Places You Should Never Breastfeed
Rampant misogyny forces too many mothers into bathrooms, alleyways, behind shrubs, and other places you should never breastfeed.
Breastfeeding is a natural thing that women do. Unfortunately, there's some stigma attached to breastfeeding in public exactly because it's something women do. Remember, America is a patriarchy fixated with controlling women's bodies. That translates into bullying women into breastfeeding in places you should never breastfeed, and then blaming them for breastfeeding there! Meanwhile, if men could breastfeed there'd be breastfeeding stations everywhere and it'd be a huge part of popular culture. Captain America would be breastfeeding in The Avengers:Infinity War and Chris Evans would be breastfeeding on The Late Show while promoting it. If Chris Evans wouldn't nurse his child in these places you shouldn't either.
In the Ocean During High Tide
You decide to treat yourself to a beach day. You load up a cooler, pack an umbrella, and bring a copy of Annihilation because, damn, that movie looked good! You and baby Jane are enjoying some sun when she starts demanding some nom-nom. You prepare to nurse when people point as if they're Donald Sutherland in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. You head into the water knowing it's one of the places you should never breastfeed. The waves are getting salt in your daughter's face, the rising tide is making it hard for you to keep your balance, and crabs are nipping at your toes. This is no place for nursing a baby!
A store attendant who feels uncomfortable with breastfeeding mothers in public places might ask you to go to the bathroom. It's your right to breastfeed wherever you want! A bathroom is where you go to pee-pee and poo-poo; it's one of the places you should never breastfeed! It's not comfortable for breastfeeding and it's unsanitary. So find a place where you're comfortable that is also clean.
If the employee continues to harass you because you're nursing a baby, remind them that with just a few clickity-clacks of your keyboard you'll have an army of breastfeeding mothers descend upon their store in protest with the full power of the press and public behind you. Then the employee will be the ones going to the bathroom because they'll have to clean up the poo-poo and pee-pee they made in their pants.
Behind a Bush
Breastfeed in a park. Gopher it! Don't submit to any social pressure that you feel and hide behind a bush out of fear that anyone else feels uncomfortable with you nursing a baby. Behind a bush is not safe. You may be scraped by branches, there's dirt, bugs, squirrels, and what if a dog gets walked nearby and goes pee-pee or poo-poo on you and your baby? How will you feel then?! You won't like it! A ditch is another one of the places you should never breastfeed. Generally, don't go off the beaten path; no path could ever have been beaten without breastfeeding. You are a frontierswoman every time you nurse in public!
If you ask for breastfeeding tips from a breastfeeding mom you'll be told, "Get away from that dumpster!" Places that smell like garbage are places you should never breastfeed. Sure, you might be walking the streets of a major metropolitan area and want to duck into an alleyway because you don't want to nurse in public, but don't do it! Breastfeeding shouldn't be the woman's version of Clark Kent changing into Superman. Being a mother is already being Superman. You don't gotta change; the world does. It's just like what Diane Lane told Henry Cavill in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, "You don't owe this world a thing," except she's telling you that and it's about breastfeeding. Did you not see that movie? Well, I did just to tell you to not be near garbage. BOOM! DC CINEMATIC UNIVERSE SLAM!
Where Food is Prepared
Whether it's a campfire or a stove top, near an open flame is one of the places you should never breastfeed. Also, you don't want to be nursing a baby near raw foods like chicken breast because you risk getting yourself and your baby sick. But this is the sort of place you might find yourself pressured into breastfeeding because society is trying to hide you away. SMH. There are just too many breastfeeding woes!
Where People Smoke
Where people take their cigarette breaks is one of the places you should never breastfeed! That smoke isn't good for you or the baby. Plus, the Affordable Care Act ensures that all businesses are required to provide a place for breastfeeding. Also, a baby is nothing like a cancer stick and I don't like the parallel being suggested by placing the two in such close proximity.
Hidden on Your Phone
Hidden on your phone beneath your wistful gaze is one of the places you should never breastfeed. And yet that's the case for too many women because social media platforms and users too often punish women for sharing photos of themselves breastfeeding. Of course, too many social media platforms and users have internalized misogyny in general. Women can't write #MenAreScum but men are allowed to threaten women with rape. What a country!
You might be at a friend's house, in public, or at a store and someone says, "Fine, you can breastfeed so long as I hide you," and proceed to cover you up with a blanket because of the severity of their discomfort with breastfeeding mothers. But beneath the weight of linens and quilts are just some of the places you should never breastfeed. You should be nursing a baby where both you and baby are comfortable. That's one of the most common tips for breastfeeding.
Cowering in a Corner
Our society is so sexist that there are times when women feel so up against the wall that they might as well be feeding their baby where one wall meets another. But cowering in a corner is one of the places you should never breastfeed. You should breastfeed comfortably and proudly. You created life! What patriarchy fears is your strength and its own weakness. Don't be another brick in the wall; bring down the patriarchy instead one meal at a time!
In a Basement, Hiding From Nazis
Here's a thought experiment for you. You're trying to not get caught by Nazis. There's a baby with you. Would you decide that while hiding from Nazis is one of the places you should never breastfeed and smother that baby or would you try to keep that baby alive? Are you more like a Nazi if you smother that baby or if you jeopardize the lives of everyone else hiding with you? And yet some people are asking breastfeeding mothers to hide their babies when they nurse in public. Who's the Nazi now?!