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Byron Shire
January 26, 2022

Mandy Nolan’s Soap Box: Keep calm… it’s only a breast!

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It’s only a breast

Nasty prudes need to stop picking on breastfeeding mums. Breastfeeding in public is not embarrassing. Being embarrassed by breastfeeding in public: now that is embarrassing. People who get upset about women feeding their babies clearly have a problem with over-sexualising the human body and can only see breasts as something pornographic. If breastfeeding is sexual, then a bottle is a dildo!

It’s got to the point that some breastfeeding mothers have been shamed into feeding their babies in toilets. I searched a few blogs and came across some questionable attitudes with one stating, ‘Everyone should be considerate to others. It’s unpleasant and unsightly’ or ‘Women shouldn’t feed in a restaurant, because not everyone wants to see boobs when they are eating’. Speak for yourself. I am happy to see boobs anytime. Boobs are food. They shouldn’t be banned from restaurants – they should be on the menu!

I breastfed for a total of 11 years. Not one child continuously. Four children with a few bench breaks here and there. In anyone’s books, you could say it was a lot of ‘tits out’ time. There was a period when I think my tits were out a lot more than they were in, and at times I lost the ability to tell the difference. Not even a cool breeze would alert me to nipple exposure. Like when the man from Australia Post came to the door and I’d forgotten to put one away. He quipped, ‘You just have to sign, love.’ I breastfed him anyway. His hair grew back on the spot.

Breastfeeding shouldn’t be shamed, it should be a sport. I got really good at it. In fact, I think I had quite the talent. And not just at home. I was masterful at some pretty impressive public feeding action. In fact, if it were an Olympic event I reckon I’d be a medal contender. Being six foot tall and built like a Viking warrior the ‘walking titty’ was a breeze.

I could walk and breastfeed children up to two years of age. Generally my own, but I was always happy to take volunteers. I also mastered walking titty while carrying shopping, dry cleaning and a takeaway latte. Many times I went on stage breastfeeding. I don’t recommend it for performance though because it is hard to maintain a train of thought when someone bites you hard on the nipple.

Most impressively though I could shop and breastfeed. All I needed to do was undo my blouse, lean forward just enough for my breast to swing forward and bingo, the baby mouth latches it all into place. It made shopping a lot less stressful. Although it was almost impossible to reach anything on the bottom shelf unless I used my toes.

My children never cried. They couldn’t. There was always a tit in their mouth. Most people found it bemusing, perhaps a little surprising and unconventional. But there was always the odd person who lost their shit. This was the person, usually a woman, who would actually stop in their tracks with that strange mouth-dropped-open, frozen-in-time expression. Like they’d had a stroke. Actually I think one day the lady did have a stroke.

I loved doing that to people. I enjoyed it a lot more than I should have. I loved that me grabbing a can of diced tomatoes and popping it in my trolley while my naked breast was in the mouth of my hungry child was shocking. It seemed silly. Because it was probably the least shocking thing of all. Really, who could be offended by someone having ‘food’ in a place that sells food? Surely if they experience outrage it should be directed at the cruelty of the corporate machine and its control of food production, not a primary producer doing her weekly shop. I could still hear them talking about me by the time I’d reached the next aisle.

One day a young bloke passed me in the street and said ‘that’s disgusting’. So I followed him all the way to the pub. You can always pick the bottle-fed boys. In 11 years I never fed my baby in one of those gross stinky feeding rooms they provide in airports or shopping centres. I figured if I wouldn’t eat in there then why should my child. And I certainly never ever fed them on the toilet. That’s offensive. Whether you breastfeed or not is your choice. But being offended by women who breastfeed in public, now that’s disgusting.

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  1. Wonderfully entertaining as usual Mandy! Thanks echo for including articles from Mandy, S and Mungo – they add something special to your fine publication


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