A month ago, Reddit user Chance_Object_7968 walked into his regular cafe and noticed only two seats available. After taking his seat, a woman walked in with a baby, sat down, and started breastfeeding. The man felt uncomfortable and asked her to move, but she couldn't. He then abruptly stood up and walked out.
The issue of women breastfeeding in public is a contentious one. Most women don't see anything wrong with it, while a majority of men do. So unsurprisingly, when the Reddit user confronted the young woman, the situation split opinions, so he turned to the community for answers.
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MAN CONFRONTS BREASTFEEDING MOTHER, HE LATER REGRETS IT
Everyday Reddit user Chance_Object_7968 gets an hour-long lunch break which he mostly spends at a local cafe. One day while he was there, he crossed paths with a young mother and her baby. As soon as she sat down by his table, her baby started crying uncontrollably.
The mother knew that the only way to calm her baby down was to breastfeed, so that's exactly what she decided to do. When he saw this, the Redditor felt uncomfortable and asked her to sit somewhere else. However, the weren't many available seats, so the mother politely declined. In his post, the man wrote:
"A few people looked at me like I was a douche and it’s been bothering me. I know it’s a natural thing for baby’s and moms and that there’s nothing I can do. I wasn’t going to try and force her away so I left. Was it too far to ask if she may have sat at the other table[?]"
The community read the post and was surprised by how Chance_Object_7968 acted. Most of them agreed that what he did was wrong. Not long after he made the post, a Reddit user named Most_Poet criticized the Original Poster (OP) for his behavior. He wrote:
"This woman probably got two hours of sleep last night, has a crushingly awful mix of hormones in her body, she tried to escape and do ONE adult thing for herself, only to have to feed her crying baby and then you give her a hard time?"
He also explained that the Redditor should do better next time they're in that situation. Another Redditor chimed in and reminded the user that they wouldn't react the same way if a mother were feeding a baby a bottle. They also added that he needed to understand that breastfeeding is normal.
IS IT ILLEGAL TO BREASTFEED IN PUBLIC?
From a legal standpoint, in the United States, no law says women can't breastfeed in public. In some areas, the practice is more accepted than in others. Mothers still find themselves in public disputes for trying to breastfeed their children even though science suggests it is good for them.
Mothers are almost always on high alert, especially when they are out in public. So even if you have the best of intentions you may still be inadvertently making them uncomfortable.
For moms who do breastfeed in public, there are some places that offer special areas for them to feed their kids. There are also clothing stores that create unique outfits for breastfeeding with all sorts of special features that make it easy for mothers.
WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU SEE SOMEONE BREASTFEEDING IN PUBLIC?
The simple answer is that you leave them alone. Mothers go through a lot on a daily basis, and if you feel like they're making you uncomfortable or have something negative to say, it's best to keep it yourself. Myrtle Hodge, RN, a lactation counselor at Maimonides Medical Center in New York, says:
"There are definitely those who, for whatever reason, are opposed to a woman breastfeeding in public. They can make a woman feel extremely uncomfortable doing so, particularly the first time she tries."
However, if you think there's a way you can make them feel more comfortable, ask them first and make sure not to overstep any boundaries. Mothers are almost always on high alert, especially when they are out in public. So even if you have the best of intentions, you may still be inadvertently making them uncomfortable.
DO PEOPLE SUPPORT WOMEN WHO BREASTFEED IN PUBLIC?
A few years ago, Reddit user TheIncredibleJake asked the community, "What's your opinion on breastfeeding in public? Support it, against it, or don't care?". His question sparked an interesting debate on the platform about how people really feel about women who breastfed in public. One user jokingly answered,
"I think it is fine but only for babies. If a woman wants to breastfeed an adult they should do that at home."
However, just like in any other platform, the question split opinions. Some people supported it, while others were against it. Despite the progress the world has made, some people still feel uncomfortable with the act. Although, one Redditor who supported it made an interesting observation.
There are some people who believe that mothers shouldn't be allowed to breastfeed in public because it's "indecent". This may explain why the first OP confronted the young woman and asked her to sit somewhere else.
Fortunately, more and more people are learning to be more tolerant and understanding, making life a little easier for mothers who breastfeed in public.
Where do you stand on this topic? Do you think women should be allowed to breastfeed in public? We love hearing from you. Please leave a comment and let us know.