Nursing in Public (NIP) and its sentiments.

A few days ago I was reading through my Facebook feed and i noticed a feed about a blog entry that apparently triggered an uproar among the breastfeeding community here in the country.

It was something about nursing in public and its sentiments. Interesting topic.

I didnt bother to go through with all the frenzy though, because of my own reasons, but somehow a dear friend of mine forwarded me the link to the post via Whatsapp.

When i saw the link i was not surprised at all, because the blogger who wrote that piece is actually notorious for his "mean" style of writing. That entry worked like magic and i think he probably got a boost in his traffic. If that was his intention then he really did a great job.

To me the entry has some valid points, i am not going to deny that. Like the covering up part, and the part where we should be questioning the government's support on nursing facilities. But then it was kind of a judgement rather than an opinion, which i do not fancy.

But anyway lets talk about nursing in public a.k.a NIP.

I have no problems at all when it comes to NIP, but it has to come along with ethics. Of course there are no hard and fast rules on NIP ethics, but there is reliable thing called common sense that we can make use of.

If a mom wants to NIP, along with the responsibility of feeding her child, there is also a responsibility of keeping herself discreet. Yes, breastfeeding is a noble thing to do, it is a natural thing, but it does not come with a license that allows us to let it bare just because it is the act of breastfeeding. Common sense calls us to cover up appropriately in public, regardless of whatever act that we are engaging in.

Now isn't that more comfortable to the eyes? :)
There are reasons why nursing covers and nursing attires are invented. I really do not understand if mothers cannot make use of this.Really are there really moms who don't cover up when they are doing NIP? If yes, that disturbs me.

On the other hand, I am also not sure why people are condemning NIP if the mom is covering up, perhaps those who condemn the act of nursing a child in public (like the blogger), never heard of those nursing accessories. Hence the importance of really doing homework before putting out an opinion about something. Discriminating NIP is a whole different story, and that one i totally disagree.

The hard cold truth is that boobs, are always and have been perceived as something other than a food source for the baby. In the imperfect world that we live in right now, boobs are always associated with sex (at least at the first thought), and it it just not acceptable if it is made free for viewing. Don't get me started about the Western countries though, their ironies I can never understand.

You can call men (or women) who stare as perverts if they were staring at you while you are NIP, but then again, you have to admit that its just how the society works. There are gazillions of human beings around, with a variety of perceptions and opinions and behavior. It is not easy to change them, so the best thing that we can do is adapt and respect each other by not having a fancy "show" which will lead to a lot of awkwardness.

Breastfeeding is natural and noble, but breastfeeding while letting it bare when you have appropriate means of covering up is just wrong.

So again, I am not against NIP, but it must come with a proper conduct. To be honest, I myself am not comfortable nursing in public even when I am wearing a nursing attire, to me, using a shawl or a nursing poncho is the best. Even so it still is my last resort, I still prefer a nursing room or an isolated corner first. Well, that's just my opinion.

On the same note, isn't it quite frustrating that most of our public places are still not nursing friendly? Breastfeeding has been long promoted by the government, but I think its time to take it up a notch by not only promoting it in a hospital environment. Public awareness and facilities should be improved to support all the breastfeeding moms out there.

Not to mention the facilities in the workplace too, I think employers who can realize this fact and take proactive measures will become a very attractive employer to the growing number of mom talents out there.

I wish this will improve soon. Meanwhile, let's continue to support breastfeeding moms out there.

We all really need each other now. More than ever.

P/S : Apparently my question about moms who let it bare was answered, yesterday my friend Hana posted in her FB that she witnessed one mom who did NIP and bare her boobs happily in a restaurant. Eeeeekkk!


Arya Stark said…
Ayuni, I too was outraged when I first read the so-called blogger's entries on NIP. It's not that I don't agree with his issues, perhaps it was the way he elaborated and played with the topic, or simply the choice of words. Then again, it was his blog, so yeah, he can just mighty say whatever he wants kan? And like you, I pun sangat uncomfortable when NIP. I prefer breastfeeding my boy in the car/nursing room/fitting room. Only during my travels would I resort to NIP but of course always always provided that i cover my aurah. Using my shawl/pashmina is the best way cos my boy cant stand a nursing cover n I will make sure my husband covers me regardless. Hehe. Agree on the lack of nursing rooms. Even in KLIA pun xde nursing room. Last time I had to urgently nurse my boy, I had to ask some airport police to let me use the VIP room (where VIPs check in). Thank God the police were all ladies, and they kindly offered a seat and helped cover me.
Unknown said…
I didn't read the blog but I did notice the upset mommies. But yes, NIP pun ada caranya. My kids most of the time couldn't stand the nursing cover either...but I was also a babywearing mom :P so the ring sling 'tail' provided sufficient coverage :D
Tapi kan, dulu2 I pernah nampak sorang ni..non-Malay (probably non-Malaysian, too), she was trying out shoes while BF-ing her boy. Dia sorang, takde pulak nampak nanny ke maid ke..tapi dengan selambanya dia BF anak dia sambil cuba2 kasut...too much exposure, that's all I can say :P
Ayuni A. said…
Dina, tulah. We really need to improve public facilities for moms. Kadang2 memang frustrating. Govt mmg dh lama support BF tapi sekadar kat hospitals. Time to do something about it, i hope they realize that.

Kak Millie, auwww, awkward! Too much exposure yes! Haha.. Kalau saya pun tak tau macamana nak react. Tapi really la diorang ni memang selamba. Tapi sedikit sebanyak tarnish the image of BF mom, sampai orang terus discriminate BF in public. Sad..huhu
Hey there!

I agree with you! My baby can't stand the covers so I usually look out for nursing rooms.

I've seen a mum, feeding her baby bare at our peads clinic, the waiting area was small and crowded. Awkward!

I've listed some breastfeeding friendly areas in KL on my blog. Hope it can help mama's out there.

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