Breastfeeding is not something I’ve given much thought to. I’m a single, childless 20-something. Hell, I don’t even know if I want to have kids.
But, World Breastfeeding Week begins today and as a feminist who cares deeply about her community and the autonomy of her sisters and friends, I feel that I must speak about our choice to freely and openly breastfeed, because when one woman’s body is policed, restricted or regulated, it affects all women.
Know Your Rights
Breastfeeding in public is totally legal. No one should prevent you from nourishing your child because you are in a public space.
Breastfeeding is a natural part of being a mom. If you know there are certain things that make you more comfortable, apply them. For example, you may find it easier to breastfeed in clothing that allows for easy access, or with a comfortable cover.
Plan Your Response
If someone confronts you, have your comeback rehearsed. Of course, your response to this unpleasant encounter is entirely up to you: You can move forward with a simple “No” or provide an explanation as to why you will not move. And of course, if leaving feels most comfortable, that’s okay, too. Regardless of your response, remember you have done nothing wrong.
While breastfeeding is not something that affects me now, I know it could, and I know it affects the mamas and babies that I love. All babies deserve to eat when they’re hungry — wherever that may be — without stigma or shame.
What is your experience breastfeeding in public? How can we normalize something so incredibly natural? –Alex