Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Breastfeeding in front of the president

I came across this photo on Yahoo News yesterday.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez talks with people who were affected by flooding...

Wow! :) How refreshing it is to see a woman able to openly feed her baby in public - while speaking to the president of her country no less! And nobody seems to be offended by it in the least (although that one guy might be checking out her boob, hehe). But the president seems absolutely at ease with it, even touching her on the arm and *gasp* making eye contact with her.

I'd love to see the United States embrace breastfeeding as such a natural part of life instead of limiting places women can nurse and having people take offense at a mom simply trying to feed her baby. It seems like here in the U.S. we are so quick to sexualize breasts, rather than view them as a source of food for babies (which is really their only practical purpose).

I feel fortunate to live in an area that's more accepting of public bfing than other places in this country, but we still have a loooooooooooong way to go before you'd see something happen like in the picture.


At 2/16/2005 3:25 PM, Anonymous momw2kids said...

In my opinion, I would rather not see this in public. Breastfeeding is so so personal, it should be done in private.

At 2/16/2005 3:44 PM, Blogger amygeekgrl said...

After giving it some more thought, I don't necessarily feel like we (in the U.S.) need women walking around bare-breasted, but I do wish there was a greater acceptance of (and support for) breastfeeding mothers. I like that the Venezuelan culture seems so accepting. That's what's refreshing to me.

At 2/17/2005 11:19 AM, Blogger Tanya said...

I agree Amy with your original entry and must say I agree again to your latest entry. There is no NEED to bare breasts to feed our babies but women should be able to feel comfortable enough to discreetly BF anywhere in public.

To momw2kids, I have to ask if you BF? BFing is not something that should be "done in private", it is not "so so so personal". It is human nature. Women were born with breasts to BF, and babies were born to suckle a mothers breasts. Do you eat in private? Does a baby who gets a bottle eat in private? Why would something that nature (or depending upon your religous backing...GOD) intended be considered taboo to strangers eyes that women should feel the need to run off to a nasty bathroom stall?

I BF my baby EVERYWHERE, WHENEVER. I am very discreet and no one sees ANYTHING. I don't care what others think about my doing so. For those who are not as well at being discreet as I, should not have to worry what others think either. I wish more women felt like they had a RIGHT to BF in public and felt like it was accepted.

I have more to write but need to be going now. Be back later. Thanks for writing on things I feel so passionate about Amy...I love to be able to express my opinion freely, whereas at other places it feels wrong to do so :)

At 2/17/2005 11:50 AM, Anonymous momw2kids said...

In response to Tanya, yes I have breastfed both my kids and I would always go some place private. Never a bathroom stall, but I preferred to be alone. And yes I do believe it should be in private or at least discreetly so nobody would be uncomfortable. I don't need an anatomy lesson on what women's breasts were meant for. I am fully aware that their main purpose is for bfing. A baby eating a bottle and a baby eating from her mothers breast are completely different. I have no problem with women bfing their kids in public as long as they are discreet, which most women are. It's just my personal opinion and I chose to do it in complete privacy and don't want to see other women's breasts when I'm eating, shopping, etc. If I knew I'd be out when they would need to eat, I would plan ahead, pump and bring a bottle. It just made sense to me.

At 2/17/2005 1:18 PM, Blogger Tanya said...

I feel sad that, the way you feel is the way many women who BF also feel. I feel sad that something as natural as BFing is not accepted in our society. Thus why that picture is so great to see...that not all countries are like the one that I live in.

I think it is great, momw2kids, that you would go out of your way to keep nourishing your babies with BM while being out in public. I just wish that all women could feed their babies without worry that they make others uncomfortable, therefore feeling uncomfortable themselves.

Somehow, someday, I hope women can bring this country to see BFing in the same light that so many other country's see it as. NORMAL. We were there once, so hopefully tis not an impossible dream.

At 2/18/2005 8:59 AM, Blogger myrmom said...

I love the picture...I think it's wonderful. When my son was born I had the hardest time getting him to latch on and when I was out and I needed to nurse him I would have to hang out sometimes cuz it would take 10 or 15 min to get him own the breast. There was no way to do it discreetly, and I didn't feel like I should have to go and hide that I was feeding my child. I am happy to say that I didn't have one negative comment though I did get a look or two. I feel if a woman is comfortable enough to bare her breast while she feeds her son then go for it...cuz that is what it is there for.

Momw2kids to address some of your issues, it is no more a private thing then is bottle feeding. You are nourishing your child, why should that be kept a secret and locked away. It is natural and the world should see you nourish and feed your child, and as a mother you should be proud that that is what you are doing. As for there being a difference between bottle and breast your are completely right they are different. One is natural and one is not, there for I would rather see the natural then the unnatural.
As for pumping, why would you deny your child the wonderful breast that is their nourisment and comfort, and give them a sterile bottle. Nursing is about so much more then feeding a child, it about having that attachment, the human contact. There is no way I would ever give my son my milk out of bottle if I could give him my breast. I understand there are circumstances when you have to but I don't think cuz you are out in public shopping warrants one of those circumstances.

At 2/18/2005 1:25 PM, Anonymous momw2kids said...

to myrmom...that's your opinion, not mine. I still would be offended if I saw a woman's breast while I was out in public. Even if she is bfing. I guess I'm just a more private person than u.


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