Thursday, 19 May 2011

Breastfeeding... disgusting?

I admit it, I surround myself with like minded women who don't bat an eyelid when I breastfeed G who is Two in a couple of weeks....  The women who are not like minded respect my views and understand we are not all the same just as I respect other women and their choices.

It saddens me then when breastfeeding mothers come across so much prejudice, myself included by the big bad world of the "general public".  Even strong opinionated mothers can sometimes have to think twice as to whether it would be deemed appropriate to breastfeed there baby/child in certain circumstances (myself included) but why?

In this daily mail article Lisa Willis says she was told to leave a cafe for breastfeeding her 10 month old, she was called disgusting.  It would seem she had her WHOLE breast out I mean that really is disgusting no?  or was it the fact there was a baby attached to it?  I wonder if the cafe owner stopped for one second to wonder why SHE thought it was disgusting?

As a mother of 4 I am often confronted with things I think ARE disgusting and unsuitable for general viewing...  pornographic music videos on in department stores to sell TV's, now available in high definition no less...  sexually explicit songs playing in childrens play areas and the list could go on but I think you get the idea.

I get a warm fuzzy feeling when I see a baby/child breastfeeding, the older the better I remember that mother is a tiny minority in the UK and has probably had to overcome a number of problems either with breastfeeding or with prejudice.  I always smile at breastfeeding mums. I know when I was feeding my first I loved it when I received a knowing smile from a passer by, it feels like a lovely club.

I hate the way women are made to feel guilty or embarrassed for doing what nature intended breasts to be used for, who this can even be a reason why some women NEVER breastfeed! what kind of society are we?  can we really claim to be civilized when women and babies are deprived of such a wonderful experience, a biological way to ensure mum and baby are kept together safe? a biological way which keeps them both in a hormonal bliss releasing the hormone of love, a sleep inducing activity both for mum and baby. 

I NEVER feel the need to approach formula feeding mums and tell them I think the fact they are NOT breastfeeding is disgusting,  I never feel I have the right to tell them just how wrong I think it is to feed a human baby COWS BREASTMILK.  I understand these are choices parents can make, and I empathise with them.  It is difficult, many parents agonise in making that particular decision, however, I have been subjected to the other side of this.... and I am expected to hang MY head in shame at breast feeding my 2 year old rather than the person telling me thinking about why they feel the way they do and why they feel the need to tell me how "he is big enough to not need that any more", Shame on you people who judge and make comments which are meant to make breastfeeding mothers feel ashamed or wrong, Hang YOUR heads in shame!

Of course some of this is due to education, or lack of it or misinformation.... some is cultural we are all a product to some extent of our environment... but please some things should be kept in.  Maybe the old "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" can be bought in.  If you don't like what you see, then don't look.  I have never met a breastfeeding mum who actively sits the baby/child on a strangers persons lap and gets the boob out in their face, you can look away.  

I LOVE breastfeeding most of the time.... sometimes feeding an almost 2 year old is a challenge and I wonder when it will end but I want whats biologically best for G,  contrary to what some may think I don't still feed him JUST for my own benefit (sometimes it's not fun LOL) I will continue to feed him until he self weans, which usually happens between 2 and 4 but can be longer.  Breastmilk sells for £100's of pounds it is like gold not just as it is consumed but in the lifelong benefits to mum and baby.  The benefits don't just stop at a magic number mums and babies should be free to decide how long to feed, when and where they want to feed....  Oh and is anyone up for a breastfeeding sit in at a certain venue?  ~smile~

Breastfeeding is always going to be an emotive subject... this post is not about whether breastfeeding v's formula it's about being human.... accepting people make choices and examining ourselves before we judge others... why do we feel the way we do?   Why is breastfeeding so "disgusting"  ?  Show the same respect to others decisions as you want to be shown yourself in yours.

Before I go some really good sites for breastfeeding information :


National Breastfeeding Helpline 
0300 100 0212
The Breastfeeding Network Supporterline0300 100 0210

NCT Breastfeeding Helpline 
0300 330 0771

La Leche League Helpline 0845 120 2918
Association of Breastfeeding Mothers08444 122 949


  1. Beautifully said - I am horrified when I see small children drinking cows milk - but it's not my place to judge - at least not out loud.

  2. Fantastic!

    I would like to share that I have breastfed Harvey who is about to turn 4 in July since his birth in 2007, he appeared to want to stop within the last ten days then this morning he woke up insisting on having a try again so I start my count of days of not feeding all over again the next time he wants to stop maybe tomorrow or the day after as he wants so badly to be "big" like his brothers and sisters :)

    Thing is, I never even notice people's gazes or glares, disgusting looks, my family do but are sworn off talking to me about it all and my husband, after six babies is well used to ignoring those bigots as well.
    I didnt want any of my children to develop self conscious issues because they were attached to my breasts so never even raise an eyebrow towards another person whilst I have my baby snuggling with me, its his time no matter where we are or what we are doing at the time that stops whilst he feeds or gets comfort.

    The result is a happy care-free little boy flourishing all the time and that is all I can ever really ask for.

    ((( hugs )))

    Helen xx

  3. Thank you for sharing Helen... lovely to hear your experiences with your little boy

    Toni xxx

  4. Well said, Toni. Holly still feeds at 3.5 years but only morning and night so it's only Amber I feed in public. I would be terribly self conscious feeding Holly in public (except at a HE meet or somewhere I'd not expect to be judged) Wrong I know, but sadly true.