Why moms breastfeed in public: The truth and nothing but the truth

Nov 5, 2015 at 11:22 a.m. ET
Image: Amaia Arozena & Gotzon Iraola/Getty Images

It happens all too often. A woman breastfeeds her baby in a public place, and suddenly... Headlines!

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She's been done wrong by some jerk who doesn't know the law (which, by the by, ensures that nursing a hungry baby is protected in this country... even when moms leave the confines of their own homes). She wants answers, and rightfully so.

But then come the Internet comments.

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"Moms need to stop looking for attention."

"Moms should go find a bathroom to feed their baby."

And the ever popular "That's pornographic."

And on and on it goes. Is it any wonder a recent survey found a full third of moms feel embarrassed to nurse their babies outside their home? An estimated 6 in 10 actually take steps to hide away if they're forced to feed in a public setting. What's more, 10 percent of moms who opted against breastfeeding cited a worry about breastfeeding in public as part of their reasoning.

But ask a mother why she's breastfeeding in public, and chances are she will have one answer for you: "My child was hungry."

Ask the teeming hordes of judgmental Internet commenters, on the other hand, and you'll get everything from claims that she's flaunting her breasts to she's making a cry for help (yes, really, we've seen that one more than a few times). So we thought we'd settle this one, once and for all.

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What is a mom really doing when she breastfeeds in public? Here's a handy guide that explains it!

What people think breastfeeding in public is
Image: Design via Becci Burkhart/SheKnows

What do you think a mom is doing when she breastfeeds in public?

15 Things that only women understand
Image: Brand New Images/Getty Images

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