Breastfeeding in public should be normal, not controversial

Mother breastfeeding, photo courtesy of and used under fair use.

Opening a bag of chips in public seems casual, while opening a blouse to breastfeed causes heads to turn. Formula isn’t the cheapest, and parents still need to feed their babies when they are hungry.

Unfortunately, the glimpse of a breast or even the act of nursing a child can motivate harassment from those who believe that breasts must always be covered. Men tend to feel encouraged by the exposure of the breast, and many harass the mothers.

A video went viral over the summer that took place at a Target in Connecticut of a man verbally harassing a woman, telling her to breastfeed somewhere else because the sight made him feel uncomfortable and angry.

Even some women oppose breastfeeding in public, believing that it is unsanitary to expose the breast due to the germs in places like restaurants that should be kept sanitary.

Breastfeeding is perfectly safe. In fact, as long as the mother does not have HIV or any other transmittable diseases, the baby will be physically fine. This isn’t even taking into account the people around the mother, who don’t come into contact with the milk at all.

Some mothers believe it is safer to be more discreet at home, where there is less trouble from judgmental strangers. Unfortunately, this means that the baby must wait to be fed.

Breastfeeding is a beautiful and necessary interaction between child and mother, and it does not have to be considered dangerous.

Biologically speaking, the breast’s main purpose is to provide nutrients to a child. In a world where everything can be misinterpreted, people need to understand that this is the matter of a baby’s health.

Hyping up the “ew” factor of breastfeeding is completely irrelevant and distracts from the fact that babies still need to eat. It does not have to get to that level; let mothers do what they have to. The breast is a body part that some find a little odd while exposed due to the fact that it is considered a “private part.”

However, when considering the mom’s perspective, it will not matter what may appear “inappropriate” or “wrong” to outsiders. This is the child that they gave birth to, which means that this is the child they are caring for, and nothing else matters.

In a world with actual health concerns, breastfeeding stands a harmless and beautiful act.