MIA: 'Women should be classy about breastfeeding in public.' Sorry... what?

Keep it ‘classy’, insists Kochie.


Oh Kochie. Kochie, Kochie, Kochie.

Thank you, I guess. It’s never a bad thing to remind people of the olden days, when men were men and women were……mostly invisible.

When the only depiction of breasts that was acceptable was the sexy kind. When the idea of a woman using her bosom to feed her baby was….you know….yucky.

It’s good to remember those times because it’s a reminder of how utterly absurd they were. And how anyone who still thinks that way is, well, old. Or at least, old fashioned to the point of being way out of step with modern attitudes.

So Kochie, I guess we shouldn’t be THAT surprised by your attitude……

Responding to a story on Friday’s Sunrise breakfast program about Liana Webster, the Bribie Island woman who was forced to leave her local pool after a complaint was made about her breast feeding in public.

Yes. She had the AUDACITY to feed her hungry baby with her own body. At which point Kochie opened his mouth and inserted first one foot and then the other.

“I totally think women should be able to breastfeed in public but I just think they should be a bit classy about it.”

He has two breastfeeding daughters, he points out. But he says if they breastfeed in restaurants, they turn their chairs around.

His problem, he says, is with ‘high traffic areas’. I have no idea what that actually means unless he doesn’t want women to breastfeed in the middle of a road for safety reasons. But I don’t think that’s what he meant.

Here I am breastfeeding in my lounge room, a low traffic area. PHEW.

As I’ve written previously, with over three years of breastfeeding on my CV (not consecutively and not of the same child), there’s not a public place where I haven’t breastfed or expressed. Beaches, planes, shopping centres, parks, airports, restaurants, BBQs, offices, cafes, meetings, parties, weddings, funerals, churches, synagogues…and frankly, I couldn’t care less who was watching.

Oddly enough, I tended to prioritise my baby’s immediate needs over the Elizabethan prudishness of people who have a problem with boobs being used for their natural function. I’m zany like that.

When I’m breastfeeding, my breasts are about as sexual to me as a bowl of Weet Bix. Because that’s exactly what they represent to my baby. Sustenance. Not sex.

I also find the term ‘public breastfeeding’ amusing. Those who oppose it (or express the need for it to remain ‘classy’) always exude a fearful, vaguely alarmed vibe, as if there are groups of marauding mothers using their babies as an excuse to flash their lactating breasts in strangers’ faces: “I know! Let’s meet at Westfield! The first person to flash their leaky nipple to 100 shoppers wins a toasted sandwich!”

As for the suggestion by some that breastfeeding should happen in toilets, I totally agree. As soon as those same people are happy to have their morning coffee made, served and drunk in a toilet cubicle, we shall happily breastfeed right alongside them.


And using ‘mothers’ rooms’ (which tend to be ghastly places), isn’t always possible, particularly if you have more than one child.

My other favourite thing is when people say mothers should be discreet. Or ‘classy’ as Kochie put it.

This is also true. There are far too many breastfeeding women who brazenly strip naked to the waist in public each time their baby grizzles. Have you seen them throw their bosoms around with gay abandon while waving their arms in the air like they just don’t care?

What is wrong with these women? Why do they derive so much pleasure from being almost nude in public? Oh wait. They’re not and they don’t. Breastfeeding mothers feed our babies as quickly and quietly as possible because THEY ARE HUNGRY and SO THEIR CRIES DON’T DISTURB YOUR VERY IMPORTANT PUBLIC BUSINESS such as texting someone while you sip your skinny latte and flick through a newspaper in a coffee shop.

Selfish exhibitionists, yes we are.

If you’re interested, there’s a public ‘nurse-in’ outside the Sunrise studio on Monday morning. You can find details on this Facebook page.

Viva la boobies.

And these are pictures from the Nurse In protest in Sydney.