'Extended' Breastfeeding in Public Law

Minnie - posted on 05/17/2011 ( 632 moms have responded )

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http://thestir.cafemom.com/toddler/12043...

"Brace yourself, the Breastfeeding Police are at it again in Georgia. This time they've locked their sights on slutty exhibitionist moms who dare to think they can feed their 2-year-old in public and get away with it.

What is going on down there? Have all the peaches gone bad? First a Georgia school district banned breastfeeding for students and teachers. And now a town council in Forest Park has equated extended breastfeeding to public indecency.

Look, I get it. Not everyone is comfortable with nursing moms -- and they may never be, no matter how much they read up on it. But we all have things that are perfectly legal that we really don't like, that we have no right to impede upon.

Logic, more than emotion, goes into the acceptance of a lot of things outside your lifestyle choices. But this!? The 'Logic Train' to Georgia has definitely derailed.

In an attempt to "control public nudity," they've decided that nursing a child over the age of 2 will no longer be covered by the state law that excludes nursing women from being charged with indecent exposure. So for right now, my toddler and my nursing relationship is wholesome ... but in two months, suddenly it goes from me nursing her to illegal public nudity?

How is this legal? I was fairly sure city laws couldn't contradict state laws ... from what I can tell, Forest Park isn't a 'Home Rule' city either, so this shouldn't even carry weight! Their previous law only had rules about adult entertainment businesses, but I guess these "slutty" moms of toddlers have been causing quite a ruckus? You know, taking out a breast to feed a toddler and all ... unless there are tassels involved, all I'm seeing is a giant waste of time and resources, and a really crappy message to women who've made it that long in the first place.

Imagine if pacifier use suddenly became illegal, or your baby's favorite stuffed animal or sippy cups, in public ... same deal to a toddler, by the way, give or take some nutrition and whatnot. Since when is breastfeeding damaging to society?

And I thought Tennessee had issues with its own restrictive breastfeeding law, preventing the public nursing of a child over 1, which they at least managed to fix. Between this and the Georgia school district banning breastfeeding, it's no surprise Georgia is only a tiny step above Tennessee with a pathetic 9.7 percent of babies being exclusively breastfed until only 6 months.

Look, when my daughter turns 2, there's no magic jump. It's not the Sims here -- she doesn't spin around and magically turn into a child with spurts of confetti, and suddenly all my interactions with her change accordingly. I'll nurse her the day before her birthday, on it, and the day after, and aside from a fun party in there, and her being RIGHT when she answers, "TWO!" when asked how old she is, nothing else changes. It certainly doesn't magically make my breasts sex objects.

Oh Georgia ... how long until this gets retracted? For being in a part of the country with the highest rates of obesity and diabetes, and ranked 43rd in overall health, you really can't afford to punish women and their children who've succeeded in something HEALTHY and GOOD. And, much less can you afford to try to link breastfeeding to something sexual, perverted, or damaging -- a message that has a much further reach and heavier impact than just this law.

If you want to let them know what you think, send a message, email, or call City Hall yourself. Maybe thousands of emails that say that the World Health Organization and multiple Surgeons General recommend 2 as a minimum -- not max -- might help get the point across? Be proactive!

What do you think of Forest Park's law?"

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632 Comments

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Dana - posted on 05/19/2011

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Well, I find it completely disrespectful to fly off the handle and hit your kid because you can't control yourself. To be honest.

Mel - posted on 05/19/2011

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yes I would its extremely disrespectful I see some parents take charge but not enough of them sadly. Their kids should be in a pram or trolley if they cant control them

Dana - posted on 05/19/2011

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Wow, you'd really "severely" smack your child for opening a curtain. Kids are kids, it sounds like you need control, not them.

Mel - posted on 05/19/2011

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yep of course just let your kids keep disrespecting breast feeding mothers , sounds perfect

Mel - posted on 05/19/2011

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some of the feeding rooms have a section with a gate which is the toy room and all the fancy stuff really good chairs etc some places have those breast feeding chairs the ones iwth the foot rest that rock while you feed. Some of them are aweful. I havent seen one in a while that doenst have the toys in the actual breast feeding cubicles, the change tables, etc. The only thing that shits me is the parents that allow their kids to keep opening curtains and dont shut them after, and they let them do it. If it were my kid they would get a severe smacking for ever opening the curtains on someone feeding, these parents let thier kids get away with it no respect. I get so angry that i have to stop feeding to go close the curtain constantly. I have been almost at that point where I wanted to yell and say hold onto your fucking child FFS. But thats the only problem Ive ever had :) Oh and with one change room at the local shops where air con is broken so the babies sweat bad while feeding

Jodi - posted on 05/19/2011

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I'd say it was Loureen. The one in my local shopping centre has a kitchenette area with no facilities (just a sink), a change table and a single crappy little chair, not even comfortable looking.

Mel - posted on 05/19/2011

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@ Ashley , Austria are great we are lucky we were able to afford to send the money straight away, if we hadnt found them our daughter would still be tube feeding, we were skeptical at first and I came on here for advice actually and my mum told me even if its just a shot the money shouldnt matter when it comes to my daughters health. SO we went for it we were met with a severe lack of support on here people saying we prolonged her tube feeding by not listnening to the aussie docs etc they had no clue of the situation yet they still thought they were right. Anyway won't hijack this anymore, glad that hear Austria helped that 7 yr old. We do need to severly raise more awareness

Charlie - posted on 05/19/2011

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Ive only used one nursing room , it was sweet , we had our own private rooms with curtain big leather arm chair and a view of the harbour bridge , microwaves for warming bottles , toy area for toddlers and change tables .....I would say that was a pretty up market kinda nursing room though .

Minnie - posted on 05/19/2011

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See I had in my mind a lounge-type room with nice chairs and a changing table.

So where my thoughts were going were what if one lady nursing a young baby gets icked out by a mother nursing a three year old? What should the 'offended' mother do?

Jodi - posted on 05/19/2011

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"Lisa, all the rooms I have been in have had the option of curtains being closed for privacy."

I have never been in a room that has that option :)

Minnie - posted on 05/19/2011

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So the purpose of this is to control public indecency. I find it extremely difficult to imagine that with the negligible breastfeeding rate past six months in GA that mothers nursing toddlers are contributing in any significant numbers to 'indecency.'

So 10% of GA mothers are breastfeeding at six months. Seriously? They think nursing toddlers are the problem?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/19/2011

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Lisa, all the rooms I have been in have had the option of curtains being closed for privacy. If no one can give an answer to whether this would be part of the law or not, their is no point arguing it. There are solutions yes, but every solution of course can be shot down. Doesn't really matter since we don't know for sure what the law would exactly entail.

Charlie - posted on 05/19/2011

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Sara I had nursing singlets and an H cup you could never see more than a fingers worth of skin if that .

Minnie - posted on 05/19/2011

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In rooms in which more than one mother is nursing, what happens when a mother nursing her six month old (because that is normal and acceptable) sees and is really put-off by a mother nursing her three year old right next to her?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/19/2011

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Maybe not though Amanda. A public place like a restaurant, verses a nursing room is different. I would like to see exactly how this would be dictated...but it may very well be in public spaces that anyone can see you out in the open....not in a secluded room specifically designed for nursing.

Amanda - posted on 05/19/2011

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A public place is a public place no matter who enters them. Men dont go into YWCA's but that doesnt make it private. Most nursing rooms are also toddler bathrooms as well as change rooms for infants, so yes I would think that this law also covers family/nursing rooms.

Jenn - posted on 05/19/2011

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Just wanted to mention that when I was nursing my son, I was a 38F - it is possible to still be discreet when you have tits the size of your head. :P My twins like to wear my bras like a double hat - one boob for each head LMAO!!!!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/19/2011

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Amanda, do you know for certain these designated nursing rooms would be off limits to 2+ BFing kids??? This is yes a public room, but SPECIFICALLY designated for nursing. I have never seen random people off the streets with no reason to be in them visiting for the hell of it.

Amanda - posted on 05/19/2011

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Those are great tops.

I would just wear a tank top with a T shirt over top, the Tshirt would go up and my tank top would go down which basicly looks the same as that top.

Amanda - posted on 05/19/2011

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Id just like to point out that nursing rooms are public areas therefore breastfeeding a child over 2 in a nursing room is also illegal according to this law.

Does this change anyones mind on this law, since we all keep talking about nursing rooms like they are an choice for a mother of a child over 2 years old with this law.

[deleted account]

The best thing I received (and then bought more after I found out how great they were) was nursing tops. Mom got me a few for my birthday from Oldnavy.com. Tried them out then got online and bought three more. And I rarely buy clothes for myself. Seriously, they way they are made covers everything, top of the boob included. I'd be interested to know if they work for women who are more endowed than I am.

Krista - posted on 05/19/2011

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Hard to say, Laura. I'm naturally a more reserved person as it is. (Stop laughing, you assholes, I meant physically reserved, not verbally...) I think if it was SUPER commonplace, I might try it out v. discreetly at first, and then might gain more bravery as time went on.

But we've got a long ways to go before we get to that point. Hell, it wasn't all that long ago right here on COM, when someone was making fun of a mom for sitting at a table feeding her kid, and she was turned to the side facing the aisle, with most of her breast showing. And that's basically how I would HAVE to feed if I did it in public. So it was really, really disheartening to realize that if I nursed in public, a lot of people would have unreasonable expectations as to how how discreet I could be about it.

Merry - posted on 05/19/2011

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Chasity and krista,
If both of you regularly saw women with big boobs nursing not so discreetly in public, would you possibly become comfortable yourselves? I mean like if you were together, both needed go nurse, might you find strength in numbers and be able to go for it even with your big boobies? :)
I don't know your struggles, I'm only a D, but I really wish for your sakes that there's hope for big chested women to breastfeed comfortably in public!
Maybe just maybe the future could include women of all cup sizes breastfeeding confidently anywhere need be.
I know I dream big, but that's just how I am :D

[deleted account]

@Mel yes it was Austria.
I never heard of this before that show.I sat crying along with them.It was a very emotional show.I can't imagine what you must of gone through.As the mother in this show was just at her wits end.Thank god for that clinic.It helped her greatly and the staff were so so good.
I think your right about making this known to the public.As i said i had no idea until that show.
I am so glad your daughter is doing good now.Keep making this issue known to others.Spread awareness.Best of luck to you and your family.

Krista - posted on 05/19/2011

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I'm in the EXACT same boat as you, Chastity. My kid's head covered about 10% of my breast, if that. "Discreet" just was NOT gonna happen!

That's why I just wasn't comfortable nursing in public. And yeah, the football hold is hard to do at a table. :)

So it's great to have those rooms available.

However, if another nursing mom IS comfortable nursing in public, then fair play to her, and I don't think she should be made to feel ashamed for that.

Chasity - posted on 05/19/2011

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The main reason I didnt want to just plop out my breast is because I am a cup F and thats far from being discreet and I am only able to hold my son football hold to feed him cause anyother way would smother him (totally not joking) another reason was because it was mothers day and there was tons of people and like I said I couldn't of been discreet. Not all mothers can just do it in public I have in a place where there was lil people around but really I took a picture of my breastfeeding to save for the baby book and well to say the least my sons head looks like a baseball next to a football. I would love to BF him until he is two or so but I would probably have to pump if there are no private rooms and I have known several people to give up feeding because of not being able to handle pumping every time they go out cause they refused to do it in public perhaps if they had the nursing rooms they would of had an option, besides letting others watch.

Johnny - posted on 05/19/2011

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Absolutely Becky. I don't personally know anyone who is offended by breastfeeding. And I could care less what some jackass two tables over thinks about it. He's probably forgotten that is how his mommy fed him.

If I'm going to be in the nursing room area anyway or I really want some peace & quiet, I might use it. But I would never inconvenience myself to hide in a room, no matter how nice, because I was breastfeeding. That would suggest that I was doing something that isn't publicly acceptable. Which I'm not.

Becky - posted on 05/19/2011

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Marina asked: "Ok, so here is a question for the mothers that BF in public. if every place you went to, there was BF air conditioned/heated private rooms for BFing moms, would you utilize them? Or would you still insist on BFing in public, even though there is a designated area for the privacy of mother and child???"

It depends. I'm certainly not averse to using nursing rooms and I often do use them when they're available. For me, nursing in public is not a matter of proving a point or showing off (I don't think it is for 99.9% of nursing mothers), it's a matter of need and convenience. If I'm at the mall with just my children and the baby needed to eat, generally I would use the nursing room. Chances are he needed a diaper change too, and I wasn't going to do that on a bench in the middle of the mall, so I might as well head to the nursing room and kill 2 birds with one stone. Plus, they had toys for my older child to play with so he didn't have to sit there bored while I fed the baby. (I never mastered the art of nursing in a carrier. Hopefully next time around I'll get the hang of it!) But, if we're at a restaurant or playground or the swimming pool, no, chances are, I'm not going to use it, even if it is available. Why would I pull my older son away from the playground where he is having fun and make him go sit in some little room for 20 minutes while I feed the baby when it is perfectly legal and acceptable for me to sit down on a bench and feed him while my other child continues to play? Or have my food get cold and everyone else have to wait for me to finish eating at a restaurant? If I was out with someone who was really squeamish about it, I might use the nursing room out of respect for that particular friend or family member - although as far as I know, I don't have any friends or family members who are bothered by it - but in deference to random joe blow who might be offended? Nope. Sorry, if that makes me rude, then I guess I'm a rude, selfish bitch. But my baby's happy.

Becky - posted on 05/19/2011

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"Becky that is completely unrealistic. If there were laws about what we can't do out in public, most people wouldn't be allowed in public."

That was exactly my point, Lacye. Pretty much everyone has a habit or something about them that is offensive to someone else. If we banned everything that people considered offensive, we'd all be confined to our houses. So, since I'm sure we all agree that that idea is utterly preposterous, why single out this one thing? Why pick on breastfeeding a toddler, something which is harmless at the very least and arguably, even beneficial??? Right, because it is public indecency. (eye roll!) But, wearing a shirt cut down to your belly button and a skirt that shows off your ass crack, nope, not indecent at all. A couple of 14 year olds slobbering all over on a park bench just a couple feet from where young children are playing, perfectly acceptable. GIVE ME A BREAK!!! If Georgia wants to start discriminating against people, how about they start with people who do things that are truly offensive or potentially harmful? Oh right, I forgot, this is the south. They have a history of discriminating against people based on random, ridiculous traits. It's taboo to discriminate based on skin color now, so we'll just move on to women and children instead.

User - posted on 05/19/2011

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Thanks for answering this "dummy's" dummy question... now I know what a dummy is (and it still may be me at times yet - hahaha)

[deleted account]

Okay back to the nursing room thing and why I generally wouldn't use them (and a slightly different reason that has already been stated). Take my example of nursing in church again. I typically just nurse her in church. There is no big movement to distract others around me. I'm already holding her, so I just shift my shirt and let her latch. Last Sunday I wore a dress that didn't have easy access to my breast and I had to practically undress to nurse. I'm sure that would have caused quite a stir. So I removed myself. However, standing up and hauling my screaming, hungry infant was a HUGE distraction and everyone knew I was leaving to nurse. Had I worn something different, and nursed her as I normally do, no one would have been the wiser.

Johnny - posted on 05/19/2011

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Not all children will put up with covers. It is really quite common that kids get bothered by them. I'm sure you can find plenty of women here who have had that experience, me included.

That doesn't mean we're sitting out there flashing our boobies for all to see. It's very possible to breastfeed without a cover and still be discrete.

Mechelle - posted on 05/19/2011

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Babies need to be fed, and it is a fact that breastfeeding is better. If we are out in public and our babies get hungry, what are we supposed to do? Let them starve??

I do not agree that breastfeeding in public should be made illegal at any age. How long you breastfeed is your decision.

I also agree that it does make some people uncomfortable. And with our culture making breasts sexual instead of what they were made for, feeding, why shouldn't it be uncomfortable. So, as mature mothers, to make it less of an argument, if we have to feed in public, what's wrong with a cover over top? No one would even know what you are doing, and this allows us to feed without the argument.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/19/2011

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Oh wait...I need to Jynx you....is it to late??? Jynx by me a diet coke ;)

[deleted account]

And you can always "spit the dummy" - Aussie (and UK?)slang for "throw a tantrum. " Derived from a baby spitting out the dummy when she is going to cry

Mel - posted on 05/19/2011

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Ive never seen one, but Ive never looked ...maybe I will look but Ive never seen anything like it. Dummy = pacifier. aussie term. I had an american friend baby sit my kid at my wedding who had her up til 10pm crying for her dummy and she didnt know what she was on about lol

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