Today I heard about this video about a mom breastfeeding in a Texas recreation center in public. Though some people think it’s a ploy for National Breastfeeding month, I think it’s a good thing to watch and talk about.
In the video, the woman was was approached by an employee of receration center in Texas. She approached not once but twice and asked to cover up. The employee even exclaimed, “you will not come in this lobby like this.” Before I begin, my rant check out the video for yourself.
Here’s a little background on me. When I was 20, I had my first child. We lived in Savannah, and my family was/is very Southern gentile. Breastfeeding was not something you did in public. I was told to go to other rooms to make family members more comfortable, and that I needed to cover my child’s head up. Keep in mind my daughter was born in March, and at that time it is already VERY hot. Even with a light receiving blanket she was always red, hot and sweaty when I would feed her.
I would remember times when I would nurse her in a bathroom stall and just cry because I was so lonely and frustrated. Needless to say we only lasted a very few months, and I was devestated. Talk about feeling like a total failure.
With my second child, I was a much more educated parent and was NOT going to let people shame me into failing this time. Luckily, the second time was the charm because my daughter and I had an amazing nursing relationship until she was 3 years old.
What blows my mind in this video is the fact that the woman is legally allowed in to breastfeed in public in Texas. This employee came up to her not once, but twice to tell her to cover up. You can argue semantics with me here, and say she was “asked” to cover up, but when breastfeeding moms are asked to cover up is it EVER really a question?
You can also argue that everyone has a right to feel comfortable when they are out in public. Well, my argument to you would be; what about that baby? Would you like to eat your lunch under a hot tent in the Texas sun? (Ok so they were indoors but you get my point). Why is a child’s rights not as important as an adult’s rights? The employee told the mom to “think about the children,” because there is a day camp at the facility. Why would explaining to your child that a mother was just feeding her baby be inappropriate? Kids at that age don’t normally know the sexual nature to breasts unless YOU as the parent make it sexual!
When I attended BlogHer a few weeks back, we had similar situations where vendors at the Expo hall told moms that their booths weren’t the “appropriate place” to sit and breastfeed. Keep in mind that these booths were supposed to be “comfort lounges” for the bloggers to relax in. Luckily, those breastfeeding moms stood up to the vendors as well and one vendor even made a donation to the La Leche League International.
It’s about time that the American public got OVER themselves. How a mother chooses to feed her child is HER choice (and the dad’s of course)! It’s time that we realize it’s JUST A BOOB, and that you are making WAY more of a deal about it than it should be.
If nudity is so awful and your discomfort HAS to be known, next time you are changing in a gym locker and a woman walks by naked, make sure to ask her if she minds covering up! Don’t normally do that? Keep your head down and keep doing your own thing? You might want to remember that next time you get upset over seeing a baby being breastfed!