By Jessica T
The booby burqa and why I won’t be wearing oneUploaded: Oct 20, 2013
When my daughter was born 10 years ago, I recall that nursing your baby meant lifting your shirt, pulling down your bra, and sticking your nipple in baby's mouth. 10 years later, there is a much wider selection of beautiful nursing bras, nursing tanks, and nursing tops that make nursing even easier without showing off one's stomach rolls.
And yet, there is a "new modesty" sweeping the nation - The Nursing Cover, aka Hooter Hider, or what I like to call the Booby Burqa. I don't understand who this cover is supposed to protect. Is it the jerks who protest when women breastfeed their babies in public? Or is it to protect women from being harassed by these jerks when they are breastfeeding their babies in public? Is it to hide our mammary glands from our husbands, who are supposed to have dominion over our perky, sexy breasts? Or is this the equivalent of girls who change behind a curtain in an all-female locker room?
In any case, it's a sad state of affairs. When we've got pregnant CEOs and lactation consultations covered by the Affordable Care Act, why in God's name are we taking two steps forward and one step back by covering our ta-tas because we might offend by doing what's natural as mammals? What is even sadder is that I don't think breastfeeding moms are even asking themselves these questions before they buy and wear these nursing covers. I would argue that they are doing it by default.
The most tragic example of this was when I was at Day One over the summer before it temporarily closed. It's a boutique in Palo Alto that caters to parents of newborns. One of the unique attributes of the store was a nursing and diaper changing station where parents were welcome to nurse and diaper their babies in a friendly environment. I was nursing one of my twins in a corner, the old school way (shirt up, bra down, stomach rolling) when a woman ceremoniously unrolled her Booby Burqa and tied it around her before she sat down next to me to "discreetly" feed her baby. At first I didn't know what the apron-like contraption was.
Sadly, this woman and many others rob themselves of one of the pleasures of bonding with their babies while they feed. It's difficult to gaze into your newborn's eyes and stroke their soft cheeks, arms, and legs when they are under the cover of darkness.
In America, women can't sunbathe at the beach topless. Now they can't breastfeed without wearing a bastion of modesty. What's next?!
Do you wear a breastfeeding cover? If so, why? What do you see - breastfeeding modesty or exhibitionism?