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Ban mums' bare boobs: young Swedes

The Local/rm · 26 Oct 2011, 16:26

Published: 26 Oct 2011 16:26 GMT+02:00

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”What we are hearing from mothers is that they feel that they have to choose between taking part in everyday life or breastfeeding their babies,” said Ingrid Rönn Hyttsten, of the breastfeeding support group Amningshjälpen, to newspaper Metro.

Sweden is often seen as a very tolerant country and 85 percent of Swedes think that breastfeeding is a good idea.

However, three out of four 18- to 22-year-olds think that there are some places where it is inappropriate for mothers to breastfeed, according to the study from baby product manufacturer Philips Avent.

According to the study, the least appropriate places to breastfeed is in a restaurant (20 percent), a bar (24 percent) or on the public transport system (18 percent).

Most feel that breastfeeding at private parties, at the beach and in the library is acceptable.

Paediatric coordinator at the Örebro county council, Maria Lind, fears what consequences the change in attitude will have on Swedish mothers' breastfeeding habits.

Story continues below…

”Seeing as we are out and about in society to such an extent today, I fear that many will choose not to breast feed rather than stay indoors to feed their baby. That is the consequence when society signals it's not OK to breastfeed in public,” said Lind to Metro.

The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:02 October 26, 2011 by adigunbabatunde@yahoo.com
it is inappropriate to breastfeed in public places but appropriate to french-kiss in public place.
17:07 October 26, 2011 by salalah
These women are just using their babies as an excuse to show their tits. Ban breastfeeding in public and create special feeding corners in restrooms!
17:14 October 26, 2011 by Shibumi
Why ask 18-22 year olds? The average age of first time mothers in Sweden is 27.9 years old, therefore they're not the ones having the babies. At age 20 you're still mortified to have a pimple on the forehead... so baring a breast to feed your child is soooooooo embarrassing! OMG!

Hopefully, by 27.9 years old, women care more about their baby's well being than about what others think. One would hope...
17:21 October 26, 2011 by saher15
Just cover up when breast feeding in public and u can take part in public live with a baby.I did the same thing on bus or anywhere in public
17:23 October 26, 2011 by star10
stupid! The "18-22 YEARS old" are as matured as an "18-22 MONTHS old" child.
17:45 October 26, 2011 by wxman
Who among us would enjoy eating their lunch in a public restroom??
17:47 October 26, 2011 by Åskar
Not me anyway.
17:50 October 26, 2011 by Svensksmith
Who was interviewed...a bunch of Quakers? What's wrong with breastfeeding? That's how babies eat.
18:16 October 26, 2011 by philster61
Are these the same 18-22 years olds who get drunk and then publicly make out?
18:22 October 26, 2011 by Mina08
what do 18-22 years know about life at that age...
18:40 October 26, 2011 by Gamla Hälsingebock
What's a baby doing in a bar?
18:43 October 26, 2011 by Vill
The last time I breastfed in a restaurant my girlfriend hit me upside my head....
18:44 October 26, 2011 by Grokh
Yes lets all use teenage guidelines to steer society -_-x.

spoiled brats should be happy they get some tit cleveage and stfu.
19:06 October 26, 2011 by HYBRED
Sounds like there is some boob envy behind this.
19:16 October 26, 2011 by tgolan
what is Philips Avent. selling??
19:19 October 26, 2011 by Twiceshy
why do people print this stuff?

wait, why am I reading this stuff? my head hurts. dumb. so dumb!
19:25 October 26, 2011 by jvtx3232
I am against taking away the mother's right to breast feed.

Breast feeding is better for the babies than the baby formula, totally way more healthy.

Also, breast feeding is free and way better than transferring so much massive amounts of wealth to the big corporations like Nestle who manufacture the baby formula.
19:28 October 26, 2011 by pathfinder.uppsala
This is completely ok to breastfeed their babies anywhere they want to.

it's such a divine scene that reminds your babyhood and your mom :)

I do not agree with the crazy and over smart peoples who think otherwise.
19:42 October 26, 2011 by eurobloke
@Svensksmith - I hope you have not said that in vain. I am sure that if someone breastfed in public, some Friends (Quakers) wouldn't find that objectionable. You may not realise that Friends in Sweden do exist in Sweden Yearly Meeting (www.kvakare.se)

I personally have no problems about breatfeeding in public.
19:47 October 26, 2011 by BillyB
who on earth would complain about this?

should be encouraged to get 'em out more often...as long as we are allowed to look
19:58 October 26, 2011 by Opinionfool

Phillips Avent are not Nestlé. This is not a company selling baby formula to third world countries. However Avent do sell equipment for women to express their milk; that's obviously what they want to promote to mothers, "why embarrass 18-20 years old by showing your breasts, use our breast pump in private, real cheap."
20:00 October 26, 2011 by ken73
It just because younger people are jealous that they don't have kids. Let the mom breastfeed if it is needed. It's part of life.

I'm not going to stop my wife from feeding our newborn in public and I dear anyone to tell her different or try to stop her. My mom breastfed me, when needed, in public. If a 18-22 year old don't like it, they can look away.

Stupid poll!
20:25 October 26, 2011 by Svensksmith

Maybe I should have said Puritans....or better yet, prudes. And please, if there are any Friends of Prudes organizations out there, I don't want to know about it.
20:31 October 26, 2011 by Scansson
What's a breastfeeding mother with a baby doing in a bar, drinking?
20:37 October 26, 2011 by orangetree
Here in comments, some say covering up breastfeeding or special rooms! I do not know anybodies value but it is woman`s own decision what to do. if you do not like open breastfeeding, just turn your head. Nobody is forcing you to watch so it wont be sin to you. We cannot gather a society among some (majority or minority) values. To be a free society we should respect how people live their lives,this includes feeding their babies..
20:41 October 26, 2011 by Opinionfool

Interesting question but why not? The current research, at least that released in England a few months ago. is that a pregnant/nursing mother can drink some alcohol with our injuring her fetus/child. Why should any place be off limits? If a pregnant man (remember it takes two to make a baby) go into a bar why not a pregnant woman?

But to be fair to The Local, for a change, the article mentions more than just bars. There are restaurents and public transport talked about too. About the only places where a woman should not breastfeed are in the gents toilets and in a house of ill repute. Otherwise anywhere and everywhere should be okay.
21:10 October 26, 2011 by Douglas Garner
Scansson, et. al. Just because Mom is in a bar does not mean that she is drinking! She is probably socializing, dining, relazing, and having a relatively normal life... oh, wait... perhaps it is better just to send hubby off to get drunk and pick up with some other gal who isn't exhausted from taking care of little Jr. all day;).

Perhaps, this is related to other young women who are envious or don't want to be reminded that they either cannot, or took the easy path and bottle feed instead!
21:35 October 26, 2011 by Tanskalainen
Slurp,slurp, yum, yum.
21:45 October 26, 2011 by dizzymoe33
Here in the States when woman are breastfeeding their babies they either do it somewhere privately with a blanket over their chest or they use a breast pump to bring along the milk for the baby. It is not rocket science here.
21:48 October 26, 2011 by bjorkon
What's this obsession with what groups of people think? Groupthink schmoopthink!

Gamla Hälsingebock : Something I noticed about Sweden is that the local bar is seen as a place for n'er do well folk - and hence even more shameful to bring your children. A pity and a missed opportunity for community spirit - Spain, France, even the UK and other countries welcome children to many "bars" (more likely community pubs, gastropubs [miss them big time], etc. than seedy dives)
22:00 October 26, 2011 by Mxzf
This is so strange. Boobs aren't dangerous. Of course anyone could show them anywhere they want, breastfeeding or not. This is some sort of new victorian-ish prudeness from the US. Are you all brainwashed or something?
23:31 October 26, 2011 by walrusandpossum
My lord. Philips Avent are bastards for doing this study. They are the most popular bottle making company on the market.

They knew 18-22 year-olds would answer this way, that's why they did it. To put off breast-feeding mothers- to make them feel uncomfortable so they would end up either using formula in an Avent bottle or using an Avent pump at home to transport the breastmilk around with them in a bottle.

Seriously, shame on them.
00:50 October 27, 2011 by Jan Svenson
What is next we make them wear burkas and beat them with the quran.3 out of 4 young swedes have lost all common sense.
02:01 October 27, 2011 by Keith #5083

I'm with you.

I detect a slight hint of fundamentalist religion creeping into 18-22 year old's.

#9 Philster61

Good point.
02:08 October 27, 2011 by sjuttiosjusköterskorpåsjukhuset
Don't we all have a mother? If you don't like the sight of a mother breast-feeding her baby, don't continue to watch or stare: you do have the option of simply ignoring her and her baby. And WHY should I even CARE what an overall immature, prudish, hypocritical, spoiled generation of 18-22-year-olds thinks about breast-feeding? It's a generation that grosses me out far more than a nursing mother. With their body- and even neck- and face-covered tattoos; nose, tongue, genital, eyebrow, and body piercings; nasty, self-absorbed, sarcastic, and materialistic attitudes, the problem isn't with a mother breast-feeding her baby: the problem is with today's generation.
02:16 October 27, 2011 by glamelixir
Yesterday 50% of women wanted to be housewives. Today, 75% want women to cover when breast feeding.... mmmmm.... am I perceiving a pattern here?
02:25 October 27, 2011 by Grokh
imams can go on radio and say death to infidels, but boobs are off limits lol
02:42 October 27, 2011 by millionmileman
Here in the USA we thought the Europeans were the Bohemians and the Avant garde. In fact it is illegal to discriminate against public breastfeeding mothers in many of our States.

I find the prudishness in Sweden unusual to say the least!
02:52 October 27, 2011 by Not Dumb
I fear the 'boobs' this article truly 'bares' are those too immature to appreciate the damage done to babies by not breastfeeding them.

Through breastfeeding the infant acquires a resistance to both local pathogens and allergies. Research has even also demonstrated that there are certain psychological benefits for the child, and weighing all this against the 'psychological discomfort' of some bystanders just doesn't hold up in balance.

I won't ask why anyone should be looking at a breastfeeding mother in the first place, nor point out that staring at someone is rude. But I will say the public displays of drunkeness, by so many in this age group every weekend here, do seem quite offensive, and I wouldn't mind those being banned.

It is far better to encounter a mother breastfeeding her baby than a young adult vomiting their evening's 'fun'.
03:33 October 27, 2011 by Smiling Canuk
18-22 yrs old. Wouldn't it be more appropriate to ask them about video games?

Of course that's a time in everybody's life when you think you know a lot but really don't know much about anything. We were all there once.
03:56 October 27, 2011 by johnoleson
Obviously a little discretion would be appropriate as most mothers have but who are the 15% who think breastfeeding is a bad idea? They would probably be ones who see breasts only as sexual instruments, certainly not the view of Christian fundamentalists. Maybe the 18-22 year olds need a little more biology and less sexuality studies in school.
06:12 October 27, 2011 by krow
When babies are hungry, they cry and when they cry out loud the mother will be force to breastfeed the child. Imaging travelling by air and you are sitting near a crying baby without the mother breastfeeding the child; the journey will be regreted. Or maybe we should ban babies from flying too, ban mothers from removing dipers in public. Confused underage unintelligent people talking nonsence.
07:47 October 27, 2011 by Soft Boiled
I cant take this seriously when a lot of 18-22 yr olds sunbath topless in sweden and abroad.
08:30 October 27, 2011 by skogsbo
if you ask a kid a question, you get childish answers! A 18-22yr old swede is still at school/uni, they have only just unlocked off mamma and still take their washing home. Try asking the 25-35yr olds who are probably now parents or have friends who are parents. A worthless survey caried out by a company with commercial interests, that are yet to be revealed.
11:37 October 27, 2011 by vijinho
I would think it's a little odd to see in public but if someone wants to do that I don't see why anyone should have a problem with it, unless she happens to be sitting next to you on public transport.
12:30 October 27, 2011 by prince T
I dont have any problem with breast feeding anywhere. I dont understand what is sexual and disdusting about breastfeeding. I will add that because of some people iI will advise that restaurants and bars should be off limts.
13:00 October 27, 2011 by John.Smith

Oh dear Oh dear Oh dear... I feel you have repressed mammories... sorry, memories. Did your mama not give you the booby as a little baby? Poor wee Scansson :(

*sniff sniff*
14:04 October 27, 2011 by zooeden
Ok who breastfeeds at bars really!!!

Besides that let them feed the baby for christ, dont be so square!
17:20 October 27, 2011 by gabeltoon
There are ways and means. recently while visiting my niece in the USA she would breast feed anywhere and not be seen as doing so. There are more serious things to be bothered about in this life than BREASTFEEDING IN PUBLIC. I think people every where should take a minute to think about what really needs to be on the agenda for objection in public.
20:15 October 27, 2011 by Hovawart
It was a relief to see so many readers were too smart to fall for this "survey" from a company that would profit if they could dupe the public into being embarrassed about something as normal as breastfeeding a baby. If they can burden women with the extra job of expressing and bottling their milk every time they take their baby outside the house, the company will win by selling lots of stuff. Eventually, when women become too overburdened to take on this silly but time-consuming extra job and start feeding a lousy commercial substitute instead of real human milk, everybody else loses.
04:51 October 28, 2011 by walrusandpossum
@ Hovawart-

couldn't agree more!!
07:57 October 28, 2011 by Rick Methven
during the first three months of life a baby does three things , eats, sh*ts and sleeps. hunger pangs make it cry which alerts the mother that it needs feeding and she has the tank of food right there ready to satisfy that hunger. That's what breasts are for, they are not dirty or embarrassing to see we have all been there.

I suspect that the 'survey' was framed in the same way as the classic survey question " When did you stop beating your wife"
13:26 October 28, 2011 by ffa11
Ya really funny as a 22-year old to read how the roles have reversed . Suddenly it is the swedish 18-22 year olds who now are called prudish?? And prudish is now called immature?

I find it a bit hypocritical too that 20-year olds think public breastfeeding is wrong. But being a bit 'prudish' myself I kinda agree. Why does everyone want everything about sex to get blase? And yes, you the older generations have taught us that breasts are sexual. Men don't really have them. But of course breastfeeding is not sexual but still why can't women be discreet about it.

And by the way it does not matter if the surveyed group does not have children themself, because it's the non-breastfeeders who are the accidental viewers.

But as I said I am ok with it if women are discreet.
18:15 October 28, 2011 by Imperor
There's a really disturbing campaign going on against breast-feeding right now...

As there are numerous tests that have shown that breastfed children (at least 3-6 months) have a better immune system and are more intelligent! Why not breastfeed unless for vain, selfish reasons? If you don't want to do the time don't do the crime you stupid bitches! Being a parent is being a parent, you can't just take "the good" and ignore "the bad". Breastfeeding also produces Oxytocin in both mother and child strengthening their bond. This is science. Opinion does not come into it, just selfishness enough to deny your own child the best possible start in life!
18:20 October 28, 2011 by Archie1954
I have seen many women breast feed in public but have never seen a bare breast. All it takes is a little care and discretion on the part of the mother to make the feeding time natural, enjoyable and private.
18:57 October 28, 2011 by waris
Why its an issue about breastfeeding a baby in public, breast exposed? theres lot of exebition is public places that one do not pay attention to and in summer almost bare boobs are common site in public, I do not think there is any thing wrong, just do not look. Besides its just a part of a body, like hand and feet.
21:36 October 28, 2011 by Achelois
Philips Avent make breast pumps, and they've chosen to survey teenagers. I do wonder what the motivations behind this survey are. Much more breast than is ever displayed during breastfeeding is regularly on show in any mall or movie preview, and somehow this is completely alright - depict a breast sexually and that's fine, but even *hint* at it being used in its proper and intended manner and you've violated standards of common decency. Hypocritical, much?

I would hope that these attitudes are not representative of the Swedish viewpoint on the subject. As a New Zealander I've long held up Scandinavia as countries of exemplary standards in terms of social progression and human rights. Is this misplaced? Has Sweden been the subject of a successful cultural takeover by the USA?
01:26 October 29, 2011 by oOjimOo
Excellent post Achelois.

Incidently 15 persons between the ages of 18 - 22 just left a neighbours apartment roaring and screaming (or in high spirits) stole a bicycle and turned over picknic tables on their way to the local nightclub. No doubt they'll be back again at 03.30 to resume where they left off.

Its all about respect, I dont know one woman who has breastfed who didnt feel a little uncomfortable breastfeeding in public, can't say that about a lot of 18 - 22 year olds out on a weekend night!
19:04 October 31, 2011 by SoalrPowered
People are offended by bare breasts in public, because breasts are equated with sex (which should be a private thing).

However, anyone who could look at a baby nursing and think of sex, however indirectly, has a serious problem and may be a pedophile in the making.
02:42 November 2, 2011 by J Jack
I like boobs! But looking at them makes me thirsty,.
07:33 November 28, 2011 by lordmagneto
@12 Vill, Too funny. It took me a second to get that. Breast feeding should not be banned, it is 100% natural and a part of a new born's life. Mothers can just put a baby blanket over ones shoulder without offending anyone. Seriously, who gets offended seeing a half boob anyways? It's more offending seeing two teenagers groping each other in public.
20:36 November 29, 2011 by farmon
The article is a non issue.
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