TO THE MOM WHO REFUSES TO PUT A COVER ON

DISCLAIMER: For the sake of this post + to make it extremely clear as to what  I am talking about, I have inserted the article here → {Woman nursing without cover}. This is a rebuttal to this specific article. This type of scenario is what the context of this post has been based on. It is NOT about shaming a mother for nursing, but I would like to shed some light and give a different point of view on this very topic. 

Before I go into what I am about to go into, I want to share that I am a nursing mother. I have three children, and yes, I nursed every single one of them.  I understand exactly what goes into nursing while out and about in public. I get it. I understand it. I’ve done it. I have been going through it personally the past 4 months. I know that it can be challenging and trying at times, but I truly want you to know that I am your biggest advocate. I am your #1 fan and such a believer in nursing your baby whenever, wherever you are. I do, however, want to shed a different opinion + point of view when it comes to nursing our children out in public — and here comes the kicker — without a cover on. Oh my! I’ve said it and now I have to stick to my guns and explain what I mean.

You see, It all started one evening as I laid in bed. I found myself doing what I normally do late at night when I can’t sleep — scrolling the internet. I was catching up on my feed when I stumbled across an article of a woman breastfeeding her baby in public without a cover. Like, full on bare-breasted in a restaurant right in the middle of the room, type of a thing.  My jaw dropped as I looked at the picture. What in the world was this mom thinking? What was her reasoning for doing this? Immediately, I became extremely bothered over the picture — actually, the whole topic bothers me if I’m being truly honest. This whole “refusing-to-wear-a-cover-while-nursing-in-public/trying to make a statement” trend has been surfacing throughout the internet and has even been highly praised.  For me personally, there have been several moments over the past 6 months where I have encountered mothers nursing without covers and without fail, every single time I have felt uncomfortable by it. ‘’Why am I so uncomfortable? Why do I care so much when I am just like her? I nursed my baby too. I nursed my children in public too.  I am every mothers #1 advocate when it comes to nursing. These are the thoughts and questions that I have wrestled with every single time I have been caught off guard.

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… then I realized something.

I realized that this was something way more than just nursing a baby. It was about making a statement.

I have seen so many posts praising women for “baring it all,” but what is the purpose? Is she making a point that she doesn’t need to follow a certain code of conduct while out in public? Is she making a statement that it’s her body and she will do what she pleases with it — whenever, wherever? Is she trying to make a statement that breasts are made for feeding a child, therefore I shouldn’t be bothered when my husband or son are present?  What’s the statement this mother is trying to make? The one thing that I have realized about today’s generation + society is that so many of us are all about me, me, me. It’s the “MY” generation. It’s a generation filled with selfishness and a mentality of “if I like it, than I’m going to do it.” We have been sucked into the “me” world, and from the looks of it, we are falling deeper and deeper into it’s trap. This is a whole other topic and for the sake of time and my sanity, I’ll bring it back to the main topic at hand.

I have seen posts applauding these types of women. They keep feeding us the pitch; “our breasts were made to do this. It’s normal. It’s natural. It shouldn’t bother anyone.” Um, yeah, about that. It does bother some people and therefore we should be a little more sensitive to those around us. Yes, it’s true that a woman’s breasts were made to produce milk to feed her child, but they ALSO have a different function. Whether we want to admit it or not, a woman’s breasts are visually appealing to men. I don’t know what it is, but they just like them. That’s the way God designed men and women. (Read Song of Solomon, Chapter 7. It clearly talks about the way God made men and the way that they view a woman’s body). That’s the way God designed men. It is fine if you want to debate this, but before you do so, think for a second. God made our breasts (our entire body for that matter) as a feature for our husbands to enjoy. They don’t just enjoy our breasts, they are turned on by them. And what happens when a man is turned on? Welp, if you don’t know, I’ll break it down nice and easy. SEX. Sex leads to babies, and babies lead to nursing our children. That is how we were designed! And this is partly where my frustration lies when the world says things like, “It’s fine. They are JUST boobs. They are JUST meant to feed our babies.” I don’t want my husband to see another woman’s breasts (whether a baby is attached or not), and I certainly don’t want my son to see that either. Call me old fashion. Call me a tid bit modest when it comes to this topic.

When I sit and read these articles, I see a common message throughout them all — that our breasts aren’t suppose to be sexual, but rather, they were made to solely nourish and feed our babies. Huh? I sort of, kind of, want to go crazy when I read this message because it is so far from true. Yes, they are there to feed our children but that’s NOT there sole purpose.  I will have probably nursed my children an entire 5% of my entire life, yet my breasts were solely made just for this? What about the other 95% of my life? I’m not sure what their primary purpose or secondary purpose is, all I know is that there is more than just ONE purpose. Therefore, we not only need to realize this, but we need to be aware of it.

I know some have argued that the mother who nurses without a cover just can’t seem to find a private place to nurse. Or that her baby hates being suffocated by a blanket. Or simply the fact that it’s such a beautiful thing to see, therefore she will show everyone — whether they want to see or not. She can argue that it was 110 degrees out and that there were no options for a private place to nurse. She can come up with a ton of extreme scenarios where the “cover” just didn’t work, but that’s the thing, they are extreme scenarios. Most women are able to purchase a nice cover and most babies don’t really care to have a light blanket draped over them.  And if this is true, it brings me back to the same old question — what is the real purpose for exposing her boobs for the world to see?

Like I said earlier, this is something way more than just nursing a baby.

When you think about, we are all are free to do what we wish in our own private space. We are free to nurse in front of our family. Our friends. Our sons. We are free to do whatever it is that we wish to do in our own private space. However, nursing in public is not our own space. It’s everyones space.  Its a space that we share. Therefore, maybe we should try to open our hearts and have consideration and respect for those around us. Yes, it is the law that every woman is allowed to nurse in public how she sees fit, but as a society we also follow a code of “unspoken standards.” We have a sense of obligation that when we are out and about that we respect those around us, whether it’s a law or not. What I would like to suggest is for us all  to take away the mentality of  “I don’t care about you. I don’t care if I offend you, your son, your husband,” and try to understand what others might be feeling.  Like I stated earlier, it’s not her space and it’s not mine. Therefore, we need to think of one another. We need to value and respect one another because without it, it’s a world filled with anger, hostility, and selfishness. Without rules and guidelines it becomes a free for all. Seriously what’s next? Men walking around without pants on? Will the argument be that their wee wee is solely meant for peeing and that it’s our fault as a society for sexualizing it? Just sayin’.

So with that being said, to the mother that refuses to put her cover on while out in public, I simply ask that you think about what it is that you are doing. I hope that you might be a little more aware and sensitive to those around you and maybe try to be a little more private, because let’s face it, nursing should be a little private. It should be personal.  Even if you don’t agree, maybe we can at least all agree to try our best and respect one another. You might say that this is my problem and my fault for feeling the way that I do, but you have to remember where you are. It’s not your space. It’s ours. I am not shaming you, nor would I ever. I am not out to hunt you down, yell obscenities at you, or make you feel horrible.  I simply have a different point of view than you and that’s ok.

And lastly, I want to address the nursing mother that chooses to be a little more discreet and modest when nursing in public — I not only THANK YOU, I APPLAUD YOU.

 

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