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Where Do You Stand on Breastfeeding in Public?

A New England mother was asked to cover up while feeding her child at a restaurant this week.

The topic of breastfeeding in public forged into the spotlight in New England this week, after a mother chose to breastfeed her child in a Hillsborough, N.H. restaurant.

Protesters gathered outside the Tooky Mills Pub in Hillsborough on Wednesday, after a local mother was asked to cover up while breastfeeding her 10-month-old child, exposing a breast in the restaurant's dining room, according to a report on WCVB.com.

The request to cover up, which was followed by customer complaints, resulted in a protest outside the restaurant Wednesday night. 

Those protestors spoke out in awareness and support of the mother, as well as in support of breastfeeding in public.

Where do you stand on this issue? Do you think mothers should be able to breastfeed their children in public with out debate? Do you agree with the decision by the staff at the New Hampshire restaurant?

Todd Arnold August 12, 2012 at 12:32 PM
EXACTLY Heather!! Unfortunately there are going to be those radical women out to prove a point and push the envelope and thats detrimental to those woman who do take the time to respect others space.
Todd Arnold August 12, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Maybe those folks find it rude that women find it necessary to breastfeed their children in public...once again, it's about respecting everyones point of view. If you don't want someone to stare at you, don't be in the publics eye!! They have just as much right to stare at you as you have to breastfeed in public. Strange how it works both ways!!
Edna August 12, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Todd, babies needs to eat. Many young babies eat every 2 hours or less. Or, some nurse for comfort when teething. The choice is nurse or cry and disrupt everyone's meal. Or stay home. Thank goodness there is legislation that allows women to leave the home and feed their babies. The other part is that lactating, being near a crying baby and NOT nursing is psychically uncomfortable. Pumping is something you do when the baby is not with you, so women who don't spend several hours regularly away from their babies (working, for example) don't or can't pump because the milk goes to the baby. Women who try to pump full time and bottle feed almost always fail very early on and end up giving up breastfeeding altogether. It is difficult and uncomfortable for most women who attempt it. Mothers arrange their schedules around babies, when they can, but not around you.They don't have to stay home all day every day because you might be offended. If that offends you, stop looking.
Todd Arnold August 12, 2012 at 01:29 PM
@edna Just a bit off topic because I saw this situation a week or 2 ago. Crying babies in a restaurant when the parents can't control them. Two New mothers walked over to the table of the crying baby and said to the parent..and I quote.. "We left our children at home to get AWAY from this." The question is...is suckling a child the way to quiet a child in public as not to upset the others sitting around them? If you look further into the several replies I posted, I'm NOT against public breastfeeding atol, I'm against women who aren't discreet about it, bare breast feed and hide behind "Legislation" that allows them to do such. I get a kick out of the little kids who yell out "Look mommy that lady is booby feeding"..lol. Discretion is the better part of valor. As mentioned, if one chooses to breastfeed in public, expect to be stared at just like when famous people go out in public, expect paparazzi! LOL
Rebecca August 12, 2012 at 07:50 PM
The thing is, sometimes it is not a choice. The thing about babies is that they dont eat when they are not hungry- so timing is impossible. I would pump and have a bottle on hand sometimes, but when a baby IS hungry even after the bottle is gone, you have to feed him. In my own personal experiences, you are as discreet as you can be. My son hated being covered up, he would kick and wriggle the cover- up off as an infant. Oh well. I have also left to nurse my baby in the car if we were out. Usually then you will be running the air conditioning or heat and sitting in the parking lot. Wicked awesome, especially when the ac is on the fritz. Fundamentally, why should a tired nursing mom have to run around and try to hide something that is unavoidable, and unpredictable. Nursing moms could stay home I guess. But, Daddies and Husbands, do you want to see how sane your wife will be without getting out for dinner once in a while to speak to a grown- up or two? :)
Deena Segal August 12, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Rebecca is right about timing. I have seen mothers nurse their babies in public areas and most of them are very discreet when they do nurse. Those NH people should be pro-nursing in public. PS: Do these same people exhibit excellent table manners themseives?
Anna Linzi August 13, 2012 at 02:49 AM
My kids wouldn't use a bottle when they were very young. Pumps cost a lot of money and aren't worthwhile unless you are going to use them a lot. Everybody else eats when they are hungry and a baby should also be able to. People who are uncomfortable with it can just turn away and not look. The mom is not trying to put on a show, the show comes when someone chooses to watch. Americans need to chill out... that's what the purpose of breasts is, not as a sex symbol. Women walk around in clothes that show a lot of skin, breastfeeding doesn't even show the nipple!! What's the difference? If it's the nipple, should men cover their nipples?
Susan Clare August 13, 2012 at 09:59 AM
Oh my! Look how many opinions on how women nourish their babies are actually written by men!
Todd Arnold August 13, 2012 at 10:13 AM
Interesting perspective....I bet there wouldn't be that many "Men" commenting on the topic if the nourishment didn't take place in the public's eye by non discrete women...
Susan Clare August 13, 2012 at 10:25 AM
It might prove an interesting exercise to try to separate sex and childcare in one's mind, whatever our gender.
Auntie Een August 13, 2012 at 12:59 PM
I totally agree with Kate Tracy. It's not the act of breast-feeding that is deemed inappropriate; it's the part of not covering up.
Sharon August 13, 2012 at 04:18 PM
This shouldn't even be a point of discussion! Women should be free to breast-feed their children whenever/wherever they need to. If they want/can cover up fine if not that is fine too. Americans, especially in the Northeast are sickeningly uptight Puritans about "what others should do" but look around at how people dress nowadays. I hope those that want to ban/restrict it (I'm sure that Sharon will do this) also have all their women covered from the neck to the toes at all time in public!
mary August 13, 2012 at 04:29 PM
I don't know how others feel but I enjoyed reading the patch when it was just local news. I don't see the point of all these polls.
Todd Arnold August 13, 2012 at 05:52 PM
you mean like the dress code they want to implement at the middle school...?
Todd Arnold August 13, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Where does sex come into this conversation??????....from the perspective of a heterosexual male...I'd be psyched if they made veterans memorial park a topless beach...Flashing and mooning legal...etc. C'mon everyone..this is a legitimate topic to debate. There are some, for their own reasons, who find it offensive that a mother decides to breastfeed in public without discretion.....Why is it they can't show breast on primetime TV, but it's ok to flash a boob in a public place to nourish a child. Once again..discretion it the better part of valor rather than it being done to prove a point.
Fiscal Conservative August 13, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Both sides should resprct one another, plain and simple. Descretion when feeding in public would be the proper thing. If a woman chooses not to cover up in public, my best guess is she is expecting a "reaction" from those who may be around her. You know, like "its my First Ammendent right" to express myself as I wish. Me, personally, I wouldn't give this self centered person any kind of reaction. It may be a "natural" thing to do, but, a lack of common sense prevails here. It's not about feeding the child. It's all about the person doing the feeding.
Todd Arnold August 13, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Well said......
Amanda August 16, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Men and their stupid comments......you have no idea what its like to need to feed your baby and be pregnant but you act all smart like you do and have the nerve to say dumb things like that..... appalling.
GreenMom August 16, 2012 at 09:00 PM
You should be able to breast feed your child where ever and whenever your child is hungry and needs to. Its sad to see how so many "men" frown upon it. They are the ones that have sexualised the breast. It 'is' natural and made for the baby to feed from. Do we need to cover up animals feeding their children? Should you hide your mouth when you chew at a restaurant?
GreenMom August 16, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Or maybe she doesnt have a cover, or feel the need to hide. Its not like a mom is taking their top off and dancing around, they are slightly lifting or pulling down their shirt to feed their child.
Todd Arnold August 16, 2012 at 10:24 PM
....and some "women" are just Dense and have tunnel vision totally NOT caring about anyones opinions and viewpoints but there own. I'd suggest reading the entire debate through from post number one before posting such selfishness.
Miguel August 17, 2012 at 12:45 PM
This is about feeding a baby Todd, grow up.
Todd Arnold August 17, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Nothing like coming into the middle of a conversation..not bothering to have the courtesy to read everything...and putting in your pathetic 2 cents. It's NOT about feeding a baby...it's about respecting others...something obviously you can't grasp and had you read this in it's entirety you'd have seen what I've stated.....*Rolls eyes*
Chris A August 18, 2012 at 01:31 AM
I totally agree Todd. Great points. I don't think it should be illegal but I think restaurants have the right to address something that makes it's patrons uncomfortable. It borders on common sense and lack of consideration for others. There's just plenty of clothing and pump options nowadays to not be on full display. This isn't Europe. That's just the way American society is in general. Only in Mass would they try and make a political spectrum about legislation over this thinking it's going to start some national trend. It wouldn't shock me.
Edna August 18, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Sorry Todd, but, no. It really is about feeding a baby.
Todd Arnold August 18, 2012 at 07:22 PM
so feed the baby discreetly as not to offend others....that seems to be a mantra here....
Kim.best@yahoo.com September 29, 2012 at 08:28 PM
I breast feed my son for 3 years. I think it's ok as long as you cover up. I had one of those cover things. Sometimes my (easy to embarrass) husband didn't like it but by then he realized, give the boy some milk so he'd stop crying. I was always discreet. sometimes i would go to a bathroom, a mothers room or just out to my car.
Jen January 08, 2013 at 06:43 PM
This is great that people are talking about breastfeeding. I feel that even negative publicity is good publicity. And breastfeeding needs as much publicity as it can, good or bad. Because then it gets people thinking. If more people see women nurse their babies in public, then it will become the norm, and not some shocking behavior to witness. I breastfed my children for over 2 years each. Once an infant gets big enough that you cannot do it discreetly anymore (they are moving their head around, too big to hide under a shirt, etc...), then the baby is usually eating solid foods, drinking from a sippy cup and does not need to nurse as often and as urgently. So, if one goes out to dinner with that baby a mom can just time her nursing sessions around it. This is such a non-issue. I think the only time someone ever even knew I was nursing my baby was at the airport, a woman was walking by me a couple of times to try to figure out what I was doing. She wanted to actually confirm I was indeed breastfeeding so she could give me dirty looks, classic. And hey, why can men walk around outside without their shirts on but if a woman is nursing a hungry infant, that's offensive and shocking?
Jen January 08, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Television makes breastfeeding a big joke as well. In an episode of Two and Half Men, a woman was breastfeeding her infant in a coffee shop with her tank top pulled down. Now who does that? Nobody does! In an episode of Nurse Jackie, an alcoholic woman was drinking vodka in the restroom and then went into the waiting area to nurse her infant. Nurse Jackie came to the rescue and told the woman to give the baby formula. That would never happen as alcohol dehydrates you so milk supply would be reduced..... and what falling down drunk would breastfeed their baby? Seriously. There is so much misinformation on television and even from medical professionals. In the last few thousand years of humanity, breastfeeding used to be what the poor and middle class did. The rich had wet nurses. When formula was introduced and Dr.'s encouraged women to purchase and feed infants formula, (getting kickbacks from the formula companies of course) it became the rich women's choice. Now, the tables seemed to have turned again as financially stable and educated women are nursing their infants while many others cannot due to lack of family support, education and/or they have to work.
Jen January 08, 2013 at 06:47 PM
Talking about offensive, why don't we discuss teenage girls walking around with "Juicy" stamped on their behind, or teenage boys with their pants falling off showing their underwear, or how about the morbidly obese people I have to look at on a daily basis? What about half naked women on television, or the half naked, half starved women in advertisements, the current risque dialog on television today. Let's not even begin to talk about the violence. Hey, I have an idea, maybe if people just got over it, the epidemic of a few generations of children having all these ridiculous allergies will cease. During infancy, our immune systems are developing for life and what you feed your baby can help shape it.

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