Breastfeeding Behind the Bathroom Door

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A woman breastfeeding in public

Breasts. Jugs. Boobies. Mammaries. Tits. Melons. Fun Bags. Paps. Bazookas. Chest Puppies. Hooters.

Of the many terms used to describe one of human biology’s stellar inventions, none hint towards their true function: breastfeeding. Feeding your baby milk produced specially by the body that birthed your child. Liquid so intuitively catered to your baby that it alters its nutritional composition and volume production in tune to your individual baby’s growth and appetite.

Statue of a woman breastfeedingBreastfeeding, quite frankly, is a miraculous feat of nature. So why hide it?

Thankfully, we have many celebrities who are now breastfeeding their children unabashedly in public and on social media which has increased publicity and subsequently seen a rise in confidence amongst women nursing uncloaked.

Boobs are also sexy. There is no escaping the fact that the fascination that many people have with breasts is substantial and quite unavoidable.

Ah, but what about this sexualised, alluring collection of fat globules and milk ducts?

Can those that are so drawn to the temptation, like starving bees to honey, not accept the fact that breasts are delightful and multi-tasking? Can they understand that they are dual-functional and though some may be unable to avert their eyes, that they are fundamentally part of women’s bodies to provide sustenance to their offspring to necessitate survival? Is that a difficult concept?

Why do some only see breasts as a symbol of sex?

That’s a whole other wormy can, poised to spring open, that I’ll leave you salivating over for another time.

‘You should feed your baby in the toilets, it’s private there.’

‘I don’t want to see breastfeeding while I’m eating my lunch!’

‘Why can’t you just give her a bottle when you’re out and about and breastfeed while at home?’

A woman breastfeeding in public as another carries her childPeople’s opinions. Yes, they are entitled to them. Yes, everyone has a right to express their feelings.

But I implore those so in favour of the censorship of breastfeeding to please educate yourselves as much as possible and speak to those that wish to breastfeed their baby as and when required, including in public, without disgusted looks from fellow humans.

Would you like to go and eat your artichoke hearts with celeriac mash and cranberry coulis in the toilet of the restaurant you’ve paid money to be in? No?

I don’t want to see your bald head glistening at me while I eat my lunch; couldn’t you put on a hat, or better yet, go eat in the toilet where I cannot see you? No?

Meat offends me; won’t you eat a vegetarian dish when you’re out and about and eat meat while at home? No?

I have encountered anti-public breastfeeders who respond to the above comparisons by retorting that they are adults, while a baby does not know where they are.

A woman breastfeedingA few points to consider here; firstly, a mature two year old may well be aware they are in the room that they recognize as being used for human waste elimination. Would you have your two year old eating her fish goujons and whipped parsley and lemon mayonnaise in the toilets? No?

Secondly, the woman who is breastfeeding her baby is VERY well aware of her environment. Would you rather bottle feed your infant in the toileting room? No?

It really boils down to the freedom of choice. Women should be able to feed their child in whatever manner they prefer and in whatever environment the child presents as hungry without judgement and certainly without interference or fear.

Author breastfeeding in publicJennifer Ochoa is an ongoing student of health, counselling and most importantly, LIFE. She is a feminist and mother of three fully breastfed sons, a teenager, a tweenie and a toddler in the beautiful and diverse city of Edinburgh. She loves nothing more than pushing the boundaries, both societally and self imposed and revels in connecting with others in the journey of life seeking knowledge and joy in the ordinary.

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