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Mother forced to leave Bribie Island Aquatic Centre after breastfeeding her daughter


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#776 Guest_bottle~rocket_*

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:35 PM

QUOTE (Ange Vert @ 22/01/2013, 02:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Niggles, I realise that you're having a hard time with this whole discussion and that this probably came from a place of anger.

The surreal thing for me, is that what you wrote in anger, I sincerely believe and have let shape my actions.  It's just taken for granted by me that of course I should put myself out a little (and of course, the reality is that it's often more than a little - dressing for public breastfeeding I found a nightmare!).  

I'm honestly amazed that people are upset at the idea that they should put themselves out.  Is that really what we're arguing about?  Isn't that just common courtesy and life?


They are upset by the implication that the need for a mother to properly care for her baby and for that baby to be fed is less important than the need to avoid causing any potential discomfort in onlookers.


QUOTE (niggles @ 22/01/2013, 03:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You're right Ange I am feeling a little angry.

I do all those things too but where I can and when I choose to according to my own standards. I'm happy for other women to do the same and I'm unhappy for spectators to project their discomfort onto me when it's within their power to protect their own interests. They have just as many avenues as I do to move, to cover, to conceal, to avert - more potentially. I can't be expected to take responsibility for what would amount to guess work about how other people would like me to behave.

It's all too arbitrary for me trying to identify other people's levels of comfort with what I'm doing. And that's why I'm happy to be protected by legislation that allows me to just follow my own levels.

I'm angry because I read those opinion pieces and feel that demonising breastfeeding women as being a part of the lack of respect and consideration for others that Koch perceives as happening in society is grossly unfair. I'm highly attentive to others. I'm highly considerate and I'm quite sure now that he would judge me quite differently if he saw me breastfeed. That's because I choose not to confine myself. I have to draw the line somewhere and I'm not going to do it. That means people will probably see my breasts. I'm just trying to feed my baby without missing out on participating in society while I'm at it.


The last sentence is the crux of the issue.  Either be modest or don't feed in public at all.  For many of us the former is impossible (or extremely difficult) and the alternative is just oppressive.

In my mind, people who demand unrealistic standards of "modesty" (for want of a better word)  for women breastfeeding in public are the ones being selfish and inconsiderate.

There is a huge problem with the insistence that women must show consideration for others by being discreet by breastfeeding.

There is no clear definition of "discreet breastfeeding".  It is a highly subjective concept which varies greatly between individuals as we have seen.

However, the popular view seems to be that the breasts and nipples should not be exposed, at least not for more than a few seconds.  It has been repeatedly demonstrated in this thread and others that many women and babies cannot breastfeed "discreetly" according to this standard.

Edited by bottle~rocket, 22 January 2013 - 10:14 PM.


#777 Zeppelina

Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:12 PM

QUOTE (slapdasherie @ 22/01/2013, 07:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have no problem with koch having an opinion on breastfeeding, but can't he just be a bit classy and discreet about flopping that opinion out in front of everyone.

I deserve to be able to go about my day without copping a earful of pompous ignorance. It's all about respect, in my opinion.


Oh this is brilliant. Please may I steal it for facebook?

#778 Bart.

Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:21 PM

Beansidhe - I'm with you in that I don't find bare, flapping breasts en masse particularly stimulating, but may I ask approximately where you were seeing these women?  I spend a lot of time in public places (Sydney and regional NSW) and have never seen a woman fully bare her breasts when preparing to feed her child.  I've never even seen a woman do it at her home.  If it does happen, it must in an area where the general populace has lax clothing morals.

#779 Lil Chickens

Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:46 PM

QUOTE (MrsLightyear @ 22/01/2013, 06:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My husband, after paying a bit of attention to the debate going on at the moment, made this comment to me “The difference between men andwomen is that men never refer tothemselves as men, we just call ourselves people.”


They don't have to, they are generally treated better so they can just be 'people'.


QUOTE (MrsLightyear @ 22/01/2013, 06:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I for one have been inspired by this thread. I had, up until this Saturday, been using a muslin wrap when feeding outside the home. Orsitting with my back to the room when feeding in a café. I was doing this becauseI was shy about looking awkward as I struggle with the nipple shield and squirmy new baby. And I felt uncomfortable with the idea of making others uncomfortable.

I had my light bulb moment in Target on Saturday morning. DD needed to feed, I thought.. I don’t know if it’s acceptable to feed here… I’ve never seen anyone breast feeding here. And I looked around at the other people in the shop, lots of expectant couples (Target had a baby sale on), and I thought if I breast feed here, then next time one of these people needs to feed their baby in target, they will do so with confidence. They will think ‘I know I can feed my child here, everyone  else dose.’    Then I fed her confidently at dinner with friends, one of them is ttc, I’d be mortified if at some point inthe future she felt she should cover up to feed her children [i]because she’d seen me covering up.

I hope it works like this, that the more exposure (pun intended)to breast feeding people have, then the more normalised it becomes for everybody.  At our prenatal classes about half the people in the group had never seen a baby being breastfeed. That’s not right.


Something good has come out of all this, well done you.

I remember when DD was about three months old I had taken her to a kids chiro and then met DH to grocery shop.  She fell asleep in the car and stayed asleep in my arms as we walked the supermarket (this was unheard of - she had never s;ept more than 30m in a day sleep) so despite the fact she was due a feed I was not waking her.  I just told DH I will feed her walking the supermarket as you get the groceries.  By that time I had put up with so much isolation because of my screaming child I just thought bugger it, I am not going to hide in the paretns room if she wakes.  It was turning point for me and I never fed while hidden away again.  Life was so much better!

Re Kichie's attempts to dig himself out.  At least one daughter had the sense to get into him.  I foolishly read some of the comments though so saddening - some idiots compared breastfeeding in public to urinating in public.  If I was 'Liib' I would strongly object to him saying 'we breastfed' our children.  I've never seen a man lactate so I'm not sure how he breastfed - perhaps simply by ensuring he blocke any indiscreet views!!

#780 Nataliah

Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:57 PM

I have actually been feeling a little sad the last couple of days because of this whole 'debate'... I have probably read too much on sources I would usually avoid (FB, news.com etc).  I am so close now to my baby coming and I'm thinking more and more about what life is really going to be like as a mum.  I am a really confident person, gung-ho in a lot of ways... but like most true extroverts, I really do care what other people think... even strangers.  I am worried about judgement, about being thought to be inconsiderate...  Before this I honestly expected to only get judged if I wasn't breast-feeding...

The thing I have been most shocked by is how eople honestly think its a disgusting thing... like p*ssing.  I am not surprised by the women-shaming or the double standards or the faux-concern etc etc... but the disgust?  WOW a complete eye opener for me...

Edited by Nataliah, 24 January 2013 - 05:58 PM.


#781 CallMeProtart

Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:17 PM

QUOTE (Nataliah @ 24/01/2013, 06:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am worried about judgement, about being thought to be inconsiderate...  Before this I honestly expected to only get judged if I wasn't breast-feeding...


If it helps, Nataliah, you may never come across it. I never came across any commentary/judgement on my breastfeeding, and I may not have been hanging them out shouting "MILKIIIIEEEESSS!!!" but I didn't use a muslin either (like there's not enough fiddling about already!). And I always just fed wherever I was, main thoroughfare of Westfield, restaurant, park, even supermarket pushing a trolley (yeah not my ideal but it was the only way to shut him up!).
The closest I got to reaction to it was that DH's uncle would make an excuse to find something interesting in the next room while I was feeding (took me a while to notice!), and one time we were out to lunch with a couple, and the wife had gone to go feed somewhere private as she liked to, and then I started feeding and DH got up and walked off from the table and stood a metre or so away, so the other husband did too, leaving me by myself at an empty table breastfeeding (which peed me off to no end as it's damned boring).
Turns out DH was feeling cold and had wanted to move into the sun, the other guy had assumed that this was due to the feeding and that the tactful thing for him to do was follow suit, and DH was completely oblivious (what's new).

Just saying - relax. In my experience, society is pretty good actually. For every Kochie there are at least a 100 people with a brain, I think.

#782 Nataliah

Posted 25 January 2013 - 04:25 AM

QUOTE (CallMeProtart @ 25/01/2013, 12:17 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If it helps, Nataliah, you may never come across it. I never came across any commentary/judgement on my breastfeeding, and I may not have been hanging them out shouting "MILKIIIIEEEESSS!!!" but I didn't use a muslin either (like there's not enough fiddling about already!). And I always just fed wherever I was, main thoroughfare of Westfield, restaurant, park, even supermarket pushing a trolley (yeah not my ideal but it was the only way to shut him up!).
The closest I got to reaction to it was that DH's uncle would make an excuse to find something interesting in the next room while I was feeding (took me a while to notice!), and one time we were out to lunch with a couple, and the wife had gone to go feed somewhere private as she liked to, and then I started feeding and DH got up and walked off from the table and stood a metre or so away, so the other husband did too, leaving me by myself at an empty table breastfeeding (which peed me off to no end as it's damned boring).
Turns out DH was feeling cold and had wanted to move into the sun, the other guy had assumed that this was due to the feeding and that the tactful thing for him to do was follow suit, and DH was completely oblivious (what's new).

Just saying - relax. In my experience, society is pretty good actually. For every Kochie there are at least a 100 people with a brain, I think.


Thanks!! That makes me feel better!

#783 Bart.

Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:33 AM

I brought this up last night with DH who is uncomfortable with seeing breastfeeding, but can't really understand why.    I asked him if it was the breast on show, he said, "no". Was it the idea of the baby sucking; "no".  To him, it's just not an attractive action; weird to me but nonetheless, that's his view.

It was a good discussion and we were able to go back to the source of him being conditioned to not be comfortable because he wasn't around it at all when growing up.  

He finally admitted that the more women who breastfeed in public, the more 'normal' it will be and therefore more people will be comfortable with it.  I know that's what we've been saying on these forums for years but it was a huge deal for my engineer husband (who doesn't like anything that isn't metal) to come to that conclusion and to admit that over time he would become comfortable.  

So, there is hope. original.gif

#784 adl

Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:50 AM

My DH thought it was all ridiculous , and being an old guy, I was quite proud he is so normal about it... ( ETA I mean the stupid comments being made about discreet etc)

but he does look away when it's his work colleague who is also a friend as she attaches, mainly he thinks he should not openly stare at her chest area.and her breasts as she gets baby settled and feeding ..but he doesn't move, and I think he is being respectful..

I have never heard a comment or seen adverse reaction anywhere in inner Sydney, on planes ( we do fly a lot) etc....

Pleas don't be afraid, more people support than ever

Edited by adl, 25 January 2013 - 07:51 AM.


#785 Cacti

Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:50 AM

QUOTE (Bart. @ 25/01/2013, 07:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I brought this up last night with DH who is uncomfortable with seeing breastfeeding, but can't really understand why.    I asked him if it was the breast on show, he said, "no". Was it the idea of the baby sucking; "no".  To him, it's just not an attractive action; weird to me but nonetheless, that's his view.


Before all my friends started having babies, I was uncomfortable seeing breastfeeding, more because I felt it was a private moment because mother and child, and I was intruding. Having watched my friends and done it myself, I realise it's a moment that happens everywhere, for many many hours a day, and pleeeeeease talk to me while I'm feeding.

I've never had any negative comments or looks while feeding, and I've fed in many places - although I find that some men don't know what to do and thus I become invisible. I was at an airport a few months ago when the check-in system crashed, people were everywhere, delays, crowded, etc, then my baby needed a feed (I'd timed it perfectly so he'd want a feed on take-off but we were still in the queue). So I had to beg a chair from someone (it was empty but only because their wife had somewhere for a few minutes) - they said no at first, then I explained it was so I could feed my baby, they said "Oh, of course".

Then while I was feeding the ground crew started handing out water bottles and pringles to make up for the delay, so the man on the other side of me got me a water bottle and pringles, opened the pringles for me and handed them to me, and a woman nearby offered to hold my bag so I didn't have to juggle baby and bag. I'd heard so many things about people disapproving of public breastfeeding that it was so nice to be so looked after by complete strangers.

#786 Emily33-

Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:40 PM

I received one offensive comment when breastfeeding my then 18mo DD in the high street of my local shops when  a woman walked passed me and muttered "disgusting". I was so offended and angry and imagined myself chasing her down the street and confronting her (but I continued feeding). A man with his young children then walked passed and gave me a reassuring smile.  I had actually wanted to take DD to the car to feed but she couldn't wait a second longer. DH had been out walking with her and she desperately wanted a feed.  I shouldn't have had to think twice about feeding her where she needed to. But I did.

Now when I remember what happened and this woman and her reaction I feel so sorry for her and what she must have missed out on.  I really don't feel angry anymore.  I have come to the conclusion that her offensive remark wasn't about me but a reflection of what was going on for her... a glimpse into her inner emotional world that was triggered by what she saw.  

I came across these 2 articles this week which reassured me and I found encouraging.  I hope you do too.

Feeding frenzy: Public breastfeeding is good for us all
by Yvette Miller, senior lecturer in public health
http://theconversation.edu.au/feeding-fren...or-us-all-11707

Breastfeeding in public - Your legal rights
Australian Breastfeeding Association
https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bf-info/br...-law/legalright

BTW I have been BFing for 5 and a half years now non stop (including a 4 months stint at tandem feeding in private). That was the only offensive comment or look I received (that I'm aware of).  I don't think twice about feeding my son anywhere, though he doesn't seem to need me to breastfeed him as much as DD did.  My family and friends are supportive. I think it would have been hard not to have that support. My Mum BFed me til I was 8mo so full term BFing is new to me and my community.  

I hope you receive the support you need to breastfeed for as long as you and your baby want to and wherever and whenever you and your baby/infant needs to.

edited to read a bit better

Edited by Emily33-, 26 January 2013 - 05:08 PM.





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