Breastfeeding: Can’t We All Just Get Along?
How something so primal has become so political.
In a new presidential year, you expect things to get pretty, well, political. There seems to be a rule that when this happens, all other causes become exponentially political as well. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You need to stir things up to see any kind of result or progress. Since we’re a brand about breastfeeding clothes you may know where this is headed. Target. Mila Kunis. United Airlines. Take your pick.
Stuff is happening in the breastfeeding world. It seems whenever we tell people we’ve just met that we’ve just launched a line of clothing for breastfeeding moms, the standard response is “Oh yeah, that’s a big thing now, huh? Breastfeeding in public.” I mean, to be fair, this isn’t really a “new” thing. Women have been nursing their babies since the beginning of time, albeit not in a discount store with a terrible French accent inherently associated to it, but you know, basically everywhere else. The follow up question to this rhetorical question is usually, “What do you think about public breastfeeding?”. And this is what this post is about.
I think people expect that we’ll have a very strong point of view on the subject and defend it with all of our might. But the truth is, we don’t. Our point of view is that everyone is different and we respect their individual choices. From my own personal experience, I did nurse in public. But to be honest, I only did it either covered up or with nursing-specific (and therefore discreet) clothing (which wasn’t nearly as cute as Allette, obvs!). That’s how I felt comfortable. I had friends who uncovered completely and some that only used bottles when they were in public. It’s a personal choice. Do what you gotta do. I heard this great story when my son was born about a girl on the Tube (he was born in London, I’m not just pulling a Madonna on you here), who was nursing her son when an older gentleman told her there was a “time and place for everything”. The girl quickly responded “Yes, that’s true. My baby is hungry and I’m on the Tube. So the time is now, and the place is here.” Respect. Gotta hand it to her, she was able to pull out the right line at the right time. I really believe being able to retort quickly and cleverly is a superpower.
Anyway, do what you want, we say. Of course we care about what is happening in this country regarding women’s reproductive rights, maternity leave and work breastfeeding laws. We’ve used the hashtag #normalizebreastfeeding and totally respect this and other movements, but really, we just want to make pretty clothes. We developed Allette to help support women who choose to breastfeed and want to look good while doing it and not have to fully uncover. We loved it when Chrissy Teigen posted about her boobs. It’s entertaining and funny. And if you’ve been there, you can relate to all of it. And if it helps other women feel more secure about their choices, we say, awesome! When I had my first child, the line from the Coldplay song The Scientist, “nobody said it was easy, no one ever said it would be this hard” kept running through my mind. I’m sure that this line was written about having a baby. What else? Side note: please don’t judge me on the Coldplay thing, the line just stuck.
So, I say, can’t we all just get along? Cover up, don’t cover up, partially cover up, bottle feed, whatever makes you and your baby happy. No one should be berated for their choices. Especially whilst breastfeeding around the smell of day old hot dogs. I ask you, hasn’t this lady suffered enough?
Originally published at alletteboutique.com/blogs/alletteDIARY.