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Breastfeeding is Fashionable


Who knew?!  Honestly I had no idea when I decided to include my breastfeeding pictures in Thursday's post that such debate would ensue... but since it did, I thought I would attempt to clear the air a little bit and address a few of the comments.

Breastfeeding is fashionable.  I think this is a simple enough campaign.  Think about fashion -- it's subjective, right?  Fashion is in the eye of the beholder.  Thus, everyone is entitled to an opinion of their own.  For example, take leggings... we would probably all agree that leggings are a current fashion trend.  However, we don't all wear leggings the same way.  Some of us only wear leggings under dresses that come down to mid thy, some of us wear them with tunic tops that come just below our bottoms, and some of us don't have problem wearing them without a tunic or dress covering our but.  When stores sell you a pair of leggings, they don't dictate how they are to be worn, but leave it for you to decide.  

Now back to breastfeeding... like fashion, again let's use leggings for the sake of argument, it is up to a woman to choose their comfort level of how they will "wear" it in public.  Here is how I choose to breastfeed in public based on my own personal comfort:

When I'm in public, be it the mall, a restaurant, the park, wherever, let me make it clear -- I do NOT want ANYONE to see my breast.  I don't want to be stared at. I plan in advance before going out..."If I end up needing to feed her, where can I the most easily make that happen."  Granted & a big "duh," infants like to change your plan, but it is nice and helpful to attempt to plan things out.  When I breastfeed in public, if I am in close proximity to people, I use a cover.  I try not to be in close proximity and this is because I am uncomfortable with it.  Some women are fine with it and can get things done in a crowded room & more power to them!  I will usually look for an out-of-the-way place to go if it works out and I'm able to leave the situation I'm in.  I will not feed my baby in a bathroom.  That is gross.  And, like my personal fashion, my goal is modesty.   

An example of a recent public breastfeeding:

I'm at WholeFoods eating lunch with friends from church.  There is a seating area next to the stairs and there is a lot of people traffic.  Magnolia is starting to get fussy and I know it is time to feed her.  The table is pretty tight, and 3 guy friends are within arms' length.  These are all guys I have BF in front of before (in a house with more room and with a cover), but since proximity was so tight, I felt more comfortable moving into the hallway, and I think they probably did too.  I went a couple feet over to a hallway, got my cover out, and while standing, got the job done.  As I fed M I had a nice conversation with a mom and her little girl as they were waiting for someone in the bathroom.  

With that being said, if I can't get away, I can't get away & I WILL feed my child where I have to & when I have to.  The last thing I want to do in these scenarios is cause a scene.

Natural?


There was a lot of discussion surrounding breastfeeding being natural and what that might warrant.  I stand by it -- I think it is natural.  Do I mean this to say that I think it is natural to run around with your top off?  No.  I do however mean this to say that it is an ability that God has given (most) women, and as stewards of this gifting, I find it appropriate for it not to be hidden in a closet.

Am I my brother's keeper?

Yes.  I do have concern for the men in my life (strangers included).  All the men closest to me hold a similar view to breastfeeding as I do.  They are glad that I am able to breastfeed and support my need to to it when I need to do it.  I of course have different comfort levels with different guy friends -- sometimes I use a cover in the same room, sometimes I give myself more distance.  If I am ever unsure of a friend's comfort level, I have either asked them or their wife if they mind.  For my husband, being around a woman who is breastfeeding, is at worst, awkward.  Are their men who feel differently?  I'm sure there probably are.  And that is why I do my utmost to be modest.  However -- I cannot save the world.  I can and will do my part, but men who have deeper problems with women breastfeeding need to  do their part as well, I shouldn't have to all out stop taking care of my child.



Why the pictures?  Why the campaign?

I think breastfeeding is beautiful.  I want to encourage women, who are able, to breastfeed.  The fear of public scrutiny and embarrassment is becoming too big of an influence in a women's decision to breastfeed.  I wanted to give what I consider to be a positive and modest view of breastfeeding... including public feeding.  It takes courage to breastfeed.  Not just in public, but period.  It hurts (at least at first), it's tiring, and can be messy and awkward.  But the benefits for the child and mother are great.  I encourage new mothers to stick with it, put your child's needs above the pain/messy/awkwardness that breastfeeding can entail, and delight in the connection you have with your baby.

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*Click HERE for my email address.  If you disagree, have questions, or want to challenge me... I welcome it.  You're also welcome to leave your comments below in the comment section.  I ask that you please be polite and considerate of both myself and any other readers who might have different views.  Adult conversation is welcomed!

** I know that not all women can or choose to breastfeed.  I hope I have been sensitive to that.  For me and my child and situation breast is best.  I by no means mean to imply this on anyone else.    

*** For another perspective, Sally of Exploits of a Military Momma is also doing a response to the comments from Thursday's post.

**** Do you think Breastfeeding is fashionable? Grab a button for your sidebar or button collection!  Want to share your perspective? Link up below.



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13 comments...:

  1. Love this, Blair! Just read your post below and the heated comments. Way to stick to your guns and offer great, humble responses.

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  2. Love your thoughts on this. I think whatever you believe you should believe 100 percent and I think it's great that you do just that.

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  3. I agree with you 100%!!! I am not yet a mother, but my husband and I are trying and have discussed this issue. Thank you for staying true to what the Lord has called us women to do!

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  4. The photos your posted are absolutely fine. You are breastfeeding in public the same way most women I have seen breastfeed in public: barely showing any skin at all! I have breastfed pretty much anywhere, and I doubt many people have been able to glimpse much of anything considered private.
    Also, as you acknowledge in your post, it is fine whatever you choose to feed your baby. You do not come out sounding militant at all, just your choice, as it is any woman's choice.

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  5. Amen, sister. You are doing the healthiest thing possible for your child. I think sometimes people totally forget (or just don't know?) that.

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  6. It shouldn't be controversial at all. It's the most natural, healthy thing there is!

    Anywho, please check out my friend's photography work. Her focus is in breastfeeding photos and they are beautiful! They're call "in mama's arms" sessions. http://maeburkephotography.com/

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  7. I absolutely agree with you and all the readers - breastfeeding is beautiful and it's natural and it's great to have a voice for it!

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  8. I linked up over at Exploits of a Military Mama.

    I realize now that I did bf in a crowded room--I had one guy take a bit longer look than necessary, but I think he was just confirming what I was doing, and he didn't look back, so it didn't bug me a bit. I kind of 'ruffed' a blanket up on top of the baby's head so anyone looking would see blanket unless they were staring overtly over the top of the baby's head, and I do this in church, too. seems to work okay. In the football stadium shoulder to shoulder was a little harder, luckily I was on the end, and wearing a sweater, so if anyone knew what I was doing, I'd be super surprised. I don't see what the big deal is, really.

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  9. Whether a woman chooses to breast feed period or whether a woman chooses to breast feed in public . . . we should support & encourage each others' decisions!

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  10. This is great, Blair. I agree with you completely and also love your response to your last post. Its definitely a passionate topic (obviously) and think you handled it greatly.

    Emily w/Amazing Grapes

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  11. Oh Blair! You shouldn't have to justify anything you do for M especially on your blog :) Keep doing what you do! You are an amazing Mom! xo

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  12. LOVE THIS! Thanks for sharing your thoughts...I've been drafting a post for a few days about this sort of thing and some things that have been bouncing around in my brain :) I'll link up when I post it!

    Thanks for your encouragement to other breastfeeding mamas!!

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