Now there's a blog post title that will get your attention. And this post involves a good degree of both. Yep. Read on.
So, at the zoo on Friday night, there was a mother carrying her little one in a Baby Bjorn. The baby (I'm guessing five- to six-months-old) was facing her, as opposed to facing out - which is entirely appropriate and permissible once the baby can hold her head independently... but this mom had other plans for the baby and the carrier.
The young (and otherwise cute) mom was wearing a blue tube top, and when her baby was hungry, she simply folded down the top of her shirt, exposing both breasts, allowing the baby a full milkshake buffet, right there before God and everyone. It was truly unbelievable.
As if this were not distracting in itself, she also stood in the aisle of a pavilion, where everyone else was seated and eating. She was the focal point of the crowd, nursing away. When people needed to pass by, she merely looked at them, in a nonverbal standoff, truly daring someone to ask her to step aside or cover up.
See? Belligerent breastfeeding.
Now let me say, here and now: I am in favor of nursing. I nursed both of my boys long after they came home from the hospital (but I stopped before they could help themselves to an afternoon snack). I respect the beauty of the process, the nutrition for the baby, and the bonding for everyone involved. And I definitely know the value of mastering the skill in a way that works for both mom and baby.
But for heaven's sake... was that really necessary?
Everyone in the entire place was trying not to stare, trying to be more interested in the burgers and hot dogs than the milk, milk, milk.
I was there with several of my friends, each of whom have small babies of their own. One friend discreetly took pictures of the breastfeeding spectacle; if she posts it on her blog, you'll be the first to know. It was just so unbelievable, it had to be documented.
Another friend was there with her newborn, and I told her to challenge the hippie mom to a nurse-off. It was a dollar bet in the making. No takers on that one.
I'm still a little baffled by the whole memory. It's sort of burned onto my retinas.
Imagine how the men in the audience are feeling, even now.