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June 8, 2005

sacred yet...somehow sickening

Today was part 2 of my stint as a pro-public breastfeeding pundit, this time on Ron Reagan's Crossroads on MSNBC. Ron and I were Team Pro. Team Con was the blonde host-woman whose name I can't remember, and Charlotte Allen, of the Independent Women's Forum. Ron rocked it with a general attitude of disbelief and confusion about why anyone would possibly be bothered by seeing breastfeeding.

Team Con was concerned mostly with two seemingly contradictory issues:

1. Breastfeeding is a sacred act and must be treated with sanctity (in the privacy of ones home, or under the sanctity of, for example, a diaper, if home is not an option)

2. Breastfeeding is yucky and no one should have to see it. Why not go sit in a bathroom stall or your parked car (always comfortable, especiallly in the warmer months...and a nice safe option in parking lots and poor neighborhoods too!).

If it's so sacred, why should it happen in the toilet? These and many other arguments against breastfeeding in public continue to puzzle me.

And while I'm on the subject of hypocrisy... When I suggested that discouraging women from leaving home with their infants was not realistic or beneficial for anybody trying to exclusively nurse for 6 months (as per the AAP), Team Con suggested that working mothers seem to do "just fine" by pumping. I disagreed. And imagine my surprise when I found this little nugget in something Charlotte Allen wrote last week:

"you surely know that it’s difficult for most women, especially in poor countries, to combine the holding of a job with extended breast-feeding."

OK. This breastfeeding stuff is starting to bore even us "fanatics" now, so unless something significant happens, we're going to make a real effort to move on to other pastures tomorrow. In the meantime, if you want to check out the current breastfeeding stats here's a good place to start.

by thenewmoms at 3:08 PM
in breastfeeding


I am a stay at home mom of two girls and pregnant with my third. I have breast feed both of my girls and plan to this one! When I saw this debate on TV today my blood boiled! I can not beleive the things this woman was saying! I have never heard anything so silly!!!! I just wanted to say keep up the good work and hold strong! and We as breast-feeding moms will back you all the way! Thanks for being such a strong and understanding voice for us! Katherine Madison, AL

comment by Katherine at June 8, 2005 11:18 PM

Hey, thanks for taking on this issue, so much as to go on the air talking about it. Wish I had caught you on MSNBC, my husband saw it and was the one who told me about your site. I nursed my first son past two years, plan to nurse the next one, and feel very strongly about changing this society's hang-ups about breasts and feeding babies. Breastfeeding can't become the norm until people view it as normal. I'm glad a site like yours has gotten some press.

comment by Kristi Vega at June 9, 2005 1:59 PM

I saw this show and it infuriated me I spent the morning emailing MSNBC and the Independent Women's Forum. I loved all the words the Cons used to describe breastfeeding, intimate (what? I think that's code for sexual) and likening breastfeeding to having sex in public (???) or going to the bathroom in public (???). For the record I have breastfed in public and the only problem I had was with my own sense of modesty, but I was with supportive people and got over it - I don't think any one even noticed - you know why - because they can't tell - unless they are doing some heavy duty scrutiny!! My breast doesn't "hang out" when I nurse, I am still wearing a shirt and a bra - so what exactly do these people imagine that they are seeing? If you are offended I won't mind if you take your lunch into the bathroom.

comment by Lila at June 9, 2005 2:12 PM

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