Response To, Dear Breastfeeding Moms, Is It Really That Hard to Cover Up?

strict businesswoman shouting in megaphone

This infamous article- "Dear Breastfeeding Moms, Is it Really that Hard to Cover up?"  is making it's rounds again, so, I thought I would be the voice that I am and give a nice little response to it. Please share far and wide! That other article already got it's fifteen minutes time to push it aside. 

"Is it really that hard to cover up?"

For some moms, yes it is. What works for one could be completely out of the question for the other. When you have a baby who fights the cover off the whole time they are eating, some moms end up exposing more skin because they are focusing on wrestling with the cover, and the baby unlatching because they are ticked off about being covered. Check out my article- "9 Reasons Why I Don't Cover When I Breastfeed." 

"Here's the deal: Strangers don't want to see your areola. (Yeah, that's it.)"

Okay, here's the deal, breastfeeding moms normally don't expose areola, you know, since the baby's mouth is covering it... Another simple solution, would be for people not to look.

"I don't get what part of that is offensive."

Let me break it down for you. A breastfeeding mom does not want to hear about how much you disapprove of how she is breastfeeding. Feeling the need to criticize or harass a mom to breastfeed in a different manner, to appease complete strangers around her is pretty upsetting.

"Look, I get it. I've breastfed all of my children, so I totally understand that covering up can be a pain. At first, it's fine, but once they hit 6 months, they're old enough to realize they don't want a blanket sitting on their face while they eat, and the whole feeding is a fight. I've been there. I get it."

Oh look at what we have here. You do know that covers are a pain and baby's/toddlers fight them off, so did you lie in the beginning of your article when you ask if it's really that hard to cover up? So, is this article only against moms who are breastfeeding kids 6 months and older, uncovered? So, is it some magical thing that happens, when the baby who previously didn't like the cover, suddenly just goes with it? You know, I really don't think that's how it works and I really don't think you get it or you wouldn't be shaming breastfeeding moms who choose not to use a cover.

"I've nursed my kids in the middle of the fanciest restaurants, at the beach, at the doctor's office, in the library, the airport, the grocery store, in millions (okay, dozens) of parking lots. One time, I even sat down on a tiny patch of grass to feed my baby on the side of the road. But, I still managed to get a blanket, or at least part of my shirt, to cover my naked nipple while my kids ate."

I'm so happy for you. I'm so happy that you were able to nurse in all those places and nurse the way that made you most comfortable! Congratulations! Now tell me what exactly does any of that have to do with the next breastfeeding mom? How you breastfed and what came comfortable or easy to you is not going to work out that way for all, but maybe you deserve a cookie or something for nursing in all those places and managing to cover up.

"Really, is it that big of a deal? I totally get the importance of normalizing breastfeeding, and spreading awareness that we are feeding our children. Which, of course, is more important than anything. I totally feel you. And I'm with ya. But let's stop pretending that you're fighting a stigma that doesn't exist in 2015. These days, when you tell someone you breastfeed, you get compliments and praise. It's not the 1950s, when baby formula companies created anti-nursing ad campaigns to boost sales, and as a result, most women took meds after birth to stop their supply."

Yes, yes it is that big of a deal. You must not be informed in the amount of breastfeeding discrimination that occurs. Please educate yourself. Google, "Breastfeeding discrimination in 2015" and hundreds upon hundreds of news articles and stories will pop up. Articles like these is part of the stigma by the way. So, congratulations for adding to that. Really something to be proud of, considering you, yourself, were a breastfeeding mom.

"Today, things are completely different. And, if anything, there's unfair stigma on people who don't breastfeed."

Show me a headline where a mom was kicked out of a restaurant for formula feeding. Formula is a billion dollar industry and they do a great job at marketing their products. They actually have doctors and hospitals pushing formula on moms right from the start, but sure things are totally different, now. I do agree that some people do criticize formula, but breastfeeding moms receive actual harassment and discrimination. Considering they had to make actual laws to protect breastfeeding I'd say the unfair stigma lies with breastfeeding.

"The truth is, I don't want to see your naked boobs. I don't want my husband to, and come to think of it, my preschool son either. I don't want to see your naked boobs. I don't want my husband to, and come to think of it, my preschool son either."

The truth is, I don't want you or your husband to see anyone's naked boobs either. Luckily, a baby is latched on to that boob so there is no "exposed naked boob" and you and your husband have the ability to look the other way!

"That doesn't mean I'm sexualizing breastfeeding. It means that a naked boob, to most people in our culture, is a sexual thing."

Oh, so since society thinks one way, even though it's completely wrong, we should just conform our every move to please them? In what planet did that make a good argument? Didn't your mom ever teach you, "If your friend says they are gonna jump off a bridge , does that mean you would too?" I doubt it. Sorry, not sorry. Just because some people see boobs as sexual objects, that doesn't mean they are. Some people are turned on by feet, but I bet you aren't writing any anti flip flop/bare feet article. 

"Your vagina helped make the kid, and I don't see you flashin' that around."

Um, because vaginas don't produce milk and last I checked we don't feed our babies urine? Come on now, you can't be serious with this!

"Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm ignorant. Maybe you're just trying to prove a point, and I just don't get it."

THANK YOU!!! The best two sentences out of your whole article! You are definitely ignorant and you are so far from getting it you are on a different planet.

To conclude my response, I want to say that there is no ONE standard that all breastfeeding moms need to go by, when they breastfeed in public. However a mom breastfeeds be it covered or not, people should be happy that her baby is being fed. Stop trying to dictate what a woman chooses to do with her own body. I would also like to add that breastfeeding in public wherever you are otherwise authorized to be is legal. So keep calm and latch on!!!!

Kristy Kemp

My name is Kristy Kemp. I created Breastfeeding Mama Talk back in September 2012. My motivation behind creating Breastfeeding Mama Talk was to be that support system for breastfeeding mothers around the world.