Sunday, July 11, 2010

Donuts and Breastfeeding

Sadly this post isn't about the health benefits of donuts or how they help breastfeeding moms. No, this post is about something that I assume is cultural. Explanation to come.

I was getting donuts very early this morning with Jack. As I was being helped by the very nice lady, she asked me if Jack was a boy or a girl. He was in a unisex sleeper so it wasn't obvious he was a boy. I told her and then she asked "Do you breastfeed or give him formula?". I was slightly surprised by her question but this is not the first time someone has asked me.

I am wondering if this is a cultural thing? She was Vietnamese. The other time this question was asked of me, it was from an African man filling my gas tank. I knew he was African because he barely spoke any English and he had an accent.

In this country, are we much more private and less open about how we feed our babies? I don't mind answering people when they ask me (for the record, I still say I am breastfeeding even though I pump and give Jack a tiny bit of formula) but I don't recall ever being asked this by anyone that was born in the United States. Friends and family don't count because I consider them privvy to my personal information.

Although the gas station attendant situation was weird (it was a man asking me and he asked in strange way), I proudly told him yes, I was breastfeeding. He then went on to ask for how long I was planning to?

I think this must be cultural. I haven't done much research, but I assume in other countries, it is very acceptable for women to breastfeed and be open about it. It is extremely rare that I have encountered women out and about with their children where they breastfeed in public. I did it once at the zoo and I didn't see anyone else that day doing it. Maybe this isn't the case in other parts of the world. Maybe women are much more open and not only breastfeed in public, but talk about it as well.

So, donuts and breastfeeding. That was my morning so far. If you have any insight to this, please let me know! I would love to hear your experiences with this type of situation.

1 comment:

  1. I've been asked, but never by a complete stranger. Nebraska is pretty white and aside from some Mexican immigrants not very multicultural, my experience is pretty narrow in that sense. I have seen someone BF in public once here, but IMO BFing moms are usually pretty discreet and it's probably happened before when I just didn't notice it.