Breastfeeding is not a Crime. {17 Images}

Via on Aug 14, 2010
YouTube Preview Image

A better video, via someone who read this blog via twitter.

Recently, we posted a blog rather casually about a celebrity touting breastfeeding and being criticized for doing so in a too-strong, too-simple fashion.

We were (in our bachelor’s ignorance) surprised to learn about how breastfeeding is, as an act, so beset upon that it requires ads and commercials reminding new mothers that breastfeeding is a good thing to do (of course, we’ve also learned that some mothers prefer not to, and are as said celebrity said, understand there are various circumstances and are not here to judge things we know too little about).

We’re here to celebrate mothers, and those little babies that open our hearts just by letting us look at ‘em.

[galleria]

So here’s a few images, and one rather silly and one sweet video, in support of that most profoundly nurturing acts known to man (and animal).

About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive. Questions? info elephantjournal com

4,566 views

Appreciate this article? Support indie media!

(We use super-secure PayPal - but don't worry - you don't need an account with PayPal.)

22 Responses to “Breastfeeding is not a Crime. {17 Images}”

  1. JenniferKH says:

    Like most things in life that are worthwhile, breastfeeding is not at all easy but so rewarding for both the baby and the mother. I nursed both of my children, my second for 27 months. I can't tell you how many times people tried to make me feel inadequate, inappropriate, and uncomfortable when I nursed in public. It would be nice if society viewed it as the beautiful gift and bonding experience that it is… but until then, moms need to stay strong to their convictions regardless of all the nasty looks and mean comments. Thanks for posting this!

    • Ben Ralston Ben_Ralston says:

      My wife and I expect our first child in November. We plan a home birth. People who find it uncomfortable, or think that it's inappropriate to breastfeed are so on a different wavelength to me that they may as well be from a different planet. I just don't get it.
      How can feeding a child in the way that nature intended be wrong?! How?
      "It would be nice if society viewed it as the beautiful gift and bonding experience that it is" Exactly. It would be more than nice. It would change society, and humankind as we know it. Until that day comes…
      With love,
      Ben

  2. elephant journal elephantjournal says:

    via http://www.facebook.com/elephantjournal

    #
    Rhonda Newcombe and 20 others like this.
    #

    *
    Michael Myers OK, sometimes there is a moment when you vasculate about looking. I find the best method is to wait till the nipple is in the infants mouth, then all sense of social propriety has been fulfiled. The other one that is also strange, is some people do not like to eat in public ! I can understand it, that if your like me you go around with food on nose.

    *
    Michael Myers At what age of the child would you feel uncomfortable with the mother still breast feeding, I saw an article about a 14 year old who is still being breast fed, some folks feel that even 4 is too old and that there must be something wrong !

    *
    Ellie Ciera
    if you're in a setting where generally people aren't mature enough to handle breast feeding, i think it's kind of a bad idea. like once when i was eight i saw a lady doing it in the window of a toy store for everyone who passed by to see. o…bviously i wasn't mature enough to deal with it, and i pointed and laughed.
    but if you're NOT in a window around a ton of children, i don't think it's a problem at all. then again i would never breastfeed. once something tears away at my loins i'm keeping the advantage of swollen boobs.

    *
    Ellie Ciera saying it is OFFENSIVE is taking it kind of far, though. i can't imagine that.

    *
    Karen Hanegan
    I also find this whole debate ridiculous. What could be more natural? I think it is a cultural carry-over from something like the Victorian age when it was improper for women to display so much as a foot, and some people went to the extent …of covering up the legs of their tables and other furniture!
    There is a "cover-up" sort of like a huge bib breast-feeding mothers can use when out in public so as to not "offend" those with such delicate sensitivities.See More

    *
    Todd Baxter This always boggles my mind. We can have so much violence on TV and no one blinks an eye, but show a boob and everyone goes nuts. And come on breast feeding? That is so natural and the way nature intended things. Yes in public I think you should be respectful and cover the infant with a blanket, but if the kids is hungry he needs to be feed and the anti-bodies and such in breast milk is way better that anything else.

    *
    Scott Newsom Well, there are a lot of people out there who think humans are different than mammals, and in fact not a part of the animal kingdom at all. There is nothing like giving birth and breast feading to remind us that we are really no different with regard to biological origins than any other life forms on the planet. So, no, the Earth isn't the center of the Universe, the world isn't flat and people really are plain ol mammals. Mammary glands are part of that package. Get over it.

    *
    Missy Tomlinson Petschel
    Todd, I'm glad you are pro-breastfeeding but covering a baby with a blanket is not respectful to the baby!!!

    Nursing is all about what the *baby* needs (and what the mom requires in order to meet those needs), not what the random person o…n the street needs from the nursing mother. Nursing covers, blankets and 'hooter hiders' do not work for every baby. Some babies will simply snatch that cover thing to the side so he/she can see the world. For me, they've never been anything but another piece of junk to carry around and should be used ONLY if the mother

    I really wish our society would bend a little to cater to a mother's desire to feed her baby with the best possible food. Let's hold her up and honor her, not make her hide or feel ashamed. Breasts are lovely. If you happen to see one being used for it's intended purpose, well, blessings upon you! See More

    *
    Missy Tomlinson Petschel should read "only if the mother wants to". Sorry, nursing at keyboard. ;)

    • Rebecca says:

      I lived in the south when I had my first daughter. People asked me to cover up. I refused. It was too hot to nurse under a blanket! Too hot for baby and too hot for me.

      As a mother of two beautiful girls, I have made it a point to share with them the beauty of breastfeeding and how it is how they were fed. To say that one shouldn't do it in front of children is ignorant in my opinion. It is up to parents to educate children, not hide from them. The breasts were intended for this purpose. Sexy purposes are secondary. There is nothing to be ashamed about. It is the most beautiful thing in the world to see a mother nurse a child.

  3. elephant journal elephantjournal says:

    *
    elephantjournal.com Yes, it's the most natural thing in the world – that's my point. My wife is due in November: woe betide anyone who so much as gives her a dirty look when she's breast feeding: wherever we are! via Ben Ralston

    *
    Tara Petty Powers ‎@ Ellie, if ya don't use 'em they don't stay full ; )

    *
    Tara Petty Powers ‎@ Missy this is my kids (thus far) pulling at any "curtain" I'd try to use… I pride myself on being pretty discreet, though I'm sure some would disagree, ya know what I say to them??? look away… MOST people won't say anything to you … much help to the first person who gives me a hard time!

    *
    Michael Sykes
    as a father, having been blessed by living all over the world, i just do not get what this argument is about. When my adult children were infants they were breastfed, where ever and when ever they were hungry. Maybe because I was usually wi…th them and their mother, am a 6'2" ex spcl forces marine contributed to her never having been criticized, but I just fail to see peoples objections. To those who do object – get a life, travel somewhere, worry about why they are not bothered by interfering with Nature and people they don't know. Peace and Light

    *
    Ann Bibby
    I nursed my daughter until she was about four and a half. I had only one creepy encounter out in public (a man followed me around the mall and when I would sit to nurse would try to spy – I left.)

    But I found it was my family – the inlaws in… particular who were the keenest to get me to wean K. Her dad's family was conservative christian and just found the whole thing immodest and best to be done with as soon as possible. NO support at all for extended bf'ng. My dad was indifferent but my mom and sisters nagged me constantly.

    K's daycare and her PedDR were awesome supports though.

    The whole sexualization of anything female is beyond annoying.I am more than a uterus and a vagina with breasts on top and other people need to mind their own business (and give up yakking on their phones in public, which can be way more offensive – thank god for the text message.)See More

    *
    Kat Tat I breastfed both of mi kids!

    *
    Linda Petersen I can't imagine NOT nursing my three kids, now 31, 25 and 8. And yes, in the 80s it was frowned upon. Didn't stop me. 8 years ago it wasn't such a big deal.

  4. Shannon says:

    Sadly, it comes down to a contradiction. It's nature vs. nurture on the deepest of levels. Our instincts tell us that it is perfectly normal and healthy. The morals that society teaches us tell us that it is wrong. Logically, this has nothing to do with sex, but somewhere in our youth, we are taught that breasts are always related to it. Maybe it's that old Catholic nugget that women should not tempt men. The solution is to stop letting society tell you what your morals should be. Decide for yourself and teach your children to make up their own minds as well. Personal ethics and freedom are exactly that, personal.

  5. Leslie says:

    I would love to see a daycare that employs wetnurses to feed the infants left without mothers' breast!

  6. Luna says:

    Actually, as a mother who was unable to breastfeed my child for long but went to great lengths to do so at all, I find inclusion of the first video rather offensive. To suggest that any mother who does not breastfeed — even one who acknowledges the benefits and worked hard at it — is recklessly subjecting her child to risk of harm is just wrong on several levels. First of all, the analogy of risk from riding a bucking bronco might be more appropriate for an expectant woman who drinks or takes drugs during pregnancy, not one who chooses or is forced to rely on infant formula to sustain her baby. Second, many women who are unable to breastfeed already suffer from enough feelings of inadequacy and personal failure. They hardly need societal scorn on top of that.

    I'm all for educating women and families about the benefits of breastfeeding, but fear and blame are totally inappropriate.

    • ARCreated says:

      Here! Here! My daughter in law has suffered a lot because of this. I myself was only able to nurse my twins for three months (I was starting to hallucinate from lack of sleep and the supply was hard to manage) that was 21 years ago and I was heartbroken and felt like a bad mom because of it…I am sooo glad I bf'ed as long as I did, but we cannot judge either way. I have seen some breast feeding activists be very hard on my daughter in law and she tried soooo hard to keep feeding him and even pumped for awhile, in the end she had to go the formula route.

      • ARCreated says:

        ON the other hand I have an great friend who has bf'ed her boys until 3 years of age…I applaud her dedication. with my youngest we did the first year…that was long enough for MOM…time to go back to work and sleep became an issue (I had 5 year old twins at home after all) sometimes I have to admit I'm a littlle taken aback by the children over 2 breast feeding…seems to me at three they are really expressing independance so i am curious how that is affected by the breast feeding. My kids seemed so cognitive at the age—I'm personally not sure I would want my sons to remember suckling…is that society talking??? not sure. But regardless, don't judge…turn your head… be respectful (both sides) and really it should be a non-issue.

  7. Melanie Klein Melanie says:

    A great book is Marilyn Yalom's "A History of the Breast." I recently featured a similar story: http://www.feministfatale.com/2010/06/breastfeedi

  8. waxbear says:

    and thank you google for popping up the "Laptops for families" ad in the video.

  9. catlyn777 says:

    By far, most women with support and education are able to successfully breastfeed. I breastfed all of my children. An excellent resource is a book called "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding". And, for more education and support please contact the La Lache League. When women are unsuccessful, too often it is because of doing certain things that inhibit their natural ability to breastfeed. And, they do encounter so much pressure to give up. There is definitely some sacrifice involved, but parents who are committed usually can and do find the support and education that they need to hang in there. It is so tempting to succumb to the bottle, and yes, you will at times feel exhausted and frustrated, but first, please do educate yourselves, and seek out support! Best wishes to all you soon-to-be mommies and daddies!

  10. koshinzen says:

    Thanks, beautiful, with 11 grand kids, five adult kids, I know the value for our family and the world of Breastfeeding, thanks

  11. elephantjournal says:

    Gabrielle Anthony sooo controversial, I read the comments, I believe breastfeeding is beautiful amazing and important I just also believe that in public, on a subway, at a mall food court, or on the bus it's always better to cover up while breastfeeding. I know I will.

    Emily Hargreaves If breastfeeding is not obscene, why is this post labeled "adult"? I know, you can't win for losing,but images like this will only become accepted if they are treated normally.

    As a breastfeeding mom of a toddler, I have flashed a room full of women (thank God it was at a La Leche Conference, so it wasn't embarrasing), and have had all kinds of looks and conversations.

    As a newish mom (my baby was 6-9 months old) I needed to nurse in a women's clothing store. I decided to sit in the lingerie aisle, because I figured, if a man was wandering that way, he got what he deserved LOL. A little girl and her mom came up to me. The little girl (maybe 4 or 5) asked what I was doing. I explained it to her, but obviously not to her satisfaction, because later she came up to me (now standing in line, and no longer nursing) and said, "I know what you were doing! You were feeding him, with THOSE!!" And she put her finger right on my boob LOL.

    I hope that little girl remembers our conversation, or at least that breastfeeding is an acceptable way to nourish children.

    Jay Winston Well, of course it's not obscene if you're breastfeeding baby Jesus…

    elephantjournal.com Emily, because readers have (understandably) complained about lack of warning of (adult) images. The irony is delicious! ~ Waylon

  12. Omshantimama says:

    They are mammaries! It's their job.

  13. In many states, the right to breastfeed in public is now protected. I breastfed the kids everywhere we went. (I even remember breastfeeding Caroline at The Kitchen in Boulder…great meals all around;) My bathing suit shows more of my breasts than showed when I was nursing them! So silly…

  14. [...] (Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise). [...]

  15. elephant journal elephantjournal says:

    Why do people object? I don't get it. I know in some parts it's actually illegal–that groups of moms and other citizens have to work to make it legal?

  16. Lisa says:

    I really think its mass media. I don't have cable, but when I go to my parents or brothers house and turn on the television to see whats happening these days, what I see always shocks me. I've gotten comments from my own family members about my breastfeeding in front of them, in my own house (!), being inappropriate and inconsiderate, yet I watch MTV for five minutes and can hardly make eye contact with anyone else in the room, while they think its totally normal. The media has normalized using our beautiful bodies and breasts as vehicles to make $$$, rather than vehicles to make life. For shame.

  17. Lisa says:

    And @Jenifer HK good job sticking your ground and staying true to your intuition rather than all that B.S.! Sounds like you need a new Dr.!

Leave a Reply