As I have mentioned before, sometimes I watch The View on ABC while I'm feeding Nathan in the morning. I was shocked and angered to hear about this story, where Barbara Walters made a comment on the show that she felt very uncomfortable when a woman sitting near her on a plane breastfed her baby without covering up. The other women made a few other not-so-encouraging remarks about breastfeeding as well, and it sparked a protest of "lactivists" who staged a nurse-in outside ABC studios this week.
I know from experience and reading that breast verses bottle is a very controversial subject that people seem to have strong opinions about. It is very often the cause of a lot of "drive-by mothering". But doctors are crystal clear on this subject, breast is best for the baby. Nursing can be difficult and awkward enough for moms as it is and they don't need to be discouraged or made to feel dirty. I breastfed Nathan for 7 months and quit because he was too big and squirmy and didn't seem as interested anymore. I have heard LOTS of people say "why can't women cover up with a blanket?" and to this I say "YOU TRY HOLDING A 20 LB KID STILL TO YOUR CHEST WHILE KEEPING A BLANKET OVER HIS HEAD!" I imagine Barbara Walters was certainly in first class, where there is PLENTY of space in each seat, and the mom was nursing the child during take-off which is extremely helpful in keeping the baby from screaming as his ears adjust to the pressure changes. Which would you rather see in public, a screaming child or a slightly exposed boob?
I personally was considerate of others and usually nursed in another room or in a dressing room when in public. I am somewhat modest around people like my coworkers and male friends, but I was frustrated that some members of even my family were not comfortable enough for me to sit there, even when Nathan was tiny and NOTHING showed, so I could watch TV without having to leave the room. I do wish people would get over it and realize that breasts are functional, not just sexual. I was surprised to learn how women of my mom's generation and my grandmother's generation felt about breastfeeding. It was as though it was something only poor uncultured people do. Well times, they have changed and moms will do anything to give their kid that extra healthy edge and if that means breastfeeding at Starbucks while sipping a decaf latte, GOOD FOR THEM.
Disclaimer: Not all women are able to breastfeed or choose to do so and they should NOT be chastised for raising their baby on the bottle.