Sometimes trying to work out what I actually think about something makes my head hurt.
Breast pumping in public. Yes or No?
My first instinct objectively is ‘of course…’…that comes from a libertarian stance where I’d be equally as happy if someone wanted to piss in public, donate sperm in public, paint their tits purple and run around pretending to be an alien in public….or anything else linked to those funny old societal taboos we have. Basically anything goes… stop whinging about what other people are doing if it doesn’t actually hurt you. Look away. Move away slightly. Get over it.
But….subjectively…I’m a bit of a breast feeding fascist. Bottle feeding wasn’t an option for me. Babies should be breast fed straight from the tit, if humanly possible and ‘if humanly possible’ doesn’t allow for cop outs like ‘if you work you need to bottle feed’ – you’ve just had a baby – you shouldn’t be working. The least you can do if you’ve just bought a child into the world is give it your undivided attention for as long as your family can afford to. (that means putting it’s well being before shit like cars and holidays)…. and then if there are two of you…you need to decide which one of you goes to work and which one shoulders the day to day responsibility of a child until it goes to school.
‘If humanly possible’ doesn’t mean you give up because of a cracked nipple or two… woman up! I fed through cracked nipples by using breathing techniques and gripping the armrests on my chair in agony…oh and then through mastitis on one side… if you are going to breast feed…be dedicated….do it….seek help with your technique…do everything you can to keep feeding for as long as you can and when people complain about you doing it in public give them the finger…(whilst at the same time having some sensitivity about who you are doing it in front of).
If you’re not able to tit feed… fair enough… bottle feeding works for a lot of people and turns out thoroughly decent people (I’m one of them) but if you’re going to bottle feed be honest and just bloody bottle feed…. bottle milk…out of a bottle.
What’s that? You want your child to have breast milk because it’s better for them?
Then breast feed and be damned.
But I’m told there are loads of other reasons why someone needs to pump in public… maybe their baby is in the prem unit? Or they have to add medication to their milk?
I don’t know the ins and outs of having a prem baby but I’m pretty sure I’d rather express milk by my baby’s bedside or comfortably at home… I know, I know…there are times when your milk comes in and you’re at the supermarket checkout and it’s leaking out and your tits are throbbing…. but how disorganised do you have to be to get to that point where you REALLY have to nip into Costa (other massive rip off coffee making chains are available) and get out your clean and sterile breast pumping kit that you were organised enough to pack.
And if you need to give your baby medicine… well…. why the heck in a handcart would that involve pumping in public?
These are excuses for doing it in public…not reasons.
I just can’t imagine why someone would want to…or need to pump in public…. but I’m very glad to have my mind changed on a case by case basis but the vast weight of the emphasis there is on ‘why are you pumping at all’ as opposed to ‘why in public’?
But… if that’s the conclusion they’ve come to and there’s no other option than to express milk at times when they happen to be out in public… fair do’s and I’ll fight for their right to do something in public that makes me mutter breast fascist mutterings and makes a lot of people say eeeeew.
I think that means my answer is ‘no – but go ahead and do it, you strange woman you, because why the fuck should you listen to me or anyone else when you are doing what you think is best for your baby?’