I just had a family member yesterday refer to breastfeeding in public as exhibitionism. Make no mistake: breastfeeding in public is the most natural thing in the world. Shielding kids from it is part of the Evangelical right’s plan to reduce women’s rights and treat half of our population as second-class citizens. THAT is insane and unnatural, so we shouldn’t stand for it.

Here’s a collection of breastfeeding images I saw someone share on Facebook (original post included below). You’ll notice just how natural and nonsexual it is to them. By treating it as shameful in America, our politicians and Evangelicals are making it a sexual thing. This is not something we should shield children from, it’s something we should expose them to all the time and completely normalize.

When people say that openly nursing in public without a cover is a new thing. Uh no, no it is not, I promise. 😊 It wasn’t until the 20th century that breastfeeding started to be seen in a negative light.
“Nursing in public seemed to be a non-issue in colonial America. Our foremothers were expected to maintain a busy household, which included feeding the baby, and breastfeeding in the market or other public areas was not a cause for uproar. At that time, breastfeeding was the only way to feed a baby, either by the natural mother or a wet-nurse. The Puritans believed breasts were created for the nourishment of children and strongly encouraged women to nurse their own babies. 1 Breastfeeding in public was commonplace for colonial women because they lived in a society that supported breastfeeding.”

There are plenty of reasons a mom may not cover while breastfeeding. The baby could not allow it, and repeatedly remove the cover, or cry. It could be too hot, and a mother doesn’t want her child to get too hot and sweaty. It is also really hard to cover while learning to nurse a new baby, and babies benifit from eye contact while breastfeeding. Believe it or not, covers actually draw more attention. Sometimes the mother simply doesn’t wish to cover, and they legally don’t have to.

“At the federal government level, Public Law 106-58, Section 647 states: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a woman may breastfeed her child at any location in a Federal building or on Federal property, if the woman and her child are otherwise authorized to be present at the location.”6 Laws vary by state and most states have have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location.”

Rene Johnson
July 29, 2018

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