The Best Defence For Breastfeeding In Public

Here is the best defence for breastfeeding in public:

Grow Up.

Grow up, and stop being a child.  Stop being a stupid, churlish, simpering, nimrod, and accept the fact that women feed babies with their boobies.  Or better yet, die, get reincarnated as a Finn, and be naked more often around your parents and family, while sweating, whipping each other with vihtas, so that you can see that nudity is not scary, and you have nothing to fear[1].

What is the issue here?  Is it because it makes you squeamish?  Is that your rationale?  Your reasoning?  Because, you do realize, that you are asking mothers NOT to feed their babies, don’t you? Which is ironic, because you are probably the same person who would also call for a woman’s summary execution if she let her child go hungry.

Here’s an idea: How about you don’t look at it?  If it bugs you, avert your gaze.  Because I’ll tell you what makes me squeamish: your squeamishness.  Actually, it makes me furious.

Babies need to eat.  Mammals have evolved the ability to produce milk in order to feed their offspring.  This is an accepted reality across the globe.  Are you unaware of this fact?  Were you grown in a lab?  What in all that is unholy is wrong with you?

Is it the tits?  Is it that a woman has uncovered a part of a single tit in public?  Is that it?

Fine.  Then we should also outlaw bikinis and advertisements for bras.  Let’s do that first, then we’ll outlaw the public nourishment of infants.  Outlaw strip clubs, Mardi Gras, and Michael Bay movies.  While you’re at it, you’ll have to add Spring Break, Daytona Beach, Myrtle Beach, and most of southern California to the list, since you see way more tatas in those places, than you ever would from nursing mothers.

Oh, it’s the milk, is it?  It’s a bodily fluid that could possibly spurt from one of those infuriating tits, and land in your mouth, contaminating your body.  Or get into the pool water, mix with the chlorine and countless litres of toddler urine, and somehow infect your body with nutrition?  Well, you put milk in your coffee, in your cereal, and in your baked goods, don’t you?  Yogurt and cheese is made from milk.  That all comes from tits.  Cows’ tits, sure, but tits nonetheless.  I guess we’ll have to outlaw milk, though, since it’s such a dangerous contaminant.  (And not for nothing, but I’ll bet you dollars to boob jobs, the milk coming from that mother on the bus, feeding her hungry baby, is WAY less of a contaminant than the milk you voluntarily put into your body.)

Ohhhhh … It makes you uncomfortable.  It makes you … uncomfortable.  Because you are the one exposing a part of your body, that has been sexualized and vilified (insanely, at the same time), in a public area to provide sustenance for your offspring.  Because you are the one summoning the courage to get over the stigmas and social mores that scream at you not to do it, even though your baby is crying from hunger.

Oh no, wait.  That’s the women you’re shaming.

My bad.

How about this: You stop being a pretend baby, and let women feed actual babies.

(Never mind that studies show that breastfeeding are the best source of nutrition for infants.  Never mind that we have evolved to be able to feed our young with our bodies.  Never mind that you are forcing your personal sense of decency, morality, and decorum, onto others, arbitrarily, and without reason.)

The fact that you are so monumentally immature that you cannot stand idly by while a baby drinks milk from a boob, speaks volumes about who you are as an individual.

Because the best defence for breastfeeding in public is that it’s none of your business.  That a woman does not need to justify the act of feeding her child.  That a woman, who is harming exactly no one by nursing her child, wherever she damn well pleases, should never be made to feel ashamed or indecent.

The best defence, therefore, is that you should grow up.

I recommend that you get into your car, drive to somewhere secluded, peaceful, and still, and reflect on what harm a breast, partially visible, mostly hidden behind a tiny head, can possibly pose to the general public.

Then, when you have had your time out, you can climb down off your mountain, get off your horse, step down from your soapbox, and rejoin the group.

But you have to agree to play nicely with others.  Otherwise, no juice.

[1] Unless the breast you fear is this one.  In which case, carry on.

About Craig Norton

I also write a little wine blog with my sister-in-law-to-be called The Sunday Bottles. Check it out ... IF YOU DARE!
This entry was posted in PB&J and tagged babies, breastfeeding in public, breasts, feeding. Bookmark the permalink.

430 Responses to The Best Defence For Breastfeeding In Public

  1. Jill says:

    Brilliant and funny. I whole-heartedly agree.

  2. Julia Fox says:

    Thank you for writing this! I wish I had the courage to nurse in public! :/

    • Craig Norton says:

      Thanks for your comment, Julia. I support you in whatever decision you make. I think there is far too much pressure on mothers, from both sides of the debate, to be honest. I’m glad you liked the post!

    • Comfort in NIP comes with time. :) I have found that wearing the right clothes can make or break nursing in public. I love, LOVE camis. I wear them under almost everything. I pull a shirt up, and pull my cami down. Easy peasy! I am not, however, well endowed. I do know that those with larger breasts have a harder time getting comfy NIP but even those women have found ways to do it that make them feel OK.

      Surround yourself with those who support you. Start by doing it in a quiet park, or even on your front stoop. With my third, I nurse her everywhere and she’s 2 1/2! I wasn’t always so confident. I felt that I couldn’t nurse on my property, outside but the comfort slowly came with time. Best of luck and congrats!!! 😀

    • delonteharrod says:

      Julia – It takes time to feel comfortable! I second what the other mama said about wearing tanks or camis so your mid-section is covered, and you can wear a cover or blanket if it makes you uncomfortable. I have not-very-discrete babies so I cover with a jersey cloth, which makes me more comfortable!

    • kamagrian says:

      Julia, as someone else said below – it takes time. Be gentle with yourself. :-) The first few times I breastfed in public, I actually SHOOK….and then cried as soon as I got out of the public eye. I was so nervous, and so eager to do what was best, and I can be a little shy.

      It got easier. Much easier. And then it got to be second nature. Honestly, I’d look at women getting bottles out that they’d either pumped for or were feeding formula from, and feel soooo lucky that I just had my baby’s meal right there, all ready to drink whenever he was hungry.

      Whatever you choose is fine – but remember that you and your baby have the right to breastfeed wherever and whenever you wish, IF you choose to. :-) There’s a group on Facebook called “Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding Is Not Obscene (Official Petition To Facebook)”, and I found it so helpful that I eventually became an admin. Feel free to join us for support. x

  3. Sasha says:

    Awesome! As a currently breastfeeding momma, Thank you!

  4. perilous says:

    This is brilliant. 😀

    • Craig Norton says:

      Thank you very much.

      • Dana says:

        I agree, Perilous! Craig … thank you for making my job a little easier. I have been a lactation consultant for 15 years and have worked with breastfeeding families for almost 30. Some days it feels like we have not taken too many steps forward in that time and then I read something “sensible” like this and it gives me hope! If the general public only understood the impact that NOT breastfeeding has on our collective health and well being, there would not be so many barriers to making breastfeeding work (and it can for the vast majority of mother/baby pairs with the right support). The bedrock of breastfeeding knowledge is no longer based on OPINION of what we think is best for mothers/babies/families. We have plenty of science in many disciplines to back its importance. Thank you for your post. Do you do any speaking on this subject?

  5. Nicole says:

    “grow up”, simply put in two words lol.

    Love this mashup of all things that just make sense when breast feeding.
    Sad that some people just won’t get it…

  6. Sarah says:

    Love this. Can’t wait to breastfeed again. So glad a male actually wrote this to. You are a wonderful person!!!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you, Craig, for not only an informative piece, but a humorous one at that. I adored breastfeeding my babies, at home and in public. I certainly got some flak, but was able to educate some. I hope your words of wisdom will educate more.

  8. Caity says:

    Im seriously giggling inside! Love this! Nurse on mommas! 😀

  9. Jackie says:

    LOVE THIS! Craig – this is a brilliant post – just brilliant. Because that’s what it is, isn’t it? A grownup being childish over the most basic of human actions – feeding a baby. Until we ‘evolved’ into a culture that, at one time, wouldn’t even call a leg a leg because that meant you described a body part (yep, we did this is ‘civilized society a few hundred years ago) and couldn’t have a woman show an ankle – gasp!, we were all ok with feeding babies natures way. Heck, we didn’t have formula, so you did what you had to do.

    I love your perspective. I’m laughing and kinda feeling sorry for the people who are squeamish.

  10. Kimberlea Emmons says:

    Absolutely PERFECT!’s in writing (YOU’RE PERFECT!) …quick print it off and post it on the fridge! Preferrably next to a picture that one of your breastfed children drew!! :)

    This was a joy to read! Thanks! ~Kimber

    • Craig Norton says:

      Thanks, Kimber! I never intended for perfection!

      Next to the fridge is a place of honour, and I thank you and your breastfed children. And they will probably be able to read it, too! What with all of the .. breast … milk …



  11. Robin says:

    This is brilliantly put!!! Well done!

  12. Pam says:

    Yup, well said Craig, not only breast feeding in public places is frowned upon but at home as well. People have stupid notions. I have been ridiculed, drawn flak, received absurd comments & remarks too for nursing my baby. People seriously grow up! Its a special bond, nursing not only provides nutrition & immunity but also provides comfort & emotional security for the baby. As Elizabeth says many people need to be educated!

    • Craig Norton says:

      I’m sorry to hear that, Pam. I support you, in whatever choice you make. I do believe that the tide is turning, but it takes people to stand up when someone is being bullied (because that’s what it is). After all, a nursing mother is should really be considered as no more offensive than a person drinking coffee.

  13. Beth says:

    Great article except the word is spelled, “defense” not “defence.”

    • Craig Norton says:

      Great comment, except I am Canadian. We spell it “defence.” But thanks for noticing!

      • Cheryl says:

        Smart *and* Canadian. You should be inducted into the Hall of Honour or something.

        (Coming from a fellow Canadian) :)

      • Meg says:

        I really, really, really love everything about this piece. I breastfed my three babies for an aggregate six years. The very rare moments of judgement for breastfeeding in public made me very sad and angry, and contributed to my being a very vocal advocate of the rights of breastfeeding mothers. You have done a great job of identifying the crux of the problem, and redirecting the shame and disgust where it belongs.

        Thank you, sir.

  14. Julie says:

    That. was. awesome.

  15. Kimberly says:

    Awesome article! I loved it. Luckily I live in Portland, OR which is very liberal and accepting of well, lots of nudity really, but also of breastfeeding and lots of other “natural” childbirth and baby things. Never felt ostracized here, and I’ve seen women nursing big ol’ toddlers in cafe windows without a care. I wish all women could nurse their babies in supportive communities like this. With your help, and all the other advocates, I think we’re getting a little bit closer all the time.

    • Craig Norton says:

      That would be great, wouldn’t it, Kimberly? We keep meaning to make a trip up to Portland – we hear it’s beautiful. Thanks for reading!

    • Amy says:

      I live in Eugene, and I’ve never had a problem either! My nursling is almost two, and we still nurse all the time. At the mall, at the park, wherever. No one has never said anything unkind to me at all. And if you’ve nursed a toddler, you know there is NO covering them with a blanket…

      • Craig Norton says:

        Thanks, Amy, and I agree – the whole “covering up” thing is kind of a silly argument. It would be like saying, “It’s fine to have a television on during dinner, just make sure your kids don’t watch it while they’re eating.” Oh, good tip. Thanks for that.

  16. Craig, what an amazing post! I love it. I was sitting beside a breastfeeding mother on an airplane in January and her toddler was helping himself whenever he wanted. I barely noticed, until I saw a fellow one row ahead on the other side of the aisle, who was looking back at her, actually staring for a few seconds at a time. He was clearly fascinated, but in a bad way. He got some serious glares from me, for sure! Jackass!

  17. Patty says:

    Loved this article. Although it’s been more than 30 years since I have nursed a little one, the wonderful memories are as clear as if it were yesterday. Fortunately never had to put up with much flak from onlookers. I nursed my three babies everywhere…..I always said they ate in some of the best restaurants in town!

  18. Wonderful! But I dare venture to say that, thankfully, even most children I know don’t act that ignorant about breastfeeding. They accept it as fact and move on. Some adults could stand to learn a thing or two from children :)

  19. Trevor says:

    What a contradiction “Because the best defence for breastfeeding in public is that it’s none of your business” If its in the public forum that makes it public business.

    I agree whole heartedly that a woman has the right to breastfeed when and where she wants but I also believe that a mature adult knows that there is also an appropriate time and place for breastfeeding.

    Also, not that any mother should have to, or be forced to, let’s not forget the option of pumping breast milk to bottle feed later (a great way for dad to get skin to skin contact with baby to bond while feeding also).

    Sadly, the general public does not want to see breastfeeding and this is not likely to change. So if you are not able to ignore the negative looks and are not thick skinned enough to continue breastfeeding anyway.
    I suggest you get off your soap box and sit somewhere private you can enjoy your intimate, evolutionary right to feed your child.

    As for all thing things we must also outlaw. Fodder for my point all of those things mentioned are regulated by laws as to when they are deemed appropriate times and places.

    Side note, Doctors also recommend giving a breast fed baby vitamin D drops because breast milk does not supply enough.

    • Craig Norton says:

      It’s not likely to change as long as people advise others to get off their soapboxes and go someplace private and hide.

      I think I understand your point, that pushing it in front of people, militantly even, is a sure way to GET looks from strangers, but that was not what I was referring to. I was referring to women who are told it is indecent, inappropriate, and wrong to breastfeed their children in the public eye AT ALL.

      But even if I WAS referring to that. Let’s take my example of a militant breastfeeding mother, bare breasted, a babe in each fist, screaming at the wind, DARING someone to tell her to cover up. So what? (Other than, you know, she probably could use a hug.) Why should a woman have to hide at all, ever, feeding her child in public?

      I suspect your heart is in the right place, but it sounds like you are saying that, if people have made a law saying that something isn’t all right, then it isn’t, and people should just live with that. I am not trying to put words in your mouth, but it does read like that to me.

      The same argument could be made for same sex couples, interracial couples, and Scientologists. The fact that an act, providing it is not harmful, or done with intent to harm, upsets someone, is not reason enough to make it illegal, unacceptable, or wrong.

      I may be wrong about where you were going with you point.

      • Trevor says:

        Craig, I thank you for your intelligent response to my comment. As i expected many to lash out angrily without really reading my words. I do not think women should hide when breast feeding.

        My statement about getting off the soap box is a bit harsh and without some one bringing the topic up nothing would ever change. I stand corrected.

        Your reference to a “militant woman” I think is a good axample of what was trying to discuss, breast feeding should never be ram rodded down peoples throats.

        As for the mentioned examples of things outlawed like same sex couples, I live in Canada where that is legal, although I do believe graphic public displays of affection whether hetero/homo-sexual also has a time and place when it is appropriate even though public displays of affection aren’t illegal. I’m not saying breast feeding and public displays of affection are on the same level, just as an example of something frowned upon but not illegal.

        I believe in my province it is actually illegal to tell a woman not to breast feed.

        All I was trying to say is that a reasonable person knows it might not be a great idea to breast feed, say, at a funeral.

        Its a touchy subject and I think you have done well to create the conversation to move forward.

        • Laurin says:

          Doctors recommended giving breastfed babies vitamin D drops because most aren’t properly educated about breastfeeding. Formuka has more iron in it than breast milk, because formula is so much harder to digest. You have to consider the source.
          Also, it’s no coincidence that the popular recommended vitamin drops are made by…. wait for it…a leading formula company.
          Enough misinformation spreading, please.

          • Veronica says:

            Doctors in Canada recommend vitamin D because most infusion here are deficient as it is. You know, winter, lack of sunlight and all of that. Can’t pass on enough if you don’t have enough to begin with.

        • Thoughtful Birth says:

          Would you tell a formula-feeding mother that it’s more appropriate to let a baby cry in hunger and disturb everyone at a funeral than to give her baby a bottle? Or that she should leave the service to give her baby a bottle? If not, then it’s just as appropriate for a breastfeeding mother to feed and calm her infant during a funeral.

        • Trevor, if it is inappropriate for a baby to feed at a funeral, then its simply inappropriate for baby to BE at a funeral.

      • Amy says:

        Saying that because breast feeding is natural and beautiful (which it is) makes it appropriate to do openly without covering up in all situations is like saying that because sex is natural and beautiful (which it is) makes it appropriate to do openly without covering up in all situations.

        • Craig Norton says:

          No it’s not, Amy. That’s like saying because dogs and tigers are both carnivores, they are both house pets. What you are doing is called a false syllogism. Just because two things have certain things in common, doesn’t make them the same thing.

          Now, if you are asking if I think that people should be allowed to fornicate in public, I do not. Nor do I think people should be allowed to defecate or urinate in public. Both natural things. Neither of which is anything like nursing a baby.

          Finally, I wrote “The Best Defence For Breastfeeding In Public” over a month ago, and it has been a while since I read it, but I don’t believe I ever defended the act itself simply on its aesthetic or organic merits.

          Let me turn it around and ask you why you are so against it? Why do you think it is wrong for a woman to breastfeed her child in public? Other than it upsets you? By your way of thinking I could say that sunsets are beautiful and natural, so therefore should be banned from the afternoon skies. Dolphins are beautiful and natural, so therefore they should be hidden from our eyes for good. I’m trying to understand what your point is, Amy, because so far, you haven’t made one.

    • jenny says:

      Trevor I think you are part of the problem,,, Pumping ??? Really !!!! That is ridiculous!!!. Society changes their perceptions every 10 years or so…. I think that we are heading in the right direction and soon all intelligent people will be accepting of the most natural thing we can do to provide for our children and women should never have to hide to feed their children… If we can take our kids to McDonalds and feed them crap in public we should be able to tolerate a little flesh.

      • Trevor says:

        What happens when you aren’t able to be there to breast feed? For example you’re the primary salary earner for the household? Thus I suggest pumping, also as I mentioned bonding while feeding is great for dad too.
        I don’t encourage hiding, I was simply stating until it becomes more socially acceptable discretion is key unless you able to stand the negativity.

        • Sarah says:

          Pumping is a lovely idea until your infant decides that he will take absolutely no bottles from anyone, even if he is starving and even if it has been hours since he has last eaten. This is despite buying no less than 7 different bottles/plastic nipples and attempting countless holding positions and different people attempting to feed said baby. Some are purists and no where the good stuff is. I know I am not alone in this struggle, as many friends had the exact same issue. Baby wanted me, and I was happy to oblige, as the alternative was him starving. He is now a happy and adjusted 2yr old who never had to be weaned from a bottle or pacifier and happily accepted a sippy cup when we stopped nursing. Also, for those who are able to nurse and bottle feed, sometimes it’s not easy to cart around pumped milk all day….

          • Trevor says:

            Yes I understand there can be some difficulties to bottle feeding, also yes it can be difficult to lug around bottles but who said being a parent was supposed to be easy? We’re trying to do the best for our children even if it is inconvenient. Such as breastfeeding in public for example.
            Why would you try to bottle feed your baby to the verge of starvation? Seems like a poor decision to me. Maybe it was more in your head that baby wanted you than in the babies. Not pointing a finger or judging you because obviously I don’t know you, your baby or your circumstances.
            And just because you’ve raised a well adjusted child of 2 that didn’t need to be weaned doesn’t prove anything since bottle/formula fed babies have also been raised to be well adjusted 2 year old babies.

        • Rena says:

          It will never become socially acceptable if we don’t stand up for our rights right now. Think white people just suddenly woke up one day and went, “you know, we might have been a tad too harsh on african americans, let’s change our ways from hereon out.” Rosa Parks and MLK Jr. did not wait til it became socially acceptable to consider their people as equal to everyone else. Breastfeeding mothers should not wait until the bigoted populace gets their heads out of their asses. And appropriate time and place for breastfeeding? Right about the time the infant gets hungry and wherever the mother is. That’s the appropriate time and place to feed one’s infant.

    • Lmao really? “an appropriate time and place for breastfeeding”? How about any time my baby is hungry, no matter where I am, is appropriate? I don’t know any breastfeeding mom who whips her breast out to nurse for the hell of it. We do it because our baby has shown signs of needing to be nursed. Sheeesssh

      • Trevor says:

        As a reasonable adult and parent sometimes our time management skills are tested to the max, but ideally a parent knows when their child will need to feed and adjusts their schedule accordingly, although I know from experience that isn’t always possible.

        Also ideally children shouldn’t cluster feed and most Doctors would recommend trying to schedule/regulate feeding (to some degree, obviously starving a child is never an option).

        • Trevor, you are kidding, right? What about nursing on demand? And honestly, do you know anything about babies? During growth spurts, they DO tend to cluster feed and want to nurse seemingly around the clock. Also, that whole “strict feeding schedule ” hoopla was linked to many many babies’ failure to thrive. And what about the mom who has more than one child and ya know, things to get done out in public? Should she just sit at home all day day on the off chance her baby may be hungry? Also, breast milk satisfies hunger as well as thirst, so on hot days, babies need to nurse more frequently… So there goes your “schedule”.

        • Bonny says:

          Trevor your ignorance knows no bounds does it? I was going to list the numerous things you said that are factually incorrect but that is pretty much everything you said. … But the big one is about cluster feeding and scheduling, I doubt you’ll actually try to educate yourself but in the off chance you do, go to for how BF actually works. Cluster feeds build supply during a growth spurt and babies should be fed on demand! Geesh!

        • Dana says:

          You are not talking to the right doctors. This is slowly changing, but many doctors do not take the time to study breastfeeding … I believe it is the responsibility of any family doc or pediatrician to become somewhat expert in breastfeeding to support their patients. Early discontinuation of breastfeeding due to lack of support or accurate information creates issues with obesity, diabetes, childhood cancers, allergies, high cholesterol and high blood pressure and could be be prevented if children were exclusively breastfed until six months and in addition to solid foods until two years and beyond. Believe me, I work with breastfeeding families and their doctors most days of my working life and there is much room for improvement in support women receive from their doctors around breastfeeding management. Cluster feeding is a normal part of breastfeeding behaviour and should not be discouraged. If a child is not transferring milk adequately, that is another story.

    • eagoodlife says:

      Why not just go for walk in the sun? My breast milk was obviously adequate without Vit D drops as my baby grew into a smart, intelligent woman.

      • That only works when there is sun to walk in. I live in the Pacific Northwest, where about nine months out of the year there is very little sun. And my son was born in December, during a very snowy year, when there was rarely a day when the temperatures made it to double digits. How would I have walked in the sun, when all there was were clouds and snow and ice? Different places have different climates, and a walk in the sun, while it is a great idea, is not always feasible.

    • * Trevor…

      GO away…….and who gives a flying fig of your “regulated laws”!? Breastfeeding has been around since we mammals have been here and those “laws” are put in place by idiots! And to quote Dr. Christiane Northrup “Breastfeeding is feminism in it’s purest form”.

    • Alex says:

      Wow! You write with such authority Trevor that I *almost* believed you. Unfortunately for you, I am actually a physician (read: doctor, you seem to use big words but I’m unsure if you understand them). The idea of “feeding schedule” is LONG outdated. There isn’t a physician I know that works regularly with children who would not recommend an “on demand” schedule (of course I am speaking of full term, healthy, thriving infants). Vitamin D is recommended in CANADA (where you obviously live) because of our NORTHERN climate. There are very few Canadians, infants included, that get enough vitamin D. As well, breastfeeding in public is legally supported in ALL provinces of Canada. Anywhere a mother has a right to be, she has a right to feed her child.
      It is individuals like yourself that hamper the forward movement of breastfeeding. Those who “support” breastfeeding but only in bathroom stalls or out of the public eye. For someone who supports breastfeeding to ever imply that a mother is trying to make a scene by “whipping them out” in public has obviously never had a hungry, screaming infant with them. Breastfeeding is not about making a show – its about providing a basic necessity of LIFE.
      There is no time like the present to have this conversation – thank you so much Craig for such a humorous, well written article. It was such a pleasure to read!

      • Craig Norton says:

        Thank you, Alex, for sharing your expertise with us!

      • Trevor says:

        Alex, a fairly professional response for a Doctor re: “you seem to use big words but I’m unsure if you understand them”. I find its always a great idea to open with an insult it really lends merit to your opinion/argument.
        So to summarize in Canada we should supplement with Vitamin D because of our climate?

        You also believe in discretion then? “Breastfeeding is not about making a show – its about providing a basic necessity of LIFE.” I couldn’t agree more, my point is that some people love to cause drama unnecessarily, they are the true reason breastfeeding is hampered.

        • Adrianne says:

          Trevor, I see lots of people are going after your comments, so I’m not trying to gang up, but just wanted to say that I think you have some valid ideas. However it’s clear that you’ve never breastfed a baby, and may never have even been well acquainted with someone who has. Because many of the ideas you discuss simply aren’t practical. I live in Texas. It’s very hot here. If I needed to run an errand when my daughter needed to eat, it would have been very difficult to bring bottles of breast milk as it can spoil. So you are forced to carry it around in a cooler on ice. But wait, your kid is used to drinking it at a warm, 98.6 degrees F. That makes for a tricky situation. Not to mention that if you feed her with a pre-pumped bottle, you miss your usual feeding, resulting in painful, engorged breasts and subsequently, a decrease in supply as your body thinks it’s making more than your baby needs. These are just a couple of reasons why a woman might need to nurse in public. Like I said, I don’t think you meant harm, but I believe when people are more educated on the issue, they will be more understanding.

      • Dana says:

        Alex, a VERY refreshing response … keep up the good work!!!! We need more like you!

    • Mara Gillott says:

      “also believe that a mature adult knows that there is also an appropriate time and place for breastfeeding.”

      The ONLY appropriate time for breastfeeding is exactly when the child needs to be fed. The appropriate place for breastfeeding is with the mom, wherever she may be. Simple as that.

    • Bonny says:

      Stating a woman should pump & put it in a bottle highlights how ignorant you are of bf. Many women can’t physically pump, I’ve tried multiple brands, my doesn’t let down to a pump. Even moms that can usually have to pump 1-3 sessions to get one feeding. A woman can’t just give a bottle without pumping for the missed feed as it would lead to engorgement, mastitis & decreased supply. SMH! It’s so funny (in a sad way) how people who are ignorant of the facts think they have the answer when those of us who actually do are shaking our heads at you!

    • Actually vit D is absorbed from getting sunlight and if we weren’t covering the babies up so much while breast feeding they would be getting plenty of it. All the baby needs is a few minutes a day. Artificial vit D better then none at all but the real thing even better. So uncover that babies head and let him or get some fresh air and some vit D while you are at it. By the way if you like to have your boob mechanically pumped more power to ya. It is not what it best for the mother or the baby….decrease in milk supply sore nipples etc. Dad can get plenty of skin time burping.

    • Jamoo says:

      I disagree w this post. I breastfeed whenever and wherever my child is in need of food; not dictated by where people may or may not deem it appropriate. I don’t find it personally offensive do it in public, with or without a cover up, nor so when I see another mom. I actually think its healthy and beautiful. My husband was uncomfortable too at first because his first 3 kids weren’t breast fed, but he changed his perception when he saw the benefits of breastfeeding with our child. It’s ridiculous to expect women to go to the trouble of pumping just to spare folks in public from watching something very natural and legal. We should do everything as a society to promote and support breastfeeding; it’s a matter of national health. I don’t usually get into discussions about this. I know it’s the right thing for my child and its completely legal, so I disregard any funny looks or comments. If people are uncomfortable with me feeding my child, they can remove themselves or avert their gaze. Not my problem; definitely theirs. Fortunately, very few people seem disturbed by public breast feeding where I live, but then again I live in a very diverse and tolerant place in the US (California – SF area). New mommas: don’t let others dictate what’s right for you and your baby, whether you nurse or give formula. You know what’s best intuitively!

    • Xiuwen Kwan says:

      Regarding your comment about pumping milk instead of breastfeeding in public: there are many complications that pumping introduces. Let me quote from this article by Katharine Mckinney:

      “Breast pumps are for working mothers, babies in the NICU, for nights with the babysitter. They are for mothers who are separated from their children or are struggling to breastfeed a child who cannot latch. They are for donating milk to children who need it. They are for many reasons and not one of them has to do with protecting society from the sight of a nursing woman. For those who think breast pumps have solved the problem of breasts on display and just want the rest of us to get with the program, I have to ask… have you ever pumped?

      Have you ever watched your nipples stretch out two extra inches, heard the strange squeaking sound, and felt your skin chafe as it’s electrically milked? Have you been attached to an apparatus for hours only to yield a few measly ounces? Have you tried to get out the door with a diaper bag stuffed with the right amount of liquid gold on ice?

      Why impose that on an already tired, stressed mother who is being pulled in eight different directions? When a woman’s child needs to be fed there is something called “let-down” where the milk physically fills the breasts. If the child is not fed at that time, the breasts receive a signal that milk is not needed. To not be available to your hungry child at the time the milk is needed can adversely affect supply. Obviously if you are feeding your child pumped milk at a restaurant you are also not pumping at this time. Your breasts are becoming engorged, no relief in sight, and you are damaging your supply.”

      Read the whole article here:

    • Rachael says:

      All I’m going to say about this, is that it takes me AN HOUR to pump 2 ounces. Not every woman can efficiently pump. So, I will be that VILE, disgusting woman who discreetly latches her baby on if I were to bring said child to a funeral for some reason. BTW- I have had full conversations with people, who had NO idea that I was breastfeeding, until I started burping my baby.

  20. Paul Nelson says:

    I don’t have a problem with any mother feeding their child whenever the infant needs it. I agree that they should be able to stop anywhere they need to in order to nurse their child.

    But there are also ways to be subtle and understanding of the surroundings.

    I was on a flight with a nursing mother and by using something as simple as a small blanket she was able to do what she needed to do without drawing any attention to what she was doing.

    There are always two sides to every argument, without being able to look at both sides there is no balance in an article.

    • Charlotte says:

      Please put a blanket on your head so I don’t have to see your ugly mouth moving when you talk.

      • Lynn says:

        Seems like tolerance of others only goes one way.

        • Craig Norton says:

          Ash Beckham says it best, that tolerance is putting up with something, whereas acceptance means recognizing it as something proper, normal, or inevitable. I like that. I have always believed that what you say is true – that tolerance is a one way street. “I’ll put up with you because I’m required to.” I firmly believe that we need more acceptance of each other. That as long as what you are doing is done out of love, then it shouldn’t matter to me what it is.

  21. komnumep says:

    LOL blankets. I tried to cover a bit with bb #1. With #2, I could give exactly no craps. Don’t want to see it? You can use the blanket on *your* head. I used to be more tactful about this, but I’m sick of being the one to feel put out. I’m not a “just whip a boob out” kind of woman (and WHO does that, anyway? It’s not like I just slam it out onto a table). I try to wear shirts that are easy to nurse with. I try to use baby to cover exposed tummy and cleavage. But sometimes it doesn’t work. Sometimes newborn wiggles and a nipple pops out. Sometimes letdown goes crazy and I spray all over his face and he arches back and coughs, exposing all of me. I keep a little cloth handy for spillage and if need be, for a quick nipple cover up. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.

    Folks need to get their panties out of a knot and just go with it.

  22. Alissa says:

    I think you just made my day! I’m sitting here howling at your post with my 3rd baby (a 7 weeker) happily attached to my booby!!
    I have never had a problem nursing in public and I have only ever been approached by one person and it was not a mean comment, merely surprised that I would nurse in public. I am a confident and discreet nurser and I have nursed babies at weddings, sporting events, school functions, tattoo parlors (yep, while I was being tattooed), church, on airplanes, and yes (gasp) even at funerals. I never use a cover, and unless someone gets right down in my tatas, most people can’t even tell baby is nursing.
    Happy World Breastfeeding Week and thanks for the warm fuzzy!

  23. Brandie says:

    :) Thank you!! I want to print this out and keep a few copies in my diaper bag in case someone gets their panties twisted when they see me nursing…truly great!!

  24. Megan says:

    This is great!! I swore I would never breastfeed in public—I thought I would feel incredibly uncomfortable but when your baby is hungry there is no alternative. You lose the feeling of being self conscience and do what you have to do!! I am so glad so many Mama’s out there are BF!! At a store in my town the worker made it a point to come up to my son & I to tell me whenever he needs to eat , that i was more than welcome to come sit in there store!! That was a great feeling as newly BF mama! Some people actually care to help:)

  25. Copper says:

    oh my goodness. Love love love it. Your wife has found a good one! Thank God for supportive husbands! (and supportive husbands who stick up for their babies and wives against ignorant simpletons.)

    I love hearing stuff like this from a dad.

    And about the nursing at a funeral nonsense- I’m pretty sure a howling and hungry baby would be far more disruptive than a quietly nursing one. However, us moms really SHOULD try to reason with our tiny babies about when and where it is appropriate for them to become hungry or thirsty… those babies are just so inconsiderate!

  26. Joy says:

    Thank you for writing this! As a mother of 4 who breastfeeds I appreciate it! =)

  27. Brittany says:

    Amazing! You f***ing rock! Normally I use a nursing cover out in public and it seems like I get all these weird looks, which usually get a hard look back or a finger. But I wouldn’t give up breastfeeding my daughter….I’ve had too many compliments on how smart she is for 3 months old, and anything to make the cousins, and aunts on her father’s side jealous so be it ha ha!

  28. Kelly says:

    Craig, do you have any single brothers? I think I’m “in love.” This article is beyond awesome. I may print out say a few… thousand or so copies of this and “accidently” stick thwm under every windshield wiper I find! The area I live seems convinced the ONLY way to feed a baby is with a. Can.

  29. Pam says:

    So so so so so so good! Thank you!

  30. Jada says:

    I breasted everywhere, anytime and with no “cover up”! I wasn’t going to subject my daughter to a hot, sweaty, muggy, hard to breath environment while she ate just because someone would say cover up while the temps outside hit 103 in Ga.

    • Brittany says:

      Understandable Jada, however we are in Ohio, it doesn’t get that hot and when I feed my daughter we are normally indoors. And personally I don’t want the pervs around here looking at my tits while I feed my daughter. BUT MORE POWER TO YOU! Seriously, it takes a very brave woman to do that.

      • Kathy says:

        Brittany you may see as baby gets older that a cover is just not going to work, mine wanted to look around and check out the world while they snacked (and as they got older they did flips and climbed over my shoulder just about 😉 but they still needed to eat. Enjoy your little one! Craig this is wonderful and reminded me of a friend (who shows a ton of cleavage almost always) telling me how shocked she was when she was giving a consultation to a stranger when said stranger just started nursing her baby right in the middle of their conversation.

        • Craig Norton says:

          Thanks, Kathy. And as I said, there is something wrong when we vilify and sexualize the same body parts. Cleavage is okay, but use it to feed my offspring, and I have to cover up? Um … That’s … weird.

      • Ashley R. says:

        I’m in Ohio too… I get way too hot, especially w/ so. many. layers! Nursing bra – 2 layers, tank – 1 or 2 more, plus a stupid shirt?! :-) sheesh it would be easier to go topless, but I settle for nursing in public (or NIP as I like refer to it) without a cover 😉
        Also, I agree about the sentiment of “appropriate time and place to feed the baby” – its when he is hungry :-) my 3 month old son who came 7 weeks early and eats all. The. Time. would have no qualms to scream his head off in agreement if I tried to keep him on a schedule. In fact, they did that in the NICU (a schedule) and his was pretty transient because of the screaming his head off if they didn’t feed him NOW :-)

        • Craig Norton says:

          Babies are SUCH a pain in the tit. But, I have found, as long as you feed them, they grow into toddlers, who scream WAY less. Oh no, wait. I’m thinking of houseplants. Houseplants scream less than babies AND toddlers and are much easier to feed on a schedule.

          I just thought of this, but as anyone who works in restaurants will know, try running out of coffee during a breakfast/brunch rush. Fully grown adults scream their heads off, too, if they don’t get what their bodies want IMMEDIATELY. But a baby does it and you have to go to the bathroom to feed him? Imagine if you tried pulling that with a guy during happy hour. “Hi there folks. Is this little guy cranky over the Henderson account? Okay. Well, listen, it’s our policy not to give businessmen martinis in the main dining room. Maybe you’d be more comfortable in the toilet? There’s fluorescent lighting and urine!”

          Er … No.

          • Jada says:

            I’ve noticed a lot of women have made breast out to be a sexual body part more than men. Most men I have met have been less nurseaphobic than women. It’s a breast, it has a function such as producing milk that is compatible with the support and nourishment of its offspring. If people’s minds were not in the gutter 24/7 then they would see the purpose of a woman’s breast. I breasted my baby girl till she was 2, when she self weaned. I really got looks when she would be sitting in the buggy at the store breast feeding as I shopped. Did you know in New York and many other places, that allow women the same rights as men where they can go topless if they wish! They are just a part of the body.

  31. Sundae says:

    Wow, that was the best article I have read regarding public breastfeeding. You sir, are pretty kickass. A man who can come to a woman’s defense using that incredibly big brain of his is sexy as hell. Kudos!!

  32. Zakiya Ramos says:

    I can’t believe a man wrote this, absolutely BRILLIANT and FUNNY!!! That giant boob was scary too, lol.

  33. elizabeth d says:

    I breastfeed uncovered because my baby won’t sheild with a blanket of any kind when she was younger she’s goig on 2and a half years old and we have been thrown out of resturants and made to feel like a criminal and nothing short of feeling like an idiot because of how I had to feed her. I applaud your commentary on the subject and stand beside you on this matter.

    • Craig Norton says:

      I’m sorry to hear that you have been treated this way. Where are you from? Also, which restaurants would throw a mother out for feeding her baby? Isn’t that kind of like getting thrown out of a library for reading to children?

      • elizabeth d says:

        I’m from a small town in saskatchewan canada and the resturant was a chinese one called Tom’s and it went to human rights iwon the case but it is still going strong here and the other one I just don’t go to anymore I still breast feed just not in public very oftenand yes it is like reading to a child

  34. Jen says:

    YES!!! Thank you! Wish I could post this on breastfeeding blogs where crazy people shame women for feeding their babies!

  35. karrie says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

  36. S.tien says:

    Awesome. Thanks for this!

  37. Kim says:

    Friggin’ Fantastic! Nurse your babies, mamas! Love to see a husband supporting breastfeeding. You’ve said what we were all thinking.

  38. Erika says:

    Oh my goodness I love this! This made my day, I was having a heated debate with a giant group of morons about this and got banned from their page for making too much sense. I was still seething about it until just now. Thank you and happy world breastfeeding week!

  39. Mike Ha says:

    Pretty terrible argument, and I’m not even against public breastfeeding. Property rights are property rights – why don’t I see all of you fighting the “No Shirts, No Shoes, No Service” policies? The exact same issue; I have no problem with women whipping out leaky boobs in public space, just as I have no problem with nudism in public space. But to argue that you have the right to do it on private property runs contrary to the most basic premise founded in the U.S. Constitution – protection of property from those who do not have property. Why not address that point instead of comparing wearing a bikini (???) to flashing nips?

    • Craig Norton says:

      You raise some interesting points, Mike. I’m not sure about your take on “the most basic premise founded in the U.S. Constitution,” though. My understanding was that the Constitution was primarily to delineate the three branches of power (their duties, terms, elections, and scope of powers). There was some talk about taxes and jurisdiction (towards the back … who cares), and the armed forces, but I’m not sure where the Constitution talks about “protection of property from those who do not have property.” That part has me stumped.

      I did read the part about the Constitution being there to “promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” (which means future generations, for those of you still paying attention). Maybe you are referring to a royal forest? That’s where the king owns all the land and everything in it. I’m not sure.

      What I do know is that you might want to look at some of the actual examples used in the article. Many were in public areas. I don’t think you’ll find a lot of women who are rushing private residences and lawn parties, demanding that they breastfeed their teenagers while you eat your cucumber sandwiches. I do think that women who are on airplanes (who have paid to be there, by the way), at Church (who are members of the congregation/parish), in a restaurant (where there is an implicit public space allowance and where other people are also eating), or in a government building (which is the very definition of a public space) have the right to feed their children.

      Make whatever argument you want to make. But claiming that women who breastfeed in public are merely “flashing nips” is a weak argument. Hiding behind the Constitution is just plain cowardly.

      But thank you for your comments, and thanks for reading!

    • Lee says:

      You probably don’t know this, but in the U.S. anyway, the right of a mother to breastfeed her child anywhere she is otherwise legally allowed to be is specifically protected by Federal law, and there are *additional* laws in, I believe it’s now 43 of the 50 states that elaborate on and reinforce that right.

      So yes, if you broke into someone’s home or closed business and started breastfeeding, that would be illegal, but because of the breaking-and-entering, not because of the breastfeeding.

      And where are these mythical women “flashing nips” and “whipping out leaky boobs?” LOL! Haven’t spent much time around actual real-life mothers or babies, have you?

      • Craig Norton says:

        That, Lee, or we’re hanging out with the wrong mothers. Sounds like Spring Break, but with more babies! AND they supply their own wet t-shirts! As I said, it’s the myth of the militant breast feeding mom. In camo. With dog tags. I don’t get it.

    • Jenna says:

      Haha, Mike, you just got schooled on the US Constitution by a Canadian. And you got served, hard.

  40. Shanta Hejmadi says:

    I have ALWAYS thought that about cows’ milk. I mean seriously, you don’t even know the cow!
    Thank you for writing this. I love that your eloquence doesn’t need profanity either. I remember getting dirty looks on the bus for nursing my then 2 year old… to keep her from screaming, incidentally, which would have been way more offensive, I think. Luckily for me I’m spunky enough that I glared right back and nobody said anything.
    I was also known to pump in the car with pump holders made of hair ties on longish drives to and from various places – quite a relaxing place to do it actually.

  41. Anita says:

    Well said. You are my hero of the day.. maybe week.. or even month! Nursing mama’s everywhere love you for this!

  42. Angela M. says:

    Oh man… I may need to print this out (and of course reference your name) and hand it out to the haters if I ever come across one. Brilliant.

  43. Melissa says:

    Thank you for this! I’d love to hear (read?) you address a few more of the naysayers’ arguments though!

    “Breastfeeding is natural? Yeah, well so is urinating, defecating, and copulating!”

    “Can’t you just pump milk before you go out?”

  44. Thank you for writing this. I’ve posted it in many places. It’s awesome!

  45. lilgirlblue says:

    This is awesome. It’s been five years since I nursed anybody and I’m a little appalled this is still a thing.

    That said, no one ever said a word to me except my crazy in laws but that’s just the start of their issues. And I nursed every-freaking-where. Church, planes, the tire of a monster truck, the carousel-even toddlers- and nobody died. No one was blinded or scarred for life.

    Now those kids are A students and stellar athletes. I have a 9 year old with a soccer contract. I dont even want to get into how long he nursed. Must have been the milk.

    Technically that kid nursed in public before he nursed at home cause we stopped for dinner on the way home from the NICU.

    • Craig Norton says:

      Thank you for sharing, lilgirlblue, and thanks for sticking to your guns! (That was not a pun. It came out like one, and now that I see it on the screen, I have to leave it. Organic puns are too good to deny. Damn! A second pun! This is my lucky day!)

  46. Julie D says:

    I love this more than I can say. Thank you for the honesty, humor and great view into the absurdity. I wish every restaurant, coffee shop, store or shop of any kind would post it at their entrance… next to their breast feeding support logo window cling. 😉 Thanks for the awesome!

    • Craig Norton says:

      Thank you for the kind words, Julie! It would be nice if people would be more visibly supportive of nursing mothers. Along with change stations, we should have nursing stations, where parents are given comfortable seats to rest, maybe with shade … They must have those somewhere. Maybe in Europe. (How much coffee is too much coffee?)

  47. This is the single greatest thing I have ever read concerning breastfeeding, ever! Even though it’s been 11 1/2 years since I got the last one off my boob, it still resonates. Thank you! and HA HA HA!

  48. sjm says:

    Love, love, love this!!!This really is the best defense for NIP. Going to share like crazy. Thank you!

  49. Kim says:

    As a mother who is currently breastfeeding a 14 month old, I loved this. I always wonder how many of the people this makes squeamish or those who are against it in public were breastfed as babies themselves?!

  50. Jessica says:

    I am to be a first time mother in 6 months and i am really scared to breast feed in public because of all the negative thoughts about it and i am not very thick skinned. I loved the article but will probably be one of those mothers that goes to ‘hide’ to breast feed :(

    • Craig Norton says:

      You do what makes you feel comfortable, Jessica. Whatever your choice, it’s that: YOUR choice. The point is to take care of your baby’s needs, and if that means breast feeding in public, then that’s what gets done. If breast feeding in public for you means finding someplace quiet and private, then that’s what it is. Nobody should TELL you what that means for you, though. Nor should you feel shamed into hiding. Congratulations on your coming baby, and I support you no matter what you choose!

    • Just practice before hand, girl! Sit in front of a mirror with a tank top and a button down shirt on, and practice a few positions. Its easier than you think it will be, honest!. You’ll quickly see that ‘they’ really don’t see nuthin’ at all!

      And, it helps to have a ‘mantra’ in your mind, that you can say EVERYTIME you get a dirty look or nasty comment.

      You know, act dumb, as if you are misinterpreting why they are looking and commenting. Instead, just smile sweetly at them and say something like “Back off, I don’t share.”


      Congrats on your expected blessing!

  51. alex says:

    Thank you for this article. I formula feed my first after giving up on breastfeeding. I felt embarrassed doing it around others and got so much flack for using formula. know that I am a tad older and stronger I am breastfeeding my second and get flack for thatas well. you can never win but I could care less. whether you formula feed or breastfeed the important thing i nourishing your child.

  52. Oriana says:

    Amazing! I love, love, love your blog entry, it’s funny and so true. I am going to share it with a bunch of beautiful and courageous mammas. Thank you, thank you.

  53. Mimi says:

    Well said! Thank you for writing this. Women need the support of the male population! My husband has been my #1 supporter from day 1. I have nursed all 3 of my boys publicly, and by the 3rd, sheer exhaustion cancels out any remaining inhibition. I’ve been harassed a handful of times, (at a water park of all places!) but Montreal is a pretty liberal place to live and generally breastfeeding mothers have a great deal of public support here :)

  54. – this is the best thing I have ever read. I love it! thank you for writing this. I should print this out on flyers and give it out to people who say something to me when I’m feeding my child. <3 :)

  55. Rachel says:

    Fantastic article, very insightful! I live in the UK and have had a few comments/suggestions when I’ve been feeding in public. I was shopping in a large centre and was informed by a member of staff in a coffee shop that mothercare had a baby room I could nurse in. This room is cramped, no windows, stuffy and basically horrid. After that, for the rest of the time I fed my first son I told people that commented I was perfectly comfortable where I was, that shut them up. I’m not normally a very confrontational person but have been angered by people’s insensitivity. Now I am nursing my 6 month old and have a 2 year old running round and feel a lot more comfortable and confident feeding in public. I asked a gentleman to stop staring at my breast whilst feeding as he was making me uncomfortable! Breast feeding is a skill, we shouldn’t have to hide, my boys would go nuts if I covered their heads and besides it takes guts to feed in public the first time! Thanks for writing this, you’re an inspiration to many.

  56. Michelle says:

    Aint no mother fucker telling me I can;t breastfeed in public, Are you god? Your not god dude!! (TV Quote: Workaholics, Funny as hell) …You stop breathing first then Ill stop breastfeeding…The beauty of a human head is it can turn from side to side so look away fool!!…Woman get your funbags out and breastfeed where ever the hell you want….and with the Fonterra formula contamination why wouldnt you wanna breastfeed?? More power to Breast feeding!!!

  57. AmyJones says:

    Love it!!!

  58. Lynne says:

    Well said!!! Your words are flying through Facebook at an alarming speed!!!

  59. gaily says:

    Second time mum. ..breastfeeding this time. ..and I’m gonna get a boob beanie. then im feeding and keeping my daughter warmr…thank you for this. ..

  60. Ellen says:

    Thank you!

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  62. Susan Hill says:

    This is the best thing I have ever read in my life.

  63. Reilly810 says:

    I cannot state enough how much I love this. Thank you.

  64. Trevor says:

    Thats it scream conspiracy. Instead of labelling it misinformation why not call it a difference in opinions? Everyone makes their own decisions, but it isn’t uncommon for many people to supplement for vitamins they aren’t/don’t consume enough on their own. Might I assume you’re against vaccinations/inoculations because they’re only pushed so the companies can make money?

    • Trevor says:

      This response was meant for Laurin’s post on August 6, 2013 at 8:58 pm. Not directed specifically at the original article or Craig.

  65. None of your business says:

    There is no “defense.” There’s no need to impose breastfeeding in public on others. It’s arrogant, entitled and selfish to assume you have the right to make others feel uncomfortable. Do it in private. I don’t need or want to see anyone’s breasts just as much as no one needs to see mine. And you, the writer, sound just as selfish for feeling you and your wife are somehow above others. If YOU don’t like the stares and comments, then try what millions of others do – have some decency and go into a private area. You, sir, clearly need to grow up and get some class. You sound like a whiny toddler.

    • Craig Norton says:

      Hmm, interesting point. I love it when people leave comments, but lack the courage to include their names. Thank you for reading, however, and your point of view.

    • Alex says:

      If you don’t want to see the breast of a woman feeding her baby, turn your head away! You are the arrogant, selfish one. It is not always possible to find a private space to breastfeed. Would you suggest I breastfeed my baby in a dirty airplane toilet rather than in my seat on an airplane?

    • Alyssa says:

      If it makes you uncomfortable that a mother is feeding her child, you clearly have some growing up to do! Are you that self centered that you somehow believe she is nursing to make you uncomfortable?!?!?! Get real!
      Mothers are damned if they do and damned if they don’t! Society frowns upon breastfeeding, yet gets annoyed if a baby is fussing and crying out of hunger. Make up your immature mind!
      Babies have a right to eat when they are hungry just the same as you unfortunately have a right to keep opening your uneducated mouth and sticking your foot in it!

  66. Nicole says:

    Written by a man?!?! ::slow clap:: THANK YOU! Beautifully written, completely honest, articulate. Yes! :)

  67. Danielle says:

    I loved it :) and I breastfed my son 19 months, I would of longer but got pregnant with my second and my milk dried up. I did always use a cover though in public (i’m just not comfortable with people starring at my breasts while I am feeding my son). You would be the perfect person to yell at this ignorant person spreading lies and stealing pictures of peoples children saying how horrible breastfeeding is….

    • Craig Norton says:

      Danielle, there will always be people who believe their discomfort is worth the suppression of the rights of others. Thank you for reading and thank you for your courage.

  68. Kara says:

    Awesome, awesome, awesome! I was recently told that I should cover up when nursing my 10 week old (not that you could see skin at all since I was wearing a tank top that covered my belly under a loose shirt that covered the top of my breast) at an airport because it “would offend people down south.” I was so caught off guard that all I could think to say was “I’m worried about feeding my baby, not offending people.” Then the woman asked why I didn’t want to use a blanket, as if it was so unreasonable of me not to want to cover my baby’s face in July in Dallas… (My husband later said I should have asked her if she pitched a tent every time she ate.) Instead of engaging and explaining myself, next time I’ll just tell the person to grow up and get over it. An adult’s silly squeamishness does not take precedent over my child’s comfort.

  69. Leslie Estes says:

    As a mother, a grandmother, a nutritionist, and a human being, I LOVE THIS! (Liked the giant boob too – lol!) 30+ years ago when I nursed in public I had to throw a blanket over my poor little hot an nearly suffocating babies – or risk getting asked to leave a restaurant, and even then some men glared at me (closet pervs no doubt). Last week at the Boulder’s Farmer’s Market I saw a beautiful mama strolling the lane while opening nursing her baby – without any glares of disapproval. :-)

    The thing that always amazes me is often you can see far more of a breast hanging out of a a low-cut dress these days then the amount of breast that shows when a baby is nursing.

    I am sharing this on FB!

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  71. Sarah says:

    Personally, I think you were being too nice. Has anyone ever watched a young child around a nursing mother? Especially one that has never been nursed or exposed to nursing? They are sweet, and curious. They want to “get in the action,” they want to see what is happening, and try to understand it. They ask adorable questions without judgement. I love it when my friends let their children so close, and let them ask questions. I love it when stranger’s children come up to me while I am nursing *gasp* in public. Children are much kinder than grown adults that have experienced enough life to know, and unfortunately accept what society has done to our breasts. Children want to understand, adults understand a warped reality. I pity those that do not understand and those that do not want to learn. They are far less lucky than an innocent and curious child.

  72. sarah says:

    As a lactating woman, I appreciate this, really I do. I just wish that you would use the word breast instead of boobies, tatas, or tits. Thanks.

    • Craig Norton says:

      Thank you, Julia. It was great. We live in Mexico where breastfeeding in public is not a big deal at all. While not embraced to the same extent as in Mongolia, it does not cause the same level of concern as in the rest of North America and other places in the world. Thank you for sharing that article with me!

  73. meg says:

    Thank you… your courage is contagious!!

  74. Devon says:

    Thank you for this amazing post! I have 8 children and have been nursing in public for the last 15 years. My husband’s 90-year-old grandmother told me that when she was growing up, all the mothers nursed their babies in church to keep them quiet during service. It’s ridiculous how we’ve become so prudish as a society when it comes to breastfeeding, while we parade all kinds of nakedness across beaches and TV screens.

  75. Wendy says:

    Craig, many years ago my mother who grew up in the era of shameful public nursing (couldn’t even call it breastfeeding) would quietly tell me that I needed to cover up when breastfeeding my first child, now, 32 years old. Out of respect I would try to avoid it when with my Mum but by the time I got to my 3rd, very cranky baby she had an epiphany. While walking down the street in a small Ontario town with a bunch of family and a very vocal 8 month old, my loving mother turned to me and told me to flipping put that crying baby up my shirt!!! Sometimes it takes a moment in time to crash through these ridiculous old beliefs and sometimes it takes a generation. If we keep on preaching, it is inevitable that it will change…Keep on charging forward my friend..excellent article!! xoxoxoxoxo

  76. Amanda says:

    This is not only brilliant in how you wrote it but hilarious! You need to get this on a billboard or write a book for sure! I’m currently breastfeeding my second daughter (22mos) and were all about NIP! It’s natural and beautiful and not to mention free, who doesn’t like that? Breastfeeding is challenging enough on its own let alone throw in some twisted minds thinking its a sexual offense! I see more flesh at the beach than on a bf momma! Kudos to you for helping to normalize breastfeeding! Cheers! Oh and have your wifey join us on fb at Milk parties for Breastfeeding mommas, if she’d like

  77. V says:

    this is great. going to bookmark this and share it with everyone.

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  79. mackenzie says:

    Best thing I have read today! I love that it is coming from a man as well.

  80. Tina Brown says:

    This is a wonderfully written article with lots of good points. And, of course, it was very funny. The only thing that I must point out, as a woman, is this: If I walk down the street with one of my breasts hanging out of my shirt, I’d be arrested for indecent exposure, yes? So, why is it o.k. to show your breast when a baby’s involved and no other time? I am all for breast feeding, as that is a mother’s choice.I do think it should be done discreetly. If your baby poos, I expect you to go off somewhere away from others to change it’s diaper. It’s not that none of us have seen poo or are offended – it’s just the polite thing to do.
    There are certain things in our society which are meant to be done “discreetly”. Is it natural? Sure, but so are LOTS of other things. I have no problem with anyone breastfeeding in public, but I think covering you and your child with a blanket for your private moment is best and shows respect for those around you. Part of being a civilized society is doing things out of considersation for others….

    • Craig Norton says:

      Thanks for reading, Tina, and for your comments.

      I see your point, but the issue is not that it’s natural, or the exposure of the breast.

      As has already been said many times, there are more scantily clad breasts on the beach and in advertisements. Women who breastfeed in public are doing so because they are addressing the needs of their children, not the feelings of another person.

      The needs of the child are to be fed. Second to that is their overall comfort, because as anyone with babies will tell you, unless the child is comfortable, he or she will not eat. If he or she will not eat, then nobody is comfortable.

      I think it is interesting that the point made by you, and by many others, is to show some respect for those around you. I would ask that you consider very carefully that you are showing a lack of respect to another person who is caring for a child because that child cannot care for itself. You are asking that your feelings, because that is what they are, take precedence over the comfort and well-being of the child. Covering up is not always doable.

      I appreciate the points that you made, and the points that many people have made in the comments below, but do you really want to equate breastfeeding with “poo”? Are you really saying that a woman feeding her child is the same thing as that child defecating into a diaper?

      I think the more discreet thing to do would be to look away or remove yourself from the environment if it makes you uncomfortable. I’m really sorry that you don’t agree, but I believe a child’s needs, which include the psychological wellbeing of its mother, trump your sensibilities.

      I thank you again for your comments and for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

    • Kelly says:

      Tina next time you are hungry try eating with a blanket over your head. It’s hot under there and my kids always pulled the blanket off.

    • Lisa says:

      There are many that will tell you that laws which outlaw the exposure of a woman’s breasts but allow a man’s breasts to be exposed (because yes, men have breasts, too) are discriminatory on the basis of sex. In fact, my home state of New York a few years ago made the exposure of female breasts, no matter the context, no longer considered “indecent exposure”. (I do forget if this was done by legislative action or judicial imperative.) Regardless, a woman here *can* walk down the street with a breast exposed and, no matter what the context, will not be “indecently exposed” per the rule of law in my state.

      I think the correct way to think about breasts is the way we think about our mouths.

      Like breasts, our mouths are often used for nourishment.

      Like breasts, our mouths do not excrete waste.

      Like breasts, our mouths can be used in pursuit of sexual pleasure.

      Like breasts, media can be used to remind us of their sexual function (think sensual imagery of women eating cherries or bananas, or licking their lips).

      However, because we are used to seeing mouths in their function of eating we can compartmentalize them and people don’t feel the need to hide them when they eat. As a society we’ve lost our exposure to breasts as organs of nourishment. We’ve had a couple generations where bottle-feeding became the norm and breastfeeding became a covert, hidden activity. Our current attitude toward breastfeeding is an anomaly that needs to be corrected, not a litmus test of the subversion of our society.

      • Alissa says:

        Lisa, that was a brilliant way of breaking public perception down and explaining a very complicated, deeply internalized issue!

      • Cynthia says:

        Lisa, This is so amazing, I put a selection from your reply on my facebook and the facebook page of my la leche chapter. I could only site you by last name and link you to this blog by Craig. Thanks to both.

  81. Katie says:

    Absolutely brilliant! A friend has just posted this on Facebook to some of the breastfeeding support pages which is how i found it! I am a breastfeeding peer supporter and support other Mums I also appeared on bus adverts with my Daughter for the NHS to promote the law on breastfeeding in public in my area!. This is the best summing up ive ever read on how people need to get over women choosing to breastfeed in public! Well done you! Im hoping LOTS of other Mums read this and feel more confident with feeding in public. You have got every subject covered in a funny informative way!! Love it!! x

  82. Kelly C says:

    I nursed both of my kiddos in public and didn’t give a rats ass about what other people thought would you rather listen to a screaming hungry baby? I don’t think so! Loved the article

  83. Lisa says:

    Thank you so much for this inspirational blog! I am in Liverpool, England and am breastfeeding my 5 month old. I found it very hard going at the beginning to establish breastfeeding and was quite shy about NIP. So I am proud that, with support, I have persevered with BF and now I manage to feed my baby very discreetly and have fed her in lots of public places.
    I have also educated quite a few family and friends’ children about the actual purpose of a woman’s breasts and they have been fascinated to watch my baby feed.
    So obviously, education is the way forward in ‘normalizing’ breastfeeding.
    Thanks for making me smile!

  84. Christina says:

    While nursing my baby in front of a friend’s 7 year old he began to look very curious as to what I was doing .He finally got the courage to ask me. My reply was ” This is how a baby eats. He’s hungry. ” Well, he got this horrified look on his face and blurts out, ” You mean, like a ZOMBIE!!???” I started laughing so hard mynipple popped out and I made a huge mess! But I explained a little better and he seemed impressed that I could do that with my body. I will never forget the look on his face or that a ZOMBIE was the first thing that came to mind. I adore what wonderful imaginations kids have.

    Thanks for your post! I love it. if there is ever another child to nurse in my future, I will make sure I have a snappy reply to anyone who dares say a word to me “flapping” my boobs out in public.Though I’ve had very little issues before.

    Thanks again

    • Craig Norton says:

      That’s hilarious, Christina! That’s actually the closest thing to a logical argument I’ve heard so far against breastfeeding in public – because it’s like ZOMBIES.

  85. Magdalena says:

    Brilliant! Forgive me if this is a faux pas (I’m just barely getting my feet wet in this whole “writing online and hoping people read it” thing), but here is a link to something similar I wrote:

  86. LOVE THIS!!!! People who sexualize breastfeeding are disgusting. They are disgusting for thinking that breastfeeding is something disgusting. I can’t stand it! Very well said. :)

  87. Ashley Kallis says:

    I’m not even a mom! I’m 15 haha but i think this is crazy what people think about something that is suppose to happen and that is natural! I’m all for things moms are suppose to do for their kids, and I think its so rude when someone is telling you to stop just because they maybe aren’t a mother and don’t like what your doing. Mind your OWN business!! I’m an aunt and I know I wouldn’t like it if my sisters were being attacked by cruel people. Just stop, people need to stop. I love everything about babies, I want to be an OB-GYN when i’m older, so when someone is telling you to stop, I can’t stand that. Okay my rant is over! :) Love this article!!

    • Craig Norton says:

      Rant away, Ashley! I like it when people of all ages stand up for other people. I’m not a mom, either, but I know that all moms want their children to be as healthy as they can be. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your passion for babies!

  88. As a husband who has been around a nursing mother I would think a woman would want to cover up in public. Not so much for modesty but to lessen the possibility of excruciating pain. I have witnessed numerous times during uncovered nursing in the privacy of our home when a little one is firmly attached to their mother and they are suddenly distracted. They can make the object of their feeding stretch like super putty, therefore causing severe pain to the mother. So I’m not squeamish if you so choose to nurse uncovered, but do not burst my eardrums from the pain that may be inflicted on you by your little precious one. Just saying….

    • Jena says:

      When this happens in public, I’m pretty quick to cover up the exposed portion of my breast… My daughter wouldn’t let me put a cover on her because she couldn’t see what was going on around her, only hear that something was. Most moms I know learned very quickly the best methods to unlatch baby when that’s happening and avoid the worst of the pain.

  89. joy says:

    Wow! Awesome piece! I’m typing this reply while nursing my infant son….oh, the horror!

    • Craig Norton says:

      That’s great, joy! Happy nursing!

      • Jesi says:

        Absolutely love this!

        I have a 6 month old (and, yes, he’s latched on now as I type). I haven’t really had a problem feeding him anywhere, except for maybe my husband not wanting me to feed in certain places or making sure I’m not exposed, but I have noticed that in the beginning I was always concerned what others around me might think or say. Now I could care less. My concern is my lil man & his needs. I do try to be discreet but a cover is not always ideal. Not in temps of 80+ and he’s covered in sweat.

        There has been many times people have just thought he was sleeping. I’ve had to point out a few times that he was actually feeding when people have asked to see the baby. Lol.

        It’s a beautiful thing to be able to provide for your baby in such a way .

  90. Ginny says:

    Thank you for writing this. As a nursing mother, nursing in public is the time when I feel the most vulnerable and exposed. We were on a flight recently, and it was hot and our baby was crying, and I was trying so hard to get her to nurse under the cover and calm down. Finally, in desperation, I just thew off the cover and fed her! Thank goodness for the supportive people sitting around me. If they were offended they didn’t say anything, and I like to think they were just happy to have the baby not be crying. I never want to make someone uncomfortable, or shove public nursing in someone’s face, but the bottom line is, it just has to be done. I think people don’t always recognize that out in public the nursing mother is often times more uncomfortable than anyone else in the situation.

    • Craig Norton says:

      I think you may be right, Ginny. There is a lot of courage that goes into breastfeeding in public. A mother is putting the needs of her baby above her own feelings of vulnerability. If everyone was willing to do something for another person that caused them some feelings of discomfort, knowing that it was for the benefit of another human being, imagine what a world this would be. Thanks for reading and sharing!

  91. Mandy says:

    Awesome!!! I don’t know how within 3 generations we went from everyone knowing how a baby eats to it being this scandal when a baby needs food! To the commenters (male and female, wouldn’t really matter at all) that say to just pump or bring a bottle I invite you to try out a breastpump. One on each boob and power it up. Ohhh doesn’t fit? No shit. Hurts huh? Yeah, that’ll happen, just adjust it with your free ha…. Oh wait, you’re holding two pumps to you and a baby. Guess you need an extra arm. Stay there with one on each side for about 20 min. Yeah and the baby is going to get jealous and the toddler is going to harass the crap out of you. Stay calm. Don’t forget the nipple cream, that stuff can chaff. Got nothing? Thems the brakes. Happens to me too, next time relax more, drink that nasty tea and maybe you’ll get more, for now I guess you’ll need a bag you pumped in the middle of the night, so grab it from the freezer. Then as you feed the baby make sure you are ready for your body to recognize the baby needs milk and some serious pressure and leakage. Why wouldn’t a mom just want to pump for her own comfort?

    • Craig Norton says:

      I don’t really understand why a mother would need to justify herself feeding her child. There are a lot of reasons why people have suggestions for alternatives to breastfeeding in public, Mandy. I’m all for suggestions, providing they are things someone hasn’t already thought of yet. Using a pump, you say? Now, why didn’t I think of that? Thanks, perfect stranger!

  92. Brenda Fritz says:

    Breastfeeding came so naturally to me that most people couldn’t tell that I was breastfeeding. With my oldest, I had been visiting friends and it had to have been the seventh or eighth visit after giving birth that my friend’s husband noticed that I was breastfeeding FOR THE FIRST TIME. My friend told me how uncomfortable it made him until he realized I’d been breastfeeding all the other times I’d visited them. Then there was my youngest child born 16 years later in Italy. I was in the airport and the baby was only a week old. A woman came up to me to coo at him. She was right up next to me before she realized I was breastfeeding him, which didn’t bother me or the baby. It might have embarrassed her, but I never thought twice about when and where I breastfed any of my four children.

    • Craig Norton says:

      I’ve done it, too: asked to see the baby, then wonder why everyone got uncomfortable and quiet, only to realize that the baby was latched. My bad. Continue, little guy. Thanks for reading, Brenda!

  93. Jena says:

    I’m a pregnant woman whose 2.5 yr old daughter who still nurses a few times a day–there are lots of benefits to nursing past infancy, too! I was just thinking last night that it was so funny trying to cover my baby daughter with a nursing cover–she kept ripping it off, wanting to see what was going on around her. And after that night, I don’t think I ever tried to cover her up when she was nursing again. Got pretty used to “whipping the boob out” whenever, wherever she wanted it.

    You’ve seen the great spoken word clip that’s going around, right?

    • Craig Norton says:

      Thanks for the clip, Jena! And yes, like the response I gave for the suggestion on using a pump, I’m pretty sure that most mothers have tried to use a cover. There are very few moms out there who are looking for an excuse to expose their breasts to strangers. Covers and pumps need to work for the individual. Thanks for reading and sharing!

  94. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this. You said everything I want to say and in the perfect tone.

  95. heather barnes says:

    You deserve a award for this I want to print this out when im feeding my next child and give it to those who look funny or ask me to stop

  96. Alex says:

    Breast feeding baby number 4 now and I have no more inhibitions. Love what you wrote because its exactly how I feel. A whole lotta people all over the world need to grow up!

  97. Vilija says:

    Vitamin D is adequate in breast milk if the mother’s levels are adequate; which often depends, not really on climate, but geographical location. Therefore, a mother can supplement her intake and it will benefit the baby – this eliminates the need to introduce supplements directly into the infant’s immature gut. Pretty cool.

    • Craig Norton says:

      Yes it is. Isn’t nutrition awesome, Vilija? Thanks for the comments and thanks for reading!

    • And, women are being supplemented with Vit D during pregnancy, to ensure their stores are at healthy levels before the baby is born, which increases the babies Vit D stores as well. Most people don’t realize that Vit D deficiency in infants isn’t about breastfeeding at all, its about the fact that our bodies are not manufacturing enough Vit D via exposure to the sun or via nutritional sources. Thanks for sharing!

  98. Bryson says:

    This was a very silly and immature diatribe. The entire thing consisted of railing insults instead of real reason. Nursing in public is no more an issue than long hair on hippies. But the mentality that so many proponents have is to take on a martyr complex and “fight” with their childishly framed angst against the boogieman who disapproves. Denigrating the boogieman is not offering a reasoned position. It is just being vehement and as such is the fallacy of “argument by vehemence”. The author himself should basically “grow up” instead of grandstanding.

    My wife nursed all our four children. Nursing her children at any time was NEVER an issue. That was because she was discreet and didn’t TRY to get attention. She wasn’t intent on making herself a martyr for nursing and draw attention to herself. She didn’t blow a trumpet to announce she was going to bare herself in public using her child as a human shield to protect her from her own foolish indiscretions.

    My beloved wife was able to feed her children in public places, simply by the choice to be modest and to cover herself with a loosely draped article of clothing, a blanket or some other convenience.

    She sure didn’t make herself into a scene or spectacle and then try to hide behind her baby for some personal excessive need for attention provoking the choice of exhibition behavior.

    So don’t be a martyr.
    Don’t CREATE issues.
    Don’t be an exhibitionist.
    Don’t invite attention.
    Don’t be demonstrative.
    Don’t hide behind your babies for your actions when you mess up.
    Don’t listen to brainless guys like the author of this article who can’t articulate a point, but relies of sophomoric grandstanding.

    Do feed your Children,
    Do be discreet.
    Do cover up.
    Do be a real adult about it.

    • Craig Norton says:

      Wow, Bryson. Thank you for demonstrating how NOT to grandstand in such an ironic way (wink!). I think that most mothers out there will be lining up to thank you for giving them the instructions on decorum they were so desperately craving.

      Since you’ve obviously read or watched every example I provided in the article, you already know that the women who had been shamed by breastfeeding in public were not inviting attention. Like that old saying goes, sometimes, you don’t need to look for trouble; trouble finds you.

      I am glad that you pointed out my railing insults at others, then were quick to mention how brainless, silly, and immature I am. Thank goodness we’re past the name-calling stage in our relationship so we can move right along to telling each other about our hobbies, and what we studied in college.

      Discretion, covering up, being an adult. The funny thing about those instructions is, if you took out the first and second, the third is the only important point you made. “Do be a real adult about it.” Being a real adult means that you can stomach the sight of a partial breast when it is employed in feeding a child. If more people were real adults about the situation, you wouldn’t need to point out how so many mothers overcome the social stigmas of breastfeeding, just so that they can become martyrs for the cause.

      “My beloved wife was able to feed her children in public places, simply by the choice to be modest and to cover herself with a loosely draped article of clothing, a blanket or some other convenience.” I’m happy to see you used the word “choice” in there somewhere. It was sounding like, I don’t know, you felt that women shouldn’t have a choice about how to care for their children.

      You claim these women hide behind their babies when they “mess up.” Really? Feeding their babies is messing up, so they use the same babies as human shields. Really, Bryson? Kind of like guys who tell the world how awesome their wives are, so it’s okay for them stand on top of their chauvinism?

      I thank you for your comments and for reading my article.

    • Lisa says:

      I do a bit of breastfeeding advocacy, and occasionally case Twitter for tweets of people deriding women for breastfeeding in public. At least a couple times a day I come across a PICTURE someone surreptitiously took of a mother breastfeeding in public and then tweeting things like “Saw this bitch breast feeding on the bus. WTF put your titty away.” These pictures, taken and posted on social media without this woman’s consent, never, NEVER, never ever ever, show much if any skin at all. At least half the time the mother is using a blanket or other cover. Yet these people can’t help but get completely wigged out at the idea that there is baby/nipple contact within 20 feet of themselves.

  99. Hannah says:

    Absolutely adore this and even more so for the fact that it is written by a man/husband/father. I have nursed or am nurising till my kids self weaned/self wean. My oldest weaned of her own accord when I was three months pregnant with baby 2. She was 14 months old. Baby 2 self weaned at 16.5 months when I was 5.5 months pregnant with baby 3. Baby 3 is 23 months old and still nurses (usually at night) Baby 1 and baby 2 tandem fed when bay 2 was two weeks old. They did this for 12 weeks in the evening before bed. So my oldest picked up nursing once again when her baby sister was born. It was so wonderful to see such an awesome bond form between them during that nursing session. I had kind of hoped that my middle daughter would want to tandem when my son was born. I wanted to see that same bond form. It didn’t happen but they are thick as thieves. My oldest is 5 and my middle is 3.5 yrs old. My son is my last baby and when he decides to wean it will be the end of and era for me. I will miss it. I am thick skinned and glared back or asked people why they found it their business to give me advice on my child. I carried and birthed them and by golly don’t tell me what to do with my child. I received flack for NIP but I never cared. My kids always had the best seat in the restuarant, church or any other function. It was so much easier when they were nursing. Nursing quieted or calmed them down instantly. There are times I think whipping it out would calm them down in a hurry once again. Glsf my husband was my support and that I had a pediatrician that supported on demand feeding. In 5 yrs and 3 months I have spent countless hours with a baby attached to the boob. Yep no Shame here. I have 3 SMART cookies.

  100. Rose says:

    Bahahahaha! Thanks for the laugh! I’m tempted to print this out and carry it with me just in case some tells me to “cover up” or “go into a toilet to do that” – your words say it better than I could come up with!

  101. Pamela Clare says:

    Thank you for this!

    I breastfed both of my children for about 15 months. Other than the whole pregnancy/giving birth thing, it’s the most unselfish thing I’ve ever done. I cherished those months. But I was astonished at how many people wanted me to stop as if somehow breastfeeding them longer than a few weeks were somehow strange and morally questionable. I couldn’t fathom why my feeding my babies made them so uncomfortable, even when I fed them in the privacy of my home.

    What a bunch of loonies we are! Boobs are used to sell everything from cars to clothes. But when they’re used to feed a baby, people lose it.

    I’ve heard men say it’s “gross,” even equating public breastfeeding with public urination or defection. Excuse me? What they’re really saying is that tits are toys for boys.

    You’re right. They need to grow up!

    • Craig Norton says:

      “Tits are toys for boys.” Damn. That’s good. (Stealing it!)

      There is an entirely separate article to be written about weaning and the social quagmire that comes along with, but we’ll have to save that one for later. I don’t want the internet to explode.

      Thanks for sharing and for reading, Pamela!

  102. Pingback: Dichotomy of Breastfeeding | A Sugar-Mamma's Thoughts: A blog by Beth Kickert

  103. aquamedic says:

    I agree with everything except the pool, but actually not b/c milk would add baterial content to the already filled. water but that in a nursing position the infant is at a higher risk for water in their face and accidental inhalation of water and susequent shallow water downing plus getting the bacteria that floats on the water in their face. many moms who are multitasking by nursing and wading in the pool are often supervising their other angel in the pool. Being a good mom she is withing arms reach of her older child but. Somewhat distracted and all it takes is a second of distraction and the older child is under water. Happens all the time to moms and dads and adults when they let themselves get distracted by another task in the pool. I have no issues with breast feeding and will be breastfeeding my child anywhere needed but not in the pool b/c I do not want to put my babies airway at risk and infant 0-3 months should not spend more than 15-20 min at or near a chlorinated pool water level b/c the chloramines damage their little lungs. So as long as the infant is safe and the other children are safe have at it!!!! Loved your post!

    • Craig Norton says:

      Obviously, safety comes first. My understanding of the pool example was that Melissa Slovek had her feet in the water, in order to be close to her daughter who was swimming. I don’t know if there is a safe way to nurse while in the water, but I would wager that submerging the baby would not be recommended by most doctors.

      Thanks for your comments and thanks for reading!

  104. You, sir, made my day. I wish there were more like you who understand breastfeeding. Raising a child isn’t easy at all but its even harder when you’re doing something that you know for a fact is the best for your baby and the entire world is looking at you with disgust. I don’t get out much but articles like this gives me so much more confidence. Thank you.

    • Craig Norton says:

      I’m glad it helped, Ronda. I support you in whatever decision you make regarding your baby and breastfeeding.

      • Vilija says:

        It’s our culture, not a type of mother, who creates the hype around breastfeeding. It’s a communal arrogance and ignorance that exacerbates these “issues” of NIP (nursing in public) and attaches labels like ‘exhibitionism’ to situations we want dismissed.

        The only issue, I see, might be that we don’t want to see a real breast; we are fine to look at breasts designed for men but not for babes. Telling a women to stop or hide or be more discrete about breastfeeding is discrimination.

        It is our culture that has created the spectacle. Not the mother.

  105. Pingback: The Best Defence for Breastfeeding in Public | Makin'MilkyWaves

  106. You are amazing! This is so brilliantly and wittingly written!

  107. This was absolutely fantastic.

    As the breastfeeding mother of a 4-year-old (as of today) I’ve experienced all stages of NIP. First with receiving blankets over her, hiding every bit of the baby at my breast. Then with a light scarf just draped over her head. Then, I just dressed to be accessible and used baby and toddler wearing carriers that made it easy to do so “hands free.”

    I also breastfed through a large portion of my mother-in-law’s funeral by the way. I did so to help my then just 3-year-old daughter relax in an unfamiliar environment and get a nap. Found that much more appropriate than letting her spiral out of control as a response to the emotional states of people around her.

    Now that she is weaning herself down to just moments a day, my heart is breaking with the loss of that connection, but also strengthened by what we have had over these years. My goal was always to “make it to four.”

    We made it. <3

    • Craig Norton says:

      Thank you for sharing, Kirsten, and way to go!

      • Thank you. :-) It wasn’t always easy to push down the feelings of fear, but looking at her, knowing that it was what she needed, for whatever reason, sustenance, comfort, sleep induction… It was for HER benefit and anyone around us could go look elsewhere.

        Only once have I experienced the creepy gaze. I’ve never been treated badly or thrown out of a place or told to go elsewhere. Although one time I was bringing her (as a one-week infant) to a restroom for a diaper change, this time during my own grandmother’s memorial, when someone asked in a whisper if I was going to feed her in the bathroom. I was so confused and said “uh no, she just ate at the table, I’m going to change her diaper…” Eat at the table, deal with diapers in the bathroom, makes sense to me…

  108. Melanie says:

    This is great and made me chuckle! I breast feed all the time in public and do get odd stares and gossiping but I don’t care and carry on regardless, even though my little one tries to expose my boobies and makes ummmm noises while feeding!!! xx

  109. Alyssa says:

    You are simply AWESOME! I live in a small reserved town where breastfeeding my daughter is frowned upon. I always stand my ground and NIP! My child has a right to eat and I can’t blame her for strangers wandering eyes.
    Anyways, I seriously appreciate this! It’s amazing!!!!? Thank you thank you thank you! And don’t forget to thank you wife and inspiration.

  110. BodiBear says:

    Perfect! I’ve always nursed on demand wherever I was and will continue to do so with my little one coming in October. I’ve never had a bad experience and hope that will continue.

  111. Manda says:

    I am pregnant and hormonal and having flashbacks to that ONE time i went out and bf in public and was more than asked to cover up. Eeep thank you thank you THANK YOU for writing this! I have been so heated about this debate lately and now it can be much easier for me to explain <3 You pretty much rock!

  112. Arden says:

    This is spot on, Thank you.

    Nursing was incredibly difficult for me. And I found my stride after squeezing into a filthy stall at a local restaurant and tried to nurse my daughter.

    It was ludicrous. It was disgusting and I vowed no more.

    My kidlet refused covers of all kinds from swaddling to cover ups. And though I loathed every minute of our nursing I knew I was doing my best for her by nursing. Which I somehow managed to do until she self weaned. If I was strong enough to endure repeated daily PTSD to nurse my child and did so with a glad heart;what did it matter if some pig or prude got upset?

    So I let go of MY worry about other people and focused in the only person in the room that mattered- my child.

    • Craig Norton says:

      Good for you, Arden. You raise a good point, too, that some mothers would rather not breastfeed in public, but do so for their child. I think there is a gross misconception that the mothers who nurse in public are trying to get a reaction, or to show off.

      Thank you for your comments!

  113. I love you. Thats all I wanted to say. I never gave a rat’s behind what other people thought when I was nursing in public. I was soo not going to hide because it might make some people uncomfortable. I nursed on packed subway trains in NY with no qualms. Thank you for your real adult point of view

  114. Rainey says:

    Im a mother of 2 living in England and happy to say i breast fed my son (now 2) and am currently breastfeeding my daughter (6 months) although i do some times feel a bit awkward getting “them” out in public my kids welfare over rules any one else ‘s feeling of uneasiness at maybe seeing a tiny bit of my boob (lets face it you’d have to be a perv and have to stare really hard to get a full boob shot!) if my daughter gets hungry and we are out in public then sorry but her nutrition is far more important to me than a strangers weird boob phobia! To date ive never squirted on a stranger and never heard of any one being admitted due to getting sick from accidental breast milk contamination! Thanks for this Craig lets hope that women feel empowered to choose what feels right for them. (be that boob or bottle)

  115. Katie Wilkinson says:

    Love this. Thank you!

  116. Andrea says:

    So awesome. Thank you!

  117. Terry says:

    It’s natural and normal! Grow up!!!

  118. Dawn says:

    This nursing mom thanks you.

  119. Cara says:

    Oh my. Thank you, so very much. Although, I never got my boob out in public, (I did nurse in public with a cover-I think it was called a “hooter hider” or something), I can certainly appreciate and respect those that choose to. I must say, however, it was refreshing to hear it from a man’s perspective.

    “The fact that you are so monumentally immature that you cannot stand idly by while a baby drinks milk from a boob, speaks volumes about who you are as an individual.” <— I did, however, spit coffee all over my computer when I came across this little gem.

  120. Joanna says:

    This is the single best thing I have ever read. I’m just flabbergasted by its awesomeness.

  121. Sabrina says:

    I’m sorry, but I have major issues with your little post here. I nurse in public. I exclusively nurse. But I COVER UP! There is some respect in covering up your titties so others don’t have to see them. As a mom, I need to teach my children respect for others as well, and if I’m going to do that, I need to have respect for others. If others do not want to see my boob, I need to cover it. Since I’m teaching my child that we do not show our boobies in public, I need to make sure I cover it. I am not saying we shouldn’t nurse in public, but I AM saying that for the respect of others, and for our daughters, we NEED to cover up. The problem with most people is the lack of respect for others. Breastfeeding moms everywhere… RESPECT those around you. Nurse your babies, give them nourishment, do so in public, but do your very best to respect others in HOW you do so. That is all.

    • Craig Norton says:

      Thanks for your comments, Sabrina. I think you’ve touched on a very important point, and that is a woman’s choice. You feel it’s disrespectful, and that is fine. But where is that coming from? Why is it less respectful to nurse a child in public, even if that means that part of your breast is exposed, than for a woman to wear a low cut top or bikini in public? Why is it less respectful to others, and to our daughters, as you put it, than a bus ad for Victoria’s Secret?

      I understand that this is an issue that is important to you. I can read it in your words. But you missed the point of the article. Perhaps that’s my fault.

      I thank you for your comments and thanks for reading!

    • Alissa says:

      I agree Sabrina, that we certainly need to teach our children to respect others, but I would like to point something out about the lesson you are teaching your children. Insisting women cover their breasts when NIP in order to respect the sensitivities of others is simply perpetuating the way that this society shames women about the proper use of their breasts. Let’s face it, your children see you furiously hiding your nursing baby behind a blanket. What are you really teaching them?

  122. Carshza says:

    rar rar rar lets get all up in arms about a simple matter of a civilized society that has over the years, deemed certain parts of the anatomy as a “private” part that one should be discrete with. The same people screaming here that ladies should be able to whip their tit out in public and feed their baby are the same ones that are so AGHAST when a females where g-strings and nipple tassels to the beach.

    As a woman that breast fed two of three children, I see no reason whatsoever to show my breast while feeding my child to strangers anymore than I would not feeding my child. I also see no reason why it is so damn hard to see why it would make others uncomfortable and that its simple to toss a blanket over.

    Most people get uncomfortable watching people make out, grope one another or having sex in public. This is all natural behavior too. As is urinating, moving our bowels, passing gas, belching, and scratching all our parts. But these are things we generally prefer others do in private.

    Now. Before all you wackos get your briefs in a bunch, I am not comparing breastfeeding to pooping. Its totally natural and a woman has an absolute RIGHT to feed her child wherever she is anytime. Period. HOWEVER! Using a little cover up is not too much to ask from her.

    We do live in a society where we wear clothing in public and if you don’t like living in a “civilized” society which supplies you roads, laws that protect you, and so on, then get rid of it. Otherwise you take the good with the bad and understand that with civilization and society comes certain “squeamishes”.

    You want to get in a friggen uproar about something, why don’t you take to the towers over our horrid education system, or our health system or our political leaders who are all owned by one brand name or another. That’s stuff worth getting all worked up about. Not being asked to toss a blanket over your tit while you feed your baby. Way to pick a battle people. This is why society is failing.

    • Craig Norton says:

      Hmmm … I don’t know, Carshza. I’m pretty sure women who are fed up with being asked to leave public areas, airplanes, churches, and government buildings for breastfeeding are the reason why society is failing. I think you raise a good point, that nursing is NOT like pooping. Also, there are places where it is legal for women to be bare chested. As for the beaches with g-strings and nipple tassels, I would like to know the beaches you are going to, because they sound awesome.

      Most of the examples in the article were not for women who had exposed their breasts in public. They were women who were discriminated against because they were nursing in public. Period.

      If it bothers you, don’t look. But what you are suggesting is that, some societies have a certain amount of prejudice, and you just have to deal with it. Some people don’t like that type of a society, and they seek to change it. Imagine how you’d feel if my response to you was, “If you don’t like a society that has a certain amount of exposed boob flesh, well then you’re part of the problem.”

      Actually, come to think of it, that sounds about right.

      Huh. Nailed it on the first try.

      Anyway, thank you for reading, and thank you for your comments.

  123. Jenna says:

    Keep it up! Nice to see such a brilliant piece article by someone who really and truly ‘gets it’. I just shared this on my Facebook and it got five ‘likes’ in literally ten seconds! (That’s an even better response than the pics of my new kitten that I post!)

  124. Bonny says:

    Thank-you!!!! You’ve said it as it should be said- GROW UP! Love it! It’s ironic that men seem less bothered by NIP then women.
    May I have your permission to reprint this? With you credited as the author of course! I’d love to hand this out to Bf moms I meet & those giving me the stink eye!

  125. Laura says:

    I wonder how many of the (thankfully few) detractors in these comments made the same error that I initially did, and read the essay with the assumption that the author was female?

    I didn’t figure out the opposite until I got well into the comments, and I must say it changes my perception of the article dramatically. (Which, in itself is somewhat troubling food for thought.) Hearing the above in a male voice, a husband’s voice, puts a very different spin on what initially rubbed me just a tad wrong.

    Not for the NIP, of course. I’m a rather … well-endowed girl, and my 20 month old is still going strong on the nursing front… still nurses to sleep for naps & bedtime, as a matter of fact. We manage NIP by the rather simple expedient of raising the bare minimum amount of nipple above the neckline of my blouse, getting him latched, and covering the exposed skin with my hand. There’s rarely more than a couple of inches, if that. I have smilingly stared down the glares and pursed lips of silent disapproval, and suggested (oh so innocently with the widest, most anime-inspired eyes I can manage) that truly pushy individuals take that blanket and use it to cover their own head. I have purchased and placed upon my child’s head one of the infamous “Boobie Caps”, and I’m more than a bit tempted to make one of those covers with bare cartoon boobies on. So I’m quite familiar with public advocating for our rights as bf’ing mums and nursling children. Mind you, 99% of the time, even with my rack (36H, ask your wife what that means size-wise), nobody even notices, let alone looks long enough to disapprove.

    The whole thing was quite hilarious and I laughed right out loud several times (through a migraine, which is quite an accomplishment, I assure you). What struck me just a tad off at first was… well, the flooding sarcasm and name-calling. The POINT is valid, but I’m not sure I would point anyone to this as an actual defense of breastfeeding in public, unless that person was already a supporter. Mostly because nobody likes being talked down to or called names, and it just doesn’t tend to change anyone’s thinking at all.

    Re-reading in a masculine voice, that of a husband, and while I still wouldn’t hand this out as suggested reading for the elderly and rather prudish ladies in my church who suppose it’s their prerogative to safe-guard the eyes and minds of “the men,” it takes on a tone of TRUE support from an unexpected voice. Quite refreshing, and as a sort of “Hoo-rah!” for the NIP’ing mum, it was utterly brilliant, and I will be printing it out to post on my refrigerator.

    • Craig Norton says:

      Thanks for your thoughts, Laura. I appreciate how you feel about the tone of the piece, but I stand by it. I wanted to imagine what it must feel like for some women when they are attacked, publicly, generally by a group, for doing something that is a basic requirement of life. The tone was intentional, as I have heard and read similar reactions from the other side.

      Thanks for reading, and thank you for sharing.

      • Laura says:

        Oh, so have I. Been on the receiving end, matter of fact, and I’ve dished out my fair share of tit for tat in that regard. I believe I misinterpreted your intent and read “Defence” as more of an apologist/debate/convince a person scenario, rather than an in the moment set of verbal armor for the NIP’ing mum!

  126. Liz says:

    This is AWESOME!

  127. tyna says:

    This is so funny! I love how this is written. I’m sharing this on my wall definitely. Thank you thank you.

  128. Kate Tasker says:

    Though I have never felt uncomfortable BF in public.
    It is what it is, feeding my hungry beautiful baby. It’s that simple.
    Your piece is brilliant though, well done!

  129. Elizabeth says:

    As a mom who is currently breaks feeding my second child Id just like to say thank you for such a wonderfully written piece. And if its ok with you is like to print off a few copies to stash in my diaper bag. You know just incase someone needs a reminder!

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  131. Rose says:

    I think everyone should just ignore Trevor, he obviously has a problem with women (imo, the nicest way to call someone a “chauvinist”) and it seems he has issues with babies too, maybe because he is one of those “pretend babies”. Simple as that. You need not be intelligent to understand the issue, simply decent and down to earth, common sense, but common sense is not common these days.

    Great article Craig Norton! :)
    I am only 26 and not a mother yet, not planning on it anytime soon, but I definitely want to breastfeed when it happens, without feeling ashamed or uncomfortable. Women go through enough of that already, and I’ve been through enough stuff as a women.

    • Craig Norton says:

      Thank you for reading, Rose, and for sharing! Common sense is common sense – a lot of us just choose not to use it.

      I thank Trevor for his comments because they are how he feels about the subject. I choose to disagree with him, but I cannot control how he feels.

  132. Julie says:

    Love this!!!

  133. Vanessa says:

    Two thumbs up! And I second the slow clap! A fun, humorous read. Screaming infants create a far bigger and more uncomfortable scene putting everyone on edge than the quick fix of a feed. Amazing how people are quite happy to watch, and encourage their children to watch, animals feeding their young and think its cute, but are repulsed by their own species doing the same.

    • Craig Norton says:

      Thanks for reading and the comments, Vanessa! I agree, animals feeding their young is cute. I also think that a baby eating is cute. I think what makes some people uncomfortable is that it merges a body part that has become sexualized, and reminds people that it has a very mammalian function. I think that is disconcerting for some people, and it makes them uncomfortable.

  134. Sarah says:

    Great post. I do agree that people who give breastfeeding mothers a hard time need to ‘wake up’ and stop being so narrowminded and hung up on their own insecurities. I don’t think they need to ‘stop being a child’ I think they should be more like children. Children are the most comfortable when it comes to breastfeeding. They don’t see our hang ups and just see a mummy feeding a baby. It is up to us to teach them that it is ‘normal’ and ‘beautiful’.

  135. Gloria says:

    Awesome read! There were so many times I wanted to spit fire or give someone the finger because of the reaction I got for nursing Lillian in public. Regardless of the reaction, I would never and will never not nurse my children due to the idiotic views of some people

  136. Jordy says:

    Thank you so much for this article, I think I might print up a few copies to keep in my nappy bag. My breastfed babies and I live in the middle east where almost of of the local women cover up from head to toe… yet the only public shaming I’ve ever had has been from other western mothers!

    • Craig Norton says:

      Wow, that is a pretty awful indictment. I think most people would be quick to assume that you wouldn’t be allowed to nurse in public where you live. If you have the time, I’d love to hear more about it. Thanks for sharing that, Jordy!

  137. Maria says:

    Absolutely AMAZING!!!!! what a great article!!!! love it and for sure!!! thank you for!!

  138. You have got some awesome comments already! Another fabulous article and inspiration. Thank you! I am visiting Turkey right now and I feel more comfortable breastfeeding here than I do in US. Weird…

  139. Sarah M says:

    Thanks Craig for giving me a laugh this morning. As a nursing mother currently bf my second after feeding my first until 17 months I am quite happy to nurse in public wherever and whenever my baby requires feeding. I am lucky to never have had negative comments and only positive ones but have friends who have had negative comments when bf their LO’s and that is the exact response that was needed to the lady that upset her telling her bf was disgusting… ‘grow up’!

  140. Jessica DeFilippo says:

    Powerful, poignant, and very appropriate! Is there a large billboard somewhere we could post this on?

  141. Ala says:

    Fantastic! Hope this strengthens mommas’ minds who are not quite sure about NiP or those who have gotten ridiculous comments before! I won’t be shaken by comments myself, but I nurse discreetly (but NOT covered up!) mostly people don’t even notice until they notice the baby’s head “Oh, you have a baby?? I had not even noticed!” – I know, right? AND surround yourself as much as possible with people who SUPPORT you or what you do! Support is the mightiest tool in your defense! I support you breastfeeding mommies and your supporters!!

  142. Renee says:

    Thank you for this post. I am a ftm to a 8 week old. I have not completely nursed in public yet. I have nursed at my son’s doctor’s office ( when we were waiting on the doctor in our room) and usually if I am at a store I will go into our truck and nurse in the back seat. People have asked my husband why I do not nurse in public and as of now I am just not comfortable with it yet, to be out in the open and nurse. Though, I do really like the option that if I had to when the time comes I will. I’m not going to let my child scream of hunger just because I am uncomfortable with it. I greatly respect all mothers who breastfeed in public and stand firm not to go to the bathroom to nurse! Disgusting! All mothers who breast feed should not have to feel ashamed or embarrassed, but unfortunately some people make us feel that way. Its great more and more people are speaking out for the good of breast feeding in public, thank you again. Post like this give me courage.

    • Craig Norton says:

      You’re welcome, Renee. Anyone who shames a mother for feeding her child has some of their own issues to deal with. Everyone’s voice needs to be heard, but common sense also has to have its day. Between a baby being hungry and a person’s sensibilities being catered to, I think that most people would agree that the baby trumps feelings.

      Thanks for reading, and know that you have a lot of support, whatever choice you make for your son.

  143. Tiphani says:

    This was amazing! Thank you! As a breast feeding mother of 3 boys, thank you. I have never dealt with confrontation for my choice to breast feed my babies wherever we happen to be when they get hungry. I have been lucky. I’m going share your post everywhere, with the hope that it will open at least one persons eyes to how silly it is to be offended by something that is not directed at them, and has absolutely nothing to so with them!!! Again, thank you, I loved it.

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  145. Hayley Birtles-Eases says:

    GOLD!!! :) x

  146. Pinky Jones says:

    Pure brilliance. It’s been years since I breastfed but the memories of total ignorance remain fresh. Well written! Bravo!!

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  148. Margaret says:

    Brilliant article! But …… why in 2013 is there so much anti-public-breastfeeding? I breastfed my babies 45 years ago with no problem. Maybe in the 1960’s we were more liberated!!

  149. Anne says:

    Definitely a refreshing article…and hopefully a reminder of just how silly this has all been. I would breastfeed in public (in Australia) and got stares….but became immune to it after awhile. But don’t think I was ever game to in a cafe or restaurant….people seem to be a bit weird about that. I sure spent a lot of time hidden away in parents rooms at shopping centres and the like….which now that I reflect, seems a bit strange that I didn’t just sit out in a cafe like everyone else.

  150. rainey says:

    I have already left one comment but after reading some of the other replies i felt i needed to “speak” up again. Most of the comments against this seem to be about the women just exposing her naked breast in public. Well maybe it is different elsewhere but here in the uk i have yet to see a women who just lets it all hang out whilst feeding or getting ready to feed. You may see a small nipple shot as the infant latches on and you may see a small part of breast flesh whilst they are latched (but no more than in a bikini or low cut top and I’ve yet to hear of the same uproar being caused by these) some people on here make it sound like the woman sits with her boob out waiting for the child to wake of be hungry, as if we sit there jiggling with them whilst we wait! I put it to these people that they obviously have a secret problem as if they are seeing breast then they are looking too hard. Seriously people get a grip!

    • Craig Norton says:

      I agree, rainey. The picture that gets painted is of mothers acting like breastfeeding is their own rap video, jiggling their breasts and taunting small children. I do not envy the mothers out there who have to not only get over the stigmas of breastfeeding in public, but also that people impose behaviour on them they are not guilty of. Thanks for your comments!

  151. Sophie, Hertfordshire says:


  152. Pingback: The best defence for breastfeeding in public | Back to Breast – our breastfeeding journey

  153. Lydia Read-Moore says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. You are my hero!!

  154. ja says:

    Get a job you lazy cow

  155. ja says:

    Get a job lazy cow

    • Craig Norton says:

      The comment so great, you had to leave it twice. To whom are you referring, “ja”? Or should I say, Jarred Burnett. If you are referring to me, then I assure you, I am gainfully employed. I do, however, thank you for expressing your concerns over my job status.

      If you were referring to someone else, it helps when leaving comments on web sites that you be more specific. Use a name, like Jessica, Phillip, or Stephanie. That way, people know you are speaking to them, and they can fill you in on what their plans are for the future.

      My plans include ridiculing idiots who leave demeaning comments on my blog. I find it pretty easy, since I do this for a living, and generally, idiots are idiots for a living. See how that would make things easier on me? I use words all the time, you know, for writing, and you take two swings at a fairly rudimentary insult.

      It’s kind of like heckling a professional comedian. You don’t really stand a chance. They are in front of an audience professionally. You sling remarks from the darkness, usually when drunk. Since it took you from 12:14pm until 12:18pm to revise your 5 word jab at no one in particular, I can only assume that you are spending your Saturday wisely.

      Thanks again for your comments, and for reading.

      All my love,

      Craig Norton.

  156. Abbie says:

    If anyone ever says anything to me about feeding in public I am definitely going to quote you; “grow up” has got to be the best responses ever because how do you even begin to argue with that? !

  157. Liz Wootton says:

    Love it.

    I am proud to live in Scotland, a country that has fully taken the role of the grown up on this issue, and actually passed a law to prevent anyone stopping someone breastfeeding in a public place. The Breastfeeding (Scotland) Act 2005 actually makes it “an offence deliberately to prevent or stop a person in charge of a child from feeding milk to that child in a public place or on licensed premises”. Contrary to what some people might have had us believe, the passing of this law did not result in thousands of women wandering around with their boobies hanging out. In fact, outwardly, nothing has really changed, other than that breastfeeding mothers can be allowed to feel a little more confidence when their baby needs feeding in a public place.

    Whilst I’d like to think that society can be grown up enough not to have to have laws like this, unfortunately it is clear that breastfeeding mothers can really benefit from having the law on their side. I would love to see legislation like this passed everywhere.

    • Craig Norton says:

      The sad thing is, Liz, it already has in many places where breastfeeding mothers are persecuted for nursing in public. I think what has to change is the way people perceive the issue. My feelings on the subject, at this point, are clear. Many people feel, strangely, that breastfeeding in public is an act of defiance. The problem, it would seem, is one of ego – people think that if someone does something that they don’t agree with, the offender is doing it to them. Like, it’s a personal thing. The only person it’s about is the baby, the child.

      So, yeah, people need to grow up, Liz, you’re right. Thanks for reading and for your comments!

      • Liz Wootton says:

        I suppose that my point is that if the law is on the side of the breastfeeding mother, then (assuming she is aware there is a law to protect her) it should at least offer her a modicum of confidence that she is not being defiant by breastfeeding in public, but simply doing something she has every right to do. Of course, perceptions take time to change, and full confidence for those being offered that legal protection will take time to be gained. But with the right legal backing, the conditions can be set for change.

        I’m not denying that people will still receive negative comments etc. But having a legal right to breastfeed in public gives you a bit more confidence to tell someone where to stick it if they object. Legislation against any type of prejudice gives a clear message that it is unacceptable, and is at the very least a step in the right direction.The government has to take a (grown up) stance in the first instance.

        • Craig Norton says:

          That is true. Unfortunately, as you say, not all mothers know their rights. In North America, breastfeeding in public is perfectly legal, yet women are chastised constantly for doing so.

        • Liz Wootton says:

          There is a difference, however, between breastfeeding in public being legal, and it being illegal to stop someone doing it. It’s an important distinction. The discrimination has to be outlawed, as opposed to simply making it legal to breastfeed where you want, I don’t know whether that distinction exists anywhere in North America, but that’s the law I’d like to see.

  158. Michelle Cook says:

    Use a bottle in public! We don’t want want to bask in your joy!

    • Craig Norton says:

      You don’t “want want” Michelle?


      I’m not sure what you mean.Is that like a double positive? Does that mean that you REALLY want to bask in my joy? Also, I’m not sure to which bottle you are referring. I don’t drink from puddles anymore (my wife made me stop), so I only use bottles in public. Wait a minute … are you talking about my homemade coffee enemas? I CAN’T use a bottle, Michelle! The cops told me that it falls under “indecent exposure.” I have to keep it hidden! And unless you’ve ever had one of my homemade coffee enemas, well … First, I take whatever emotion you are feeling right now – in your case, misdirected spite – and I mix that with a beverage of your choosing. For you, I’d suggest something crabby. And believe me when I say, that until you take your misdirected spite and your crabby cocktail and stick both of those up your ass with one of my homemade enemas, you really won’t know what you’re missing out on when I tell you, Michelle, to blow it out your ass.

      Thanks for reading!

  159. Cheryl says:

    Totally agree with this!!! I was proud to breastfeed both my daughters, giving them the best start in life x

  160. Adam says:

    I see both sides of the argument. Myself, if somebody is feeding their younglings and I don’t want to see it.. I just don’t look Simple. However, I find it ironic that Craig Norton who writes this is telling others to grow up while resorting to name calling like a child would “Stupid, Churlish, Simpering, nimrod..” In defense of Mr. Norton’s article, yes it’s a natural thing and mothers should be able to freely do this without grief from others. But he’s irrational in his implications in the second paragraph… opposers wouldn’t starve their child. That’s just silly. They’d just use a breast pump and feed that way, or feed in private. Nobody has ever been against breast feeding. Opposition is just against the way it’s carried out. And back to agreeing with him, “just don’t look.” This writes like Craig is looking for a pat on the back from his readers. “LOOK AT ME, I’M DEFENDING WOMEN!”

    • rainey says:

      Oh yeah Adam its always that easy to pump, you’d know that yourself having breast fed many a child i assume. And yeah its so easy to find a dark corner to stand in or better still a stinky old toilet to feed them rather than sit in a nice comfy seat in a coffee shop and feed your child discreetly. I say again when have you EVER seen a mother getting her breasts out out and waving them about for all to see?!

    • Deirdre says:

      Having three children whom I’ve breastfed exclusively, I tried pumping and bringing milk along with me. For some reason I can’t get much milk out when pumping, no matter how hard I’ve tried (and I really DID). It’s not the same as direct nursing. Aside from pumping not being very easy, and tedious, my kids screamed when I tried giving them bottles. They made more ruckus and annoyed people more that way. I’ve never had anyone seemingly notice when I’ve nursed my kids publicly.

      I’m glad you agree with just not looking when you see something you don’t want to. I really do and appreciate that.

      I disagree that Mr. Norton is being childish himself by using words to describe people who throw tantrums over nothing. I had someone tell me recently when discussing public breastfeeding that even a tiny amount of breast visible (which one could hardly see unless they were staring) was immodest and women who do that are “bored housewives” and essentially want to show off their breasts to annoy good modest people. She also went on to say that women who publicly breastfeed are causing the downfall of good society.
      It was shocking to me in the least. So while I do understand where some people are coming from on it, I often find it’s because it’s just a new concept or something they aren’t used to. There are people who hold extreme anti-breastfeeding views altogether and those people are stupid, because they obviously know nothing about it. And if one knows nothing about it they shouldn’t comment.

    • Craig Norton says:

      Actually, Adam, it doesn’t write at all; it reads. It has already been written. Once written, it is read. And the implications in the second paragraph are just that – implications. When a person tells a mother to “do that somewhere else,” what he or she is saying is implying is, “feed your baby somewhere else.”

      As for me pandering to my readers, I wrote this article in reaction to a story I read about a woman who was shamed into leaving a public area for breastfeeding her baby. Breastfeeding mothers need support. Generally, they do not need the support of other breastfeeding mothers, they have that already. They need the support of the people who stand idly by while bullies shame women who dare to feed their babies in public. That means people like you and me, Adam.

      I did not write this article with the intention of getting a pat on the back. See, I’m a fully-formed adult, with self-esteem and dignity. I don’t rely on the approval of others to exist. That people related to something I wrote pleases me, but the possibility of pleasing them did not fuel me. I expressed an opinion on a subject that means a great deal to me. I’m not sure what you feel strongly about. Your two cents, “They’d just use a breast pump and feed that way, or feed in private. Nobody has ever been against breast feeding,” would indicate that this is not a topic on which you have much information. Just the few examples I used in the article of how people ARE against breastfeeding would also indicate that you didn’t bother to look before you leapt.

      I do not need a pat on the back from my readers. They need a pat on the back from us. They need our support. I am willing to give it. What are you willing to do, other than criticize others for speaking up?

      Other than, you know, not liking it very much when bugs fly up your nose.

      Thanks for your comments, and good luck with the reading.

    • Victoria says:

      – Consider the needs of bigoted weirdos with severe complexes about breasts
      – Get a pump
      – Sterilise the pump
      – Sterilise some bottles
      – Plan ahead to pump breastmilk from breasts (NB: pumps don’t perfectly mimic a child’s suckling, so it takes some time to get used to milking yourself with a machine, and you’ll have to do it for a while before you get anywhere near enough milk for your baby)
      – Pump breastmilk with mechanical device while still trying to take care of baby and rest of family
      – Store pumped milk appropriately either in fridge or freezer
      – Get milk out and prepare it for going out in public – may need to take the time to defrost it. But not in boiling water! That gets rid of the nutrients. Instead, spend however long it takes to defrost it in luke-warm water. (Too bad if it’s got lipase enzyme issues. You just don’t get to go outside today.)
      – Go out in public with child and when they start fussing for the breast, take the time to get the bottle out and make sure it’s the right temperature and even though the baby is used to just drinking straight from the tap, take the time to force a bottle in their mouth, despite their possible discomfort and protests.
      – Hope that the child wanted that exact amount of milk that you painstakingly pumped and brought with you. Any more and it’s a problem. Any less and it’s a frustrating waste of breastmilk and effort.
      – Go home and start the process again.
      Oh, that’s so much better! So glad I’m not offending some stranger who doesn’t like breastfeeding (WTF is wrong with you people?)

      – Breastfed child starts fussing – put it on the breast.
      – Relax.

      You know, Adam, I think I know which one I’d prefer. And I think I know which one you would choose if you were able to breastfeed. So you know what? GET OVER IT. Get over women breastfeeding. Don’t defend the bigots and psychos who have a problem with public breastfeeding. Get on with your day. Tell them to look away. It’s simple. Stop infringing on my rights as a member of our society. End of story.

  161. ABI says:

    I absolutely love this! I am in the UK and nursed baby #1 for 10months, #2 for 16months and #3 is 19 months and still nursing. I have nursed just about anywhere you could imagine. If the baby is hungry I feed it. In the UK we aren’t quite so nervous or negative about NIP and few cover up. In fact it saddens me to see people covering up. I wouldn’t cover my 7 year old whilst eating in a restaurant! I have personally never experienced anything other than positivity but the experiences and ignorance I read about on bf sites and pages astounds me. Your article is absolutely brilliantly written and many people would do well to take note!

  162. Angela M says:

    Somehow I keep getting emails from all the responses you get and then your response back. Needless to say I about spit my coffee out every time I see you respond back to a naysayer. You’re hilarious, love it.

  163. Pete says:

    Once again, breast-feeding propaganda shoved in your face!! Spare a thought for those mums who can’t feed, and have breast is best rubbed in at every opportunity. My little girls doing fine, no development issues there! Rant over

    • Craig Norton says:

      Hey Pete, thanks for your comment.

      Without knowing the details of your life, I can tell that you are referring to someone close to you, and it sounds like there’s a lot of pain there.

      You obviously felt judged by my piece, and for that, I am sorry. I titled the article, “The Best Defence For Breastfeeding In Public,” and not simply, “The Best Defence For Breastfeeding,” or worse, “Breastfeeding Is Best,” because I was responding to a growing number of people who feel that where a mother chooses to feed her baby is somehow their concern. I would never tell a mother how she should care for her child, other than to encourage her give her children the best care she can.

      I am happy to hear that your little girl is doing fine with the care she is getting. My thoughts are always with those who, for whatever reason, cannot breastfeed, and have to use other means. My wife went through a very difficult time breastfeeding, and it was painful to watch her and our daughter suffer. I understand how you might feel.

      The article was not meant as agitprop, nor as a means to push my agenda. I only wanted to push back against an agenda that I believe is being forced on mothers. I meant only to defend moms in their right to breastfeed their babies, and to be able to do so wherever. That’s all.

      I hope you can give the article another read and see it for that, too. I will also read it again to see if it could have been taken the way it came across to you.

      Please give my best to your daughter. She is lucky to have such a caring dad.

  164. David says:

    The anti-breastfeeding folk are just bullies. Their ‘offense’ is just an excuse to bully someone. Time to stand up to these bullies.

    • Craig Norton says:

      I find the best way to stand up to bullies is larger to ignore them. If nobody paid attention to them, they would run out of steam. That being said, there are times when the content of their issues is just too ridiculous to ignore. Thanks for reading, David!

  165. ema j says:

    AMAZING! Have shared this with my breastfeeding group, we’ll have to learn a bit each & shout the haters down! Thank you Craig x

  166. Brian says:

    Keep it ouf the public eye…my opinion….especially breast feeding at restaurants

    • Craig Norton says:

      That’s the amazing thing about eyes, Brian: they can move. If you don’t like it, don’t watch. Simple as that. Thanks for the comment, though. I hadn’t really heard that point of view yet. If only someone would write an article espousing the rights of mothers to breastfeed in public. I personally feel that such an article is timely, especially since people named Brian don’t want to see babies eating in restaurants.

      By the way, have you met Trevor?

      • Chloe says:

        Craig, I LOVE this article. Your comments made me laugh.
        No one has ever even noticed me breastfeeding in public. I never use a cover and I don’t hide in the bathroom. I have also never seen a woman “whip out her breast” to feed her baby.
        Grow up, people. Really, you’re saying the same thing you said when you were 5 and saw a cute girl/boy for the first time (“Ewwww gross”).
        It’s what we are SUPPOSED to do. I’m not going to stay in my house for a year or more just because you are offended by the normal way to feed a baby. In fact, I’ve never met a single person, man or woman, that was offended by breastfeeding. You (Trevor and Brian) are the minority. Anytime I’ve said anything about hearing people getting offended over breastfeeding is met with comments like, “What’s so indecent about feeding a baby?”, and “I bet they have never fed a baby.”
        Maybe you should reevaluate your sense of entitlement to control other people, and your recognition of anatomy.
        Breasts are made for feeding, and eyeballs pivot in their sockets.

    • rainey says:

      I think that maybe Brian is a closet boob man and the thought of only seeing a small part of boob is just too much for him, he wants to see the whole thing! I mean otherwise he’d act like any other sensible grown up and just look away, right?

  167. Pingback: Breaking News: I Breastfed in Public and Guess What DIDN’T Happen!?! |

  168. Heather says:

    Love it! I breast fed both my children and covered up, so nothing was exposed and still got looks! Well said!

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