Friday, June 11, 2010


Today, a friend posted a link to this story on Facebook. In a nutshell, Mom is at a baseball game with the family, sitting in the nosebleeds. Newborn needs to nurse. Mom moves up into an empty row even farther up. Security comes over, tells her she can't be there. Offers family restroom. Mom is livid. Calls media. Lactivists Unite!!! Boycott the Rockies! Their Sponsors! Major League Baseball!

My immediate reaction:

stories like this tick me off. and not for the obvious reason. i think she's blowing this out of proportion. i have a feeling security came over and said that the section was closed, to which she replied that she was there to nurse. they told her there was a family restroom. not because they didn't want her NURSING there, but because they didn't want her nursing THERE. she had obviously felt uncomfortable nursing in her seat, so they offered an alternative. had she been nursing in the seat for which she had a ticket, i doubt there ever would have been an issue.

i get seriously ticked off when lactivists get all up in arms over stuff like this, twisting it to fit the bill. it makes us all look like angry nutjobs :(

No woman should ever be asked to breastfeed in a bathroom. But I see this as an uniformed male security guard offering what he thinks is a helpful alternative. Like I said, mom clearly wasn't comfortable nursing in her crowded seat. Instead of accusing this man of being a discriminating bully, we should be focused on educating the general public about breastfeeding in a peaceful, non-accusatory manner. They don't know what they don't know...ya know? I bet this guy feels like a total jerk. Who hasn't been a similar position. Has there never been a time when you were ignorant about something and put your foot in your mouth? Did someone take you aside and kindly inform you of your mistake, or were you accused of being a bad person?

I am a breastfeeding mother. I support breastfeeding mothers. I get furious as hell when a nursing mother's rights are truly violated. I am woman, hear me roar. I would attend a nurse-in in a heartbeat if I thought a mother had been the victim of discrimination, but COME ON ladies! Let's quit looking for reasons to roar!

Did security have the right to ask that woman to leave a closed section? Yep. If she's not allowed to be there, she's not allowed to nurse there.

Are mothers who feel the need to nurse in the lounge of a restroom lesser breastfeeders? No way.

I nurse with a cover. Am I bringing shame to the name of nursing? Give me a flippin' break.

Let's rally behind moms, however they choose to nurse. Society makes it hard enough...sometimes I think over jealous lactivists only hurt their cause. We're so much less likely to be taken seriously if we go around being Judgy McCriticals and looking to start something.

I'm just sayin'.

I'll leave you with this 100% true and relevant story.

It was October. I had a one month old. I took her with me to the airport to pick up my mom, who was visiting from the west coast. While sitting in the car in front of Baggage Claim, Sweet E began to cry. She was hungry. I took her out of her car seat and began to nurse her in the driver's seat. Airport cop pulled up. "Lady, no parking here." "I'm waiting for someone." "No waiting, move along NOW." "Okay, just a second, I'm nursing my newborn." "Put your kid in the car seat and move along NOW."

I was pissed. I had to put my crying baby back in her seat and make a lap around the airport, listening to her shriek with hunger. I cried with her. But the signs said no waiting. I was chancing it, and I was wrong. I pulled into the garage, parked, and nursed my baby. THE END.

Now, I could be wrong about this particular case. If I am, I'm truly sorry. But there are dozens of others just like it, and I have to wonder what actually went down.

**currently editing to add more thoughts.


Jenn said...

I totally agree with you on this. By doing things like this, we join the rank of "fringe" groups whose message is good but whose methods are "out there" and tend to alienate more than educate (I won't name an example, I don't want to offend).

If someone really needs to be educated on a woman's breastfeeding rights, then yes, please! Let's set examples. But lets not go looking for those fights and finding insults where none really exist. We have enough "real" fights to fight.

Great post.