Jump to content
macenroe macenroe (New Member) New Member

An awkward moment

Lifestyle   (5,760 Views 36 Comments)
3,058 Visitors; 11 Posts
If you find this topic helpful leave a comment.
advertisement

I wasn't sure which forum to post this in, but I just wanted to get other member's thoughts and opinions.

Recently, I was in the lobby of a restaurant waiting to be seated. A woman came in with her child and took a seat next to me. There was an elderly couple waiting as well, and we all starting chatting to pass the time. The young mother mentioned that her daughter was going into the first grade in a few weeks, so they had been out school shopping. Her daughter then stated (loudly) that she was hungry. Imagine my surprise, when her mother plopped the kid on her lap and started breast feeding her. I actually felt nauseated and quickly looked away. I excused myself by saying that I had to take a phone call, and left the restaurant. As I was walking to my car, I glanced back and noticed that the elderly couple was leaving too.

It wouldn't have bothered me if the woman was nursing a baby, but this wasn't the case. The woman did manage to clear out the lobby by her actions. Therefore, decreasing her waiting time. Although, I'm sure that this wasn't her intention. LOL! It didn't matter. I was sickened by the whole thing, and had lost my appetite.

I was just wondering if others would have been uncomfortable in this same situation. My BFF says that women are breast feeding longer now, and jokingly called me a prude. :sarcastic:

Edited by macenroe
Typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of people on both sides of the fence seem to have strong feelings about breastfeeding in public. Personally I'm fine with it if it is, as you said, a baby that is nursing... But I would feel so incredibly uncomfortable sitting right next to a (5? 6?) y/o child with her/his mom's boob in their mouth. Don't know what it is but it seems wildly odd. No big deal but I probably would have excused myself just like you did, lol. :confused:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OP, prepare yourself for the pro-breastfeeding blitzkrieg to follow your post. I'm not touching this issue with a ten-foot pole. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a very personal topic, and I'm sure once the opinions start rolling in, it will become a heated debate (but hopefully people won't take things personally and start going off on posters...).

Personally, I think that age 6 or 7 (entering second grade) is too old to be breastfeeding. I bf my kids for around a year, which is when they stopped expressing interest in it. Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to bond with your child, even beyond when they need breast milk for nutrition, but at that age it would seem there are plenty of other ways to bond with your kid.

Just curious- was the mother/child of another culture? Because I think in American culture it is more frowned upon than perhaps in other cultures.

There is also the child's developmental stage to consider as well. Social and emotional development definitely come into play.

A final thought: I think, according to the WHO, the average age for stopping breastfeeding (world average) is around 4 years of age.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies. I hope that I don't start a big feud with my post. Just an honest question, on my part.

The woman and child wasn't from another region or culture, but that was a great question.

Let me just add that I have nothing against public breast feeding. It was the sheer age of the child that made me uncomfortable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok I'll bite. OP I totally understand how this would make you uncomfortable. In fact, I would bet that there would be even a some pro-breast feeding mothers that might feel uncomfortable as well. Breastfeeding older children is very common and necessary in third world countries for obvious reasons such as better nutrition and child spacing. I have read and heard from my LC friends in the UK and Australia, that it is becoming more common in those countries. In the US however, it is much less common and that's why I believe it is disturbing to many people. I'm not going to get into a debate here with other LC's on whether breastfeeding school age children is beneficial or not but I do believe this practice will continue to be in the minority in this country. This a parenting style that probably will make many people including pro breastfeeding parents a bit uncomfortable but it's just that, a parenting style. As you can see even as an LC I do not have a good response. I just wanted to validate your normal feelings and tell you that you are not a prude.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
advertisement

I wasn't going to post a response as I don't really have any strong opinion to contribute. But when I left the thread I saw the title of the post again...

An awkward moment.

Indeed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am all for Breastfeeding. In many cultures it's normal to feed until the child is several years old. I might have felt a little awkward, but I wouldn't have lost my appetite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No argument from my quarter about breastfeeding in general. Continuing it at the age of 5 or 6 is exceeding out of the norm for someone living in the USA, I can't say as I know why someone would do such at that age. My only thoughts would wonder if the child would have any separation issues going to school or the blow back from fellow students., I would likely distance myself too from the happenings quietly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not taking sides. I just wanted to mention that my cousin's daughter, who was born at 31 weeks gestation, had a great many allergies, most of which were severe to life threatening.

She was breastfed until she was a toddler, then drank her mom's milk from a sippy cup. When she started to school, a thermos of mother's milk went along with her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No problem with public breast feeding here either. On the other hand though, if I was the parent, after having what seems like a nice conversation with a stranger, I might've popped a warning in there. Something polite like "oh, do you mind blah blah blah", and I'd probably fully expect for you to excuse yourself for your phone call. And all is good!

I think in general people should be more accepting of others choices. It's not like she popped her kid in the face in front of you, now that's an issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope that this thread doesn't go off track. I didn't really intend for opinions on public breastfeeding. I don't have a problem with that. Again, it was the age of the child that bothered me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×