I’m a few weeks behind on posting this story… I read it shortly after it first came out, but I never finished writing about it until today.
If you don’t have time to read the link, I’ll give you a brief recap: A mother in suburban Detroit was kicked off of a city bus for breastfeeding her infant son. I’m not one to compare breastfeeding advocacy to civil rights, but I do think this story is ironic. 😉
Incidents like this happen every so often in the US, and it never fails to confuse me. Occasionally, it infuriates me. I mean, come on folks, it’s the year 2011. We should all know by now that breastfeeding is legal in all 50 states. The majority of states (I believe the number is 44? Don’t quote me on that. In any event, Michigan is definitely one of them.) have special laws that specifically exempt breastfeeding mothers from any public nudity/indecency laws. The great state of Louisiana is also among those.
My sweet husband took the time to look up the revised statute in our state and save it to my phone so I’d have it handy (just in case!). If you know my husband, this is pretty typical behavior for him. He’s Mr. Prepared for ANYTHING. Including a Zombie Apocalypse. But that’s another post. I have posted Louisiana’s breastfeeding laws here on my blog for your information.
Now, this story doesn’t specify whether or not the mother was using a nursing cover or blanket or anything… but since Michigan exempts breastfeeding mothers from public nudity laws, that doesn’t really matter. Although I’ve never seen a nursing mother expose much of anything when feeding in public.
Personally, I’m not ever going to expose anything when feeding T in public. Unless I’m wearing two shirts that cover everything T’s head isn’t blocking, I’m gonna throw a blanket over myself. I don’t really want Joe Schmoe peeking at the girls. That being said, I’m definitely not going to isolate myself from the general public because my baby is hungry. I intend to breastfeed for at least a year. I’ve got things to do, and I would miss my friends terribly if I had to stay home for that long! If you have kids (and probably even if you don’t!) you understand this. Motherhood can be a little isolating at times.
Say we’re in a restaurant eating dinner & T is hungry too. Which would you rather… the sight of me feeding T with a blanket draped around us, or the sound of him screaming until we get home? I mean, really, which is more of an imposition? If you don’t want to watch me breastfeed, you can look away, but it’s pretty difficult to enjoy your meal with a screaming baby in the background.
Just some of my thoughts on the subject. I had no idea that it was a big deal until T was born, and I would do a google search for breastfeeding information. I started reading articles about women being kicked out of public places for choosing to breastfeed, and it baffled me. I was never really exposed to breastfeeding until a few years ago, but as an adult it didn’t seem weird to me, and it certainly never offended me.
At the risk of losing some readers… and possibly some facebook friends, since this post will pop up in everyone’s newsfeed… how on EARTH is this inappropriate or offensive?