Breastfeeding in Public

Melanie - posted on 07/25/2010 ( 49 moms have responded )

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I lived in North Dakota for a while. It is actually illegal to breastfeed in public there! I moved to Minnesota, where it is legal, and I love it. I don't have to worry about going to jail for feeding my child. Now, all I have to worry about is the nasty stares that I get while feeding her. It's not like I'm showing myself to everyone. I was listening to the radio one day on my way home from ND. There was a story about a woman who was feeding her child at an undisclosed restaurant, totally covered. Her family was kicked out of the restaurant. The dad, obviously, became angered. I am honestly outraged by this. I was wondering what other moms thought, since this is a breastfeeding community. My SIL thinks it should be illegal in all states. She said they should go to the bathroom in public places to feed their babies. I understand not wanting to see some strangers breast, but come on!

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[deleted account]

I'm not sure when you lived there, but I just checked the laws and it is legal to breastfeed in public in North Dakota and breastfeeding women exempt from indecent exposure laws:



"N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-20-12.1 was amended in 2009 by Senate Bill 2344 to exempt the act of a woman discreetly breastfeeding her child from indecent exposure laws.

N.D. Cent. Code § 23-12-16 allows a woman to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the woman and child are otherwise authorized to be. (2009 SB 2344)

N.D. Cent. Code § 23-12-17 provides that an employer may use the designation “infant friendly” on its promotional materials if the employer adopts specified workplace breastfeeding policies, including scheduling breaks and permitting work patterns that provide time for expression of breast milk; providing a convenient, sanity, safe and private location other than a restroom for expressing breast milk; and a refrigerator in the workplace for the temporary storage of breast milk. The law also directs to the state department of heatlh to establish guidelines for employers concerning workplace breastfeeding and infant friendly designations. (2009 SB 2344)"

http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=1...



So if you visit, you can breastfeed there :)

Jessica - posted on 07/26/2010

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Don't get me started!! I think everywhere should have a special room for momma's feeding there babies. Not some dirty sh*t hole. I wouldn't want to eat there either. Human milk for human babies! I could go on but I won't. I'm pro booby. I think it's great when I see young mother's bf.

Diana - posted on 07/26/2010

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I am a breast feeding mom and HAVE had to feed my son in a bathroom once before and told myself NEVER AGAIN! He deserves better than that! I honestly wish that people would see that breast feeding is natural and how GOD intended for us to feed. I am not knocking the ones that choose not to breast feed but feel that the ones that want that bond should not have people judge them unfairly!

Briana - posted on 07/26/2010

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LOL! Sorry, illegal to feed your child?!? What has America come to that we have sexualized (is that a word?) breasts that you can't even feed your kid in public? Luckily in Texas we actually have a law protecting women who publicly breastfeed. I actually walked through WalMart yesterday feeding my son, and completely covered with a nursing cover. You couldn't see ANYTHING from my hips all the way up to the bottom of my neck and people STARED. I almost got to the point that I said "Do you stare at everyone who eats in public?" because that's all that my son was doing. I feel VERY strongly about this. I'm all cool and chill when it comes to the formula vs breastfeeding debate and understand both sides. But I HATE the public breastfeeding debate because there shouldn't be one!



And the bathroom thing....if someone EVER mentions that to me I'll flip. We don't eat in nasty public bathrooms, so why should my kid? I need to check on the laws in Arizona since we are moving there in less than 2 weeks.

[deleted account]

I thought it was legal to breastfeed in public in all 50 states now..... ??

I've nursed my son in public since he was a newborn. I rarely, rarely ever do it now, but that's cuz he's 2. No one has ever said a negative word and if I've had any stares.... well, I never paid attention to other people... just my son.

I think I'd start nursing in front of my SIL every chance I got if she felt that way..... ;)

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[deleted account]

oh my goodness! i cant believe its illegal anywhere in this modern day! how ridiculous! in uk its illegal to stop anyone breast feeding! just remeber its the best thing for your child, it provides all needed antibodies, keeps them healthy in later life and is also excellent for your health. just ignore people who stare! be proud that you are giving your child the best posible chance in life and stuff those who are too stupid to know its natural! its what breasts are there for!!!

Gabriela - posted on 07/31/2010

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In Australia shopping centres have at least 1 parents' room. They tend to be spacious rooms with chairs or couches, a change area with a sink next to it, and a toilet in a separate space. You can breastfeed anywhere you like, but if you prefer a quiet place, the parents' rooms are quite alright. It's important, though, to keep it clear, a parents' room is a place to care for your baby, not a toilet.

Angela - posted on 07/31/2010

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thats unreal. i didn't realise there were places where it was illegal to feed your child the way nature intended. am lucky in england that i have been able to feed my children. have had a few nasty looks from people but for the most part people are supportive or just dont pay any attention. some resturants/cafes etc still take issue with BF but most are great. there has even been a campaign by our local health trust to support BF. the shop mother care even has a room you can go to fo feed if you can't find or are not comfortable feeding anywhere else. your SIL is being rediculous, maybe she should go and eat in the bathroom.

Sarah - posted on 07/31/2010

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I always feed my child in public. When he is hungry he gets it! I woud call the cops on them if they kik me out! In Belgium its legal!

Tara - posted on 07/30/2010

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wow, crazy that women are still dealing with these issues! just not fair. maybe going to the bathroom to breastfeed would be okay if the bathroom had a nice area for breastfeeding!!! many bathrooms still do not even have a diaper-changing area to change babies. how the hell are us women supposed to have babies in a world where it is inconvenient to have a baby??? if we don't have babies, how will the world keep on going??? obviously, we need babies, therefore everything should be setup to accomodate babies!!! ok, thanks for letting me get that out. :)

[deleted account]

go to the bathroom to feed your child? like sit on the toilet and do it? sick! i dont even sit on those toilets when i have to pee! whip out that boob and feed your babe on the street corner if you want to and i would be right there supporting it! my son will not nurse because i goofed up and listened to the pediatrician and gave him a bottle with my milk to get jaundice away but i pump and he gets my milk. THIS WHOLE ANIT-NURSING IN PUBLIC STUFF MAKES ME SO MAD! if my son would nurse i would go to it in public just cause i can. this country is so backwards. BREAST FEEDING IS THE BEST CHOICE YOU MAKE FOR YOUR CHILD!

[deleted account]

I think it is ridiculous to be illlegal anywhere. It is a basic human need to eat when you are a baby and if a mom chooses to breastfeed her child it should be legal everywhere. I feel that it is absurd to kick someone out of an establishment for feeding their child...I fed my boys in restaurants, doctor's offices, etc. and I did it quietly and discretely for myself and my comfort. I covered up my breasts with a cover or specially made breastfeeding cover and it was hard to do and I made that choice. It is just ridiculous..when all they show these days on t.v. are breasts and lots more...why can't they just leave a mom alone. They are just ignorant.

Patricia - posted on 07/29/2010

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I have breastfed a total of 6 yrs between my 4 children. I agree with the no bathroom thing but also want to take it a step further... I do NOT appreciate those who try to usher BF moms into a different room. It is not something to hide or be embarassed about!

Christina - posted on 07/29/2010

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That is crazy! I have bfd 3 now my dd 2.5 yrs my son 2years 8mos and now my baby boy so far hes 7 months....in all that time I have fed everywhere you can imagine ( between NC and KS) resteraunts, stores, planes.....everywhere I go thats where they eat (no bottles) and no one has ever said a word to me....Im so thankful :) I think I would flip if anyone ever did lol

Katherine Leslie - posted on 07/29/2010

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Sorry but your SIL is stupid. I had a preeme first and when he got hurt I had to take him to the hospital and the people that were going to air lift him over the mountains to the big hospital they said a lady breastfeed her child in a bathroom and there was water on the floor and the mother slipped and the baby went across the floor with all head inger. I will never feed my child in a bathroom. IT IS UNSAFE!!!! I love that every state I live in it is legel and I love breastfeeding and I don't care who looks at me and gives me dirty looks one person said something when I lived in WA state and I said well what do you think your mother did? because it was an old lady. My mother told an old lady to take her food to the bathroom when her friend was bfing her daughter at a restrant... Here in Indiana I have never gotten one bad look mostly smiles from all types of people LOL...

Felicia - posted on 07/29/2010

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I live in Illions and Illinois will actually take action with a compalint for being "scrutinized" for nursing in public. It just blows my mind people are so againist it. Our breasts are for feeding offspring, not a sex toy. Good luck to you.

Liz - posted on 07/29/2010

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Maybe I should clarify - the parents rooms are not IN the bathroom, they are along the same wall as the bathroom, like same area so people can find them. The ones I've seen are stylish, comfortable, and clean. They include bottle warmers, wipes warmers, sanitary spray to spray the diaper stations. There were even disposable spit blankets for those that forgot theirs. And here is the best part - you can still see then entire food court from the room. You arent enclosed in an area like your hiding something. There are some chairs that arent as exposed for people who are a little shy. I really feel like its a happy medium. Plus I would rather feed my kid in a comfy leather care in a quieter area than at those uncomfortable seats in the food court or on a bench!

Does anyone else have things in their area that promote Bfing? SHARE, thats the only way to make this an non issue!

Brooke - posted on 07/28/2010

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wow that is insane! i mean i am not comfortable feeding with out being covered but i dont think it should be illegal at all! that is the way your baby eats..its natural! lol i love breastfeeding!

Amy - posted on 07/28/2010

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It's a shame that it even needs to be a concern. I hope you find a good support network in your new city. Keep breastfeeding. It's best for your baby @modestmiddles

Kimberley - posted on 07/28/2010

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they want us to feed in them perant rooms...... they are DIRTY....... i would not eat in there so my child does not have to ether i feed where i want if my baby hungy it should be feed.

as a young mum been told to feed my child was discusting in public i felt left out i stoped leaving the house coz its what i thought everyone was thinking till i relized.......

MY KID....... ITS HUNGY............ IM NOT LETTING IT STAVE TILL I GET HOME

Liz - posted on 07/28/2010

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Okay just a comment on an above post - formula by perscription only? Little harsh dont ya think? Not all of us Bottle Feeders chose that route happily. And I use the word "choose" not happily. There is NO reason for anyone to do diss other mothers methods. We all need to feed our kids, and sometimes the natural way doesnt work. I agree that ALL countries need to rethink how much time they give for maternity leave - I had twins and i still only got a year.. lol I figure two kids two years, but apparently my gov disagrees with me.

Liz - posted on 07/28/2010

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I live in Alberta where its legal to breastfeed in public. I have no issues with BFing in public, and i think it should be encouraged. Breast is best! (I should mention I'm not anti bottle. In fact my twin girls were bottle feed because my milk decided to come when it wanted and not when they needed it!) My only issue is those mothers that bare all to feed their children and make no effort to cover up. I feel like they dont help the cause at all. In the privacy of your own home/backyard/etc I have no issue, and heck some of my friends have even done it at my house and i take no issue. But in a public place I feel its a little inappropriate, and thats why everyone else gets dirty looks.

There is a local woman in my area petitioning for an area for BFing mothers in all the local food courts. Right now there is little areas just off all the bathrooms in our largest mall, but the smaller malls dont have anything at the moment. I signed all her petitions hoping to help the cause a little bit. Maybe this is something that other mothers would like to try in their area? As of yet from what I have heard one mall has agreed to redo their bathroom area to accomedate the sitting area when they do renovations in a year. It's something small but its a step in the right direction!

Dawn - posted on 07/28/2010

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Wow!!! I just read the thread on this from post one.. And all i can say is what a ridiculous country america is!! I bf my first daughter for 16 months and am now nursing my 2nd daugther (20 wks old) and wouldnt change a thing. Its challenging at time with being tied to the baby 100% of the time but the proof is there- my now 2 yr old has had 3 colds in her life. Three!! All because of the amazing gift i gave her of ebf. Am i tired? Hell yes!! But its the perfect food for them.
Ppl who suggest that its. Inappropriate or rude should really think about what they are saying... Its society that has changed what breasts stand for....not our babies!!! I bf in public but go into another room when parents/inlaws are over simply bc they are embrassed but encourage me to bf and if it came to it would NEVER suggest a washroom!!! My gawd!!! Even the cleanest bathroom is not a place i would want to eat!!!
My 5 month old is now at the pull off and. Whip her head around stage so its a tad embrassing at times but so what!!??

Jessie - posted on 07/28/2010

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Ask your SIL if she likes to take a sandwich with her when she goes to the bathroom. That is a gross thought. This is a subject that really irritates me. We seem to keep getting farther and farther from nature.
How weird is it that our society will accept opening a canister adding water shaking and heating over opening or lifting our shirts slightly and using what our bodies naturally produce for feeding our babies. This makes no sense to me. I am glad you moved so you can enjoy a little ease in your journey.

[deleted account]

I have seen much more rude behavior at a table than a baby receiving the best nourishment possible. The people with the most offensive table manners are usually who would give me stares for nursing in public. I would usually point out that they had sauce on their shirt or they were chewing with their mouth open if they said something rude to me.

[deleted account]

I know exactly what you mean, doctors and specialists say that breastfeeding is best for your baby but people frown upon it. My In-laws actually make me go into another room and close the door to breastfeed my daughter. And i have actually had to go into a bathroom to breastfeed my daughter. this is and unfair situation, i can't understand why people get so upset about breastfeeding mothers when we are just doing the best thing for them. It makes me so angry.

Kimberly - posted on 07/28/2010

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are you kidding me! I think that is rediculous! Breastfeeding is no different then putting a bottle in your childs mouth! It is sad that the world makes it disgusting to be natural! Kudos to all the proud moms that breastfeed, no matter where they are!

Tracy - posted on 07/28/2010

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Oh my god I can't believe that breastfeeding is illegal in Minnesota let alone anywhere,why shouldn't we be aloud to breastfeed our children in public.
I have to say I have never had any bad experiences at all so I'm very lucky.I would be horrified if I did as I think these people make it harder for people who are breastfeeding.....I hope this doesn't put people off breastfeeding as it's better for the child....

CHRISTINE - posted on 07/28/2010

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I try not to do it in the presence of other people that may not be comfortable with it if possible. I use changing rooms while out shopping, go to the car when at resturants, etc. When I have to though, I keep it covered and very descreet.

Destinee - posted on 07/28/2010

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It irritates me so bad how idiotic people can be about this. I breastfed my boys where ever I was when they were hungry & I don't care if anybody didn't like it!! I mean come on there is nothing sexual about it & if someone doesn't like it DONT WATCH!!!!

Maybe your SIL should go eat her dinner in the bathroom next to the toilet!!

And here is a little FYI for you... It is NOT illegal to breastfeed in public in North Dakota!! Here is the State Law:
North Dakota
N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-20-12.1 was amended in 2009 by Senate Bill 2344 to exempt the act of a woman discreetly breastfeeding her child from indecent exposure laws.
N.D. Cent. Code § 23-12-16 allows a woman to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the woman and child are otherwise authorized to be. (2009 SB 2344)
N.D. Cent. Code § 23-12-17 provides that an employer may use the designation “infant friendly” on its promotional materials if the employer adopts specified workplace breastfeeding policies, including scheduling breaks and permitting work patterns that provide time for expression of breast milk; providing a convenient, sanity, safe and private location other than a restroom for expressing breast milk; and a refrigerator in the workplace for the temporary storage of breast milk. The law also directs to the state department of heatlh to establish guidelines for employers concerning workplace breastfeeding and infant friendly designations. (2009 SB 2344)

Shelby-Ann - posted on 07/27/2010

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I believe that if your covered like most moms do whats the big deal? i breastfeed &always am covered with a blanket or something that doesnt show anything. Why would you take your child to a bathroom that to me iis disgusting when you arent bothering anyone feeding your child covered? that really bugs me.

Bryce - posted on 07/27/2010

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: I think that is ridiculous that you cannot breastfeed in public in Minnesota. I honestly think people should be able to breastfeed where ever they have to in order to keep there child fed. But i do think that women should at least use a receiving blanket or something to keep themselves covered. And if someone complains say " they see nothing , and it shouldn't bother them ... im feeding my baby so leave me alone " :)
I think nursing is a beautiful thing , and i do believe all women should be doing it. It gives mother and baby a very unique bond that the father could never have. Keep up the good work mama ; ) && don't worry about people staring , if they have a problem with it , then they are not human at all.

[deleted account]

Melanie,

No need to apologize! :) It sounds like the laws are fairly new, but I'm not sure. It was hard for me to believe that there are states that don't protect breastfeeding mothers. That's why I looked it up. It is sad that there are still states that don't have these laws in place!

Charity - posted on 07/27/2010

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I recieved a pamphlet on the law when in the hospital, the reccommended response to being asked to move was "no thanks, I'm comfortable here" and to being asked to use the restroom "absolutly! as soon as you pick up your meal and join me there to eat"

Charity - posted on 07/27/2010

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Babies are people too, why should they have to eat in a bathroom when no one else wants too. Breastfeeding should be done where ever you are when your baby is hungry. I do believe that covering/not covering is a matter of mother prefreence, my son hates a cover and fusses. I don't however, think it is ok to just flop a boob out completly to feed, use a little modesty. I live in NYS, where it is agianst the law to tell a woman not to breast feed in public. If you have a legal right to be where you are, you have the legal right to breast feed there.
That is what boobs are for after all. If it is ok for women to show tons of cleavage when walking around a mall, I can breast feed in the center food court!

[deleted account]

I found some interesting info about BFing in public. If your state doesn't have BFing laws in place specifically to protect women, any woman who BFs in a restaurant, etc. can be arrested for trespassing if the owner of the establishment asks her to stop and she refuses.



Here's how state laws breakdown across the U.S....



State Breastfeeding Laws



* Forty-four states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands have laws with language specifically allowing women to breastfeed in any public or private location (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming).



* Twenty-eight states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands exempt breastfeeding from public indecency laws (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming).



* Twenty-four states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have laws related to breastfeeding in the workplace (Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming).



* Twelve states and Puerto Rico exempt breastfeeding mothers from jury duty (California, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon and Virginia).



* Five states and Puerto Rico have implemented or encouraged the development of a breastfeeding awareness education campaign (California, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri and Vermont).

Dawn - posted on 07/27/2010

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I completely agree with the formula by Rx only. In europe all moms are paid for a 2-year maternity leave so they can stay at home and raise their babies. CUDOS. We are very uneducated when it comes to the things that are the most important in life.

Aicha - posted on 07/27/2010

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I think the USA should make formula by prescription only and should pay breastfeeding mothers to stay home and breastfeed the babies for the first 2 years

Dawn - posted on 07/26/2010

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its called uneducated!!!!!! Only in America is it taboo to use breasts for what they are made for FOOD!!!! Be strong. Be a voice. Print literature about all the great reasons to breast feed for baby and for mom. Hang in there. Very proud of you!!!! The federal law states you may nurse anywhere you would like. If you were to get a ticket in any state, you would win in a court battle!!!!! Men like breasts at a strip club, but not when there is a baby attached... Mostly because they are babies themselves!!!!

Leslie - posted on 07/26/2010

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I think if you dont want to see me bf my child turn your freakin face the other way....you cant please everyone bc alot of those same people giving us dirty looks and rude comments would ALSO have negative comments and stares if you had some formula out and were whipping your baby up a meal.
God made us to bf who can argue with that :)

Melanie - posted on 07/26/2010

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I just moved from North Dakota. My other SIL is the one who initially told me it was illegal. I looked into it only by asking people. I did not look it up online, at the time. Thank you for informing me of the law change. I apologize for inaccurate information being given.

[deleted account]

I know, I did too, Teresa. I find it sad that it's not. Hopefully those states will fix that soon.

Racheal - posted on 07/26/2010

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go tell your SIL to eat while sitting on the toilet and see how she likes it!!! how appaling! this country just makes me more mad everyday!! its ok for someone to wear a shirt that litteraly goes down to the top of her areola but as soon as a baby is latch on it is sooooo wrong! wtf, she if your SIL wants a cover over her head while she is eating also!! im sorry but what a B****!!

[deleted account]

West Virginia, Idaho and Nebraska don't have laws stating that breastfeeding mothers can nurse in public. Although, Idaho and Nebraska exempt breastfeeding moms from jury duty. Those states need to get on the ball. If you live there you should write your representative!

Celeste - posted on 07/26/2010

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My aunt is like your SIL. She's very anti NIP (and really, anti breastfeeding).



My thoughts? Breastfeeding is feeding a child. Why in the world would I feed my child in a place where people defecate and urinate? Gross!! I'll have to find that article that I saw awhile ago about why it's unsanitary. I'd tell your SIL that she can eat her meal in the bathroom.



As far as people seeing breasts, I've seen more breast on teenagers, I don't recall them being kicked out of restaurants!



Found the article:

http://codenamemama.com/2010/05/24/breas...

Barbora Milena - posted on 07/26/2010

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its strange for me to hear its illegal in some states in USA, im from Europe and noone would dare to kick you out from somewhere or to tell you to feed your child in the bathroom... I breastfeed my daughter in public, i also cover us with her blanket or choose a top which doesnt show too much, but thats my choice...sometimes young girls in their outfits show more of their breasts than me when im bfeeding and many people here sunbath topless on the public beaches and swimming pools, so i dont think the bit of skin we are showing while bfeeding could shock someone...

Kate - posted on 07/26/2010

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Your post reminds me how lucky we are in Australia. I breastfed my daughter often in public and the only comments I ever got were about how beautiful she was.
I am totally outraged that something as natural as breastfeeding can actually be illegal!!! That is crazy. I think we all know from experience that breastfeeding can be done in a very discreet and non offensive way even when in public and it is not really anyone elses business.
As for eating in the toilet, give me a break, I would no sooner feed my child in a toilet then I would expect her to eat off the floor. I am sorry but your SIL comments are ignorant. I say enjoy breastfeeding your child in public and do it with confidence, ppl will soon realise it is their problem when you appear unaffected by their prejudice : )

Sammie - posted on 07/26/2010

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I think your sil should go to the bathroom to eat too. I didnt realize that nursing in public was illegal in Minnesota. That is sad. I think it must be one of the very few states that breastfeeding mothers arent protected by law.
Yeah its just ridiculous that a mother cant feed her child the way a child was intended to be fed, in public, without getting dirty looks or nasty comments.
People are just ignorant. I have faith that one day it will be no big deal to see a nursing mother.

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