The Day My Breastfeeding Boobs Started a Facebook War
At the start of the teeball season this year I wrote about the different types of sports parents that are on our team. What I didn't imagine is that I would add "the mom that is offended when another mom breastfed her child in the dugout" to the list. Just hours after our first playoff game, I received a text message from a friend of mine, who is Facebook friends with said mom. I am almost certain this mom has no idea that she shares a mutual friend with me. My friend knows me all too well and knew immediately this post was directly about me.
Teeball mom: Correct me if I am wrong. I don't mind anyone breastfeeding in public but in the dug out at a kids tball game with 9 kids that are not your own. I don't agree with.
How is this wrong? I shouldn't have to defend my presence in the dug out, as a multitasking nursing mom, who was feeding my hungry child. My very existence in the dugout on that particular night stopped a team member from unintentionally swinging a bat at another child's head, while they were pretending to play putt-putt. This behavior was far more inappropriate than me breastfeeding my child. There was so little skin showing that you would have to be staring hard to even realize I was nursing. When I nurse in public at an event such as teeball, I pull up my tee-shirt enough to get Ryker latched and then pull it back down to his face. My chest is not exposed in any way.
Facebook friend of tball mom: To each their own. It think it's sad that people aren't comfortable with their kids (no matter what their age) being exposed in a normal way of feeding a baby. It shouldn't be something that their parents chose to tell them. It should be a normal thing they see and don't bat an eye to! Our society has a long way to go. Think about this--if your son was hungry, is the dugout an appropriate place for HIM to eat? Why should a baby be any different? The way I see it, if you don't like it (which again is sad), you don't have to look.
Sad is right! I feel sad for this mom, who feels uncomfortable about another mother nursing her baby in public. I feel disgust about her opinion about the situation.
Tball mom: I mean I agree I don't say no to feed the baby, of course you should. But there is a dug out with 10 staring kids, 9 minus your child, who is familiar and an open bleacher. So in this situation it was not the only option.
Facebook friend of tball mom #2: You are 110% correct. As a parent it should be up to you to decide when you introduce facts of life to your child. No one should make that decision for you.
Facebook friend of tball mom #3: COVER UP...that's it and that's all. Have respect! You may not be able to at the time however once the child can latch on then you can. Oh yeah, pump the milk and bottle it.
1. The 9 other children were NOT staring at me. Most of them were participating in some pretty involved dirt digging. The others were running around. NONE of them were even sitting on the dugout bleacher.
2. My decision to nurse my child is not based on the birds and the bees. I promise you, you will not have to discuss the facts of life with your son, because he saw a mom feeding her baby. If you feel uncomfortable telling him about how some babies are fed, then that's your issue not mine.
3. Would you want to put a cover over your head when it's 85 degrees out and then eat that way?
4. Let me know how you might feel about me pumping in the dugout and then feeding my child with a bottle. I know you didn't intend for the comment to read that way, but really? I work all day long, pumping three times a day while at work. The last thing I want to do is pump when I get home, so I can feed my child a bottle, because it offends you. Get over yourself!
These idiotic comments and opinions contribute to societies ideas that breastfeeding in public is wrong. These comments make it so much harder for mom's to breastfeed in public. The even more shocking part of the even more shocking part of the story is that the teeball mom breastfed her son when he was a baby.
Facebook friend to tball mom #1: Don't you want your so to know what breasts are REALLY for? #normalizebreastfeeding
Tball mom: I just wouldn't do it on the bench with 10 children who may or may not be exposed to it. I respect her because I gave up when he was 3 months old. Not saying go to the car or even cover up but that's not what the dug out is for in my opinion.
When are we going to support each other on this journey in motherhood? Isn't it hard enough, without tearing each other down for our decisions? This entire conversation reminded me of all the times I was sent away to feed my baby in a more private place. When I was breastfeeding Noah, I was told at a hockey game that I could not feed my baby in the lounge but instead needed to move to the first aid station. Just weeks after that, a store clerk at a large retail chain told me that I could not breastfeed my baby in the dressing room, because "they are only for shoppers who are trying on clothes" (you better believe I grabbed a shirt and headed right back into that dressing room!). Then there are the countless stares and heavy sighs that I have witnessed, while nursing my hungry child.
Isn't it about time we start accepting the idea that babies are born to breastfeed and a mother has every right to sit where ever she feels like to do so?
If you are a nursing mom, what is the most ridiculous comment that has been directed your way about breastfeeding in public?