A young breastfeeding mother in Missouri is fighting over what she says was an unfair comment made by a manager at a local Denny's. As she was nursing her baby, she says a manager told her to cover up. When she said she didn't have a cover, she became embarrassed and quickly left.
The story is making headlines for good reasons. All Tiffany Morgan wanted to do was feed her child and she was made to feel like a common criminal. According to her, no one was even complaining.
Morgan even had a card that stated Missouri's breastfeeding statute. It states that a mother is allowed to breastfeed with as much discretion as possible in any public or private location. Seems clear, no? Um, nope. Actually it's not at all.
What is "as much discretion as possible"? Morgan didn't have a cover but she said she wasn't actively trying to flash anyone. So was she discreet or not? Who decides?
This is the kind of thing that is so ridiculous. A young mom shouldn't have to debate whether or not she is being "discrete" when her baby is hungry. It's a BOOB, people! If you don't like it, look away. For the love of God, it won't bite you.
I will never understand how a mall can be littered with photos of Victoria's Secret models in barely there lingerie, but a breastfeeding mom must be "discreet." Do we really hate babies? Or is it just women's bodies we hate?
We moms SHOULD be sick of this. We should take a stand. "Discretion" should be an etiquette rule, not one that is actually state law. All the state needs to say is that a mom is allowed to breastfeed in public or private. We can take care of the rest.
Most moms know without a law that she shouldn't breastfeed and drive. She knows without a law that she shouldn't breastfeed while in a moving vehicle. So my guess is most women are smart enough not to purposely try to flash a whole restaurant of people their naked upper body.
If that happens, it's because the baby was hungry.
When stories like this happen in restaurants, it's especially galling. Everyone has a right to eat there as they wish except the baby? How does that seem fair? Is a mom just supposed to let her baby scream in hunger so she doesn't discomfit a random person she doesn't even know?
It's insane to think that a mom should feel guilty or bad or wrong for feeding her child. It's hard enough to be a mom in this culture. Are these the "family values" we want to teach?
Shame on any public place that tries to stop a mom from feeding her hungry infant.
Were you ever told not to nurse?
Image via Mothering Touch/Flickr