A lot of the boards I frequent have more natural-minded parents. A lot of them breastfeed their babies. Recently everyone was up in arms about the story of a woman asked to go to the bathroom to nurse her baby at a theme park. Which brings up the very hot topic of NIP (nursing in public). I don't really participate in the debates, but I will read them sometimes just to see what is being said. I have noticed there is a wide range of acceptance in our society, ranging from "Please don't even mention the 'B-word' around me", to "Heck, we should all just run around with no shirts on". Me? I fall somewhere in between. I do NIP with Hannah occasionally, but I am one of those discreet people where you probably wouldn't even know that's what I was doing. I'm still fairly shy about it. I was raised in a long line of bottle feeders. I never even saw someone breastfeeding in person until I was 18. And at the time, I was fairly squicked out about it.
I like to think I have matured somewhat. Although I will admit, I am still not totally 100% comfortable being around someone nursing. But would I ever ask someone to go to a bathroom? Heck. No. I believe it's a woman's right to feed her baby wherever she wants, although I don't necessarily agree with the women that just flop it out for all the world to see. Yes, it's a totally natural thing, but is our society ready for that? No. And I don't think the "shock and awe" treatment is going to fix that.
What a funny world we live in though, where the sight of boobs on prime time tv is accepted, but a baby eating?! Heaven forbid anyone actually sees that.
Do me a favor though, those of you out there that are uncomfortable when you see a baby nursing: Look away. And don't look disgusted or mortified either. Heck, if you can manage it, flash the mom a quick understanding smile before you look away. Because chances are, it's a mom like me, who is nervous about having to NIP. And a lot of people will tell you, breastfeeding can be difficult. It would be great if society wouldn't make it even worse.