OUR VIEW: Breastfeeding in public is not a sin

No one is advocating nudity but there are those who need to shed the Puritan mindset that breastfeeding in public is an egregious sin.

A breastfeeding challenge will take place this week at the Boundary Women’s Centre in Grand Forks (page 22) and the number of participants of the event has grown since the first challenge took place in 2001.

While breastfeeding is a very natural process with many benefits, you can be assured that if the Grand Forks Gazette doesn’t use discretion if publishing a related photo, there will be complaints from readers.

No one is advocating full frontal nudity of course but there are people out there who need to shed the Puritan mindset that breastfeeding in public is an egregious sin.

Yes public nudity is not something that is acceptable – as some spectators at the recent Grand Forks International baseball tournament will attest to – but mothers that breastfeed use nursing covers and are discreet about it.

Mothers are merely providing nourishment to their child, as opposed to running in their birthday suits across the James Donaldson Park outfield, possibly because too much alcohol was consumed.

There are local groups that are advocating for the allowance of public breastfeeding as well, as an initiative was launched earlier in the year to make it easier for mothers to breastfeed at local businesses and it is a movement that is not just taking place in the Boundary either – there are reports that women in Israel are fighting for the right to breastfeed in public as well.

In fact, a mother breastfeeding with a nursing cover doesn’t even constitute nudity if you look at it literally.

The Oxford Dictionary of Current English defines nude as “wearing no clothes” and nudist as “a person who prefers to wear no clothes wherever possible” and that does not pertain to a clothed mother, who is wearing a nursing cover over her baby.

Another initiative was launched in July seeking to make businesses more family friendly, which tied in to the breastfeeding friendly initiative.

Making businesses more friendly for families is good business they said and allowing mothers to feed in public is natural.

Who are we to argue with nature?

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