In getting ready for World Breastfeeding Week, I came across several “Hooray for Boobies” events across the country – a nurse-in at a community festival in Ohio, a picnic in Kentucky. I love the title, although I will warn you that the website with the same name is most likely not celebrating breastfeeding. At “Hooray for Boobies” events, participants often make available copies of the Indiscreet Breastfeeding Manifesto, first published by Sundae Horn in Mothering Magazine in 2001.
- I will nurse my child anytime, anywhere, no matter who is present or what I am wearing.
- I will bare my breast with pride and confidence.
- I will not apologize for nourishing and nurturing my child.
- I will not smother my child with a napkin or blanket.
- I will smile at everyone around me and ignore rude stares.
- I will know that I am giving my child the perfect infant food from the most efficient, ecological, and economical delivery system.
- I will know that I am giving my child the healthy start that is his or her birthright.
- I will set an example for women and girls, educate the public, dispel breastfeeding myths, de-sexualize the breast, and make the world a better place, all through the simple act of feeding my child.
Reading this powerful declaration brings back vivid memories of having to retreat to a public bathroom to nurse a baby because it was “not acceptable” to nurse in public 30 years ago. It still boggles my mind that I can watch sexual acts and deplorable violence on both the big and small screen, yet the sight of a breast exposed to nourish a baby, as nature intends, can stir such controversy even today. As we get ready to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week August 1-7, I hope you will join with others in your community to speak up for nursing mothers, whether discreet or indiscreet, and their babies!