Breastfeed Your Babies Everywhere
In the local newspaper a couple days ago was a small piece about a woman who stopped to breastfeed her baby at a shopping mall in Roseburg, Oregon. A mall employee told her to stop because an older woman had complained. The mall management had since stated that they were writing a letter of apology.
We have a law in Oregon that mothers can breastfeed their babies anywhere, including in public. I suppose this is a good thing, but think for a moment about a society that needs to pass a law so women can breastfeed their children. It seems weird and backwards to me, but in this strangely uptight country we need such a law. I say “uptight” because scenes of women’s bodies are used in advertising everywhere.
Midwife Ina May Gaskin started a campaign called “Stop Nipple Phobia.” She said that the cure for this phobia is to show nipples everywhere, so people aren’t afraid of them. So women, breastfeed your babies wherever you are and whenever your babies want, so we can stop nipple phobia!
Thirty-six years ago I considered it my duty to nurse my babies wherever and whenever I wanted. I figured that the culture should get accustomed to it. I was never asked to stop in 10 years of nursing three children in public and in private. I was occasionally complimented. Are things going backwards? Maybe I had a different experience because I live in Eugene, Oregon. It’s a rather hip, if not hippie, city. I really like living here.
P.S. When our editor Cheryl proofed this she added a note about her daughter Danielle, “Danielle told me that she has had women smile at her approvingly when they see her breastfeeding here in Eugene.”
Here are a couple articles:
Breastfeeding: Food For Thought - by Tamara Crafts, RN
Breastfeeding Nemesis - by Suzanne Colson
Photo by Caroline E. Brown