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Tuesday, July 18, 2006No, I'm not talking about the ones that ride around underneath shirts and occasionally make appearances for play or feeding...I'm talking about the individuals that were interviewed for comment this morning on Good Morning America. My online friend Shannon Dowdell talks about the show and her own experience nursing in public in a blog post made earlier this morning.
57% of people DO NOT APPROVE of breast feeding in public
one woman went on to say that "it is disgusting" and "it is not moral"
moral? since when is feeding your baby not "moral"?
it was also discouraging to see the numbers on breast feeding women:
70% of women try breast feeding
36% are still nursing at 6 months
17% are still nursing at one year...17%!
Of course it isn't really surprising after hearing what people on the street were saying about breast feeding in public. There is little to no support for women to continue. 56% of women say that they stopped nuring before they wanted to quit.
Also, there was this woman who is a reporter for some newspaper in Philadelphia interviewed forthe report that had some really offensive things to say about beast feeding in public such as things like "it [public breastfeeding] is not modest and should be done in the privacy of your own home." and "I don't want to be out somewhere and see some woman take of their shirt so they can feed their baby." Take off their shirt? I don't even want to get started on that comment.
There doesn't appear to be any video of the segment online yet, though the GMA site does have a link to vote on whether or not women should nurse in public. Unfortunately, the poll isn't working so all you get is an empty pop-up window.
Part of the problem is that so many moms that choose not to breastfeed remain hostile to any mention of the fact that breastfeeding *IS* best. That's demonstrated in quotes like this one from an ABC News Story...
"We need to be clear about this — that any amount of breast milk a baby gets is a gift," said Alison Walsh, a mother who chose to breast-feed. But Spitzer, who decided not to breast-feed, said that type of thinking makes her feel guilty. "Sitting next to you, being the person that bottle feeds, I almost feel as if you're saying I didn't give any gifts to my child."
Look, the reality is that the breast *IS* the best. If you can't nurse, you shouldn't feel any guilt because it's not your fault. If you CHOOSE not to nurse and then feel some guilt when faced with the very real benefits of nursing, well...I'm sorry but that's not really my problem. I hate to sound insensitive, but I'm quite frankly tired of women having to walk on eggshells about the realities of the health benefits of breastfeeding just become someone else made a different choice and doesn't have enough confidence in that choice to come face to face with the truth.
I mean seriously, if you are so confident that your decision not to nurse was best for you and your family, then why do you CARE what anyone else thinks?