I was happy to recently discover that many lactating mommies in the NYC area are organizing a nurse-in on June 6 to protest anti-breastfeeding remarks made by several of the co-hosts of ABC’s tv show “The View.” “The breastfeeding mothers are protesting the general anti-breastfeeding attitude of the co-hosts of The View and comments made concerning their opinions that breastfeeding and nursing in public is ‘gross and disgusting’ in nature.” The nurse-in will be held outside of ABCâ€™s studios at 67th Street and Columbus Avenue in New York City, where taping of the daytime talk show The View takes place.
It’s so frustrating to me to hear that educated women in the media spotlight, especially Barbara Walters, would say negative things about breastfeeding or nursing in public. I understand that she grew up in a different generation, but surely she should educate herself on the subject and the numerous health benefits of breastfeeding (and the fact that the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization both endorse it), rather than make statements about how mothers nursing in public make her uncomfortable.
She is a woman of great influence. How unfortunate that she cannot use her status to promote breastfeeding and make women feel good about their decision to do so, rather than talk them down and act like feeding their baby is something to be ashamed of.
I’m also frustrated with the fact that it appears she and others are not being supportive of fellow co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck who recently gave birth. She was (and I believe may still be) breastfeeding, but the cast recently made a celebratory announcement that Elisabeth’s daughter received her first bottle of formula. The audience cheered. Pardon me for my ignorance, but I don’t understand why that is cause for celebration. I understand that some women choose to formula feed and there are also those that have no choice but to formula feed, but is giving baby formula really a reason to cheer? I just don’t get it. I know a few women who would give anything to be able to breastfeed their children (they can’t due to various medical conditions), and I’ll bet you money they weren’t cheering when they had to give their child his or her first bottle of formula.
Anyway, if there are any NYC mommies who read my blog and want to participate in the nurse-in, please check out the link above. I’d love it if someone who went came back to my blog and told us how it went. I’m also very curious to see if the cast of “The View” will acknowledge that the nurse-in is taking place.
“My opinion is that anybody offended by breastfeeding is staring too hard” — David Allen