Responding to Criticism

Having recently started this blog supporting mothers who breastfeed in public, I also wanted to create a Twitter account so I could continue to show my support on a large social media platform. I now follow over 450 mothers, many of whom are breastfeeding or have breastfed their children, and are all extremely supportive of other mothers and their breastfeeding choices. However, I have started to notice some not so supportive people on Twitter, who feel the need to express their negative thoughts and criticise mothers for breastfeeding in public.

Below in bold are just some of the tweets I have seen (I will keep names anonymous), and what I have to say in response:

“I don’t care if you breastfeed, just don’t get pissy when people dislike it, breasts are considered as private and sexual”

Let’s not consider what breasts are, let’s first establish what breasts actually are. As stated by the Oxford English Dictionary breasts are defined as, “either of the two soft, protruding organs on the upper front of a woman’s body which secrete milk after childbirth.” Nowhere in that definition are the words private or sexual, however what that definition does make clear is that breasts are for feeding a baby. In terms of the ‘private and sexual’ argument, well that is entirely the mother’s choice if she would like to breastfeeding in public or not and let’s be clear, there is nothing sexual about a woman breastfeeding her child. She is simply providing nutrients to her baby.

 “Two women breastfeeding on the bus!!! Wtf?! I just don’t feel it’s right especially when they not covered…one is and one not Smfh”

There are actually a number of reasons why women choose to not cover up when breastfeeding, whether in public or not.

  1. Breastfeeding can be hard for some mothers and when they’re having to deal with a squirming, hungry, crying baby trying to latch on and feed, covering up is the last thing they’re thinking about.
  2. Some babies just don’t like being covered. For whatever reason, they pull it off and get restless and it’s just easier for both the mother, and baby to not use one.
  3. Some feel covering up actually draws more attention and implies that there is something inappropriate about it. Which there isn’t.
  4. Breastfeeding can be a really special bonding time for a mother and her baby, particularly when making eye contact with one another, so putting a cover over the baby takes away from that.

A great article to read on breastfeeding and covering up is Annie Reneau’s, What’s So Hard About Covering Up to Breastfeed in Public?

Mothers should take the first step to protect themselves by at least covering up their breasts when breastfeeding in public…”

OK, this comment really gets to me. “Mothers should take the first step to protecting themselves?” Um hello, I don’t think so. If everyone just left mothers alone to breastfeed in public without criticism or judgment, then there would be no need for them to protect themselves. So how about society takes the first step and leaves them alone!

“First of all just because you are breastfeeding does not mean you should make people feel uncomfortable in public …”

When a mother breastfeeds her baby in public she is not trying to make people feel uncomfortable. In fact, she is not worrying about anyone else. She is simply trying to feed her baby and make sure he/she is comfortable.

“haven’t you heard of no shoes no shirt no service?”

Haven’t you heard of the law? There are laws that protect mothers who choose to breastfeeding in public. For more information, refer to my blog below!

(Just so you know, I don’t follow any of the people who said the above comments. They are not worthy of my follow!)

WHY this is still a topic of discussion in 2015 I don’t understand.

There are SO many other topics and debates that could and should be spoken about. Breastfeeding in public IS NOT one of them!

Who else has to deal with seeing such criticism on social media? What are your thoughts when you see such comments and how do you respond?

JF

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