Are there public places where a woman should not breastfeed her child?

Strip Club

I’ve never been to a musical where every moment is loud music and/or applauding. Most have a lot of dialog, some of it ‘quiet’ and dramatic. Perhaps you are confusing musicals with opera?

This has got to be the funniest reason to disallow breast feeding so far. What are they going to do - mandatory breast pumping at the door?

Come on - it’s The Little Mermaid, and anyone who buys tickets had better not expect deathly silence from the audience. And the infant wasn’t making any noise - just eating.

ISTM that breast feeding per se is A-OK in any public place. Noisy kids is a different issue.


I have to admit that my sympathy for actors who are distracted by breastfeeding is rather limited.* I’d be more sympathetic to distracted actors in a setting where I didn’t assume the actors to be professionals, and in a smaller theater. (Although, perhaps, my assumptions about this theater are wrong).

Still, a theater, with people sitting elbow to elbow, does not strike me as a great place to breastfeed (even if the people at your elbows are family/friends). But mostly, the theater strikes me as a bad place to breastfeed because it strikes me as a bad place to bring an infant.

*although I agree with you that just because it’s a musical doesn’t mean it’s all loud and frantic.

Hey, don’t be encouraging people to ruin my opera experience with babies! :slight_smile:

Opera has a lot of intense, quiet moments as well as loud, thunderous moments. Many of them involve murder, suicide, war, etc. Most children wouldn’t understand the words and would either be bored and kicking the crap out of my chair or young enough that the volume would be frightening to them. Children under 5 do not belong in the theater unless it is specifically a Children’s Theater production. It isn’t fair to them or the other patrons. Infants certianly don’t belong there and breastfeeding would be distracting to those people who have to share an arm rest with you.

I’m not talking about breastfeeding, I’m actually talking about the infant in the theatre to begin with. I like children, have two of my own, but they are capable of having the most piercing loud cries which are “quiet space” inappropriate.

That I don’t believe they should be there at all makes should they be breastfed there sort of moot.

Roller coaster

Lion taming

Bungee jumping

Scuba diving

This list, it goes on…

I agree that, unless it’s some sort of Shakespeare in the Park-esque performance or a designated children’s show, no child under the age of, say, eight or nine belongs in a theater. Kids are not just very small adults, they’re kids, and lots of stuff is not kid-appropriate.

As for breastfeeding, I personally see no reason why it can’t be done in relative private. Step into a restroom, your car, or better yet: just wait until you’re back home/in your hotel room or whatever. If you can’t avoid going out with an infant for an extended period of time, just use bottles, and the problem is solved. At the very least, use a blanket or something to cover up what’s going on. I fully expect to be flamed for this, but breastfeeding is gross. I have no desire to see someone’s milk-swollen boob, and I also have no desire to see a living organism sucking on another’s bodily fluids, because…ew.

Someplace that is not appropriate at all is when you and your infant are crammed in the middle seat in coach on a plane. It’s a two hour flight for god’s sake, it can wait!

I agree that breastfeeding more or less anywhere is fine. My beef would also be with disruptive kids, not with a nursing infant. As long as the mother was using some sort of discretion (i.e., not flopping it out for all to see, but instead practicing the usual lift/nudge the shirt and latch or covering with a thin blanket), who cares? I’d be more annoyed by getting elbowed in the rib by a nursing mom - when you’re new it, it can be hard to figure out where your arms go - than the actual fact of her nursing.

I agree with you to a larger extent than it appears that you realized. Put this down to bad post construction on my part.

In totally unrelated news, I wish to draw you attention to this thread in which you showed up in my dreams last week for no readily apparent reason.

You want to sit next to a hungry baby for TWO hours?! :eek:

No mirrors in the bedroom, eh? :wink:

Now I’ve seen a spandex clad bicyclist with a small baby, maybe 4-5 months old strapped to his back. The guy was flying down the road and the kids arms and legs were dancing. I had a feeling the baby was drooling with happiness but the Mom in me said way too dangerous.

My husband would strap on the Kelty and load up the baby and go Xcountry skiing, I would never attempt that myself. A walk on a trail yes, skiiing no.

I wouldn’t try breasfeeding in a kayak either.

Opera’s and musicals would be ok too, if its ok with management.

I think breastfeeding in a public bathroom stall is inappropriate, takes too much time and holds up the line!

I’m only vexed if it’s a place where a child that young should not be in the first–say in the middle of a movie theatre–or if the woman is horribly indiscreet. But undoing a few buttons and giving suck? Doesn’t bother me a bit.

But then, I have five sisters, four of whom have children, and all of them have breast-fed in front of me. so it’s not something I think unusual…

Especially in the men’s room.

I agree that I would never feel comfortable taking an infant somewhere that I couldn’t make a quick getaway in case s/he decided that now would be a good time to scream.

As for breastfeeding, think it’s unfortunate that people think it should be hidden away in a public restroom (ew), in a hot, crowded car, or that it must be done in such a way that people will see boobs, or that it can be done at a convenient time. Some infants will not take bottles. Some parents choose to wait to introduce bottles for the first month or two. Some mothers can’t get adequate milk via pumping. Babies are by nature inconvenient, and mothers can’t always stay locked away for three months postpartum.

There are polite ways of nursing in public that minimize the discomfort for surrounding people. In much the same way that adults can use good manners eating in public while keeping their mouths closed so I don’t have to see their half-chewed dinner and hear them smacking, babies can eat politely. Not all nursing mothers are militant lactivists whipping off their tops and dangling the nursling from their teat like a rhesus monkey.

Anywhere an infant should be, breastfeeding should be not only tolerated, but encouraged. If the theater wants to provide “infant-free” or “child-free” or “teenager-free” events, then great. Given that it’s a play of a well known CHILDREN’S movie, I don’t think it particularly clueless for the mom to think that it might be okay to bring a child to (although, having seen the stage version of Lion King, I wouldn’t make that assumption myself.)

But, much as I love kids and think they should be part of the adult world much of the time, I don’t think children belong everywhere adults are all the time. Not only do other adults deserve a night without children, so do parents, and the children themselves deserve to learn that they’re not the focal point of the family. Sometimes, the parental units need a night off.

Yes, I want to expose my kids to theater from a young age. That’s why there is Children’s Theater with shows written, directed and acted with kids in mind, or short age-appropriate shows that give kids the stage bug without expecting them to sit still for 2 hours, or outdoor venues where you can walk away without disrupting others if your kids get the whiny wiggles…these are the kinds of theatrical events for very small children and babies. Not, save for specially advertised matinées perhaps, a Broadway show.

I can’t say too much about breastfeeding other than, yep, if it’s a breastfed baby, it should be able to nurse and everyone else can get over it. I don’t really care if it makes others uncomfortable. And I include myself in there - yes, I do a double take and feel a bit awkward when faced with an unexpected nursing duo. But I don’t count; that baby getting fed is way more important than my weird and dysfunctional mores.

Only by encouraging breastfeeding in public can we assure that the next generation (okay, make that two or three generations from now - it’s taking longer than we thought) aren’t uncomfortable with what is a totally non-sexual, non-excretory, non-shameful method of nutrition. It shouldn’t be a novel choice. Breastfeeding should be the default assumption*, and that means frequent feeds and normalizing breastfeeding wherever that baby happens to be.

*With understanding and compassion to those who can’t manage it, of course (again, like me - had to go with half formula and half pumped milk for both my kids, dammit). But bottle feeding is just *not *just as good. I wish we’d stop pretending that breast milk provides *advantages *in health and development and just admit that bottle feeding presents disadvantages. It’s a semantic game, but a significant one, I think. A colostomy bag is not as good as a fully functioning colon, and a bottle is not as good as a breast. But now I think I’ve fallen off the topic…

Discreet breastfeeding should be allowed anywhere. All Mom really has to do is tuck baby under her blouse, cover with cloth if needed. Nobody sees anything. Certainly far less than you see any day at the beach.

The question of crying, screaming, or in any other way preventing others from enjoying a show is a separate issue.

When will people stop referring to breastfeeding as “whipping out” breasts? That’s just silly.

I know, I always envision third parties being injured as a result. MY GOD, SHE JUST WHIPPED IT OUT. SOMEONE COULD LOSE AN EYE!

I’d think that anyplace with teenage boys should be avoided. Or at least act discreetly. I have a problem only because 90% of my brain thinks “Cool, boobs!” and I have a hard time not looking at said boob. But most mothers are very discreet, so I don’t really see a problem. Like another doper said, I’d avoid anyplace where people have to be looking at you.