Ah, the big question – to PB or not to PB. I am talking about Public Breastfeeding; a phenomenon which, if you believe the British press, is currently causing a divide in public opinion not seen since the now infamous 2004 Super Bowl “Nipplegate”. Remember that somewhat “frisky” Justin / Janet half time performance which turned the supposedly family friendly airwaves blue and the PR camps of said artists chalk pale? Well, even a child would agree that exposing one’s nipple in that context could be (and was indeed) considered controversial. Leaving that backfired PR stunt aside however, how about breastfeeding in public?
Personally, I can’t say that I care much either way – when hunger calls, it calls and at that point it is pretty much secondary where I get my meal. All I know is that I better get it served hot (or preferably lukewarm) within about five minutes. Otherwise, I will put on a show so loud and dramatic it would cause even Ms. Tina Turner to blush. Mind you however, most people would probably not mind Ms. Tina belting out a tune or two in the middle of a packed lunch restaurant. My vocals on the other hand, have a considerably smaller fan base. In any case, I do not leave mommy with much wiggle room when it comes to my feeding times and so it is pretty much up to her how she chooses to juggle what she calls “having a life” and potential public humiliation. (The humiliation arising not so much from the possible public exposure of a nipple, as from the failure of doing so in time and the subsequent wailing on my end.)
Statistics would show that my lunch provider has got a slight bias toward serving the meals either at home or in what could be labelled “appropriate establishments”, where she can keep the milk bar at a discrete distance from the most public of eyes. Paradoxically however, I have heard her say that she would prefer to feed me at a packed high-end restaurant, than in a more intimate environment in the company of say, her male friends (or even worse, daddy’s). I guess the latter is a bit like discussing your sex life with your friends; it’s all good and well as long as the preferences of the partner being discussed is not the person your friend ends up marrying. In which case, you later have to endure years of excruciating dinner parties attempting to block out compromising mental pictures of the person sitting opposite you. Or so I’ve heard at least...
To sum it up, my conclusion on this topic would be; just ‘cause you got it, don’t mean you gotta flaunt it. Most people are understanding of the needs of a baby – as long as you use some common sense and remember that there is a time and place for everything. One thing is for sure though, there is no need whatsoever to put both puppies out on display at the same time (as was recently observed in a coffee shop downtown). That kind of excess tends to be frowned upon in any setting; a bit like towing your Ferrari with your Maserati - just to show the world that you have got two awesome rides.