Every time I think the world has finally calmed its tits about breastfeeding in public, another story hits the media and the planet goes mad again. Debates and arguments ensue on social media and before long somebody makes this comment:
"Yeah, it's natural, but so is urinating and you don't see me doing that in public, lol."
There's always a "lol" because OMG that's sooooo funny and original and nobody has ever said that before, ever.
There is no comparison between breastfeeding and urinating. None. They are in no way, shape or form the same thing. Two completely different bodily functions, two completely different purposes.
For the small minority of people who need some help understanding this, here is a list of 10 reasons why breastfeeding and urinating are not the same:
1. Because breastmilk is food, pee is not
Breastmilk is a complete nutrition source. Urine has little to no nutritive value. Not the same. Even if your name is Bear Grylls.
2. Because breastfeeding is not unhygienic, unlike pee
Urine might be a sterile by product but it picks up viruses, bacteria and fungi as it exits the body. Breastmilk, on the other hand, contains immunologic agents to protect against bacteria, viruses and even parasites. Not the same.
3. Because pee is a waste product, breastmilk isn't
Humans excrete urine to get rid of soluble toxic wastes. Humans produce milk to feed their infants. Not the same.
4. Because peeing in public is deemed unacceptable by all first world countries, breastfeeding isn't
In all first world countries peeing in a public place without a suitable receptacle is illegal, however breastfeeding in public is legal AND protected in the majority of the world. Not the same.
5. Because breastmilk can sustain life, pee cannot
If you were desperate, you could drink your pee as it does have some trace vitamins and minerals. You'd be risking exposure to all sorts of nasties though and I doubt you'd survive very long on pee alone. Breastmilk on the other hand is the sole food source for the first six months of many babies' lives. Not the same.
6. Because breastfeeding in public is perfectly legal, peeing in public isn't
Here in the UK, breastfeeding in public is not just legal, it is protected by the Equality Act 2010. Peeing in public however could land you in court. Not the same.
7. Because breastfeeding is a beautiful act of comfort and nourishment, peeing is not
A sweet little baby, so pure and innocent, being comforted and fed: wonderful. A grown-up taking a wazz in the street: the opposite of wonderful. Not the same.
8. Because when babies are hungry, they can't wait. You can wait to pee
When a baby is hungry, it needs to be fed. It can't and won't wait. A healthy adult can wait to pee. Not the same.
9. Because peeing in public is a potential public health hazard, breastfeeding isn't
We've already established that pee is waste and milk is food. If urine isn't disposed of properly, it can grow pathogens and toxins. Not the same.
10. Because you don't eat your lunch in the same place that you pee
This one speaks for itself. They are simply not the same.
This post was first published here.