Thoughts on breastfeeding in public from the perspective of a male


Maggy Urso

The author swaddles the Merciad Iguana, Murkade, at the request of The Merciad, to demonstrate parental affection.

Trae Williams, Contributing writer

Breastfeeding has become a hot topic for those even without children. So what’s the situation? Who has a problem with feeding an infant? I’ll wait … Nobody has a problem with feeding an infant, let alone one in public. So what is the problem with breastfeeding? Boobs.

I know this sounds crazy, but it’s likely you or someone you know has boobs, but if we’re being politically correct, we’ll go with “breasts.” Forty-seven states have laws that explicitly protect moms who breastfeed in public, but as history tells us, public opinion doesn’t always coincide with the law.

I did some homework on breastfeeding and went around getting different quotes from male and female students and here are my responses to some of the comments I heard:

“What’s so hard about covering up to breastfeed in public?”

1. For starters, can we stop calling it breastfeeding, and just call it feeding? Because that’s what it is, you’re not feeding a boob, you’re feeding a baby. “Covering” implies that there’s something inappropriate about feeding a baby, but I think we all can agree that feeding a baby might actually be a good thing!

2. I’m not a mom and certainly not a woman, but I can imagine that covering up is the last thing that pops into a new mother’s mind. Imagine, you’re a new mom, and now your breasts are bigger than ever and you’re new to this whole breastfeeding thing. Yet, for the convenience of others, you’re trying to manhandle this mushy baby into an efficient position where they can latch on correctly, and have your boob covered without irritating the baby. I personally don’t like being covered in a hot blanket while eating, but that’s just me.

3. One of the main benefits of breastfeeding is the eye contact between mother and baby. The location of the breast is designed to put the baby within the vision range of mom’s face. So covering a child’s face while feeding ruins that connection.

“Why don’t women just use the pump thingy if they’re going out?”

According to the moms I asked, not all mothers can pump successfully. Not all babies will take a bottle. Think about this process: a mom has to find a way to keep the milk cold while driving, then find a way to warm up the milk when she gets there, feed her baby, while also dealing with the discomfort of her breast full of milk, and then wash and sterilize the bottle. Not to mention the fact that pumping randomly is extremely painful if not within a routine.

“Just go to the bathroom to do it.”

1. Would you eat in a bathroom? No? Oh OK, but an infant should? OK cool, I understand that. BATHROOMS ARE GROSS.

2. Many bathrooms don’t have a chair to sit in, so mom has the option of sitting on the floor or the toilet. No, thanks.

“I don’t want to see and shouldn’t have to see it, especially if kids are around.”

WHAT I AM ABOUT TO SAY SOUNDS CRAZY, but just don’t look. I don’t want that to sound snide, but you really don’t have to watch a mother breastfeed. Just look the other way and move on with your sensitive life. Clearly, the main problem people have with breastfeeding is with nipples. There may be a few seconds of nipple showing. If you or your child really don’t want to see that then here is a cue that a mom may be getting ready to breastfeed:

1. She starts to lift her shirt or adjust her brassiere. As soon as you see that cue, look away! Whether you like it or not kids are going to have exposure to breasts, and chances are, they already have. Every grocery store has magazines and advertising that use boobs to sell products and not feed little humans. Sex sells, boobs feed.

Overall, get over yourself, people. It’s a boob. I promise that everything will be okay if you see a mother feeding, you won’t suffer from PTSD. People should be more worried about who our next president will be.

I want to thank all the mothers and students I spoke to who made this article possible.