Breastfeeding in Public

Breastfeeding moment

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Breastfeeding moment

Laetitia Gosselin

There is a debate on breastfeeding in public. It is legal so you have the right to do it. Despite this, a lot of mom has been told to cover up or move from a public area. The mothers should feel free to feed their babies whenever they need to.

  Many factors have influenced many people to think that mothers shouldn’t breastfeed in common areas. The increasing commercialization of “nursing covers” is one of the reasons why. Since women’s breast is sexualized by society, therefore people feel the need to cover them even if it’s for breastfeeding. Many people perceive it as a sexual act even if it’s not the case. 

On an everyday basis, many moms are told to move from open spaces or to cover up even if they are allowed to breastfeed even in 2022. Recently, a story of a woman named Isabelle Côté came up. 

   She was feeding her baby and a guard of the Montreal Eaton Centre told her she was not allowed to do it. “A female security guard approached me and said I wasn’t allowed to breastfeed on that specific bench,” said the mother to CBC during an interview. Then the guard asked her to go to the nursing room of the mall. She refused and told the Guardian, “If I stop, my baby is going to cry, and then I have to repack everything. I have my bags all over.” Even after that, the security insisted. Later, Isabelle filed a complaint to the Quebec Human Rights Commission. She also commented, “I was very intimidated — and also surprised that this is still happening in 2022.”  

  Breastfeeding has many benefits. Due to the fact that it’s natural, the baby is less likely to be exposed to allergenic material. Breast milk can also protect the infant from many diseases or infections. For example, it can reduce the chance of getting leukemia. Another benefit is that it is easy for the digestive system of the child, so it prevents diarrhea or constipation. Human milk also contains the right amount and quality of nutrients that the baby needs for their first food necessities.

  The sexualization of the women’s chest has negative reactions when breastfeeding. The sexual role of breasts became more dominant in Western culture through movies and television. Nowadays, young girls are being self-objectification.