Thursday, March 19, 2009

I don't need this

I haven't really got in to the whole breast-feeding debate yet. It feels like a huge project that will need both serious time and commitment, so instead I'll leave you this reflexion that I made today, eating my spring rolls and shitake mushrooms in a down town restaurant:

The reflexion is: I don't need naked breasts when I eat. I don't use them, I don't need to see them.
Why do some women insist on breastfeeding their children (in this case a child who was old enough to feed himself with a fork, but that's beside the point) in public, right there, in front of every one?

I am certainly not a prude. Breasts don't face me. They are natural, and have a cool function and are all part of this wonderful thing that is nurture, but do we really need to see them at tehir ripest when we eat our lunch?

This breast wasn't even a little covered. Had the woman made even the slightest attempt to turn away from the rest of the room, or tried to cover breast and eating child up a bit with a blanket or something, I would have been the first to forgive. An attempt to cover a breast would be enough for me (even though there was a perfectly good Family Room next door to the restaurant, all nicely decked out with big sofas and toys for nursing mother's and their children) but this woman had simply unbuttoned her shirt halfway down, pulled her breast out, and let her toddler nurse right there, in the open, in front of me, my spring rolls, and the rest of the customers.
And then she had to change breast as well....

If anyone would like to practice this level of "breasts are not sexual, and breastfeeding is the most natural thing there is" they should be very aware and respectful of the fact that there might be other people who might not be as comfortable with this. It is not fair to ask of the rest of us to accept this very personal relationship with one's breasts.


  1. While I think you should be able to breastfeed everywhere - hey, the baby doesn't understand the concept of "please wait", nor should mothers have to stay in until they stopped breastfeeding, finding a more quiet corner and turning away from the crowds feels like a better thing to do - also less stressfull for the baby.
    But some mothers feel they have to lock themselves into the bathroom for breastfeeding and that is certainly not OK. I'd rather have lunch while people are breastfeeding around me than with hysterically screaming infants around. But you are right, trying to cover up a little is preferred, at least in my point of view. Besides there are so many practical solutions, special sweaters that you can use, sweaters that show very little but allows the baby to get access to what he/she needs.
    But I am absolutely pro breastfeeding when you can (and want). After all, it is a really practical - clean, with vitamines etc that the baby need, no worries about the cleanliness about the water that you give the baby - and less to remember to bring with you...

  2. Hi Ann-Katrin, I have been meaning to reply to your comment, but things have been pretty hectic here. I will reply, that's a promise, just bare with me! Thank you for the link to your blog too, as soon as I have time I will check it out properly.
    Take care!

  3. I think you mistake Ann-Katrin for me, Anna-Karin. ;) That's the problem with those Swedish double names.

    I, Anna-Karin, have pretty the same opinion as Ann-Katrin on breastfeeding, though. It's a fantastic way to bring the baby's dinner with you without having to mix or heat it. But I do prefer the breasts being covered up a bit.