Posted by: learningwoman | June 12, 2008

No breastfeeding in the waiting room

I was listening to James O’Brien’s program on LBC radio yesterday and he was talking about a woman who’d been asked to stop breastfeeding in her doctor’s surgery for health and safety reasons!

Pretty unbelievable right?

More unbelievable, at least to me, is the volume of people who rang in to say that they agreed that women shouldn’t breastfeed in public at all. It isn’t that I haven’t heard these opinions before, it’s just that I never get over the strangeness of it.

I breastfed both of my boys until they were 15 months old and I did it wherever and whenever they needed to feed. My highest priority when they were screaming wasn’t to rush to somewhere secluded but to get them fed. I was discreet but unembarrassed. It seemed quite normal and okay, even when I had to plonk myself on the floor, cross-legged at a party, or in the park.

Everyone will have heard both sides of the story and have opinions of one kind or another. It’s just interesting to me that the debate rages on and on and on…………



  1. I totally agree with you. I absolutely cannot believe it when people think that a breastfeeding mom should ‘hide’, or worse yet, go to the restroom to feed their baby. Really? Would they eat their dinner in a bathroom??? Gross!!! Why would a baby be any different? We see breasts all over TV, advertisements, and the internet….pushed up, blown up, super-sized, reduced, however you want it…breasts can be seen pretty much anywhere you look….but use them to feed your baby in public???? Well that’s just improper and offensive. Ridiculous.
    Thanks for your post 🙂

  2. I am an extended nurser as well. chee nursed till 22 months and Ess is still going strong at 18 months.

    I do it wherever and whenever. Discretion is my middle name. 🙂

  3. Breastfeeding is only a health and safety issue for the baby. No one else.

    I wasn’t able to nurse (serious supply problems), but whenever I see another nursing I make eye contact with the Mom and smile. I want them to see supportive people, not sneers or rolled eyes.

    There have been many brouhahas on this side of the pond about this issue, too. Even Barbara Walters, a well respected journalist, decried women breastfeeding on airplanes. I’m always shocked at this attitude.

  4. Bizarre that most people are totally o.k. with the idea of staring at breasts for the purposes of sexual pleasure while they’re out and about, but not for the purposes of keeping their children alive and healthy.

  5. Eek! I can’t think of my boobies being out in public! I would be embarrassed beyond words! However I don’t see anything wrong with women who breastfeed their babies in public. I think it’s proper to put something to cover the, well, boobie, but breastfeeding is a natural part of life unlike a lot of other things that we completely disregard and accept.

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