Breastfeeding in public: What’s the big deal?

My facebook newsfeed is full of blog posts about breastfeeding in public and pictures of nurse-ins.  As a breastfeeding mum myself, I do not find this helpful or reassuring. I hate the fact that the way we feed our babies is now a political statement. In fact all the media coverage about it makes me *more* nervous about feeding in public.

I do feed my baby in public, because my baby likes to feed quite often and if I didn’t I would never leave the house. I would really like this to just be something that is not worthy of comment. I am quite a shy person, I would never even wear a bikini (even pre-baby I didn’t) so getting my boobs out in public makes me feel extremely self-conscious as it is. Now I have to worry about whether someone is going to come and tell me it’s disgusting, or ask me to cover up or do it in the toilet, and I have to be prepared with what I am going to say if they do. I have breastfed 2 babies now and no one has ever said anything to me about it but because of the media circus I am hyper-aware that one day, someone might take exception to it and feel the need to say something about it.

Also, apparently if I breastfeed in public it means I hate formula feeding mums.  What???  Where did this idea come from?  I have no opinion on formula feeding mums. Seriously, I don’t care if you bottle feed your baby.  It’s none of my business.  (PS I combination fed my first baby breast and formula, not that it’s any of your business).  So if we are in a cafe and I am breastfeeding and you are bottle feeding, we are both just feeding our babies, right?  Nothing to get worked up about there.

Please could we all just CTFD?  Breastfeeding my baby in public is not a political statement or a judgement on other mums, it’s just a way of getting milk into her tummy when she needs it.