In honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month, let’s all whip our tits out

by renegademama

So today is the first day of “Breastfeeding Awareness Month.”

As I was thinking about that, I started thinking that there’s a time to be reasonable and thoughtful and understanding. There’s a time for conversation and negotiation and peaceful discussion.

There’s a time to talk about things like adults, listen intently to both sides, sit across from one another to calmly discuss viewpoints.

But there’s also a time to whip your fucking tits out and talk about it later.

Or never.

Ladies and gentleman, we have blown past the moment of discussion. We have no choice but to move into full frontal nudity.

Oh wait that’s right. Breastfeeding isn’t full frontal nudity. So maybe that’s not the best approach.

Whatever. You know when I nurse my babies I generally go in from the top. And if my breast flesh offends you, well then sweetheart, you are my reason for doing it again and again and again and again until eventually, maybe after the millionth time you and your kind have seen it, it won’t quite shock you anymore.

Yeah, I’m talking to you, people who think women shouldn’t breastfeed in public.

I’m talking to you, people who think women should use a cover.

But I’m tired of discussing. I’m tired of the back-and-forth convos with misogynistic douchebags with their heads shoved so far up their asses they can’t tell the difference between breastmilk and whiskey.

So anyway, during the month of August, donned Breastfeeding Awareness Month by the U.S. Health & Human services, we’re supposed to “raise awareness” of the benefits of breastfeeding to increase breastfeeding rates and help Americans becomes more accepting of breastfeeding women.

But as far as I can tell, most people agree that “breast is best.” Or maybe it’s not “best” for everybody, but most people can agree that it’s damn good. It’s where that breast can occur that’s still, somehow, up for debate, and that is where the “awareness” needs to rise. The “awareness” of why women should be able to breastfeed in public wherever, however and whenever they damn well please is “the question.”

But really, the only people who need their awareness raised need their intelligence raised.

Logic, people. Give it a shot:

You say it’s about “modesty” and “self-respect.” LIES, motherfucker, LIES.

If that were true you’d be losing your shit over the thousands of scantily clad sex objects plastered all over television and magazines. And yet, you are oddly quiet on the subject.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME SOME WOMAN WAS THROWN OUT OF A RESTAURANT FOR WEARING A SHIRT TOO LOW?

Or those shorts that allow butt cheeks to peek out the bottom?

So your argument is false. It is not that you have a problem with breasts being exposed. Rather, you have a problem with breasts being exposed for a purpose other than the sexual satisfaction of men. If you would just THINK for like two seconds you’d see that nobody loses their shit over the widespread use of women’s bodies as pieces of meat for the consumption of men. It is only when that body becomes the woman’s and her baby’s, ALONE, that she somehow becomes “offensive.”

What’s offensive is not the breasts being exposed, it’s the breasts being exposed for a purpose other than the enjoyment of the patriarchy.

It’s the BIOLOGY of it that kills you.

It’s the primal femininity of it.

It’s that the breast becomes a vehicle for child’s nutrition as opposed to patriarchal pleasure, and this violates the misogynistic social contract you’ve signed. Yeah, you know, the one women have been battling against for 150 years?

Yeah that one.

I’m talking to you, women on BabyCenter and reddit and wherever your breed of idiot hangs out, ranting about women nursing in public and how they’re “disgusting” and “immodest” and “making a production.” (Well, you are right. Some of us are in fact “making a production,” but most American women are just nursing because their kid needs to, um, nurse.)

Do you know you’re spewing the ancient Puritanical crap you’ve been fed by a twisted society? You think you’re thinking for yourself, but you’re not. You are merely regurgitating the messages you’ve been fed, like a brain-dead sheep, programmed to see yourself and all women through the eyes of a society that commodifies them and their bodies.

You say it’s a “private act” like using the bathroom. Really, that’s weird. I’m 99% sure neither urine nor shit have ever come out of my nipples.

And we are feeding babies. As in, food. Eating. Consumption. Is your lunch private? Is bottle-feeding private?

No. Well then, exactly.

You say it involves a breast and breasts are sexual, like the vagina or penis…and we sure don’t whip those fuckers out at random!

First of all, read the above regarding patriarchy and sex. Secondly, breasts are only “sexual” because our society has made them so. They should be treated like an elbow or a knee or a thigh. If YOU see them as something else, more power to you, but you can’t expect the rest of us to cater to your ignorance. Breasts are not actually attached to women solely to serve the erotic interests of men. Just like the vagina, they serve a biological purpose! It’s called “feed the offspring!”

 

Basically, though I’m clearly ranting (and damn does it feel good), I genuinely believe the only way to change this conversation  is to shove our boobs in the faces of these idiots so many times it becomes normal to them.

(I’m speaking metaphorically, people. If you actually shove your breast in the face of a stranger there’s a good chance you’ll get arrested. Or a marriage proposal. But probably arrested. Word to the wise, baby. You know I’m always lookin’ out for ya.)

Or, their kids at least. (Which reminds me of the weirdest argument of all: Kids shouldn’t see women nursing. Okay just take a moment and realize how insane that is. Kids shouldn’t “see” the way kids have been fed since the beginning of time.)

Maybe I sound crass, irrational. Out of control and unreasonable.

Yes, well. I am.

There is a point at which conversation dies and only action speaks. There is a time when you’ve just got to do the thing they’re telling you not to do.

I’m so tired of the women getting kicked out of pools and restaurants. I’m so tired of new mothers absolutely distraught because they can’t figure out how to avoid nursing in public. I’m sick of women feeling like they’re “exposing themselves” when their baby needs to nurse.

I’m sick of women nursing on toilets.

I’m sick of women having to THINK about NURSING at all.

I’m sick of women giving up breastfeeding entirely because it’s just too fucking hard to navigate never doing it in public.

I’m sick of society telling us we should breastfeed, but then adding the disclaimer “as long as we don’t have to see it.”

I’m sick of tits being paraded EVERY WHERE all the time in every corner of all media, but we’re shamed for nursing in public.

And my god, I’m sick of people telling us where and how and when we can nurse the babies we birthed, the ones we are working so hard to love and teach and hold, to grow into healthy strong capable human beings. We have a really hard, important job, and we don’t need MUST NOT SHOW NIPPLE EVER added to our list of responsibilities.

Get over yourself, America.

They’re boobs.

They feed babies.

You’re gonna pull through this one.

 

I’m not saying don’t use a cover. If you’re more comfortable doing that, then cool. What I’m saying is this: If you use a cover begrudgingly, knock that shit off.

Tell the world to go fuck itself. Learn your rights and stand up for them.

And I’m not breastfeeding any more, but if I were, you can think of me, sitting next to you, going in from the top and inviting the world to bite me. Ha. Nice pun.

And since my baby girl weaned herself at two (a year ago), I can only offer you these photos. Facebook likes to take photos like these down. So does Instagram. These photos will surely offend people: Look at that woman! Exposing herself like that! Disgusting! Immoral!

Immodest!

How dare she?

Does she have no self respect?

I THINK I SEE A MILLIMETER OF NIPPLE, people. NIPPLE.

Please, once you’ve stopped writing your angry comment, take a moment to kiss my giant, proud, once-milky breast.

Cheers!

Anyway, if you want, throw your nursing shots up on Instagram and tag it #renegadenursing. Then we can all join together as crazy nursing misfits.

Ha. Yes. So radical. Feeding our babies.

When will the insanity end?

breast6

the “toddler supposed to be nursing but not” photo!

breast3

Sometimes we nurse and mama’s kinda over it

breast8

From the top at home, from the top in public. Too bad I don’t have any of those shots.

breast2

oh lord, the chubby hand.

breastfeeding 1

boob as big as her head, that’s what I’m talking about

tell me this isn't heaven

tell me this isn’t heaven

2011-03-21 20.48.25

I miss it. I do.

 

OH, the gorgeous, blissful milky grin!

OH, the gorgeous, blissful milky grin!

photo (6)

these kids are clearly TRAUMATIZED!

Happy Breastfeeding Awareness Month, friends!

Now let’s piss some people off by feeding our babies!

Yay!

 

 

more stuff I shouldn't have said out loud:

  • Dorothea

    you’re beautiful, your babies are beautiful.

  • Catherine

    Yay, thank you for this! My nursing days are over, too, but I’ll always treasure them. I tandem nursed my children (secretly, in the privacy of my home, with the blinds shut), and it was wonderful. I just couldn’t talk about it with people, because they thought I was crazy. 😛

  • Cougars With Kittens

    BLESS YOU for writing this!!!! Awesome!

  • Louise Allan

    Those photos made me miss it, too!

  • Crystal

    Absolutely fucking amazing article! This made my day, maybe week!!!!

  • Jugger

    Dear Lord that little one is cute.

  • Tanya

    YOU MADE MY DAY!! I loved it!

  • Carly

    Nine months in and I’ve done it once in public – nursing that is! It was a miserable affair for all involved – with family at an indoor butterfly garden that was 85 degrees, no boppy, trying to cover my poor kid’s head with a sweater while a five year old boy stared at us. By the end, we were both crying and covered in sweat. I’m just starting to get enough sleep to get my feminist rant back on. Now I whip it out in the car and I feel okay about that because I want it quiet and comfortable for me AND my baby. Cheers to my local mall that has a “family lounge” with “breastfeeding stations” away from the hubbub. You’re absolutely right – I’m tired of thinking about it and negotiating how and where I’ll feed my child. Thanks for waking my brain up this morning!

    • Stephanie

      I remember being self conscious with my first child. I was always covered. Wouldn’t even nurse in front of family without my cover. With my 2nd, I’ve whipped it out everywhere. Zoo, park, many restaurants. It gets easier and you get more comfortable. I promise 🙂

      • Dawn

        I think it took a couple of times for my father in law to get used to seeing me nurse, and my mom-in-law wanted to cover me up in the mall with my first until I tore the blanket off and said “I can’t see and she isn’t latched. It is a boob. Everyone has them. Back off.” I never bothered covering up after that. It seemed silly.

  • Kateri Von Steal

    My son never took to nursing… and OH boy did I want him too… When he gave up at it, I pumped and pumped and pumped.. hoping and praying that he would just take it from the bottle…

    3 months… And then he just wasn’t getting enough… Doctor’s didn’t understand, I sure as hell didn’t either…

    So, we had to start formula… But, from what I was told the first 3 months of nursing gives your baby all the incredible antigens and nutrients they can need… More WOULD have been better… but at least he got 3 months of it.

    I praise women who’s babies enjoy nursing… I praise women who want to give that to their children.

    You are right, it’s about each mother’s level of comfort, it has nothing to do with ANY outsider.

    If it makes you uncomfortable.. don’t look at it.

    If you are staring… then it’s your malfunction… not the nursing mothers.

    Great post!

  • lisaeggs

    Great point about the peaking-out butt cheek shorts! I’ve been seeing tons of those lately, and I haven’t been seeing much breastfeeding, hmmm…. I have to admit to feeling awkward about public nursing. I never had a bad experience or anything, just let my own hang-ups get to me I think. Clearly I need to get over it! I am with you 100% on the over-the-top method, mainly because showing my boob is far less scary than showing my stomach these days! Love the pictures, especially the last one! I love how Georgia’s looking up at her mommy! xoxoxo

  • Jessica

    Ah, you make me glad that I am about to have my fourth baby any day now just so I can nurse in public again – seperately pleased about that, as well as all the other reasons I’m pleased!

  • Savanna

    I love everything about this post! You crack me up and all of it is true! I had an argument this weekend and said ‘You drink COW’S milk!’ I then pulled out a breast and squirt milk out.. My husband was embarrassed but you have to do what you have to do!

  • Stephanie

    Can I just take mine out anyway? In solidarity?

  • evangeline

    I’m from the US but moved to Ecuador when my youngest was 8 months old. EVERYBODY goes in from the top here. There’s boob out all over the place all the time – and nobody bats an eyelash. Also, there’s no TSA and gas is only $1 a gallon.

  • Wendy

    Yes, yes, yes, and yes! Thank you for saying everything that needs to be said about this, and for sharing your gorgeous pictures. I am an IBCLC and LLL leader (and mom of two breastfed boys!). It is SO important to say this. And it’s important for us to nurse in public, not only because, what the hell else can we do when we do out? Also, because we just to educate the next generation. SEEING breastfeeding not only makes it normal, but teaches simple things like how to hold the baby while nursing, the frequency of nursing, baby nursing behaviors, etc. I can’t tell you how many moms I help who have nipple pain and it’s because they are trying to hold their babies upright, facing away from them, like bottlefed babies. And yes, get rid of those baby covers (or use them if you want, but stop marketing them to everyone!). Jeez. Again, thank you, and I love all your writing. xoxo

  • Sarah

    Thank you for being such a bad ass.

  • Colleen

    Thanks for another amazing, true post. I wish I had taken pics of my beautiful son nursing — he weaned himself at 18 months, and I loved watching him wrap his little arms around my breast and look up at me while he was nursing. YAY BREASTFEEDING!!!!

  • Tami

    THANK YOU!!! Thank you for putting it in a way that the idiots understand. Obviously, being proper and politically correct has not worked. My nursling is 2 and I am already dreading when he self-weans. I plan on nursing him as long as he wants and society can kiss my ass when they say he is already old enough to be off the tit! Even my OB/GYN says I have nursed long enough. Thank you for your opinion but it is just that…YOUR opinion! I will stop nursing my son when HE AND I are good darn and ready to…not society!

  • Maria

    Man, you’re so awesome.

  • kathy

    LOVE IT!!! I’m currently feeding my 19mth old. I get a little bit of people saying crap. I wish I had the guts to tell how it is like you!!!

  • Virginia

    Oh so true hey 🙂 It’s funny, in my experience (breastfeeding for a year and a half now my two boys), I’ve only had one person pull out the “indecency” and “private act” card and that was one of my brothers! But I tend to live in coastal communities where us crunchy people live. 😉 In fact, I even had a lady the other day tell me it was beautiful. 🙂 The sooner everyone is ok with seeing breasts in their most beautiful purpose, the sooner maybe we’ll start seeing some other mysogonistic attitudes towards women change.

  • Kim

    So true. It’s hard to fathom something so precious being twisted into something thats a faux paus to so many. People need to think outside the box a little and remember, not everything is about them.
    Love your writing

  • Kate

    Awesome! Love this. I remember the “from the top” post, and I was honestly confused about how that worked. Seeing this pictures, I get it. See, you actually HAVE breasts. I had little hard apples that barely moved. So, to avoid stretching out the necklines of all my shirts, I was a “from the bottom” kind of girl, fo sho. Thanks for posting this!

  • Tuesday

    Girl I love you! When my little monsters have me at that screaming completely crazy point I read one of your blogs and I am laughing my ass off. I breast feed 2 of my 4 kids and I did this publicly without shame. Your pics made me miss it also. So mommas get out there be normal and fuck what any body else thinks! This is about our babies not the nut cases who cant handle a little boob used the way it was intended.

  • Christine

    I’m a new mom, just one week in. I never thought I would breastfeed but enough people around me convinced me to give it a “try” because it was best for baby. I’m so glad I did. I’ve already breastfed in public at least 5 times. I’ve sat in car and said know I know why people get all up in arms about the right to do this. It shouldn’t be an issue. I watch my dear son under the cover get all red and hot. I try and adjust him discreetly under the cover while the wind is blowing the cover around. I’m also ready to just whip it out. We will see. I’ve taken pictures of my baby nursing because it is the most beautiful thing ever. You photos made me cry. Thank you for this post.

  • Carlisle

    I got an email saying “Free nursing covers for breastfeeding awareness month”, and I thought…doesn’t that make people less aware of breastfeeding? hmmmm?? wouldn’t this be defeating the purpose?

  • Sage

    Amen, sister! Thank you for writing this!

  • Jennifer Sassaman

    I bought a cover but gave up almost immediately, it’s so ridiculous. I’ve been nursing for 16 months in hippy, liberal vermont and no one has ever batted an eye at me nursing in public.
    but I’m about to move to Scott Walker’s Wisconsin and I’m a little worried about the fisticuffs I’m sure I’m headed into in order to keep nursing in public.

    I say bring it on! I haven’t slept more than 3 hours in a row since my child was born and I am just dying for an excuse to punch someone in the face.
    please,
    tell me not to nurse in public
    I beg of you!

    • Lisamarie

      Jennifer, no worries 🙂 I live in Wisconsin (Madison) and have been nursing in public for about two and a half years (two different babies) and nobody has ever said anything to me. Is it bad that there are days I sometimes want somebody to, just so I can rant?

    • Kelly Brasda

      Jennifer, I was just thinking how nice it was breastfeeding here in WI where no one bats an eye. (midwestern WI here) I think it has a lot to do with small farm farming being the norm. I’ve breastfed at restaurants, malls, waterparks, fairgrounds, 4H county workshops, Girl Scout meetings and camp, and not only has no adult even barely noticed, even kids don’t really give it pause (except maybe the very young at that question stage and then it’s just “what’s the baby doing”)
      So don’t stress yourself out on that count!

    • Martha

      Welcome to Wisconsin! There is actually a (pre-Walker) law that allows mothers to breastfeed anywhere they please. I nursed my baby ALL OVER the capitol & surrounding coffee shops, restaurants, bars, museums during the protests in 2011. Now with my 2nd I’m even more open about it and have never felt uncomfortable. Aside from the d-bag Governor & his ultra lame cronies in the state legislature, Wisconsin is a wonderful place to live.

  • Racheal

    This made my day! I whip em out all over town and never have had any issues. I would never sit on a disgusting public toilet to eat… Why would I try to breast feed there? Ewwwww. Whoever thought that one up needs to go check out a public restroom.

  • imperfectly natural mama

    Absolutely love this post, says everything that I want to say but can never quite find the right words. Thankfully I am confident to breastfeed in public and have never had anyone tell me not to. I don’t notice dirty looks because I just look at my baby. He is self weaning at 17 months due to pregnancy which I am gutted about, but looking frwaord to doing it again with the enxt one. Really wish people would just get a clue when it comes to boobs. A friend of mine who works in a gym asked a breastfeeding mother to stop becuase some other mothers had complained that they didn’t want their children to see it. It made me so mad, so so many things wrong there.
    Thanks for writing this.

  • Heather

    Every time I read you..I notice I start tapping my foot and I get that feeling come over me like I want to stand up with you and shout this to the WORLD!! I was the breast feeding mom that ducked out in changing rooms to feed my baby because 1) I am WAY too OCD to sit on a public toilet. 2) I let the world define my thoughts on needing to hide away to feed my baby. My kids are old enough to feed themselves now, but when they weren’t and they needed me to sustain their life, I was afraid of what other people thought. It makes me sad when I think about it. I am so sick of people thinking it’s okay to sit on a beach in a bikini that is smaller than your underwear and bra, and nobody says a damn word… but feed your baby and OH SHIT!! This needs to change…NOW! And I also find it almost comical when people are afraid to let their children see a part of the human body. I could care less if my kids see a naked body. They have a body…they see their own, why the fuck do they need to think it is bad. I could care less if tits come across the t.v because I do not want my kids thinking that tits are a bad thing. They just are a part of the human body. That’s it! I have 3 girls, and as they start to get boobs, I want them to know that it’s no big deal…and not to feel like they should be ashamed of who they are. I have NO fucking clue if I am making sense. I think I could be rambling now! Sorry…I love you Janelle..

  • Mel

    A friend once asked me to breastfeed in the spare bedroom at her house, rather than the lounge room, because I might make their other friend who was staying with them ‘uncomfortable’. Thank God he said ‘Oh it’s fine. My sister breastfeeds her kid. It’s not an issue’. I was too gobsmacked to say anything, and wary of what the ‘rules’ should be in someone else’s home. Later I was furious at the shame I felt, cos screw that. Would she say that to a friend who needed to bottle feed?
    PS A downside of being a solo mama of one is there’s rarely anyone around to take breastfeeding photos. I really wished I’d asked more people to take them; particularly since (in a move that was devastating to me!) my daughter abruptly weaned herself OVERNIGHT at 11 months.

  • Michelle Henry

    You ROCK! Thank you for saying this so much more eloquently than I ever could have! And I will continue to whip it out as long as my baby needs me to!!!

  • sara

    so first, this made me realize i have absolutely no photos of me feeding my son. none, not one. herm.
    second, i had a cover that i used once or twice as an actual cover. after that, it was a great changing pad. it was hot, it was hard to use, and then my son would push it off anyways. i nursed in restaurants, roller rinks, parks, where ever. the only time i ever felt the need to remove myself from any situation Christmas Mass, because yea, that did feel awkward.

  • Julie G.

    I miss it too! I agree with everything you say. People spend a lot of time being offended about stuff that is really not offending in any possible way (breastfeeding is a very special and unique thing, but mostly, its essential)… instead of saving that energy for real issues! I breastfed both my daughters for about a year each and i would do it over and over again. Its a gift for both the mother and the baby… its a unique bond that no one should even have the right to protest about. It makes our children stronger and more confident in life i think…

    Yay for breastfeeding!

  • alex miller

    Love it. I sit by my wife hoping some imbecile saya something just so I can verbally humiliate them. Keep up the good work ladies, and don’t let the invertebrates bother you.

  • Melanie

    I wish I had nursing photos. Those milky grins were the BEST! Nursing twins simultaneously in public was just logistically difficult without a really big chair or sofa. One at a time, sure, I did that all the time, even when they were toddlers. With my third, I rarely nursed him in public when he was tiny because my body was so used to making enough milk for 2 that my let down practically drowned the kid. He’d pop off and milk would spray quite an impressive distance. Once it settled down after a few months, we nursed all over.

    I wonder if the real issue, that even nursing moms don’t really talk about, is that it feels good? I mean, it does, right? (once you get the hang of it) It is certainly not the same as sexually stimulating our nipples, but it’s still at least pleasant. But yeah, no one’s gonna say THAT out loud. So all the people who think we’re “disgusting” probably think we’re getting off on it. 😉

    • Cara

      YES! I *loved* the feeling I got from nursing! Definitely not sexual at all, just sort of…. A release. Only reason I fought the exhaustion of working full time and nursed my twins for nineteen months!

  • Jill

    I am nursing my fourth baby now, I nursed all of my babies and I love it. With my first I couldn’t nurse in public, I was far too nervous about it, so I just planned around nursing or went some where private. With my second I just couldn’t keep that shit up, so I nursed everywhere, with a blanket though. I still nurse all time in public, but with a blanket. I will never be one of those bad ass moms who just nurse with no cover with out a thought. I am not sure what my deal is? I loved your post! I to realized I have no nursing pictures, I am going to take one now 🙂

  • Renee

    You did it again. You have managed to say exactly what old and new nursing mothers have wanted to say to the public but didn’t have the words or were too timid to say them. I applaud you Janelle; you are a hero to all women who champion breastfeeding but still feel the “shame” imposed on us by the public. Thank you Janelle, thank you…….

  • Reannon

    I concur in every way. Well ranted. I extended bf my daughter to three years and no one ever had the balls to say anything about my indecent behavior. Perhaps it was my “I will cut a bitch” stare I offerred people who looked like they were even contemplating offerring their unsolicited and unevolved (rather misevolved) opnions.

  • Cris

    I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while, but never really got around to leaving a comment, but this topic really makes me want to express myself.

    To start off, I’m not from the US, I am from Europe, and the culture here is less against breastfeeding, and more for it, actually. I know you also say in the US that breast is best, but honestly, I don’t really think most people actually encourage breastfeeding in the US. Or that’s my perception at least. I could never understand how you can actually breastfeed when you have to go back to work when the baby is 6 weeks. Or how doctors encourage breastfeeding when they say that you can give a baby cows milk after 1, and covers… don’t get me started on the covers. I have never once saw a cover in Romania (where I’m from), I don’t understand the use of it, and I don’t think any baby would like being covered up like that during his lunch/cuddle time with mom.

    It’s not like people here are all enlightened or something, Romania is after all the country in the EU with the lowest breastfeeding rates, but I’ve rarely gotten any comments about nursing in public, and I’ve done it everywhere, including the subway at rush hour. And just to put it in context, I’m still (sort of) nursing my almost 3 year old and now pregnant with my second. The sort of is caused by the fact that I believe we’re in the process of weaning. I don’t think much comes out of the breasts anymore, and my son asks for less and less. He now has is down to sleep time and that’s mostly for comfort rather than milk.

    And I would really love to help with the effort and would have no issue wiping them out just to prove a point, because people need to be educated, and they won’t do that if they’re not faced with the issue. Using covers and hiding in bathrooms (btw gross) will never get the thing solved. It’s fighting for your babies rights. We’re not supposed to discriminate because of age, sex, color, sexual orientation etc, but it’s ok to discriminate babies and small children for just eating.

    Talking about cultural differences, I understand there are countries, such as Norway, where they got it the other way around. So many mothers breastfeed, and they are so educated about it, that it is actually shameful to bottle feed in public.

  • bel

    I don’t have kids but we had a massive heatwave here the last few weeks. I am so fed up of the men walking around topless- the ones with guts to their knees and the ones with 6 packs alike (although admittedly the 6 packs are prettier to look at…). I’m a big girl, with very big boobs.. bras and clothes and sweat- not nice. If I took my top off, aside from the boobs, I’d be moaned at for not being a svelte young thing.. and told to put my top back on. But if I took the bra off, what am I doing? Ah that’s right- I’m being improper. So I asked my husband.. why is it that we’re ‘sexual objects’ when we have our tops off- what is it that makes our boobs sexual.
    I said, I know you like them- but do you know WHY you like them? What is it that makes you aroused when you see a pair? These days there are so many men with ‘moobs’ that is there really a difference between a man and a woman with their tops off? Yes- they’re great sexually, but I also love having my feet tickled and my back stroked- that doesn’t make them purely sexual things. Strangely, he could give me no answer as to why it was that he likes them so much.
    It does frustrate me that a body is such a taboo area.. to be honest, nudity doesn’t worry me- one way or the other we’re all pretty much the same so why hide from our kids and each other what they’re going to have or see one day anyway? No, I don’t want to do my shopping with everyone nude, but there should at least be equality in the way bodies are viewed.

    On the plus side, when I do have kids, my husband will be my number one supporter when it comes to getting my tits out in public to feed them.

  • Daisy

    LOVE IT! I always have and as long as I breastfeed always will whip it out whenever and wherever I like ( or my baby likes) he will even put his hand down my shirt and whip it out himself in the middle of the shops! If anyone ever said a bad word about it, I would tell them where to go! it’s the most natural thing in the world to do and I am proud as punch to have the privilege to do it!

  • Rachel

    Ha. Am reading this whilst nursing in the back of my car in a car park! Only because I needed to though as I tried to sneak home and my daughter had other ideas.

  • Emadele

    I think i am in love with you! Your words are my exact thoughts! every.single.time. someone says something about or gives a nursing mom a dirty look! I hate that boobs are primarily thought of for sexual pleasure, and yet their biological function, the whole reason we even have boobs to begin with, is shunned and frowned upon in public, and we are made to feel ashamed and dirty for doing it. skrew them! i will parade my boobies wherever my child decides he is hungry. because he is more important than those twits!
    the end.

    thank you for this!

  • Libby

    Oh my god, this is the best thing I’ve ever read.

  • Terry

    Will someone please publish Renegade Mama. Every piece should be a chapter and sequels for years. What a great writer you are and such an enjoyable read… Thank You

  • abbie

    LOVE this!!! Thank you for posting!

  • Thomas

    Finally, someone said it like it needed to be said. All I can say is amen sister! All this stupidity and vitriol over a baby eating. I’ve been saying all along its not the exposed breast people have issue with, it’s the act itself. The one thing breast are really for is the one thing people detest seeing them do. I say whip them out and be proud of it. Kill the shock value once and for all. All the respect and being discreet so as not to make waves is ridiculous because it’s being done on behalf of people who don’t like what’s being done, not how it’s being done. They detest the breastfeeding not the sight of breast. If that doesn’t motivate mothers to know feeding their babies is deplorable to people then something is wrong. Hiding just perpetuates the notion that it is indecent and inappropriate and dirty. You might as well be as comfortable as you need to be and do what you have to do. Society will eventually catch up and fall in line.

  • nathan

    My wife Breast feeds. What you said is on the Money. To me there is nothing more beautiful then life and a mother giving such sustenance and life to there child. Anyone who feels differently can shove it. 100% love from a father to all of you amazing mothers.

  • Rebecca

    Check out this awesome poem. It gives me chills!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiS8q_fifa0

    I have a 9 month old who hates going under the cover. I feel like I’m wrestling with a puppy! I nursed without a cover for the first time a week ago. I’ve been wanting to abandon the cover since she was born because it was so tricky to get her latched under the cover, but I heard so much discouragement from friends…. But I am all for public nursing–agree with it 100%. Now that I’ve worked up the courage to go without the cover once–I’ll do it as often as necessary. In fact, yesterday my hubby was helping me pack up the diaper bag for an evening out and he asked if I needed my cover. I said, “no, I don’t think I’ll be using that anymore.”
    *Long-time reader; first-time comment-er.

  • Danie'

    Oh my gosh, I about died laughing over the “shit and piss nipples”. I’m with you one this, I really can’t see what the problem is. Men and woman both attend strip clubs, but using your breast for purposeful reasons is wrong? Say what? When my children were breastfeeding, I’d gladly wipe them out anywhere….including churches, haha. I feel sorry for moms who worry about it, or sit uncomfortably in bathrooms to nurse. I’ve seen moms go sit in cars, in the dead heat of summer, just to avoid the attacks of stupid people. It’s just a shame how twisted America’s views can be.

  • Aimers

    Not only do you clearly rock as a mom, but you have time to write this many words and make them sound good. Thanks from a woman who nursed right there in the county office with all the contractors when I went to pick up my daughter’s birth certificate and during my meeting with the lawyer to get our wills put together (he was awesome about it, actually). Yep, the contractors and the people at the desk were a bit shocked.

  • Kristi

    LOVE your photos! They are precious!! Thankfully I have some of me and my son while we were breastfeeding, taken by my sweet husband who was proud of the fact that our son was breastfed. He also took a photo of me while pumping breast milk. Not that is a funny photo! He said he took it so he could show our son what I did for him.

    I had to go back to work 9 weeks after giving birth and I wanted to continue to breast feed, so I had to pump while at work. I was lucky there was an empty office where I could pump. That’s another subject that the general public may need to be educated about. Women shouldn’t be expected to pump in a bathroom. Gross!

    I nursed my son in public whenever I felt like it. I was never embarrassed or ashamed. It was actually strange that I wasn’t embarrassed, because I am normally a very modest person. But when it came to feeding my son, instinct came over me and I fed my son. There’s a lot of people, mostly family, that saw my breast(s) while I got my son to latch. Oh well!

    Thank you for this article!

  • Tuna

    Just found your blog yesterday. Really enjoyed reading everything. Every post is spot on.

    I think people are actually becoming less tolerant of breastfeeding. I fed my kids years ago; everywhere from staff meetings to school functions; and don’t remember much opposition.

    I think every mom should do what’s comfortable and every one else should just shut up.

  • L

    I LOVE Georgia in that third picture. She’s got your modesty and self-respect RIGHT HERE.

    In one way, they’re right. Nursing is private. It’s a private relationship between a mother and baby. Which is why everyone not involved should look. the. other. damn. way.

  • Leah

    thank you for this! one of my most cherished pix is the one my husband insisted on taking of me after having gotten 5 day old twins latched on at the same time. I was then ‘hands free’ with them backed in with 27 receiving blankets. my one and only ever truly topless pic!

  • A Pleasant House

    You think society sucks now? You should have seen the looks I used to get 25 years ago! Never stopped me from feeding my babies. Of course, my breasts were beautiful….

  • Cassie

    Hear, hear! I love all your pictures and you’re so spot on with this! I have written a couple posts about nursing, but none so poignant. I will certainly dig up some of my breastfeeding shots and put them on Instagram. I’m down to one evening nursing session with my 19-month-old and I will miss it so dearly when he’s finally done, especially those milky little grins!

  • Kama McD

    Genius-ness! “the only people who need their awareness raised need their intelligence raised.”

  • Kama McD

    P.S. I breastfeed 15 month old twins…in public. They won’t lay down and nurse anymore, so I let them each stand as I lean over. It’s like I have udders. People really like to see that in public, like a free circus act!

  • Jennelle

    Had no problem feeding my kid in public, usually had more trouble finding a decent place to sit. 🙂 The only time I covered up was if I was outside and happened to be chilly, since I was an “up from the bottom” feeder. Would also pump in the living room regardless of number of guests – hell, it’s my house.

  • Marie

    I freaking love you. That is all.

  • Rose

    YES! We are having a nurse-in protest event in cambridge uk next weekend outside a pool that has recently told two mums they cannot feed their babies inside – because get this ‘ there is a policy against eating food near the pool area’ …whatever! Your article totally rocks as do you. I wish I was still feeding my two it was the most awesome thing. x

  • Andrea B (@goodgirlgonered)

    Love. I love this so much. I wish I had pictures of me nursing my daughter – really I do.

    I was an under nurser because of giant boobs and sports bras and the best way to get ’em out and all. And I rarely nursed in public, for whatever reason. I did love those family rooms at the mall and having a place to sit so she wouldn’t be distracted but in front of my dad and FIL, I kept hidden. Or they discreetly left the room.

    I didn’t know better. But I nursed her for 900 years, so I think I made up for it there. 😉 Really, not quite that many, but still …

    Excellent post. Found you via Just Jasmine and love love love what you have shared here!

  • b heather

    A weird thing happened after I gave birth. I stopped caring what people think. The only person I care to please now is the little bitty baby for whom I am responsible and if I’m in a café, on a bus, in a meeting, wherever, and he’s hungry, then of course I’m going to feed him. I don’t even feel awkward (and going “over the top” is the best way I can figure to feed him without smothering him in t-shirt), not a bit.

  • Annie

    thank you. replace America with Canada and August with October and this is what i want to say. i’ve been BFing for almost 8 months and just was thrown a loop by being told i would “have to” cover to go to a 2yo’s b-day party because other people would be offended. i chose to cover in public so far in the past, and because of that they were surprised i was so offended by the request. needles to say, i and the other BFing mothers are not attending the party. now the mother throwing the party is mad at us for being offended and not going! it’s insanity! you want to violate our human rights to make others feel comfy… i’m thinking about ditching the cover… we’ll see if i have enough courage… because that’s what it is. maybe if enough people see it, they will realize it’s not a horrible, scary thing. it’s life and love and sooo important.

  • Stephanie

    You are mighty! Your children are gorgeous. This post is sublime reading, thank you

  • Natalie

    I just found your site and I love you. This post especially. I want to scream and shout and cry and nurse! Thankyou.

  • Tmo

    Awesomeness!

  • Em

    I love the third pic down. It looks like Georgia is saying (in her best Deniro) “Hey, I’m nursing here”

  • John Jacob

    Modesty is a lie? No. The fact is that those who are interested in modesty Did speak up, but were put down by the myriad of voices who cared less for modesty, and now there really is no way to speak up. Imagine if we were outraged about low cut shirts now (we should be). We’d be seen as lunatics. Trust me, I’ve tried. At this point, were trying to defend the bell tower, so to speak. The castle has already been invaded. You’re suggesting that if we really did care about the castle, we should be on the other side of the moat fighting. Reality is, we can’t. We’re overrun. We have to fight the battle we can.

  • becky

    Exactly!!! I’ve been breastfeeding (in public of course) for years now and I have secretly hoped that someone would give me grief about it and say something… I sit and dream of my witty, sharp comeback… but alas no one seems to care, as it should be!
    Wonderful writing Janelle

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