Yelp Wars? How the TIME Breastfeeding Cover Exposes Opinions from Seattle’s ‘Elite’

You know what’s even worse than mothers pitting against other mothers? When people like to give their uneducated opinions about something they have never experienced first-hand nor have any educated information besides feeding off of misinformation and stereotypes. I have been a Yelp member since 2010 when I discovered the user-reviews site of local businesses and events. I started the account at a time I was child-free scoping out reviews for bars and nightlife. Now, I am reviewing play grounds and kids stores in a sea of boozin’ singles again but in the ‘big’ city. Elite status basically means you have to make the higher-ups like you somehow and you get put on this special email list for parties and organized events. Oh, and a fancy website badge.

This ‘big city’ Yelp forum had an interesting topic called “Breastfeeding Cover” asking,

What are your thoughts on this? When is “too old” for a child to be breastfeeding, and does it bother you if you see someone breastfeeding in public (regardless of the child’s age)?

I thought, “Oh shit, here we go. On Yelp, really?” There were some great thoughtful pieces and there were some, uh, not so great comments. I have put aside the idea that Yelp is a generalization of the entire population mindset of this ‘big city’ and just hope that these not-so-great comments either would:

a) Never have kids.
b) Take a breastfeeding education or anthropology class.
c) STFU.

There are women and men on both sides – one side, who form an uneducated opinion based on just that and the other side, who don’t care about how others raise their kid(s). I have compiled a list of my favorite and the stupid not-so-favorite comments from the Yelpers under their corresponding category type.

Fellow Lactivists – parents who have been there, done that and actually understand.

“[T]here are a number of things you’re overlooking or ignorant about. If a breast pump were the only expense that came with a baby, then many more people would be able to afford them. As feeding options go, breastfeeding is the cheapest and most convenient.”

“As someone who is painfully aware, breast feeding in public SUCKS. And don’t tell me to stay home. Because I am hormonal & did I mention tired & I will bite your head off. ,;-) just kidding…sorta…honestly I’ve had more than one waitress or worker at an establishment make positive comments to me as I discreetly fed my kiddo in the past.”

“I’m going to guess neither of you have kids.”

“To support my wife (re: breastfeeding in public SUCKS) I don’t give a shit if you’re bothered by it or grossed out. It’s good for the baby and it’s not sexual. Sorry you can’t handle it – no wait – no I’m not. Even if I personally find the sight of a 3 year old breast feeding “distasteful” it’s my own problem and I keep my goddamn trap shut because the last thing a mother needs is some disapproving stare or comment.”

To me this is much like a conservative Christian being offended by and opposed to gay marriage – and personally squicked by gays holding hands or kissing. It’s not an issue they get to really “weigh in on” b/c it’s not their decision how other people’s relationships.

Child-Free Support – a subset of the child-free population, who have some knowledge of the biology and importance of breastfeeding or, as evidenced by the last comment, a man who knows what to say.

“Our society is full of too many prudes and it’s sad that people have a problem with breastfeeding. I don’t want to listen to a baby cry because it’s hungry at the mall, so the mom should be able to feed them.”

“To answer the question — plenty of societies breast feed well past the point where the kid can say “im hungry mom”, but Im fine being part of one where that isn’t…normal? And there is nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public, and I think they should be covered only to protect them from creep-a-zoid looky loos.”

I think its none of my business. Period.

The Nipple Police – people who say they “support” breastfeeding but want you to cover that shit up!

“But I have no problem with breast feeding. A little courtesy is appreciated, like asking “will it bother you if I breast feed right next to you?” Or just pulling the baby blanket up a little over the shoulder.”

“It only bothers me if they make no effort to hide their dang nipples.”

I agree- I see no problem in breast feeding a child up till age 2 or 3, but I personally feel that the older the kid, the more it should be done within the privacy of ones home.”

Ignoramus – no explanation needed.

“And whilst I don’t really care about whipping out teh boobie in public for feeding (or most other reasons or non-reasons, as it were), a cover is just common courtesy. Then again, I’ve always wondered why there were so many women who couldn’t afford a C-note for a breast pump.”

“On the pump thing….was just a random observation, the argument presented against it touches on a different topic and much larger personal pet peeve re: having children without having the decency to know whether one has the ability to actually afford one.”

“6 months. Even one year is too old IMO. It creeps me the fuck out when I see toddlers still breastfeeding.”

“It’s the attachment on the mother’s part, which is selfish. And who says it’s “good for the baby” after a year? The nutrients the child receives can be ingested from regular food and milk.”

I mean hell, I don’t walk around cock-flapping everywhere. They do it in 3rd world countries, so it must be natural, right?

“WTF?” is right, right? Talk amongst yourselves.


19 thoughts on “Yelp Wars? How the TIME Breastfeeding Cover Exposes Opinions from Seattle’s ‘Elite’

    • That conversation still continues, mind you. Oddly enough, there have been so many criticisms against my comments like, “geez, why are SO defensive” or “well, I’m entitled to my opinions.” I’m like, “Sure, your opinion sucks because you know what? Having an opinion on how long or how breastfeeding is or how is like me having an opinion on gay marriage and how vegans choose to live.” it’s actually none of my business because IT DOES NOT AFFECT ME.

      I’m so glad that Seattle is not completely like those comments. I actually nursed at the Mariners game and ’twas awesome.

  1. When I was nursing Lane, I had to nurse in the bathroom an obscene amount of times because I didn’t want to offend people, and I was sickened by the fact that people seemed to think a stalk surrounded by droplets of air, probably reeking of feces and urine, was an appropriate place to feed my baby. I shouldn’t have been so passive. With the next baby, I will breastfeed wherever I feel is safest for me and my baby, to heck with the naysayers.

    • Good for you for knowing better and wanting to do better next time, which you’ll be amazing at 🙂

      If they want me to nurse in a bathroom stall, then I want the fat person with a Big Mac to eat there too!

    • I support you breastfeeding where you feel comfortable, but what happened to using a blanket draped over the shoulder of the breast being used for a little privacy then others will have no reason to feel uncomfortable.

      • I don’t know what happened to it because I feel like I shouldn’t have to struggle with a fussy baby under a hot blanket, ya know? Imagine this when women are still struggling with getting the hang of breastfeeding and some outside contact with the world in the blazing heat, it’s bizarrely very difficult.

        Everyone has their own form of discretion and modesty. I exercise my own discretion that is comfortable for my hungry baby and my own. If others are somehow uncomfortable by it, then it has nothing to do with me but their own psychological and social issues with it.

  2. “Cock-flapping”?! Wow. I try so hard not to read comments on things like that, ’cause people get so terrible sometimes. It can be infuriating.

    And you know, the “nipple police” (I love that term, and I’m totally stealing it) can be the worst of all. HELL NO I’m not going to ask someone if they are okay with me providing my child with nourishment! That’s ludicrous. “Do you mind if I breastfeed?” You’ll have to pry it from my cold dead hands! (Okay, that didn’t make sense, but I never get a chance to use that phrase!)

    This is my favorite supportive one you posted:

    “…Even if I personally find the sight of a 3 year old breast feeding “distasteful” it’s my own problem and I keep my goddamn trap shut because the last thing a mother needs is some disapproving stare or comment.”

    That’s awesome, and so very, very true. And I love that it was a man who wrote it.


    • I loved that one too, Danièl! He’s a man that doesn’t disrespect the biological norm to feed his child.

      I know, I know about comments about things like this but I just couldn’t help myself. It was a yelp thread for goodness sake! I didn’t think people would be so ignorant on a site like Yelp! It still continues and when I say “continues,” I mean the comments are attacking my comments about their ignorance. They’ve got no fuckin clue.

  3. Oh. My. Stars! I can’t even read those last comments without seeing red! Who are these people?! I’m assuming people who were not breast fed and nurtured by their mother when they were babies! Seriously?!

    • Well, one of those gals filed a testimony saying that she was breastfed for 9 months and that it was just as good as, say, a 2-year-old because ‘who’s to say its good after a year anyway?’

      True story. Mind = boggled.

  4. I noticed that the last group had the worst grammar and spelling. It seems like that happens often, regardless of the topic of discussion. The people who can barely string 2 words together are the ones holding most fiercely to their ignorant opinions.

    • Nice observation! I was surprised I could string my words of defense while seeing red. It makes me so angry when people have opinions about something that doesn’t affect them in any way, shape, or form.

      They clearly have no positive experiences in child rearing.

      • I weep for society if this blog is indicative of the majority. Thankfully, I’m reasonably certain that it is not. For the record, I went to that thread, and the horrible grammar mentioned by the last poster is actually grammatically correct across the board – it’s British English coming from the Darth Vader fellow.

        You’re sitting here talking about how these people have no clue what they’re talking about and how they don’t respect your opinions, but you have no respect for anyone else’s opinions. You probably fail to see that. Just my .02. Look at you; you claim anybody who doesn’t believe exactly what you do is basically a moron, as though you’re the expert on the situation.

      • Dear “Denise,”

        Those opinions happen to be discriminating on how a Mother chooses to feed her child and for how long. Why should it be up to anybody else’s psychological and sociological hang-ups because a 3-year-old is being breastfed? It has nothing to do with you, Darth, or me if this is how long a child chooses to feed because it’s not hurting you, Darth, or me. Just like the comment quoted about gay marriage, it’s exactly like that even though gay marriage does not affect you, Darth, or anybody else besides the gay community. So, yes, discriminatory comments like, “Oh hell yes, that kid should get off the boob” or “Once teeth come in, boobs come out” are really ignorant. Why should I hold back my opinions that I think they’re ignorant?

        I choose to not to agree with their anti-biological -and anti-anthropological norm for children. Just because the society has changed (Puritan views, sexualization of breasts, and mainstream parenting) does not mean that all children should change their basic needs of naturally being fed.

        Thanks for your comment though.

      • Denise, you don’t get to have an “opinion” on medical facts and biology. Whether or not breastfeeding beyond the arbitrary point of one year is beneficial is not a matter of opinion. Those people are ignorant, meaning without knowledge. They are stating “facts” that are simply untrue. Calling it their “opinion” doesn’t mean we have to respect their statement, just like if I say it’s my opinion that the earth is flat, you don’t need to respect that. Relying on actual science instead of biases is not closed-minded.

  5. the worst comment was the one about nursing beyond 6 months being a selfish act of attachment on the mother’s part.

    Any mother who has breastfed will understand that nursing is hard, even if your kid is a perfect nurser who latches on every time, never pinches you, kicks you, or bites you while nursing, there is still the effort of eating up to 5000 calories a day (it’s hard, especially gluten and dairy free), not to mention the amount of energy that is expended in producing milk.

    While I enjoy the closeness my 2yo daughter and I share while nursing, I am so totally ready to stop any day now, as soon as she is.

    as for putting a blanket over your kid in public, that is not an option, my daughter won’t let anything touch her face when she’s having the boob, I used to try when she was 4 months old but I gave up shortly after.

    The funny thing is I was raised by a la leche league leader who nursed 6 children, and for some reason society still brainwashed me into thinking that nursing was strange, when I was a kid I loved dolls and always wanted a baby, but I vowed I would bottle feed. I am so glad I figure it out before i had a kid of my own.

    the other comment that bugged me was saying you can get the same nutrients from food and milk after 6 months. A baby’s digestive system is not even fully developed at 6 months. You aren’t supposed to introduce solids until 6 months, and cows milk does not have the same nutrients as mother’s milk. Cows milk is harder to break down and that is the only reason people like to feed it to their kids, so that they don’t get hungry as often my kid gets horrible digestive problems when she eats dairy, so I will stick with the milk that nature made for her,
    thank you very much.

    • I alway love your comments 🙂

      How great you had exposure to breastfeeding early on! Funny thing is that my mom formula fed all four of us but I am such a breastfeeding supporter through the Internet and research. American society sure comes off as anti- child- and-mother, as demonstrated by those above comments, so I can see how it can brainwash even the best of examples.

  6. I occasionally breastfeed in public (in Chicago) and I’ve not received a look or a stare. Mostly because I probably have my “fuck-off” face on but yeah. I rue for the day someone says anything for me. First off, when my baby is feeding there is naray a nipple to see. He’s 10 months, he’s latched, he knows what he’s doing. No one is going to see my nipple until he de-latches and starts poking around for the other by which time I’ve covered my nipple up. I don’t get my ya-yas off of anyone seeing my anatomy. I will also venture to say that breastfeeding mamas are not exhibitionists. We do it because our kid is hungry and it’s simpler to whip out the boob than for a restaurant to make my kid mac n cheese and have us wait. I’ve done this and let me say that i should have worn a more accommodating shirt. He was bitchin’ a fit by the time the food came. Babies wait for NO ONE. so let the kids have their boobs and keep your nose out of their business. 😉

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