Does Public Breastfeeding Make you Uncomfortable?

Nursing a child is a natural part of life, but there are still stigmas attached to breastfeeding in public.

Moms Talk is a weekly feature on all Lehigh Valley Patches in which local parents, caregivers and other members of the community are invited to share opinions and advice on parenting issues.

This week’s Moms Talk topic relates to public breastfeeding:

Nursing a child is a natural thing, but let's face it, there are stigmas attached to doing what comes naturally -- especially in public. 

So, tell us what you think: Does it make you feel awkward to breastfeed or to see someone breastfeed in public? 

Join the conversation. Each week our Moms Council members discuss these and other issues.

Our Moms Council members include: 

  • Lisa Amey of Upper Milford Township is a stay-at-home mom to an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. A past president of the MOMS Club of Emmaus and longtime member of MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers), Lisa is an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International. 
  • Lisa Drew of Emmaus is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, wellness and fitness coach with more than 17 years of experience. She is the mother of a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.
  • Jennifer Elston of Emmaus has almost two decades of professional experience in child development and counseling. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. Together with her husband, Chris, she owns Christopher Elston Photography.
  • Jeanne Lombardo of Nazareth is the mother of a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. She’s new to the Lehigh Valley, having moved to Nazareth from Bergen County, NJ in January.
  • Lisa Merk of Lower Macungie is a stay-at-home mother of four boys – a 12-year-old and 6-year-old triplets. Lisa is a past president of the MOMS Club of Lower Macungie East. In her “spare” time, Lisa teaches piano to school-age children.
  • Megan Patruno of Allentown is a mother of three – an 11-year-old boy, an 8-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy. Megan also works as an admission counselor at Muhlenberg College in Allentown.
  • Zoila Bonilla Paul of Bethlehem is a stay-at-home mom to two girls – a 5-year-old and a 14-month-old. Zoila is a member of her local “moms’ club” and says she is “well-versed in the fun that children can bring.”
  • Beth Sharpless of Emmaus works part time in a local emergency department as a nurse and part time from home as a customer support specialist. She has two children -- a boy who is almost 2 and a 5-year-old girl. She says they love spending time outdoors and dancing. 

If you would like to become a part of the Moms Council and/or have ideas for future Moms Talk questions, please email jennifer.marangos@patch.com.

Ana - milkmommymilk October 17, 2011 at 08:03 PM
I must admit that I did feel uncomfortable at times. Hence my organic nursing tops! They made my life a lot easier. That's why my partner and I created Milk Mommy Milk ( www.milkmommymilk.com), so other moms could feel supported and comfortable like we did while wearing the right gear. It makes a huge difference! Moms and women, let's support one another to make breastfeeding what it was meant to be: natural!
Ana - milkmommymilk October 17, 2011 at 08:12 PM
I LOVE the idea and wish The Milk Truck much success! Thanks for helping support so many moms out there!
Heather N. October 19, 2011 at 01:48 PM
Ken White October 19, 2011 at 02:54 PM
Why have no babies have commented on this story? I think their input on mommy's output would be illuminating. They could answer some questions. For instance, is it extra thrilling for them to be breastfed in public? You know, like an "oh no, we might be spotted so we gotta hurry" type of thing? Or is it just annoying to have every Tom, Jerk and Scary staring at them while they're trying to squeeze a meal in between naps. Also, if two babies are being breastfed in public together, do they instinctively race each other to see who can finish first? Or is the first baby to blurf on mommy's shoulder the winner? Do they whisper to each other while their mommies talk? Like, do they compare the size of their mommies’ boobs? I bet the boy babies’ do cause size always seems to matter to boys. Well, anyway, I think babies should weigh in here. But, nooooooo, they're too busy to help out. If they're not nursing, they’re napping. If they're not napping, they're having the obligatory diaper change (which is nothing more than an impromptu mommy concert of every soft rock song just outside her vocal range). And if they're not doing any of that and mommy's in the laundry room (she always is), you can be darned sure they're under their favorite blankee investing on E-Trade because mommy, with one hand over her nose and the other holding the offending diaper at arm’s length, hurried away just a little too hastily, carelessly leaving her Iphone on the changing table.
Mary Anne Looby October 20, 2011 at 09:42 PM
Doesn't bother me at all.


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