Is breastfeeding offensive?

I’ve written a bit recently about how sometimes I just want to tell someone to “get over it” when they claim to be offended by something. Breastfeeding is a great example of this.

Apparently a flashy London hotel has asked a breastfeeding mother to put a napkin over her baby’s head while breastfeeding.


This has sparked the usual outrage from other breastfeeding mothers and rightly so. About 40 of them gathered outside Claridge’s Hotel in London to protest. Full story at –

What is so offensive about a woman breastfeeding her baby? It’s a beautiful sight. Are people offended by breasts? Well, in most cases you don’t see any breast and if you do, then maybe you should direct your gaze elsewhere. Are people offended by an infant drinking milk? How absurd is that?

I breast-fed my babies for five years in total, much longer than most other mothers. Daniel was breast-fed for just over two years and Elizabeth for three years. Both children would have gone on for longer had I not got sick of it. There are so many benefits that it seemed like a no-brainer to me to breastfeed for as long as possible.

Firstly, it’s free! I never once had to buy baby formula or milk. This meant that we could spend the money on other things. You can also stuff your face as much as you want without putting on weight. Another benefit was that for the first time in my life I had boobs. This was a bit of a novelty for me although I’m happy now to have my old flat chest back to what it was. Then there are the health benefits and although I’m mentioning these after the more superficial things like stuffing your face and big boobs, this does not mean they are less important.

One study found that breastfeeding for 18 months or more reduces a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer by a whopping 34%. Another study found that for every 12 months of breastfeeding, a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer is reduced by 4.3%. Why isn’t everyone doing it? This is like a free pass or a get-out-of-jail free card. What strange creatures we are to forgo all these things and more and instead waste our money on milk from another species altogether. But if we do choose to breastfeed – something humans have done for millions of years – others object and find it offensive??? Really? The absurdity makes me want to bash my head against a brick wall.

There are also wonderful environmental benefits to not having to rely on cows to feed the infants of our own species. We ought to be applauding women who manage to breastfeed their babies. We should encourage them to do so where ever they want to and make them feel supported and welcome. If you want to help a breastfeeding woman then don’t make her feel like she’s upsetting others by asking her to cover up. And give her some water. Breastfeeding makes you very thirsty. If someone at a hotel or restaurant is upset or offended by a woman breastfeeding, then that person should be asked to get over it or leave. They should not be welcome if they cannot tolerate a member of their own species feeding their child.