed their kid is not a turn on at all. What a weird thing to say.

    • Lynne, their eyes. I look at their eyes. Or maybe at the baby, or even out the window! If it’s a stranger I might ask what the baby’s name is, how they’re going, or are they getting enough sleep?

    • June Bartlett I got on the bus .. she was sat on the seat straight in front of me where the pushchairs go with both breasts out legs splayed and yes she was a large lady and it was straight in ur face not a glance as i walked past she may swell have not had a top on … it didn’t look sweet and nurturing at all …

    • It all comes down to respect for self and respect for others. Both sides of the argument are entitled to their opinion and maybe a little tolerance would go a long way. For those who grew up in an era where modesty and certain standards of behaviour were commonplace does not mean that these people now deserve to be denigrated for their point of view when they feel uncomfortable in these situations. Standards and behaviour accepted by society are continually changing and I am sure in the future that these young mums will find some behaviour of the next generation uncomfortable or unacceptable.

    • June Bartlett thanks for the lecture and psychobabble but it doesnt change the fact that some people are embarassed and the world was a better place when woman were modest and didnt have the attitude “if you dont like it look away I’m going to do whatever i want regardless of who i might be offending.” Cover up and no one will have a problem with it. If you need to feed a baby while shopping maybe you have been shopping for too long.

    • There is such a thing as acceptable behavior; if you wanted to pee desperately would you do it against a lamppost?

    • Iris Castle The world was a better place when women were modest eh? Back when they wore neck to knee swimming atire? Back when they had bustles? Back when they learned to be ashamed of their bodies? Back when restricted clothing meant restricted behaviour and restricted participation in the full gamut of activities. Not for me.

    • Some of you are talking crap. Just because we don’t like uncovered breast feeding in public does not mean we find breasts offensive or disgusting. We find it offensive that YOU are throwing your breasts, a PRIVATE BODY PART in my face. Put those same breasts in a sexy dress or bikini and they are beautiful.

  4. I breast fed mine and if we were out i either expressed 1st before going out or i went and sat in the car and fed them. Ive sat in a room full of people and no one has realised I’ve fed my baby … I didn’t need to get everything out for public display

  5. We as a species have sexualized breasts, every other species on the planet does not have a problem with feeding their young or showing their breast except for us. We have breasts for ONLY one reason to feed our children

    • I am wondering how many women have real hangups about breast feeding or are paranoid and think their husband will look at those breasts. Men just ignore it, it seem to be women who hav the problem. I find that strange

    • I don’t know the answer but I do agree it is odd that some find it so offensive, women start to get breasts at puberty, you would think by the time they get old they would have adjusted to seeing them πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    • You are right Libbi about breasts being sexualised and we were given them for one thing – breast feeding.
      I personally don’t find breast feeding offensive, but I do think it should be done discreetly when in a public place because others may be embarrassed or offended. I suppose many of us were brought up to breastfeed in the privacy of one’s home, and indeed it wouldn’t have been allowed in our day! These days anything and everything is on show, but it’s such a personal bonding time when breastfeeding, so it amazes me when ladies sit in the middle of a noisy shopping centre. I personally would prefer to stay at home and would never have done it in public…..I would have died of embarrassment!

    • Christa when I was young despite being a size 10 and tall I would never even wear shorts, but times change and we need to adapt in with them and for me the priority is that child is fed, if they were not feeding their children someone would be calling the welfare and saying they were unfit mums. These young women can’t win anyway they go

      • Janene  

        I think there is nothing nicer than seeing a mother breastfeeding her baby BUT we don’t have to see the whole breast while she’s doing it. What happened to “breastfeeding bra’s”??? aren’t they around any longer?? you could unclip the flap, pull your top up and feed your baby and honestly, no one was any the wiser. Nowadays, it seems like women are trying to make a point by exposing themselves to one and all – show a bit of decorum girls.

    • Anna  

      You obviously don’t know much about men and women then. Besides, if you follow that line, humans are the only species that has sex just for pleasure.

    • Libbi – Yes I agree that times have changed and I definitely don’t have a problem with breast feeding in public, but it can be done discreetly, especially in a public shopping area. Many young mums are bored at home and spend hours in shopping centres and naturally have to feed their babies. Most people don’t object to this at all, but out of pure courtesy to others (who don’t like it for various reasons) the mums can be discreet. Most are…I have certainly never encountered anything like the writer of the article has, and I’ve actually sat chatting to a young lady while breastfeeding. Common sense and courtesy should prevail in any situation.

    • Christa we can’t do a thing about the way others choose to feel, I always think that’s their problem to deal with.

    • Iris, reading comments on here men don’t seem to be the ones with the problem, it’s women judging other women that seem to be the problem, I agree with everything Libbi said.

    • Lee Horrocks the way others feel may be, as you put it, “their problem” to deal with, but that does not excuse us from being sensitive to the feelings of others and adjusting our actions accordingly where possible. Just because people can do something doesn’t mean it is appropriate to do so.

    • Yes Lee we have no control over how others feel or what others do; the only thing people can do is to air their views and we all have to respect the opinions of others whether they agree or disagree with our personal viewpoint. After all, none of our opinions are going to stop breastfeeding in public….and neither should they….and it’s up to the person breastfeeding to decide where and how she wishes to do it.

  6. Yes breast is undoubtedly best, for baby and mum, you pass on loads of calories, have a perfectexcuse for a sit down and cuppa and read (not so easy with baby in one hand and bottle in other, cannot pick up cup, or turn the page, or even scratch an itch,! That said modesty and discretion is called for, it should not be a public display

  7. It’s impossible to guess their reasons for popping the breasts in plain view instead of covering themselves in a display of modesty, but I suspect it might have to do with the brazen displays in certain store windows or the media, coupled with the over-sexualization of women’s breasts throughout society. Not too many folks screaming about those things, so who can blame mothers for brazenly pointing out the actual purpose of breasts? Do you get this upset when you see a man walking around without a shirt on? Do you want to run and cover up all of the statues, paintings, photographs, ads, or mannequins that show breasts? Are you aghast when on the beach? http://49.media.tumblr.com/cbcb2f4b0c9952b97792ecf14a5f3e3f/tumblr_o0lqm2MnVQ1rt28efo1_500.gif

    • No I wouldn’t I say good on you how would mums feel if a man made himself more comfortable in pubic if he got turned on. Just saying

      • Anna  

        “If a man gets turned on”? A reason for a woman to be a little discreet with her breasts.

    • Vonda Nansett Sounds like comparing apples and oranges. Again, you are sexualizing women’s breasts and comparing them to penises, which is way off base.

    • Sandra Merchant no one would be offended if they were covered up that is the whole point.

  8. I always thought a screaming upset child far more offensive than seeing a mother feed in public. I was shamed into disappearing into another room by some friends and family the first time round but for the next two when I was more confident I fed whenever and wherever was required.

  9. Disagree completely. Funny isn’t it how when breasts are visible for their primary function of feeding infants people get uncomfortable. When they are are visible at the beach, in advertising and sexually people think that’s just fine. Ridiculous. The issue seems to be around nipples which makes it even more ludicrous. Everyone has them. No-one gives a damn when men’s nipples are visible. See a women’s nipples and all hell breaks loose. Ask yourself why.

    • Sorry, there is a huge difference between the nipples of men and the nipples of women. If you don’t know that by now I really feel sorry for you. I have never seen a woman yet go totally gaga when seeing a man’s naked chest. Women may admire the “eye candy” but men’s nipples are not seen in the same sexual content as a woman’s. Just because breasts are used in advertising and blatantly displayed with minimal covering does not make it socially acceptable to everyone. It all boils down to respect…for ones-self and others. I am all for breast feeding in public, but is just as unacceptable to bare all when breast feeding as it is to walk around topless in the supermarket, men included.

    • You don’t go “ga-ga” over men’s naked chests???? Then it is you I feel sorry for. :). That aside, its nothing to do with self respect. It’s how women have been educated to believe some parts of their bodies need to be hidden because its “unseemly”. I am perfectly comfortable and happy walking around my house topless or naked and only don’t do it in public because societies laws would have me arrested. They’re breasts, just breasts.

    • Juat curious. You’re in a public place, cafe, bus, train, whatever. Woman (you don’t know) opposite is breastfeeding and you can see a large amount of her breast. Would you consider starting a conversation? How old is the baby? Name? Glad to see you are breastfeeding or other words of encouragement? Or would your own (irrational) discomfort override the desire to be friendly? Looking at, smiling at the baby and the situation rather than thinking holy &%%% there’s breasts!!!

    • June Bartlett Just curious…did you actually read what I wrote in the first instance, which was in reply to the posted article?

    • June Bartlett FYI, I am a midwife who ACTIVELY supports breastfeeding anywhere, anytime. However, there is absolutely no need to expose the breast not in use when in public.

    • I was wondering what Glenda Jordan-Winitana meant by “overwhelmed” too. You haven’t been looking at mens chests have you? πŸ™‚

    • Well, Lee Horrocks, I will surprise you again. You will find many, in fact most breastfeeding advocates think the same way as I do. I breastfed my own kids when needed in public. Not a single comment was made or a look of disgust given.

    • Oh well you just keep making women feel like criminals for showing breasts when they feed their infants and I’ll plug away at seeing nothing more than just another body part like arms, legs, hands, feet, breasts, ears, hair…..

    • June Bartlett It is the attitude you are displaying here that makes it difficult for women to breastfeed in public. Women want and need to be able to feed their babies anywhere. Those who “let it all hang out” are not helping the cause, rather their actions are detrimental. To a point you are right. A breast is just another part of the body, but until the general public accepts naked breasts in public exposing the second breast is not necessary. Of course some of the feeding breast will be seen. That can’t be helped.

    • Anne you explained yourself beautifully. For those of you that say breasts are just breasts and we all have them…exactly…
      That’s why we have clothes, your breasts are yours and mine are mine, keep them to yourself I don’t want to see them. For those of you that want to expose yourself in public you are just being lazy and selfish to organise themselves and just wanting attention and for those that are encouraging it are just creating silly friction in a world that has more serious problems. If a good majority of the public don’t want to see it simple…
      don’t do it…have respect for others.

    • June you shouldn’t be exposing your breasts at the beach anyway so what is that about. Men’s nipples and womens nipples are totally different, I laughed at that comment.

    • June Bartlett You state they are breast just breasts. Indeed you are right but in society there are persons who are perverted and see it all differently. Some it is an illness, others not so. They need no encouragement and I believe that we need to be careful as these types of people come in all shapes and forms. discretion is the better part of valour.

  10. Breast feeding is vital in giving good health to your baby, but it should be done as a woman of integrity to feed your baby in a well mannered attitude and comfortable between the mother and the baby. You should find a place or a spot where you can sit comfortably and place a little cloth like baby’s diaper or managed your poise and personality as a dignified mother.

      • Anna  

        Most likely the baby couldn’t care less, but would be more content if fed in a proper environment.

    • Oh no, same as above ^^^^ when at home the baby does not have a cloth over his/her head what makes you think just because the baby is out it will have a cloth over its head??? And boobs are there for feeding and nothing else, so sad that we live in a day where the younger can handle seeing boobs but older people can’t 😒

  11. I breastfed my four children, two are twins. Always fed in the privacy of my home. I admire the young women of today who do feed in public, most do it very discreetly in fact I haven’t seen anyone behaving like the women in this story

    • i have Joan, when I lived in cairns I was shopping in a supermarket & a woman was walking around the aisles with a baby hanging of her boob while her partner was pushing the trolley & she was telling him what to get I can’t get that image out of my head !!!

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