August 3, 2011

Wanna See My Boobs?

It's World Breastfeeding Week! And in its honor, I'd like to share some photos of my little man nursing. But first, I'd like to address a misconception that some people seem to have about women that nurse in public or share photos of their little ones nursing.

Some people seem to think that we breastfeeders are exhibitionists, just trying to get attention by whipping our boobs out in public and posting pictures of them on the internet. But anyone who knows me in real life knows that this could not possibly be true, at least in my case. Contrary to my blogging persona, I am actually a very introverted and somewhat shy person, and I don't really like confrontation. However, I will not hesitate to educate others or correct ignorance when it comes to a matter as important as this.

I feel that in order to normalize breastfeeding, people need to SEE women doing it openly and publicly, in person and in photos on the internet and social networks. As much as I'd like to say otherwise, it is not yet viewed by mainstream society as "normal" to breastfeed. So I do my part as much as I can. I don't seek attention, but I absolutely do not make any attempt to hide myself away when I feed my baby boy. I thank women that I see nursing in public. And today, I walked through Toys R Us with a 15-month-old latched on!

I will continue to do these things. I will continue nurse in public, and I will continue to post breastfeeding pictures online - not for attention, but because it needs to become normal again. When we hide it from society by sending mothers away to private rooms and shaming them into covering themselves, we are making it taboo and uncomfortable. We should go to private rooms to poop. But not to feed our babies!

So, without further ado, a sampling of my contribution to normalizing breastfeeding in public. If you are boobophobic, look no further. Otherwise, enjoy these pictures of my adorable Liam eating nature's perfect food!

5 months old, at the zoo.
This is one of my favorite pictures.

5 months old, again at the zoo.


8 months old and having lunch.

9 months old - at an indoor pool, shortly before
being harassed and asked to move to a bathroom :(

Last night, at 15 months - having a bedtime snack and as happy as can be!

Happy World Breastfeeding Week, and keep whippin' em out!


37 comments:

  1. cut the bs you are just out for attention and people to look at your boobs.

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  2. This is so beautiful Erin! I totally agree, i nurse my DD everywhere and anywhere!

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  3. OMGWTFBBQ I see... um... if I stare hard enough and tilt my head to the left just enough I think I see areola! You harlot attention-whore! Won't you think of the children!

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  4. Erin - I say to each their own, & if you are comfortable with this then have at it. Personally I don't want people I don't know looking at my breast while I'm nursing, nor do I want my young children seeing a strange woman's breast either. I have no issue with women who breast feed in public as long as they just put a blanket over themselves. I know this goes against what you're saying, but I can't remember a time that is was acceptable to be naked in any form in public. Just sayin' :o)

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  5. Why wouldn't you want your children to see a woman's breast in a functional context? You want them to see breasts as sex objects, or shameful funbags that must be hidden away instead?

    And why should I cover up just because YOU have a hangup with boobies? You're right, to each her own, and many women prefer not to cover up, for a variety of reasons. In the majority of the pictures shown in this post, there is nothing visible that wouldn't be exposed in a tank top or bathingsuit, anyway.

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  6. haha, love the last one. These are great :)

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  7. Good for you!! I commend you for doing this. I personally wish I had the strength to do this especially when my LO was an infant and nursing all the time. I felt like I had to stay home because it was so inconvenient to find a place to nurse when I was out in public. Hopefully when I have my next baby I will have the courage to be as brave as you.

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  8. Hey Anon 7:45: If breastfeeding offends you, put a blanket over YOUR head. I hope my son sees other moms feeding their babies the way that nature intended. It's NORMAL.

    Erin: I just stumbled upon your blog through NNIPL's FB page. Gorgeous pics! Gotta love the smiles while nursing. My 14 mos. old does the same. Good for you for feeding your baby when he's hungry! Thank you for nursing in public!

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  9. I love the first shot where he is looking up at you. That little boy loves his Mama!

    Btw, you are absolutely right. Breasts have an intended purpose and it isn't selling beer.

    I think having children of any age see a Mom breastfeed her child is fantastic. Let's raise our girls to value the miracles our bodies can achieve and our boys to respect women. Society has sexualized breasts and objectified women for long enough. It is time to open up the discussion with our children so that when they have kids they don't face the discrimination this generation of women do.

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  10. I am so happy that I see so many women breastfeed now. 4 1/2 years ago I felt alone and now FFs *seem* to be in the minority to where they LIE about why they "couldn't" breastfeed (I am not knocking legit cases where a baby or mom was at high risk due to a BFing attempt).

    Thank you for promoting it's normalcy! AND to those who think its easy to cover up a nursing baby- YOU ARE CRAZY! My baby HATES to be covered- its hot and she can't see whats going on, so she rips it off. Also, she won't take a bottle, so if she's HUNGRY, she's HUNGRY and I HAVE TO FEED HER!!!!!

    I'm offended by bottles, but those are okay, huh? They are unnatural and babies overeat because of them because baby has to KEEP SWALLOWING even if they are full or they will choke if baby is being held wrong during a bottle feeding by a caregiver...

    http://www.bestforbabes.org/the-babes-guide-to-bottle-feeding

    If you don't want to see a baby eat nature's perfect food for them- then don't look. You are the one with the problem.

    America is so weird. I can't believe I was born here. Its fine to splash sex all over TV and let our teenagers look & act like whores, but its weird for me to feed my baby the RIGHT & NATURAL way?

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  11. I dont know you but I kinda <3 you!!!
    Thank you for this post!!!!

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  12. I am a man who used to be weirded out by breastfeeding. But thanks to my wife and women like you knocking some sense into me, I am a big supporter. My wife is breastfeeding our two year old as we speak and I am so proud of her for doing so. Keep up the good work Erin.

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  13. Ok, here's my two cents. Yes, boobs are for feeding babies. But they can also be sexual so I don't think they belong out in public. Just like penises are for making babies, but it's illegal to show them in public.

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  14. John P. - thank you for supporting your wife and other women in doing such a wonderful thing! Everyone else, thank you for the supportive comments. I hope this post helps some of you find the courage to do what's best for your baby anytime and anywhere.

    Anonymous @ 9:01 - Did you really just comparing breastfeeding to publicly exposing a penis? REALLY?!

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  15. keep up the good work!
    Beautiful photos.
    Happy breastfeeding week to you all x

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  16. Erin great job I love to see other advocate mothers out there. We nursed at the mall this morning and where ever we happen to be when my 7 month old son is when he gets hungry! I have only been asked to go some where else once but i asked the women to go eat her lunch in the bathroom and let me know how she liked it. I think your post is beautiful I am a young mother as well and you inspire me thank you!

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  17. Erin...YOU GO GIRL. I am a breastfeeding mother of a 21 month old little boy. Everyone teases me about it, so it has given me a bit of a complex. I wish I had your bravery or DGAF attitude...

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  18. ummm your kid is a toddler not a baby. its time to get off the boob. that is going to cuase psychologocial damage.

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  19. Meghan: You totally rock for breastfeeding your 21 month old! Don't let anyone give you any shit. You know that you are doing a great thing for your son.

    Anonymous: I've never heard of "psychologocial" damage. Can you please explain? And give me the link to a study that shows why breastfeeding would cause such damage?

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  20. In response to Anonymous who may or may not have been addressing me (I usually don't get into a battle of wits with unarmed people, but for you I will make an exception...)

    Call it a coincidence, but my breastfeeding toddler is one of the few babies I know ('round these parts at least) who has had no major or minor illness (including, but not limited to the common cold, flu, or ear infections that may or may not result in tubes) and of those babies, he was the only one breastfed. He has also avoided any unnecessary weight gain and consistently measured age-appropriate on the scale (his father is 6'7" so naturally he is a little tall). This of course, has been very friendly on my meager budget (proverbial low-paid college professor that I am), not having to purchase formula or pay for any unnecessary doctor visits.

    Finally, and perhaps most importantly, he has exhibited no signs of "psychological" damage. He has quite the personality and is happy to play with other children.

    If breastfeeding were psychologically damaging, I find it hard to believe that nature would have allowed us to develop the tools needed to nurse our young. Certainly, this feature would have evolved out. Only the strong survive, right?

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  21. im sory but its just nasty wehn they r that big,

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  22. Maybe your mom should have breastfed you longer, Anonymous. Then maybe you wouldn't have failed third grade spelling and grammar.

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  23. I think its weird that women are more comfortable with nearly completely naked woman gracing the covers of magazines and noone rushes to put blankets over them. But we want mothers to cover up a child eat from the nature provided food source. You know, the who reason we have breast!

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  24. I saw women breastfeed at family gatherings and on airplanes in the 1980s. I am amazed that breastfeeding in public is still controversial. It is not here in New Zealand.

    Once a woman is fully grown and has borne children, it is patronising to use the law and/or social sanctions to try to force her to be more modest than she desires to be. That the sight of breasts turns younger males on is not a biological fact, but a social convention. Boys can be raised to not view women's breasts as an erogenous zone.

    I think that the images above of Erin and her baby are rather modest. The passion is in her baby's face where it belongs. And not between my legs, which has no right to be engaged by what Erin is doing.

    No one mentions that women's magazines feature naked women in ads, and illustrate stories about celebrities with photographs of them in skimpy bikinis while on holiday. But if a mother quietly breastfeeds while in a booth in a fast food restaurant, the manager on duty often asks her to leave. Our civilisation is very very close to the point where a woman can reveal as much as she pleases, as long her doing so rings some cash register and greases the wheels of commerce. But revealing as a totally incidental consequence of feeding a young child the ideal food is not acceptable. Is this where we want to be as a culture??

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  25. Natural momma, "FFs *seem* to be in the minority to where they LIE about why they "couldn't" breastfeed"...this is exactly the reason why some of us who FF absolutely despise those judgmental BF zealots. How dare you and who are you to assume people are lying about why they couldn't BF. Sorry to inform you but your precious boob milk is not a miracle. My FF kids are healthy, beautiful and smart. When I say healthy I mean they never got sick, never had ear infections, no colds or flu. At most they have had slights fevers. Their immune systems are very healthy and both are thin. Bottles are "unnatural". Why aren't you just a regular Einstein. So are cups, spoons, forks...anything man made. Do you use those or are you against "unnatural" tools used to eat since you seemed to use the word "unnatural" in a negative way. You are not better than me or are your kids healthier, smarter than mine because you fed them from your boobs.

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  26. "Maybe your mom should have breastfed you longer, Anonymous. Then maybe you wouldn't have failed third grade spelling and grammar."...I know this is meant as a stab at previous comment but breastfeeding will not make you smarter. Someone very close to me was BF and now as an adult can't spell to safe his life. His spelling and grammar is atrocious. His brothers and sisters, all BF and all in their 40s and 50s, are how do I say this...not the smartest people I know. Formula fed babies do grow up to be succesful, intelligent, happy adults. Whether you FF or BF doesn't matter in the long run. It really doesn't.

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  27. Someone seems awfully defensive.

    The risks of formula feeding do not always manifest themselves in childhood. Your kids may be totally healthy now, but they may end up with GI issues or diabetes or any number of ailments in adulthood that may have been prevented had they been fed normally.

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  28. You're right, it won't make your kid smarter! But alternative feeding methods can hinder a child from reaching their full potential. In other, very frank and direct words: formula makes your kids less smart than they could be.

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  29. ROCK ON! keep bloggin. this is important stuff. love, a happily still nursing my two year old mama :)

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  30. I can't stand it when women are asked to nurse in a restroom! I know I wouldn't eat in a restroom, why should babies have to? I find this especially irritating in restaurants.

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  31. You're amazing!!! We are so alike, I am thrilled to have found this blog!

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  32. AMAZING!!! I am also a breastfeeding mommy!!! and proud to be one screw the people that came up here just to talk crap...hahah they probley thought they were getting on a porn site and found out real quick thats not what this was!!!!!!! Once again your blog is great

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  33. As a daddy of 3 into-the-toddler-years breastfeeders, I applaud your writing and pictures. I love humor/sarcasm. Sometimes it's the best way to handle contentious discussion because we can almost all find ways to laugh about such things. Great work! In your honor (an my wife and children's), I promise to stop ANYONE I EVER see harassing a breastfeeding mother.

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