Why Nursing In Public Should Be No Big Deal

The media has been buzzing with the words of breastfeeding mom, Conner Kendall, over the last few weeks.

Conner was photographed breastfeeding her baby by a stranger who later attempted to shame her on social media.  Conner’s response is nothing short of epic and has been shared over 90,000 so far; testament to the fact that the number of people supporting and accepting public breastfeeding is slowly but surely climbing.

However, why should this mother have to defend her choice to nurture and feed her own child?  Why are breastfeeding selfies front-page news?  Why is there any debate at all about whether we should breastfeed our children in public?

Breastfeeding is the natural way to feed a human child.  We are mammals…we make milk…I’m truly struggling to understand the supposed shock-factor here?

So I will continue this mission: this mission to normalize breastfeeding.  A mission to encourage mothers to trust their bodies and trust their babies.  A mission to empower women to feed their hungry children wherever they happen to be…as is our legal right.

And I am not alone.

Every mother who nurses her child in public is sending a very clear message: My Child First.

My child before your judgment.

My child before your ignorance.

My child before your discomfort.

Because your judgment, your ignorance and your discomfort are truly none of my business.  They are quite simply, not my problem.

And perhaps the mom nursing in public isn’t trying to send a message; perhaps she is totally oblivious to the ‘statement’ that she happens to be making.  To be honest, it is nothing but disgraceful that nourishing our children would ever be considered a ‘statement’, yet this is the world we find ourselves in.

So we feed on.

And as we nurse, we breathe confidence into the mother too afraid to lift her shirt.

And as we talk about breastfeeding, as the dialogue flows, we spread knowledge about basic human biology and simple legal rights.

And as we share our pictures, in celebration and in pride, we take another step forwards...another step towards normalizing breastfeeding.

Feeding our babies should not be shocking.

Comforting our children should not be a statement.

Using our bodies as nature intended should not be front-page news.

Let's nurse until they are bored of watching...let's breastfeed until no more heads turn or faces flush.  Let's normalize it together, as we nourish our children.

So I bring to you a glimpse of real-life nursing in real-life (public) places.  I bring just a few pictures, from many hundreds sent to me to share, of real moms and real babies and real breastfeeding...from the beanbag isle to public transport...Because I cannot stress this enough: the more we see breastfeeding, the more normalized it will become.

 Thank you to Amanda, Ishi, Devin, Serena and Yasmin for allowing me to feature your pictures in this piece.  For more photos in celebration of breastfeeding and motherhood, join the Mama Bean village on Facebook!

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