Don’t Apologize for Breastfeeding!
I‘ve written previously about breast feeding in public. Thus, I won’t rehash the entire spiel. Needless to say I’m an advocate of breast feeding, in public or wherever. I can eat pretty much anywhere I want so I think a baby ought to be able to do at least as much. That’s not the point though. This evening I was walking around in downtown Boulder looking for my wife and kids (who I had managed to temporarily misplace). As I turned a corner and began to cross the street I surprised a woman who was breast feeding on a bench under a tree. It was clear that she had chosen a spot away from the restaurants and crowds to do it.
She detached the kid from her boob and covered herself while apologizing to me. For a second my reaction was to wave my hand as if to dismiss the concern and keep walking. But then I thought, why is she apologizing? I said, “Don’t apologize. Babies have to eat, too.” Then I kept on moving. But, the more I think about the exchange the more I can’t help being upset that some part of her life has programmed her to apologize for this perfectly natural behavior. Is it her community? Maybe her upbringing? Husband? I don’t know what it is. It was a seemingly benign comment that I believe has a deeper, and negative, psychological origin which I hope someday will completely vanish from society. Doesn’t it seem a bit weird that a baby should have to stop eating just because someone else (who is completely non-threatening) is in the vicinity?