The Etiquette of Breast Feeding
Becoming a mom has been a wonderful experience. Veronica is five and a half weeks old and growing steadily. This past week we have been taking short walks and have been going out to lunch with friends. Normally she sleeps through most of the car rides and most outdoor activities but last week she decided to wake up in the middle of lunch at a Chinese restaurant. Without blinking an eyelash, I took my top off and began nursing her. Seattle is a very tame city and I have never seen a woman nursing openly in a mall or restaurant. I'm not sure I would be as quick to take off my top and nurse Veronica if I were still living in Seattle. Nevertheless, in Italy breast-feeding in public is a very common occurrence. Women breast-feed in restaurants, at the park, at the mall, on the bus, and just about everywhere. There is no shame in it at all. As a matter of fact, I have seen children up to three years old being nursed between bites of pizza and pasta at the food court of my local mall.
In England however, breast-feeding is not a protected right under the law (in public, that is). Recently there was a controversy regarding breast-feeding on the cover of Baby Talk magazine. It seems many of the magazine's subscribers were shocked and appalled to see a child nursing on the front cover of the magazine. Some readers of the magazine went as far as to use the words "disgusting , gross and shocking" to describe the cover. I have no idea what the big deal is. I am from a very modest family and I am very modest myself (I'm the type of person who goes into a rest room stall just to change into my workout clothes, before hitting the gym) but having a hungry child to feed has made my modesty disappear. (If you heard her screaming from hunger, you would know what I mean.) I never thought I would be so willing to expose myself for the better good of my child but these past two weeks have proved that I am. For once I am glad for the marked difference between Seattle and Torino.
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