"Not Breastfeeding Is Fine," But What About Her Reasoning?


One mom defends her right to bottle-feed her baby without judgment. We’re with her. But then she tests our theoretical tolerance by giving her reasons.

Writes Monica Bielanko,

I shouldn’t feel obligated to explain to anyone why I don’t want to breastfeed. Even if I simply found it uncomfortable or was under the illusion that it would change my boobs, that should be no one’s concern but mine. Yet here I am, explaining away.

And she’s absolutely right: whatever her reason, it’s her choice.

Then she goes on to tell us why she doesn’t want to breast-feed:

The real reason I’m not breastfeeding is deeply personal and deeply embarrassing: I’m not comfortable with the concept of busting out a boob anywhere. Sometimes not even my own bedroom. Yes, I have issues. I’m well aware, as is my long-suffering husband. A lot of it has to do with my being raised a Mormon. You could say I grew up ashamed of my sexuality…What I’m saying here is that I’ve always associated nudity, especially breasts, with sexuality and then sin and shame. And because breastfeeding involves breasts, it’s gotten tangled up in those associations.

Intellectually, the “reason” shouldn’t matter — not least because it’s none of our business and a woman shouldn’t have to justify her choice. But can’t we read this, agree with the author’s basic point…and still hope she might get some counseling to feel better about her body? What she does with that confidence would, of course, continue to be her business.

Not Breastfeeding Is Fine

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