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Reader Survey: Let’s Get Real About Breastfeeding

By carolyncastiglia |

breastfeeding, public breastfeeding

Tell us how you feel about breastfeeding.

Public breastfeeding has certainly been a hot topic of late, with everyone from celebrities to the general public sharing their feelings about how seeing a mother breastfeed her child out in the open makes them feel.  Some think public breastfeeding is okay if done discreetly; others believe it’s okay on a park bench but not in a restaurant booth.  Some folks shudder at the idea of any sort of mammary exposure.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “44 percent of women feel uncomfortable with public breastfeeding.”

Since August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month, and – per the Wall Street Journal – “the percentage of women who breast-feed is well below public-health goals,” I thought it was time we polled our readers about their approach to breastfeeding in an effort to have an honest, open and hopefully revealing conversation on the subject.

The New York Times blog “The Local,” which covers the Fort Greene and Clinton Hill areas of Brooklyn, is polling readers to determine where the most breastfeeding-friendly spots are in the nabe.  Take our Babble reader survey at Zoomerang and let us know how and where you feed your baby – bottle-feeders welcome.  Results will appear at the end of the survey, and I’ll recap them in a post on Monday.

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About carolyncastiglia

carolyncastiglia

carolyncastiglia

Carolyn Castiglia is a New York-based comedian/writer wowing audiences with her stand-up and freestyle rap. She’s appeared in TONY, The NY Post, The Idiot’s Guide to Jokes and Life & Style. You can find Carolyn’s writing elsewhere online at MarieClaire.com and The Huffington Post. Read bio and latest posts → Read Carolyn's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Reader Survey: Let’s Get Real About Breastfeeding

  1. Meagan says:

    I don’t like to breastfeed in public but I will if I’m desperate. I’d rather do it in the car, so I at least have the illusion of privacy. When I HAVE fed in public though, I didn’t bother with nursing covers… I own one, but especially early on, breastfeeding was difficult enough without adding the extra wrinkle.

  2. Rosana says:

    If you don’t like to see breatfeeding in public, don’t look. Simple as that.

  3. Ariel says:

    The survey isn’t very good. For instance:
    8. Did you find breastfeeding difficult?
    Not at all!
    Sometimes, but I stuck with it.
    Yes, I quit earlier than I planned to because I found it so hard!
    I tried once in the hospital and gave up.
    Why not an option for “I was UNABLE to breastfeed.” And perhaps have included some questions relating to that…

  4. Jayme (Random Blogette) says:

    I agree with Ariel. I was unable to breastfeed because my daughter has PKU and they couldn’t monitor what she was taking in. I think that it is important either way not to judge a woman if they breast or bottle feed. It is their personal choice. If someone wants to breastfeed in public that is fine.

  5. kylie says:

    great place for the family is Silver Dollar City, they have a special place for nursing moms!

  6. Mama Steiner says:

    I’ve nursed all 3 of my children and all for varying lengths of their lives. Experience, support, and education are all keys to successful breastfeeding if a mom is able to do so. There are lots of reasons why some moms can’t nurse that doesn’t involve a personal choice but a physical one for either mom or baby. Breastfeeding in public is fine with me – I do it all the time and I wouldn’t look down on anyone else for doing so – baby needs to eat! Out of comfort sake for my baby, I try to time when she needs to eat for when we’re at home, simply because I think it’s uncomfortable to try to nurse in a booth or chair at a restaurant. I also cover her out of privacy for her AND for less distraction. But all of this is MY personal preference and that’s the way it should be for all moms, to make the experience work best for her and baby.

  7. Randa (welivecraftily@blogspot.com) says:

    I think breastfeeding in public is fine. I’ve done it with & without a cover & believe it’s the most natural thing in the world. It’s sad that so few women try to breastfeed anymore when there are so many benefits to mother & baby. I feel that if seeing a mom & baby perform such a gentle, natural act makes you uncomfortable – just look away.

  8. 1sttimemom says:

    I’m a breastfeeding mother. I promote breastfeeding and always try to help a new mom with it. With that said, I don’t understand why some people are so against breastfeeding in public. A mom is human and has the right to have a life after baby. I love to see a mom nursing her child while having dinner at a restuarant. These women are not trying to expose their breast to everyone and they are definitely not doing it to offend you. The only reason why breastfeeding mothers “plop their boob out” (as I’ve heard so many judging, ignorant people call it) is to provide their baby nurishment!!! I personally use a cover in public but if you have the confidence not to, it does not offend me what so ever. I am enraged when I hear of stories where a mom asks for a private area to nurse in and they tell them to nurse in the restroom!!!! The bathroom?!?! Would you eat in the bathroom and do you know how disgusting a public restroom is?!

  9. Amanda says:

    My son has only had breastmilk. When we are going to be out for more more than a couple of hours, I bring a bottle of EBM. But it seems like everytime I read or hear the term “bottle feed,” they are referring to formula. My son was in the NICU for 2 weeks and I had the opportunity to use the expertise of the lactaction consultants whenever I needed. I was able to pump every 2-3 hrs and bottle feed that to him. Without this help, I don’t know if we would have been as successful at breastfeeding.

  10. Jessi says:

    oh goody… a special nursing place…. away from everyone? somewhere where you have to attempt to control and quiet your other kids? tucked in a corner? no thanks. i am as discreet as possible but nursing my son should and will happen wherever i am currently. i don’t go somewhere special to feed him from a jar, i’m not going somewhere special to feed him from my breast.

  11. mama b says:

    There are a great many clothes made for nursing how so you can be discreet. I pumped milk for both my kids and many times took a bottle of EBM out to the store or an event if I didn’t feel like nursing in public. I wore nursing camis and nobody ever blinked an eye at me nursing my babies, plus I didn’t care anyway.

  12. Teri says:

    I breastfeed everywhere and anywhere. I don’t care. No one has ever said anything to me and if they do, I still don’t care! I was a little more hesitant with my first, but with #2, I’m over it and everyone else should be too.

  13. Emma says:

    My 4-month old is very particular about where he will eat. I try to be at home for each nursing session, and then leave the house to run errands. He only eats for a few minutes if we are in public, even though I find a quiet corner. I wouldn’t mind nursing in public, but my baby does.

  14. Misty says:

    I have 3 daughters, two I bottle feed and the last one I breastfeed. I was not comfortable exposing myself to the public, but sometimes you have to feed your baby while out and about. I appreciated the malls and stores that had a nice quite room for my baby and I to sit in comfortably and feed. Some even had comfortable rocking chairs, which made the time even more enjoyable. If there was not a place available to feed the baby, then I used a cover. The cover is cumbersome and not always easy to use, especially if you are not sitting in a comfortable chair. But I preferred not to expose myself. Unfortunately I think so many people see it in a sexual way (I once was one of those people) and are unable to see past that. I think the only way to change those opinions is to educate our children and teach them there is nothing wrong with breastfeeding.

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