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Breastfeeding in public: taboo or not?

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Feeding controversy

There you are: at the movies or in the mall, and you see a woman cradling a baby. 'Awww,' you think, until she shifts the baby, inadvertently revealing a nipple. Is this inappropriate or a necessary action? Real men and women weigh in.

Social networking giant, Facebook, recently caused an uproar among breastfeeding mothers when they removed breastfeeding photos due to their "revealing" nature. The Pregnancy Show spoke with members of a mom oragnization called Mom to Mom to find out their opinions on the controversy surrounding breastfeeding in public and the Facebook photo removal scandal.

Glamour magazine's hit blog Storked! also stirred up controversy recently when author Christine Coppa admitted to feeling uncomfortable seeing a woman shopping at Bloomingdales while breastfeeding.

Readers reacted, leaving close to 100 comments. The controversy is something that never quite goes away.

Just for food

Many moms argue that breasts are simply there to feed offspring -- just as they are on any mammal. "We have breasts to feed babies. That is their sole biological function," says Margot Potter, mom of one.

And seeing breastfeeding, to some, is a heartwarming thing. "I like seeing moms breastfeeding in public. To me, it says, I'm giving my baby what he needs and I'm not going to ignore my baby's needs or search for a place to hide just because some people aren't used to seeing babies fed the way nature intended," said Shira, mom of one.

The sex factor

However, in the highly sexualized society today, not everyone can get past the erotic views of breasts.

"I view my breasts as sexual objects. Frankly, I feel a bit bad for women who have stopped seeing themselves and their bodies that way just because they have birthed a child. And I feel bad for their husbands," said Tova, mom of one. Tova breastfed her daughter for a short time, but said she never did so in public.


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