Mark and I had a little on-air duel today (click here for audio) over a topic that, quite honestly, should never be the stuff of controversy. But, since it always does seem to get folks’ bras in a wad, we were flooded with calls, tweets, and emails — primarily from men (which is entirely different talk show topic) — containing passionate opinions.
The best email I received all morning was from a listener named Linda. It perfectly summed up my feelings on this matter (we actually shared it on air) and I wanted to post it here for everyone’s consumption.
I’ve been listening this morning, and I’ll say what I’ve heard you say a dozen times already: “I love you man, but…” You’re speaking from a lack of experience.
Until you’ve held a sweaty, 15 pound heater on your lap to nurse him for 20 minutes or so on a hot Texas day, you don’t realize how oppressive even those “little flimsy blankets” you referred to earlier really can be. You haven’t held a squirmy breast feeder who freaks out every time anything (like a light blanket) comes near her face and struggles to push it away while simultaneously letting go of your nipple (and exposing you) as she starts to scream in fear (thus drawing attention to you). Nor have you had to choose between nursing your baby at a public playground while you supervise your three and five year-old children at play, rather than wrestle them back to the car to wait patiently (???) while you run the motor for 20 minutes or so at $4 a gallon and nurse the baby in private. Children are not always issued in single-dose packaging, they are often reared in packs.
I agree that a nursing mother should be as considerate of others around her as she hopes others will be of her and her baby’s situation. Honestly, the reasonable person who sees a guy wander off to some bushes to relieve himself is going to look away, just as they should if they see a sleep-deprived mother attempting to nurse a baby in a less-than ideal circumstance.
Society needs to take a chill pill about this, period. Every adult criticizing how others accomplish the feeding and nurture of their children needs to remember their own mother who had to do her best to feed and nurture them at one time also.
A loyal, conservative listener, who has spent roughly 5 years of her life (total) breastfeeding her children in a warm climate.