Friday, January 25, 2013

Day 1208 - Breast feeding

Jumping on the boobie band wagon

The boobie beanie - Image Source

So it's all over the Aussie webosphere right now that David Koch from Channel 7 - Kochie to his fans - said something that was a bit controversial about breast feeding in public.  Or something. I didn't hear it. In response to Kochie's statement(s) our favourite bloggy dad Kevin over at the Illiterate Infant did his first boob post on Tuesday which was refreshing to see from a male perspective.  Now it's my turn to give a Deep Fried Fruit take on the whole thing ...

It's been a while since I've talked about boobs on the blog.  My posts are usually about wayward headlights creating a spot light effect (keep your nipples up front and centre please ladies!), losing your breasts during an afternoon nap only to find them under your armpits, or the fascinating notion of pancaked boobs during boxercise.  To talk about breastfeeding when my "baby" is now nine years old is a bit of a stretch, but you know, it's the talk of the town so I guess I'd better throw in my two bobs boobs worth.

I don't actually watch Kochie nor do I value his opinion.  No offence to him intended, I quite simply don't watch morning television so his words don't impact on me.

I also don't have huge views on breast feeding in public.  I did it when my two were bubs. I personally preferred to cover up a bit simply because I felt a little awkward having my "girls" on display and felt that perhaps discretion may also make my husband, my dad, other kids and passers-by feel more comfortable. So I usually threw a baby blanket over my shoulder, or a muslin wrap, or a cloth nappy, just to create a bit of a curtain effect.  Other times I simply wore tops that allowed for minimal boob-o-vision.  Quite frankly it can get a bit awkward when someone like your boss wanders casually past you in the mall and comes over to chat about reporting deadlines for the coming week and you're baby decides to take a break and stare at the stranger and suddenly you've got your nipple out winking at him.  Eye contact can become strained when you return to work as he works overtime to stay focused above neck level. So yeah, I was a bit more discrete in my public feeding sessions.

But as far as what others decide to do, I have no big opinions. I'd probably prefer a bit of discretion rather than tops whipped off for a full frontal bounce-a-thon, but if it's all in the name of baby nutrition. who am I to pass judgement?

Anyway, that's my take on the whole thing. For what it's worth.  Do it, don't do it. Care, don't care. It's natural for some, not natural for others.  It's an individual choice for people to breast feed in public, and how people react to it is also an individual choice. It just is.

Before you go, let me tell you a breastfeeding in "public" story.  My Tahlia was three months old and at daycare.  The centre was next to my place of work so I would go across at lunch times and breast feed. One day I was sitting there with my baby in my arms, boob out, in the comfort of an arm chair in the baby room.  One of the dads walked in to hang out with his son during his lunch break.  He ambled up to the chair next to me and sat down.  He started to chat about the babies, the centre, and asked me how my day was. He clearly felt very comfortable in my breastfeeding presence. He then asked me what time most parents picked up their kids. I said I didn't know.  He looked at me strangely. He asked me what the babies were having for lunch. I said "well, this one's having milk".  He looked at Tahlia and nodded. Did I tell you my boob was hanging out? Then he said "how much do you get paid to work here?"  I said I didn't work here. He said "oh, I thought you worked here".  I said no, I was this baby's mum. "Oh, you're the mum?" he said. Did he not see my boob? What sort of service did he think I was providing?

 Is it actually possible that many people don't notice a breastfeeding mum in the first place and it's only a small percentage that have even made this "debate" possible?

I wonder ...


  1. that is brilliant! Can you imagine the debate over wet nurses we could have!!

  2. This is one of those stories that pops up (out?) over and over isn't it? I'm not a fan of Kochie anyway, but he seems to be just loving all this! He's never had such fun! Meanwhile the debate has degenerated and gone off into all kinds of sidelines about someone or other's 'rights' that have not that much to do with breastfeeding. People just love a chance to be outraged I think :)

  3. Really appreciate your insights on breastfediding, Leanne. As a new mum, you inspire and jolly me along.

    SSG xxx

  4. Hilarious! Perhaps I could start charging people as a wet nurse, I've never thought of that as a sideline before!!
    I never watch Kochie and think he just likes to stir us all up, but I couldn't let this one slide. I was an outraged punter! Mostly I ignore him but I feel like anti woman stuff is a bit out of control at the moment.

  5. Hilarious! Perhaps I could charge for wet nurse services, that's a sideline I never thought if before!!
    I was an outraged punter re:Kochie. I mostly ignore him but I think anti woman sentiment is out of control at the moment and couldn't not say something. For what It's worth.

  6. OMG what a crack up! Could you imagine a daycare centre providing a breast feeder for parents who wanted it!? hahahaha! I'm a bit like you - don't care what others do, I always covered up, or even sat in the car sometimes, not because I was ashamed of breast feeding, or because I thought others would be offended by the sight, but simply because I didn't like to have them on display! Feeding was hard for me the first few months, so I was much more comfortable out of the public eye! But I agree, each to their own, and mums should be able to feed where, when and how they like without obnoxious comments from self-important "celebrities". I was more offended by him saying it's ok to sunbathe topless - so boobs on display for a good perv are fine, but boobs FEEDING A BABY is offensive!?!?!?

  7. That's a refreshing tale! I am a comfortable feeder in public, but the thing that struck me about this debate was that women so easily feel uncomfortable and self-conscious about their bodies and offending people, that it doesn't take much to make it harder for people to breastfeed in public.
    The majority of women stop breastfeeding before the recommended time because they report feeling embarrassed to breastfeed publicly.
    I wrote about it too on Mumgo this week.
    Good post! x

  8. Yep, yep, yep, that's why I think the whole thing is ridiculous, and why I will admit it pisses me off that people make generalisations about breastfeeding women in public not being discrete...because 99% of the time people don't even notice that is what you are doing! Especially these days with the awesome breastfeeding tops and dresses you can get, I've had so many people sit down and chat to me and not even realise what I was doing!

  9. That is so funny - laughing out loud here. I am desperate to know did he simply not notice, or did he really think a lactating day carer was on lunch duty!

  10. I bet that dad just wanted to curl up and die after that, very funny story. You know I'm with you, I don't care what those annoying TV hosts say, it doesn't impact on me. I didn't get the girls out too much when I BFing, but know plenty who did, it's their choice, just like it's someone choice to bottle fed, give a kid a dummy and let them eat Maccas :)

  11. Wet nurse daycare. Patent that now.

  12. I feel the same, I am not overly opinionated on the subject, but am very pro breast feeding of course. (having fed 4 babies almost up to 2 each time).

    I never bothered covering with a blanket, I always wore tops that I just lifted up rather then exposing bare flesh.

  13. Hi there, like Sophie, I popped the kids under my shirt... I liked to be discreet but wasn't too worried about all that. Kochie's created a storm in a teacup cos really breastfeeding in public is so NOT an issue at all.

    Mind you, I did the twins' tandem feeding at home, that'd never have worked in public!!

  14. Haha! What a funny story. What was that guy thinking???? LOL The Kochie thing annoyed the crap put of me as it's taken a lot of women alot of years to get some respect re: breastfeeding in public. My really good childhood friend (and now, neighbour) was at that nurse-in with her 2 year old daughter. she got all the close ups from the camera men. Very cool!

  15. How does this keep becoming an issue?

    Breastfeeding is natural. If you have to feed in public, go ahead no biggie, it is also no biggie to make some attempt to discreetly cover up. Personally I don't care.

    Hell, if you absolutely have to pee, it is natural...go ahead...but if it is possible why not duck behind a tree?

    I know not the same...but similar.

  16. Oh I'm having a giggle at that Dad - what a great childcare centre that must me lol!!! Great post, Leanne! x

  17. Kochie doesn't deserve an ounce of my attention or anger. Have always thought he was a moron.
    I think breastfeeding isn't an issue until everyone starts making it one.
    I've done the whole tandem breastfeeding twins thing in a middle of a room of people at a first aid seminar. No one thought it was disgusting. Everyone was amazed and actually told me how admirable it was. I was just feeding my babies.


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