Are Breastfeeding Mothers Being Veiled?August 27, 2010 No Comments
Babies need to feed on their mothers’ boobs and this has to be done whether they are out to dinner with friends, sitting in a dark movie theatre, or having tea with the Queen.
Yet not every woman is comfortable getting her boobs out in public. And this is true no matter what her opinion about breastfeeding might be.
This has led to several products being created that cover up the breastfeeding baby so that the mother doesn’t have to show her boobs and doesn’t have to offend anyone watching her who might care.
These range from “all-enveloping nursing shawls” to cradling baby “within a sling.”
But is this helping mothers or is it just covering up something natural that nobody should be ashamed of in the first place?
Viv Groskop of the Guardian warns that this trend could lead to problems.
Suggesting that cover-ups protect us from unwanted attention reinforces the surely outdated view that breastfeeding should be hidden away. If we allow this attitude to re-emerge we’ll soon find ourselves in a world where you really will be a social pariah if you’re not breastfeeding covertly.
This is definitely a possibility, but I don’t think we should get ahead of ourselves.
There will always be women who are not comfortable showing their boobs and always be others who are happy to feed in public without covering up. This means that there have always been mothers who have found ways to covertly breastfeed in public, with or without fancy products designed to help them do so.
I have seen boobs out without any cover, and one mother go so far as to put a shawl over her own head to completely cover herself and her baby. Surely this product would be good for the mother that covered her own head. It would allow her to breastfeed while still going about her business and without being so obvious and looking like she’s ashamed of what’s going on.
Choice is good and I highly doubt there will be any laws forcing women to cover up. It’s great for those who want to, and those who don’t can simply ignore it.