Mama in the City

A blog about raising my family in downtown Vancouver

Nothing irritates me more than reading newspaper articles that talk about a mother being shamed for breastfeeding in public. North America is so backwards about nursing babies in public and it makes me cringe. I found this article in our local Vancouver newspaper and I had to roll my eyes. Seriously! Are we really having this problem still because I can't believe it. I guess that I have been fortunate that all of the hundreds of times I have breastfed in public no one has ever glared at me. The newspaper article was fine but it was the comments that really made me fired up! I absolutely despise people comparing breasteeding in public to them taking a crap in public or having oral sex in public and on and on. It is 100% legal to breastfeed in public. 100%. I can't say the same thing about oral sex in public though.

Today I breastfed Ben on the beach in public and I saw more bouncing boobs in bikini tops than people saw of my own boobs. I saw more rotund male boobs with big areolas parading around than anyone saw of my own areolas. North America, get with the times! Breastfeeding in public should be the norm and really not create this kind of controversy.

Click HERE to read the original article.

Click HERE to see some massive bikini boobs that people are probably more okay with seeing in public.

The comment section is working but the counter is not working on the front page! So, post your comments! I am reading each one :)


Mrs. Georgina Wickham said...

Okay. You are beyond cool and need to be giving your thoughts more often. I never breastfed my babies for personal reasons but i agree with your thoughts on teh matter. I think people have a hard time seperating the orgasmic sexy breast to a nursing functionally nutritious boob. So, it makes them feel funny and worried so they just oppose it.

Go Mama in the City! Keep on nursing your baby. he looks healthy and beautiful and so do you.

- Georgina Wickham

July 18, 2009 at 5:10 PM  
Guest said...

Good post here. I clicked on the bikini shot you posted and had a chuckle. Good comparison on that one. Keep your breastfeeding posts because I think it will help break down barriers one at a time. Breastfeeding is tricky and only made harder with other peoples judgements about it.

Sincerely, Linda

July 18, 2009 at 5:14 PM  
Auntie Glyn said...

Great post, sis!

So bizzare how our North American culture is ashamed of breast feeding... so infuriating how it is compared to sex or defecation. Those readers comments on the Province got me fired up too, sister! Heaven forbid you or your child sees a woman using her breast for it's intended purpose... they might get the idea that they are not simply sexual objects (gasp!).

July 18, 2009 at 5:22 PM  
Guest said...


I have never really noticed people nursing in public probably because mothers are quite modest and discrete when they do it. I think that people just envision a big breast flashed out for the world to see as they zoom their areola around trying to get it into the babes mouth. I agree with Georgina that people must be getting mixed signals about sexy breasts and functional nursing breasts. So, they just sort of don't know what to do and feel offended instead.

Today I saw a dog take a big crap outside. I wasn't offended.

July 18, 2009 at 5:33 PM  
Mama in the City said...

Keep the comments flowing. I like to hear from all of you. Even if you have a different opinion than mine!

July 18, 2009 at 6:38 PM  
Mama in the City said...

Keep the comments flowing. I like to hear from all of you. Even if you have a different opinion than mine!

July 18, 2009 at 6:38 PM  
Angella said...

This is what I think. Breastfeed in public. Be discrete. Don't mock people for their choice either way. Utilize the parent/nursing room when possible. Understand that some people are always going to be dicks about this subject.

July 18, 2009 at 8:01 PM  
mama duck said...

Andrea, you got me so fired up (for the third time today) about breastfeeding in public. I love that you use the word areolae without hesitation. I truly believe intolerance starts very early in life where saying words like vagina and penis and breasts and areolae and nipples are taboo and wrong and uncomfortable. Instead, we (not me) use words like who-who, wee wee, pee pee (and so on) which instantly take out the humanness of the word and replaces it with some silly meaning to reduce that discomfort we feel when we hear the real word. I am damn proud that my 3 and 5 year old boys use the anatomical words and not the silly words (and it is not just because I am a nurse). And I am glad they are old enough that they will remember me nursing so when they are older there is no confusion, no discomfort, no intolerance. It is what it is. Just like breast are breasts and penis' are penis'!!! Just today, Thomas noticed a mole on my abdomen "I am just feeling your nipple, mom!" Ok, so there is work to be done on differentiating a nipple from a mole that is not flat!!! He also asked me why my neice Lilah has a squishy penis. No silliness, just it is what it is. Let's get our little people informed and aware so when they are adults, they are not ignorant! Let's help our little people to learn to celebrate mommys and the hard work that they do. (I think I hear an orchestra starting up in the background!!!) You go, Andrea! I love your blog. Gets me all riled up all the time. I kinda got off track a bit, but all in the same vein... you get it, right!?! Love Erin

July 19, 2009 at 12:41 AM  
Guest said...

Well, I did read the comments that people posted on The Province website with the nursing article and think the negative comments are either people who are not parents and have no experiencing around babies OR they are old people and a different generation.

Agad! Did someone really compare nursing (Feeding!) to pooping and peeing? Oh dear. Well, you don't shit where you eat but you do eat where you live!


July 19, 2009 at 9:19 AM  
Momof2 said...

I am curious about the female Walmart employee who actually started all this. Was she thinking that she was doing a good deed for her employer by telling the mother to move OR was she personally offended? I think that she is probably a bit embarrassed by all this now. Don't you think? Anyways, Mama in the City you have provided a good opportunity for people to see that this is ridiculous. Also, there needs to be more role models on positive breastfeeding and I think you are doing that. Speaking up and speaking out. Keep making difference.

July 19, 2009 at 11:31 AM  
Kristen said...

Good on you Andrea! I nursed both my boys (in public) and am happy to say that I felt entirely comfortable (once I learned to do it with ease). My favorite places to nurse included at Chapters (great if you have a toddler and are nursing an infant - the toddler can play at the Thomas table) and in the public libraries (ours have nursing friendly signs in them). I've nursed in restaurants, on the side of hiking trails, on the beach, on mall benches, in grocery store seating areas...pretty much anywhere I could get comfy and sit for a while. I'm fortunate not to have had negative remarks, and am always amazed when I read stories like this. My oldest child nursed frequently and for a long time. If I had to hide out whenever he wanted to eat, I never would have left home!

July 20, 2009 at 10:41 AM  
Momof2 said...

TO Mama Duck, I had a good chuckle about the squishy penis. Funny!

July 20, 2009 at 1:10 PM  
Mama in the City said...

Thanks for the comment Kristen. I too nursed in the kids book section of Chapters. It is a good spot!

July 21, 2009 at 9:23 AM  

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