I don't know about you, but I could use some good news on the breastfeeding front. What with moms getting harassed on buses for trying to feed their kids, and a breastfeeding mama passing morphine on to her baby, it's been a bad week. Until a plea for the Milk Truck steered into my email inbox.
Get ready to start hitting up used car lots, because a project that's kicking around Pittsburgh, The Milk Truck, sounds like something every town could use. The brainchild of Jill Miller, an artist and a mom, the plan is to take a truck, put a giant boob on top, then put it on the road, ready to assist a nursing mom in need.
When a mom calls to say she's being harassed for just being a mom feeding her kid, the Milk Truck will drive right over, pop open the canopy, and sit out in the parking lot, providing a place for that baby to get some eats. Oh, and did I mention the giant boob on top? Parked in the lot of an establishment that didn't want a whole lot of attention drawn to the lady's breast? As Miller's fundraising literature says, "Thought nursing mothers created a spectacle? Meet The Milk Truck."
It's still in fundraising stages (you can donate now with a straight pledge or by buying one of the cool "feed your baby everywhere" shirts), and it will only be in Pittsburgh, but the spirit of it should extend to towns across the nation. Listen, nurse-ins are great. Kudos to the women who find time to put together that kind of support for their fellow moms.
But a mom being harassed doesn't need the support and the outrage three days after she's been kicked out of a store. Well, she does, but when she REALLY needs it is right away, when her kid is starting to get hungry, and she would just like a damn place to feed the kid, thankyouverymuch. It's not about making a point, it's about FEEDING MY HUNGRY BABY. That's why we care about nursing in public to begin with, right? Because kids can't wait "until we get home" and kids shouldn't have to eat dinner in the stinky dirty bathroom.
And when your baby is wailing, and you're thisclose to tears yourself, plus the front of you is all wet from that automatic release, it's HARD to summon up chapter and verse from the breastfeeding laws. It's hard to figure out what to do with your cart full of groceries or half-eaten dinner; hard to contemplate how the heck you're going to get home if you get kicked off the bus because your kid was hungry.
Nurse-ins and boycotts need to keep on going to change the public's mind as we go into the future, but in the meantime, breastfeeding mamas need a resource for NOW. If not the Milk Truck, a consortium of numbers you can plug into your phone to call from the mall?
I'd still prefer society just accept breastfeeding, but on the way, I love the idea of extra ways to help a mother out. What do you think? Would this fly in your town? Did you ever wish you had the support then and there when someone was acting like a boob?
Image via The Milk Truck