So there is a bit of a controversy in the blogosphere about Maggie Gyllenhaal breastfeeding her young daughter in public and being photographed doing so. I think it is very weird that someone took a picture of it but that is another story.
I think breastfeeding is an awesome, natural, wonderful thing. I don't care if women breastfeed in public and probably wouldn't care too much if they didn't cover up though they shouldn't be surprised if someone looks or if someone takes their picture if they are a famous actress.
I don't know what Maggie's intention of doing so publicly was (other than feeding her daughter). She seems like a "jump on my bandwagon" type of gal so I'm guessing she knew she would be photographed and didn't care. She might be trying to send a message and I think it is a great that someone who has some type of celebrity is actually sending one that might open the eyes of some people.
I never had the opportunity to breastfeed in public. However, I did have the janitor cleaning the hallway leer through the doorway while the lactation consultation was trying to help me feed Aidan. Nice. I was uncomfortable. I also pumped milk in the car once. I was uncomfortable.
Aidan's heart problem made it difficult for him to breastfeed so I pumped and fed him exclusively for 15 months. You could say that I had a real commitment to breastfeeding because pumping and feeding is a real way of life and isn't always easy. Aidan was super healthy despite his heart problem and has a great palate for all types of foods. We may never know all the benefits he will have in life by having breastmilk during those vital months.
All that being said, if I have another child and an opportunity to feed in public, I don't know what I'll do. I like to think I have a bit of modesty left even though you lose a lot when you give birth. I don't think it is wrong yet I don't know what is right for me. I support women who feed their children in public. I think discretion might help the cause but I am not sure if I think it is wrong to not be discreet.
I am hoping that Maggie will help some people learn about the benefits of breastfeeding and the use of breasts as something besides a sex object. Maggie probably is in wonderment of what her body can do right now. However,my guess is that the pro-breastfeeding in public people will cheer and the anti-breastfeeding in public people will jeer and all will be the same. But you never know... maybe just a few people will think about the issue deeper than what it appears to be on the surface.
My gut feeling on the whole matter (and I have seen the picture) is lucky baby.