An open letter to those opposed to public breastfeeding.

Dear Public Breastfeeding POOPIES (People Opposed to the Occasional Presence of Infants Eating in Society),

It must be hard to be a Poopy. So many women. So many breasts.

One can only imagine the terrible anxiety you must feel every time you see a woman walking around with a baby.

Oh, the rising angst of knowing that, at any point, she could whip out one of those ghastly breasts for her guzzling urchin.

Yes, your plight is not an easy one, Poopy. It’s not easy at all.

And to make matters worse, some of these selfish women don’t even carry modesty blankets with them nowadays. How else do they expect you to cover your face?

Watch: 10 ways breast milk can surprise your family and friends! Courtesy of Those Two Girls. Post continues after video. 

If only these mothers realised the lengths you already go to, to rearrange your schedule – how you have become a prisoner in your own home sometimes for days, weeks or even months on end – how you avoid public places such as cafes and restaurants for fear of that unavoidable breastfeeding moment.

And to make matters worse, the public doesn’t seem to have any understanding of just how tough you are doing it.

You are, after all, a minority group.

You see, in Australia, the overwhelming majority of people have absolutely no problem with public breastfeeding.

In fact, 74 per cent of people think it’s A-OK for women to breastfeed in a restaurant or café.


And more than 80 per cent think its fine for women to publicly breastfeed in a shopping centre.

80 per cent! It’s shocking isn’t it?

But don’t despair, Poopy. It’s not all bad news.

breastfeeding or formula
"74% of people think it’s A-OK for women to breastfeed in a restaurant or café." Image via iStock.

Because despite the fact that most people think that YOU. ARE. WRONG.

And despite the fact that you are in the distinct minority, you also have a surprising level of power and influence.

Did you know that 96 per cent of new mothers in Australia commence breastfeeding, but only 15 per cent to the six-month mark, which is the period of time recommended by doctors?


And did you know that various leading researchers have found that one of the primary reasons why women stop breastfeeding is because of you, Poopy?

That’s right. You might only comprise around one quarter to one fifth of the population, but you are successfully deterring up to 81 per cent of mothers who want to breastfeed from doing so.

That’s some serious Poopy-power. It makes you proud, doesn’t it?

Sadly for you though, not everyone agrees.

A new campaign called Bosom Buddies has launched this week and it encourages women to share their breastfeeding stories and nominate “bosom buddies” – which are people, venues, businesses or workplaces who supported them or made them feel safe and welcome.


Annoyingly, individuals and business can also make a “pledge” and there’s also a short and terrifying documentary which explores what it’s like for women who breastfeed in public.

Don’t watch it Poopy. It will give you nightmares for weeks.

Then again, I wouldn’t worry too much. Because there are some lovely blokes in that documentary who do a great job of telling a mother why it’s her responsibility to “cover up with a towel” so that they don’t have to feel “awkward”.

There’s also plenty of high profile support out there for you. Like Channel Seven host David Koch, who believes that breastfeeding mothers should “cover up and be discreet”. As a former Australian Father of the Year, he should know, right?

And what about Victoria’s Secret who once banned a woman (who had just spent $150 in the store), from breastfeeding in their change room. Didn’t she realise that boobs are for lingerie, not babies? Silly woman.


And of course Facebook is also on your side, having banned all kinds of photos of women who breastfeed.

Then again, if I’m to be really honest, I’ll admit that I’ve never quite understood what the big problem is.

It's just a bit of flesh, right? And it does strike me as rather sad that despite wanting to breastfeed, less than one in six mothers in this country will ever make it to the six-month mark, in large part because of your efforts.

Perhaps we could chat about that some more some time over a cup of coffee in a toilet stall.

If it’s good enough for baby, then it’s good enough for us too right?

Yours Sincerely,

Nina Funnell