The Breastfeeding Wars

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Public NursingThe Mommy Wars are so last decade. Modern moms are currently waging The Breastfeeding Wars. There are those who don’t, those who won’t, those who do, and those who do so publically.  Take, for example, the American University professor and single mother, Adrienne Pine. 

Adrienne Pine brought her sick baby with her to teach “Sex, Gender, and Culture,” a feminist anthropology course.  Midway through class, she breastfed her daughter while continuing to teach. The Washington Post reported that while some students in class were unfazed by Pine’s action, others were “appalled.”  The University released an official statement, essentially a thin line between respecting federal guidelines for nursing mothers and chastising Pine for not taking a day off from work.

Mothers face an uphill battle when it comes to changing the negative opinion many hold regarding nursing in public. Yet many refuse to be closeted while breastfeeding outside the home.  After all, breastfeeding not a sexual act; it’s a baby’s mealtime. Older children eat out in restaurants all the time; why can’t babies enjoy a meal out as well?

  Balboa Nursing Cover - Click on image to buy.

Society remains bitterly divided on this issue, evidenced by mothers ejected from museums for breastfeeding and mothers holding “nurse-ins” to raise awareness of their rights and the benefits of breastfeeding. Pine herself admits she never though nursing her daughter would garner so much attention; from her view, it was a natural choice – especially in the middle of an anthropology course on Sex, Gender and Culture! Her daughter was sick; her daughter was hungry; her daughter was fed. End of story.

Or is it?


Photo Kathryn FooterKathryn is a baby-wearing, cloth diapering, DIY mom to her quickly growing and pretty cute toddler.  When she isn't researching and writing about natural approaches to pregnancy and parenting, she's acting out her favorite children's books or singing off-key made-up songs.