Mom BOTTLE-Feeding in Public Asked to Stop!


baby bottleMoms get berated for breastfeeding in public all the time, it seems. But what about when baby is fed from a bottle? What about Jill Harper, bottle-feeding mom, who was asked to leave Wyoming coffee house Percolation for giving her baby formula?

While having lunch with friends, Harper's 5-month-old daughter, Katherine, started to fuss, so her mother made her a bottle and began to feed her. Then, the unthinkable happened, which Harper describes:

A woman walked up to our table (who I later learned was the owner) and said, "Please stop or go somewhere else with that. It's just gross." I stared at her, not understanding.

I said, "Excuse me?" She then waved her hand, obviously agitated, at my baby in my lap. I looked down, wondering if Katherine had puked or leaked poop or something 'gross' but no, she was just drinking from her bottle, a little dribble of her meal down her cheek.

Harper's friends sat in dumbstruck silence, trying to figure out what could be so offensive about a baby. But the real shocker came in a minute, when the owner said what really bothered her: the bottle. Harper said:

She then said it was made to LOOK like a breast, just like dildos are meant to look like penises, that it was 'like me waving around a dildo in the bathroom.' She really compared my baby's bottle to a fake penis, intended for mimicking SEX!

Harper and her friends packed up and left, totally in shock. The owner maintains that she's uncomfortable with the mess the baby made while eating, and disliked bottles and, really, even babies. Law of Wyoming be damned, I guess.


Quite obviously, this is 100 percent crap. I made it up ... because flipping normal treatment of breastfeeding moms around just sounds STUPID, doesn't it? Some women say, "Why should it matter how the baby is being fed, as long as they're being fed?" but turn around and insist that only CERTAIN methods of feeding should be visible in public, putting restrictions on the very thing they seconds earlier insisted shouldn't matter.

A man peeing in a public restroom is not the same as a man masturbating in there. A woman nursing her baby is not the same as a woman showing off breasts for sexual reasons. It takes two seconds to get over the knee-jerk reaction of "OMG A BOOB!" and realize that they have multiple uses, and just like many things, some are acceptable in public and some aren't. We wouldn't clap for property rights if a store owner kicked out a straight couple for hugging, a mom for bottle-feeding, or a woman who wore shorts because he thought she was too large to wear them.

Why are moms subject to abuse and discrimination and kicked out of places? Is it because we're innocent, quiet victims? But many of us have had enough, and are fighting back. Just as we'd never dream of telling a bottle-feeding mom to throw a blanket over a bottle, or applaud a store owner for telling her to leave, we need to extend that same support to ALL moms who are "just trying to feed their babies" whether it's formula or breast milk in the bottle, or breast milk from the tap. A hungry baby doesn't have the ABILITY to wait, but adults have the ability to get over themselves and look elsewhere -- and there are laws in place for those who can't.

Do you think people would look at it differently if a bottle-feeding mom was treated the same way breastfeeding moms are?


Image via Enokson/Flickr

breastfeeding, formula, natural parenting, post-birth outings, discrimination


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sunny... sunnybunny5us

Actually I had an experience where when my daughter was a baby (about a year old), she was playing with her juice bottle shaking it and dripping it out and I was freaked out upon. It happens. I understand it was messy and I hadn't realized what she was doing until too late. 

Also, as I said on another post, a bottle or sippy cup might be considered bringing in food or drink where breast might not be. (For places that forbid food or drink) 

angel... angelove8

I applaud you! 

Alexis Brown

i can't remember who the quote is from....some famous actor guy but it said this
my opinion is that anyone agains breastfeeding is staring to hard!

Charlotte M Spurrill-Kayser

Actually, I know a woman who was told by a restaurant manager that she could not feed her baby formula  in the restaurant.  She was told it was "outside food" and she should be ordering food from the menu for her baby (I think he was about 5 or 6 months at the time).  She asked if it would be "ok" acording to him if she were to breastfeed the baby (she was doing both breast and bottle feeding at the time) and he said no; acording to him it was the same thing: outside food.  He claimed it was in violation of the health code or some crap.

RanaA... RanaAurora

Charlotte, that's insane. It's not like she can leave her breasts outside the door!

Courtney Paige Neale

Very well played! I was in total shock until you said you made it up because I am quite gullable :) point well made!

nonmember avatar Rachel

"A hungry baby doesn't have the ABILITY to wait, but adults have the ability to get over themselves and look elsewhere -- and there are laws in place for those who can't."


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