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The Upper Breast Side

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

And I thought The Lactivist was a kitschy name...

Stumbled across a news story yesterday that made mention of New Yorker Felina Rakowski-Gallagher, who owns a small botique in Manhatten called "The Upper Breast Side." The shop is located...you guessed it...on the Upper West Side at 220 71st Steet.

The shop's tagline is "you bring your breasts, we've got the rest."


The shop features ten brands and twenty-four styles of nursing bras and the friendly staff will even help measure you to make sure that you're buying a nursing bra with a proper fit. The Upper Breast Side also both rents and sells breast pumps from popular companies like Amedia and Medela along with herbs, nursing pillows, reference books and more.

They also offer regular "latch-on" clinics that are hosted by an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) along with baby CPR, First Aid and baby proofing courses.

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  1. Anonymous Anonymous | 9:33 AM |  

    I've seen these kinda of tee shirts around on moms and baby's. I personally think if mother's want to be left alone while breastfeeding, then why advertise that's what your doing? I think it's tacky to wear a shirt that basically saying don't look at my breasts as breast look at them like a milking machine. If you want nobody to pay attention to you, then don't advertise it. I avoid people like you and would fire anyone working for me that wore something like this to work.

  2. Blogger Jennifer Laycock | 11:21 AM |  

    I hope you realize that you can't fire someone for wearing something like this to work. You can tell them that they have to change, but firing them would be a nice way to have a lawyer show up at your door. ;)

    Most mothers do prefer to be left alone while breastfeeding, but that's not usually what happens. The reality is that as long as people feel that it's ok to tell women that they should head to the bathroom to nurse their child, or that they should ask someone to leave a public place because they are feeding their infant, or even that it's ok to rant in blogs and newspapers about women nursing their children, then there will be a need for these types of shirts.

    It's called public awareness.

  3. Anonymous Anonymous | 2:13 PM |  

    Speaking as a woman, I find the pro-breastfeeding in public argument sexist. As I understand it, the argument in favor of breastfeeding in public is that it is a normal and natural process and that everyone who has the "privilege" to witness it should think if it as a miracle.

    In reality, it's the excretion of a bodily fluid. If a man were to whip open his pants and pee in a restaurant (even if discreetly covered) we would all have a fit, but for some reason a woman doing something roughly equivalent should be applauded for her bravery.

    Any act that is performed in a public place is open for public comment. Mothers who don't want other people complaining to restaurant/bookstore/airport management about their exhibitionist behavior would do well to feed their baby in a private place.

    That aside, I'm really enjoying the capitalist and search engine marketing aspects of your experiment and wish you much success.

  4. Blogger Jennifer Laycock | 4:09 PM |  

    People’s gross fetishes aside, the last time I checked, no one eats pee as their source of nourishment. The problem with comparing breastfeeding to the excretion of any other body fluid is that your analogy only holds water if a mom decides to lift her shirt and hand express some milk to relieve herself of engorgement. The second that you attach a kid to that breast it becomes a source of nourishment. Not the simple expulsion of body fluid. The issue here is not that women want to be able to lactate in public, it’s that they want to be able to feed their children in public. Until you start sending formula feeding mothers to the bathroom or telling them to stay home, your argument is faulty.

    Breastfeeding is the natural way for a child to be fed. In most societies, a mother that is breastfeeding in public is viewed no differently than a mother giving her baby a bottle. The problem is that we’ve sexualized women so badly that anything that involves a breast has suddenly become a sexual issue rather than a maternal issue. I find that sad.

    Do you not find it strange that we live in a country that has no problem with jeans that require a Brazillian wax, but we do have an issue with a mother that dares to feed their child while in public? Do you really think that shaming women into hiding in dark corners to feed their child will do anything to increase the breastfeeding rates in the United States? That’s part of the whole problem with the low rates…women are embarrassed to breastfeed. That’s right; they are embarrassed to use their breasts for what they were made for because society has told them that breasts are sexual. I think that’s sad.

    You are right though, anything done in public opens itself up to public criticism. No arguments there. But sometimes, something has to happen a lot before people get used to it and accept it. There was a time where no one wanted to see a mixed race couple in public. Not because it was wrong, but because they had a problem with it. Would you tell a mixed race couple to go hide because they are offending people?

    Anyway thanks for the compliments on the experiment. ;)

  5. Anonymous Anonymous | 4:23 PM |  

    I, as a nursing mother of an infant, am definitely pro-breastfeeding. I have no problem with women who nurse in public as long as they are covered. I do find it completely inappropriate to expose your breast(s) in public. That only makes people uncomfortable, and I know that I wouldn't want the whole world seeing my breasts, even if I am feeding my baby. Breastfeeding is a wonderful act, heck, that is why you have boobs to begin with, but it is important to be tactful and modest while nursing your child. They have wonderful nursing covers out there, the HooterHider is one that I have and LOVE! With it on, nobody sees anything. You put it on before you even start nursing, so you are completely covered the entire time. So, you don't have to hide in a dark corner or sit in a dirty bathroom to feed your child, if you choose to feed them in public, why not COVER up. I don't think it is the nursing aspect that makes people uncomfortable, hence all of the judgment and criticism. It is my opinion that it is mainly the exposure of the breasts that people have a problem with. I once saw a woman whip her boob out at a bus stop leaving it completely exposed, while she took her sweet time getting her child on it to nurse. My husband and I could not believe she did that, that type of behavior is why breastfeeding in public gets frowned upon. So, all in all, be PROUD if you do breastfeed, just don't make everyone around you uncomfortable! :)

  6. Blogger Jennifer Laycock | 7:44 PM |  

    A. My son would not eat with anything covering his face or head. Can't say I blame him, I wouldn't have either.

    B. I nursed in public from the day he was three days old. I promise you, unless you stood at my shoulder STARING with all your might, you wouldn't have seen ANYTHING save a brief flash of nipple when he latched.

    I've had more than one person come up to me while I was nursing Emmitt that had NO idea what was going on.

    Breastfeeding without a cover does not equate to leaving a breast "hanging out" for all the world to see.

    Even if it does, what's the big whoop? It's just a breast. Look away.

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