According to a survey, 65% of British moms say they don't breast-feed because they're worried about people looking at them. And their fears may not be unfounded — 54% of women who do breast-feed they've been asked to leave the restaurant for doing so. Some have to retreat to their cars to feed their kids, and, in an unfortunate example of the differences between British and American English, "35 per cent admitted they were forced to feed their baby in a toilet."
Mammographer Ella Laseinde (pictured) has a solution to breast-feeding shyness: a special bib with a hole for the breast and a flap that goes over the baby's head. It may not cover the whole breast, but there are other options. Recent inventions include a curtain suspended from the mother's neck by a circular rod, or, for the baby, a wide-brimmed Breast-feeding Hat.
Breast-feeding advocate Dia Michels, however, doesn't think the solution lies in such innovations. She says,
The reason women are so freaked out about breast-feeding in public is because we have completely sexualized the breast. The only way to make breast-feeding easier for women is to desensitize the public to breast exposure. If these devices allow women to hide what they're doing and cover it because it's shameful and because it's embarrassing, it's just perpetuating the sexualization of the breast.
Desensitizing the public, however difficult, still seems like a better option than making a baby wear a giant boob hat.
Image via The Sexist (Washington City Paper)
Two-Thirds Of Women Too Shy To Breastfeed [Daily Express]
Public Breast-Feeding: What The Nursing Bib Means For The Right To Bare Breasts [The Sexist]