Every so often, a horrible NIP story catches the attention of the media. Breastfeeding mothers get thrown out of restaurants, off busses, get shunned or called names. These stories are generally widely shared over the web among young mothers and generate heated debates among their readers about the ‘appropriateness’ of breastfeeding. They often end up inciting mothers to tell their own scare stories.
But what effect do these stories have?
Do they scare women out of breastfeeding in public? Do they make us think twice before we bring our baby to the boob? Aren’t they doing us more harm than good?
Having heard so many of these stories makes one wary of other people’s opinions. Makes us look around before we nurse our child and makes us fear the public opinion or face it with a defensive attitude.
|Image: blmurch on Flickr|
Aren’t these stories just creating collective fear about nursing in pubic?
Yes, there are people who behave negatively around breastfeeding mothers. Yes, these stories are true. Yes, almost every nursing mother can tell you of a negative experience while NIP.
But there are also the good moments. The stranger who passes by and smiles. The store manager who offers you a drink. The woman who walks up to you and tells you how great it is that you are nursing a toddler.
We don’t talk of these because we live in a culture of fear and negativity. Positive things don’t make the news. But they’re just as important. They do happen.
The thought of Nursing In Public shouldn’t instill fear. We shouldn’t be worried about people’s looks. We should only encourage each other to do so. Nursing in Public isn’t about public opinion, it’s about feeding your child, so don’t think twice.
And to my fellow bloggers: yes, we must react to negative attitudes towards breastfeeding, but please, give us the positive stories every once in a while too. Encourage mothers to NIP instead of scaring them out of it.
Have you had a positive NIP experience? Feel free to send your story to me: mamapoekie at yahoo dot com