Boobs are everywhere. They're exploited to sell everything from clothes, to cars, to hamburgers, to music. However, when breasts are used for one of their natural functions (to feed a baby, duh) some people lose their minds. When I first started breastfeeding I felt a little self-conscious when nursing in public. I was anxious about attracting any unwanted comments, like the ones reported by these moms who shared the worst thing they heard while breastfeeding in public. When you're aware of the social stigma surrounding breastfeeding, something as simple as feeding your kid at the park can be downright scary.
So, to avoid horrible and hurtful comments, I would take advantage of a few clever clothing hacks and strategically place a receiving blanket over my baby, so that not even an inch of my bare skin could be seen. Still, I felt my cheeks redden as strangers stared and even approached me. I mostly received positive comments (thankfully) but, as all my efforts to cover and hide didn't deter nosy strangers from grabbing an eyeful, I started to care less and cover up less.
As my son got older he wouldn't abide a cover anyway, I decided that if people didn't wish to see a woman feed her kid, they were free to look away. Breastfeeding can be difficult at first, so the last thing nursing women need is to feel like they have to lock themselves away so they don't upset some stranger. To all breastfeeding mama's out there, I sincerely hope you never hear any of these clueless comments:
"I was at an airport and a young guy came up to me while I was nursing my daughter and he said, 'Eww, gross!' I cried for like an hour. He made me feel disgusting."
"I had mostly positive comments whenever I breastfed in public, but once an old lady came up to my table in a coffee shop and wagged her finger at me and said, 'Not here, dear'. I pretended I didn't understand."
"My dad was the worst. He used to always say, 'Not again,' every time I breastfed. But the one comment I will never forget was when he said, 'You only do it for attention.' Like seriously, WTF?"
"My partner was uncomfortable with my breastfeeding in public and used to apologize to people when they stared at me. I took to saying over him, 'I am not sorry, it's normal!'"
"A bunch of schoolgirls giggled and pointed at me once when I was feeding my little girl. Then one of them ran up to me and said, 'You're so disgusting!' As they all burst into laughter I left, but I cried in my car for ages."
"My first time breastfeeding in public, a guy came up to me and said, 'Can I have some?' I can't even verbalize how violated I felt, it made me shudder with disgust. I reported him to the library staff and he was asked to leave."
"My boyfriend almost got into a fist fight with some guy who called me a 'pervert' for feeding our baby at a park. I had to drag him off."
"People are so weird. This old guy came up to me in a breastfeeding support group at my local cafe and said, 'Can you not do that? It's putting me off my lunch.' He got side eye from like nine breastfeeding moms. We were like, 'Do you know where you are?'"
"I had a child-free friend who used to always say, 'Are you still doing that?" She said it every time I saw her. Needless to say, we're not friends anymore."
"I was nursing my daughter at a poolside bench at my local swimming pool, when a lifeguard told me I had to stop. He had complaints about me being 'naked.' I refused, and then I filled out a complaint form, as the pool is a designated 'breastfeeding friendly' venue. A manager called me at home later in the day to apologize."
"I was called 'obscene' once. This woman kept looking over at me, tapping her friends and getting them to look at me and muttering 'obscene.'
Finally I couldn't take it anymore and I called out, 'I am sorry, what did you say?' and she yelled out, 'You're obscene!' Well then, thanks so much!"