How Do You Feel About It?

Updated on August 31, 2011
D.M. asks from Springview, NE
45 answers

Just wondered how do you feel about women nursing in public either covered or modestly uncovered. Be respectful though please.

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So What Happened?

I myself am all for and do breastfeed in public. I use a udder cover ( BRAND of a lightweight nursing wrap) to cover for my own body reasons. I don't have a problem with women that do it uncovered though as long as tastefully done. :) It's all up to you I think. I don't mind seeing a breast if it's being used for feeding a child instead of just just hanging out of clothes.
Fyi: Anyone that wants to look up the WHO website- it says that breast milk has nutritional value until 2 years of age, if not longer. Ones that worried about their sons-really that is a bit sad. How do you expect to teach them about breastfeeding and for them to be supportive in the future if their spouse or so wants to breastfeed? Along the line eventually, they will see breasts. Whether out somewhere, tv, or whatnot. If I felt comfortable enough to be uncovered outside my house or a few selective friends/families homes and obviously it would be tasteful and you don't like it then look away. This is why you have a neck-so you can turn your head! :)

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L.F.

answers from San Francisco on

Totally ok with it. I feel that breasts are meant to feed hungry babies and if thye are hungry, they should be fed! I breastfed my kids and was covered slightly or sometimes not at all. I tried to be polite to others but baby is # 1 priority!

M

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J.N.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I overheard someone the other day complaining about it, saying the mom should go breast feed in the bathroom. Really? Public restrooms are so gross!! How many of us would feel comfortable eating in a bathroom? I'm all for breastfeeding wherever you are - that's one of the benefits! But I do appreciate a mom who will take some steps to cover, or (as you put it) be modestly uncovered.

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K.G.

answers from San Diego on

I was not successful at breast feeding either of my children. I have NO problem with women breastfeeding in public covered modestly or not.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

C.O.

answers from Washington DC on

I'm all for breastfeeding/nursing in public!!! I just ask for it to be done respectfully - not whip the boob out and showing for all the world to see...

I breastfed in public and I made sure that my kids were covered so they looked like they were napping under cover.

8 moms found this helpful

A.G.

answers from Houston on

modest is best but honestly i dont care if they let it all hang out or how old the baby is. Its why God gave us boobies!

I breastfed for 2 1/2 years, but the last 2 years i never did it publically

What offends me though are people who are offended by it.

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J.R.

answers from Davenport on

I nursed both my kids till 9 months. I did nurse in public, but did my best to be discreet - I couldn't nurse with a cover, cause they would cry and flail around if I did, and ppl would end up seeing much more of me than when I did it without a true cover. I Usually had a nursing tank top and a button down or other shirt over it, so my belly and top of my boobs were covered by 2 shirts, and the nipple was covered by the baby.

Like lots of others said, it shouldn't be an issue at all - ONLY in the USA is it looked on with such disgust, as we have turned breast into sex objects, and nursing is looked at as unnattural, rather than the other way around. Ppl think it is fine for wome to be walking around in tops that cover less than a bikini, but nursing a baby is gross....seriously something is wrong with that idea.

Also, like someone else said, if more stores and places would re-institute the "ladies lounge" which was like a sitting/waiting room with couches and chairs, before you got into the women's bathrooms (used to be common in large department stores) I am sure MANY nursing moms would be happy to use it.

For those people that say "put a blanket over it" or "go nurse in the bathroom" I say "It is JUNE, would you like to drink a cup of hot milk pressed up to another warm bodied person, with your head under a BLANKET, right now?" And, "If you don't like to see me feed my baby, YOU go eat YOUR lunch in the bathroom, or just stop looking!"

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C.F.

answers from Portland on

I am a total and complete supporter of breastfeeding.

That is what breasts were made for, to give milk. It is as natural as a tree growing or the rain falling, it is part of nature.

It is healthy and provides what the child needs for nutrients and health.

I have zero issue with breastfeeding, anytime, anywhere, covered or not.

Plus, a child eating should not be sexual, if someone views that and thinks badly, that is their problem.
And breasts are just part of the human body, everyone has them or has seen them, not a big deal.... or shouldn't be.

FUNNY BREASTFEEDING STORY:::
My best friend was breast feeding her son at my house, she was laying on the bed and he nursed himself to sleep. She stood up and tried to move away.
He had such a vacuum seal on her that her boob stretched for what seemed like a foot, LOL and her boobs were not that big.
He never woke up and she eventually got free, but I had a hard time not laughing and waking him up as I watched her boob stretch and then snap free, LOL

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

It does not bother me.
Its just nursing.

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C.J.

answers from Lancaster on

I'm not bothered at all when mama's breastfeed in public. I have, with all six kids. I will for the seventh.

I have a blanket I use as a cover, but only sometimes. Most of mine hated to be covered, and I respected that they didn't want to eat under a hot tent! In the summer I refuse to cover, because it's just too hot for them, and I understand that.

I also refuse to go into restrooms to feed them. I will do it in the car or in a dressingroom, sometimes, but they have just as much right to eat as a baby on formula. No one looks at a bottlefed baby and says "GET THAT OUT OF HERE! UGH!". My child shouldn't be shunned just because I'm feeding them the way nature intended!

I also extend nurse, and have had 3, 4, even 5 year olds that still nursed. Generally after 3 I just tell them "in a little bit", and wait 'till we get home. However, I'm not adverse to nursing them (discreetly, of course, as always!) in public.

That's the other thing. I don't have to flash both breasts to nurse, and frequently the only part of my breast that is showing is actually less than if I was wearing a low-cut top!

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H.W.

answers from Portland on

I'm fine with other women nursing uncovered or covered. It doesn't bother me. To be honest, out in public with all the low cut tops and such these days, I see more when a woman bends over than I do when a mother is nursing. I nursed in public without a cover, usually a nursing tank with an open button-down shirt over it, because that was comfortable for me. I would have felt more awkward with a "Hooter Hider" or some other bent-wire contrivance. I also live in Portland, Oregon, too, and the culture here is a bit more nonchalant about it, from my experience.

That said, I often found a quiet place to nurse, so my son could concentrate.:)

And I'm all for bringing back the Ladies Lounge, which is not in the bathroom, but an anteroom before the restroom, with upholstered chairs and quiet. I think a lot of women would make this their first choice, if it was available!

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C.N.

answers from Baton Rouge on

I've never understood why people get so upset at seeing a woman using her breasts for the purpose Mama Nature gave them. We don't get upset at seeing a toddler eating a Happy Meal, so why do we get so upset at seeing an infant getting the best food possible straight from the source?
And it's not like anyone is FORCED to stand there staring. Anytime you see something you don't want to see, there are 359 other directions you can look.

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E.B.

answers from Duluth on

I'm surprised this doesn't come up more often, honestly--I'm on baby #3 (a girl) and my boys are 7 and 3. My 7 plays soccer, is in Cub Scouts, and attends school. If I'm *ever* going to get anything done in life, I need to nurse in public occasionally! I have nursed under the stroller display at Target, in the mall, and at Perkins. I coached my son's soccer team, and sometimes we had an hour between games. I nursed the baby at the Y. Yes, I look for a corner, rather than the main entryway. I cover my boobs as much as I can with my shirt and my baby. But no, I don't cover up. Oddly, and honestly, I have *never* even noticed another woman nursing in public, unless I happened to be with a friend who was doing it (and then I noticed because she likely said something about needing to feed the baby). I was asked, when I returned to our ECFE class after having my baby, not to nurse so openly--and I really resented that. I attended with my 3 year old and my newborn, so "leaving" to nurse Baby meant that I left my 3 year old with someone else, at our ECFE class! Kinda not the point??? Anyway--he was already having separation issues per the Baby being born, and I'm sure me needing to leave him to nurse the baby didn't help! A bottle-feeding mother wouldn't have faced that, and that makes me mad--Baby was not even 6 weeks old at that time! Anyway--I don't have a problem with public nursing, but, I have a huge issue with people who make it more of an issue than it is--discretion is discretion is discretion. Don't flaunt your boobs in a skimpy top (to look sexy) and then get upset when women breastfeed publicly (not a sexy thing).

Updated

I'm surprised this doesn't come up more often, honestly--I'm on baby #3 (a girl) and my boys are 7 and 3. My 7 plays soccer, is in Cub Scouts, and attends school. If I'm *ever* going to get anything done in life, I need to nurse in public occasionally! I have nursed under the stroller display at Target, in the mall, and at Perkins. I coached my son's soccer team, and sometimes we had an hour between games. I nursed the baby at the Y. Yes, I look for a corner, rather than the main entryway. I cover my boobs as much as I can with my shirt and my baby. But no, I don't cover up. Oddly, and honestly, I have *never* even noticed another woman nursing in public, unless I happened to be with a friend who was doing it (and then I noticed because she likely said something about needing to feed the baby). I was asked, when I returned to our ECFE class after having my baby, not to nurse so openly--and I really resented that. I attended with my 3 year old and my newborn, so "leaving" to nurse Baby meant that I left my 3 year old with someone else, at our ECFE class! Kinda not the point??? Anyway--he was already having separation issues per the Baby being born, and I'm sure me needing to leave him to nurse the baby didn't help! A bottle-feeding mother wouldn't have faced that, and that makes me mad--Baby was not even 6 weeks old at that time! Anyway--I don't have a problem with public nursing, but, I have a huge issue with people who make it more of an issue than it is--discretion is discretion is discretion. Don't flaunt your boobs in a skimpy top (to look sexy) and then get upset when women breastfeed publicly (not a sexy thing).

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S.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am not only ok with breastfeeding in public, i LOVE it!!
i LOVE to see how many babies get proper nourishment! it makes me so happy to see other moms breastfeeding. it is such a beautiful thing!
I think that women should be able to breastfeed in public without idiots thinking it is gross.
you know what is actually gross? when people think that everything is sexual when it isnt, its them and their twisted minds.

fellow moms, if you can breastfeed, then do it! and do it anywhere that you need to!

i dont use a cover because my kids will just rip it off, but after 8 years of breastfeeding ive gotten pretty good at being incognito with my breasts! i dont want anyone else to see them. they are special and they are mine, and for me only (as soon as baby is done with them)

I <3 Boobies!

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L.H.

answers from Abilene on

I think nursing a baby is one of life's sweetest blessings. I personally love to see women nursing their babies. It doesn't matter to me whether they're covered or not. Especially as hot as it gets in Texas! My husband feels the same way. He has never been uncomfortable around nursing women. Feels like it's the most natural way to take care of your baby.

I'm sure part of it is I nursed both mine up until about 2. I waited over 10 years for my children and went through many miscarriages and was put to bed with my first child at 6 weeks. The awe of nursing to me is like the awe of feeling a child move. Just pretty incredible. I always tried to be very discreet out of respect for others. However, if a Mom has a baby who is very active (and my daughter was, she never slowed down and still hasn't at 12) then sometimes it's a battle for the Mom to stay covered.

Just my 2 cents!

Blessings!
L.

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L.U.

answers from Seattle on

Love seeing mamas nursing in public. I couldn't care less if they are covered or not. I am a big girl, so when I am nursing my babe I cover up just so no one has to see my belly!
L.

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M..

answers from St. Louis on

I could care less. I nurse covered because I dont want people to see my boobs, but I can understand why people dont, that nursing cover is such a pain in the butt!

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S.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

I nursed all 3 of my kids, and did so in public. I was descret - mainly for my own insecurities of showing my body. I am 100% supportive of moms nursing in public and feel they can show as much of their body as they are comfortable with.
S.

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L.M.

answers from Norfolk on

I find it unfortunate that we live in such a Puritanical society that it is necessary to cover up when nursing. I do so in deference to the parents of small children who may not want their kids witnessing breastfeeding up close and personal. It is unfortunate for me because I am nursing twins and there is no way I have found to tandem nurse discreetly. At one point, I made a tent of sorts from a sheet while I was waiting for my son at his therapy. I breastfed my son just about anywhere using my own version of a Hooter Hider. He's nursed while I ate dinner at TGIFridays, he's nursed in the movie theatre, he's nursed on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World!

I have also been disgusted at the inappropriate comments some people make when they discover that you are breastfeeding. For instance, a relative of my husband's saw me at a family wedding in the corner, covered, and obviously nursing my son. He said, "I'll have what he doesn't finish!" Creepy.

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H.M.

answers from Omaha on

It's natural. I don't care if you do it upside down with the baby duct taped to your naked body or sitting in a chair with a cover-up... or heck using a bottle of formula. Feed the kid! That is all that matters. I think this "debate" people get into is silly. Is this really the biggest gripe we have in America? Hell alot of countries breastfeed their children for years because it's what they have to eat! So they face starvation and death daily.... and we gasp at the thought of seeing breasts while feeding. I just don't get it. Our world is so sad sometimes.

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J.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

I did it wherever and whenever my babies needed it, and I did not use a cover-up unless it was sun protection. I did it it at work, at church, at cafes, at the mall, at the beach (watch out for sand on the nipples!), among old people and young, men, women and children. My opinion is that my children have as much right to eat with dignity in public as anyone else, and I will not hide that, nor will I apologise for it. I can't believe it's still an issue in 2011!

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M.G.

answers from Chicago on

I have no problems whatsoever with women breastfeeding in public.

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K.:.

answers from Phoenix on

I nursed & I am all for it when it's done respectfully, discreetly & modestly. I don't want to see ANY grown woman's boobs, in any context.

As far as super extended breastfeeding, I don't see how you could do that discreetly due to how wiggly older kids are - not to mention it's not nutritionally necessary for a child that can eat normal food. That's another topic, I suppose.

It's the vigilante nursers that proclaim "we will nurse, when, where & how we want to, and we don't care if it makes others uncomfortable" that ruin it for the whole nursing movement. Common decency & respect for your fellow citizens is expected even when you are doing something that is within your rights.

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S.S.

answers from Daytona Beach on

i don't have a problem with women doing it anywhere they feel like it. it does however make me a little uncomfortable when i'm around it. i don't know where to look :). but whatever, that's my feeling uncomfortable, they can do whatever they want :)

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S.M.

answers from Eau Claire on

I believe women should have every right to breastfeed in public, but it is polite to be discreet about. Some people are NOT comfortable with it and whether we think that's right or not, trying to have some respect for the feeling of others is part of what makes us human and civilized. I DON'T think a woman should have to go away to a private room or something, but using a cover or at least using the breast turned away from people towards the wall more or something of the sort is more polite. I did breastfeed and I'm not offended by public breastfeeding, even those who just throw it out there with no cover or discretion. I couldn't care less, I just personally tried to be more discreet and thought that was a more polite way to handle things.

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G.T.

answers from Redding on

Never had a problem with it. I usually wore loose tops if I was going somewhere so the top itself was easy enough to guard my boob from showing. Even walked the mall with the baby on my boob lots of times, I dont thing people really notice unless you make it obvious.

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D.C.

answers from Toledo on

I don't care either way. I nursed in public with and with out a cover. I always tried to be discreet, but I'm sure I flashed a few people unintentionally. I don't mind seeing a little breast as long as there's a baby attached to it. I would get a little offended if a woman was just sitting there with her entire breast hanging out.

Thankfully, I've never had anyone say anything negative to me about my nursing in public. It made a lot of my family members extremely uncomfortable at first. They used to always offer me rooms to go nurse in. My response was always "If it makes you uncomfortable, you're more than welcome to go in there until I'm done. I'm fine where I'm at."

Oddly, the person that had the hardest time with me nursing in public was my husband. I can remember the first time we took my youngest out and about. We stopped a Burger King for a bite to eat. Of course, it was at lunch time and the dining room was full of men. When I pulled out my cover to nurse I thought my husband was going to stroke out. I finally asked him to leave the table until I could get the baby latched on. LOL!

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M.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Nursing is the way we were intended to feed our infants. Some choose not to, that is OK. I wasn't' able to nurse my oldest, but the other three I did and did it in public.
So I am all for moms feeding their babies wherever they need to be fed.

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A.K.

answers from Houston on

I have a slight problem with breasts flopping out in public, I have no problem with covered nursing.
It embarrassed me to be honest when my friend I was shopping with pulled out her breast and fed her daughter walking around walmart, with her top pulled up around her big post pregnant stretch mark belly!
I nursed both my kids for almost a year, but always very discretely

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P.O.

answers from Harrisburg on

When your baby is hungry, it shouldn't matter where you feed him/her as long as you are respectful of others and covered.

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J.K.

answers from Phoenix on

I BF in public all the time. I'm very discreet and quite a pro...LOL I used to be uncomfortable to BF in public with my first two but my last three didn't bother me. I'm not bothered when moms BF in public. In fact, I never notice because I don't think I've ever seen anyone do it.

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P.M.

answers from Tampa on

I have no issues with women breastfeeding in public - covered or uncovered. I breastfed in public modestly un-covered. Here in the hotter states, using a cover or a blanket is cruel to both you and infant/child and completely unnecessary to boot.

When I see a Mother nursing in public, I always stop over to tell her what a great job she's doing and if she wants someone t help block her for a bit.

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P.M.

answers from Portland on

I have personally seen lots of moms nursing in public places, as I occasionally used to do. I don't find it shocking or offensive, and in most cases, little or no breast is ever revealed. My daughter also BF'd her son in public places, but looked for situations that would allow other people their own sense of modesty.

I have known a few people, both men and women, who think it's a horrible, soul-damaging thing to be exposed to. I can only wonder what messages they received about bodies, babies and sex growing up. Nevertheless, I always tried to keep such people's sensibilities in mind when nursing my child.

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E.T.

answers from Rochester on

I have no problem with nursing in public. I did it with both of my kids (and still occasionally with my 22 month old son). I try to be discrete so that I don't make others uncomfortable, but I really could care less what anyone else thinks. After spending a little time in Africa where no one pays any attention to a woman who has bared her entire breast to nurse (even in church) I don't see any problem with nursing in public.

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J.F.

answers from Omaha on

I like to have a cover, but that's my personal comfort level--if another woman feels comfortable without one, that's okay by me too.

I'm just not coordinated/graceful enough to get a latch without exposing something, so I use a Hooter Hider!

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V.M.

answers from Cleveland on

I am a more modest person in general so while i am all for it. i feel more comfortable when the mother is not multitasking but sitting in a quiet calm place nursing a covered/mostly covered child.
I had a very non-close aquaintaince, walk around my living room full of middle aged men during the superbowl, while nursing her toddler. I would have happily given her a chair in the back of the room. Not saying at all that she shouldn't nurse or that she had to hide completely, but i accidentily caught quite an eyefull and you can bet the other gentlemen in the room did as well.
again, to each her own, but since you asked this is my opinion.

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K.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

I have no problem with it. I did it myself, never once got nasty looks. I was covered, but that's just my personal preference.

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M.B.

answers from Austin on

I don't have a problem with it at all... it can be done very inconspicuously... usually, only another woman (who has nursed her little ones) will realize what they are doing.

A woman was nursing her little one in church a few weeks ago... I was able to see it easily, since I sit in the balcony (very few sit there). I doubt that anyone around her realized it!

I was never really comfortable doing that, but then again, my babies were born in the early '80's.... it wasn't as common then. I usually had to go out to the car if we were shopping, or something. There weren't good places to nurse in public back then. Also, my kiddos weren't quiet nursers.... it was all lip-smacking, noisy nursing for them!

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C.R.

answers from Seattle on

Not a single issue here... To be honest, I hardly even notice other than missing those days with my own "baby"!

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M.F.

answers from Youngstown on

I think covered is best. I nursed my son in public and always wore a nursing apron. I refuse to call my nipples udders(lol) I feel like a boob is a boob wether your baby is sucking on it or not. I don't want to see yours and you probably don't want to see mine so please cover yourself. I also don't want my sons to see some random ladies boobs.

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K.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

I do it covered (as much as I can of course) with a blanket or at least my shirt, but seek out a quiet, private area (helloooo Nordstroms!). I once went out with a friend and she popped her boob out and kept it uncovered and even I was uncomfortable. Not about the nursing, but about the nakedness. I'm not normally a prude but I was actually embarrassed, and didn't think full frontal nudity was a good idea at the coffeeshop.

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A.O.

answers from Sherman on

I think nursing in public is great, as long as it's done modestly.

K.M.

answers from Chicago on

Does not bother me, I nursed as I grocery shopped while my son was in his mai tai style (do not remember the exact brand's name but same thing) wrap ... no one knew the difference! So long as I nor anyone else sees anything they should not no biggie.

V.C.

answers from Dallas on

If they are covered, I say good for them. They should be able to feed a baby whenever and where ever they are.

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M.K.

answers from Milwaukee on

I BF on occasion in public and covered up but because I didn't want my belly showing. I don't care if others do it covered or uncovered. My sister once BF her daughter in a batrhroom and I was like "what is wrong with you that is so gross". I think it is so awful that women feel they would have to do that. I am one of the very few mothers that I know that BF at all and I also BF both my sons until their first BD, always from the tap as they refused bottles. I could have gone longer but my MIL would of had a heart attack as she is one of the women that think BF in general is gross. I have nothing against anyone that uses formula but find it sad that BF gets such a bad rap. Whats with the women bringing up the age of the child?? I rarely see anyone BF in public let alone an older child, those women just don't want other women doing something they think is gross, get over it! Micheal Jordon said it best when asked why he belived he was such an amazing basketball player, he said because my mom breastfeed me! Just remember that next you feel you can't feed your baby in public!

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K.H.

answers from Richmond on

my daughter, though never exclusively breast fed, ( she did get it "from the tap" the first 6 weeks, after that my supply dried up) has no problem putting her hands down my shirt (to remind any strange man that just might be looking)THOSE ARE MINE, she once glared (and GROWLED !!) at some creepy guy in sams club that was looking over my shoulder, and down my shirt while my daughter was in my arms with her hands down my shirt.and here i was oblivious to the guy gawking, and my daughter didnt miss a thing,
K. h.

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