Breastfeeding Mom Harassed for Nursing 2-Week-Old Baby on Bus

Jacqueline Burt Cote
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baby on busWhat's that, you say? Yet another story of a woman being persecuted for breastfeeding her baby in public? Tragically, yes: 32-year-old mom Afrykayn Moon was riding a bus in Detroit when she was told to stop breastfeeding or get off the bus by the driver. Let me add here: To stop breastfeeding her 2-week-old baby who was being discreetly held in a football hold for minimum nipple exposure. How the (female) bus driver even noticed when she should have been looking at the road is beyond me!

By the next stop, security guards had been alerted and were on board. This is the kind of precautionary measure I'd expect if the woman was actually Wile E. Coyote hiding an ACME bomb in a baby blanket. But no, this was a real mom with a real baby, and to make matters more ridiculous, her baby was a newborn!

Not that I agree with the morons who make a big stink about the indecency of toddlers nursing in public (my kids both nursed for longer than I'd planned on, which is to say, a long time), but this bus driver didn't even have the lame stand-by "that child is old enough to eat a sandwich" argument to back her up?

I don't understand why people insist on making things harder for nursing moms than they already are. Because they are hard, even when nobody's giving you grief about it. You're exhausted, hormonal, the baby won't latch on or only wants one side or can't seem to go more than 20 minutes without a feeding ... I know when I got hassled for breastfeeding my then 5-month-old daughter on a plane, it felt like a full-force slap across the face. I'm just trying to be a good mom, I wanted to sob. Why are you treating me like a criminal?

Thankfully -- shockingly -- the security guards didn't haul this poor woman off in handcuffs. Turns out nursing moms are protected under Michigan law, which states that "a mother's breastfeeding of her baby does not under any circumstances constitute nudity." Damn straight it doesn't! As a result of this incident, the bus company has promised to remind its drivers of the law, but some people feel that's not enough: They want the driver who tried to kick the mom and baby off her bus fired. 

Guess who's one of those people? Me. Ordinarily I'm all for second chances, but it's time to make an example of one of these anti-breastfeeding bullies.

Do you think the bus driver should be fired for harassing a breastfeeding mom?

 

Image via Aurimas Mikalauskas/Flickr

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