Las Vegas Mothers Weigh in on Openly Breastfeeding in Public
Is it Okay to Breastfeed in Public? Local Moms Weigh In
In our “over-share society”, I have to admit I was caught off guard by the Luvs “breastfeeding mom” commercial. I was having a meal with one of my three children, my youngest, who is a toddler when it popped on. She giggles and says “mom boobs!”. I replied with “Yup, she’s feeding her baby.” My toddler paid no more attention to it and we had a nice lunch. If you were to ask my older kids, they would have the same opinion because they had grown up in a breastfeeding environment within our home; they know it’s a natural thing some moms choose to do. So the question is: how do we all really feel about openly breastfeeding in public?
I nursed all three of my children until they were either one year or walking. So why was I thrown off by the image of a women breastfeeding openly in public on a T.V. commercial? This is not a topic a brand has shed light on before, not in this open, comical way. Clearly our society has some major issues when it comes to nudity and the instant ability to over-share. There are many people who feel like public, open nursing is just that, nudity.
I’m not much of a modest person myself; I live in Las Vegas…have you seen our taxis? Let me fill you in, bare butts with only a thong and lots of them. After all, my city came up with the mobile stripper pole bus! Images of bare lady parts don’t offend me much, I just chose not to look. My children are exposed to these types of ads too. When we go into the city, I have to evoke my ninja parenting skills to avoid scarring them for life. Just kidding, I tell them what I feel is appropriate for the situation.
In this day and age, nudity is just a click away. Movies, ads, magazines, and even Facebook all show bare breast sometimes, but add a nursing baby to that breast and it can induce all sorts of crazy talk and disrespectful reactions. The screenshot (above) came from the comments on Luvs YouTube feed where you can watch the commercial. I really don’t think there is an argument here, breastfeeding is a natural process and it should be respected and encouraged as such. Do I want to see bare breasts while I enjoy my pasta in a restaurant, not particularly, but that is the mother’s choice. I can respect that and avert my eyes; that is my choice.
Personally, I choose to cover up while I nursed outside the home and in the presence of company. I felt I was respecting their feelings as another valid human being. I, myself, was comfortable and so were my babies nursing this way and felt happy with my decision. But this is an individual choice all mothers have to make. We are smart enough as human beings to realize this is a natural thing and not “porn” as one commenter wrote. It’s a matter of worldview and so far America seems to be lacking in understanding and blurred the lines of nature and porn. Shocker!
All-in-all, I like that Luvs shined a big fat spotlight on breastfeeding. Las Vegas has had its share of controversy over the public breastfeeding debate. In August 2011, a group of nursing mothers held a “nurse-in” at the local DVM after a supervising employee at the DMV humiliated a mother for nursing her daughter in public. I think we as a society should visit these topics, in an educated, open, and if possible funny way. If you’re looking to participate in an educated chat about the subject you may want to skip YouTube, just saying.
Nevada Law on Breastfeeding
If you are a Nevada nursing mother and have been asked to leave a public place, you have the Nevada law on your side. You have the right to breastfeed in public. Direct them to:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breastfeed her child in any public or private location where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.
Some lactation consultants even have handouts you can carry with you (size of a business card) with the law printed on it.
Breastfeeding Resources, Classes & Information in Las Vegas
Here are some resources and information about breastfeeding including classes and pump rentals:
Breastfeeding in Public- What Do You Think?
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