Who's ready for the day when breastfeeding in public is really no big deal? Anyone? Bueller? Come on guys! Don't answer all at once! This is one of the biggest problems breastfeeding moms have ... there are still too many places, not to mention too many people, that present hurdles for women who just want to nurse in peace.
But what really gets my goat are the headlines about moms being hassled for feeding their babies in places where you'd absolutely expect for folks to have her back! Take the news this week of a mom who was hassled for breastfeeding her 6-week-old ... in a HOSPITAL!
What the what?
Sadly, that's just the tip of the iceberg. Check out these bizarre places that gave moms beef for breastfeeding:
1. At a city recreation center. Nothing screams child friendly like a recreation center that caters to family, right? Well, tell that to the folks in Burleson, Texas where a mom got grief for nursing her 16-day-old baby while watching her elder daughter's dance class.
2. At a library. Libraries are for everyone, right? They're free spaces that encourage us to broaden our horizons and free our minds? Well, except the library in North Carolina that told a mom she would have to hide out in a nursing room if she wanted to feed her 2-month-old because the other patrons were acting like real boobs about it. No public breastfeeding here!
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3. At a school. Where there are schools, there are kids, right? And where there are kids, there are moms ... at least it would stand to reason. But a school in Georgia out-right banned breastfeeding on the premises a few years ago, and it's not the only one to give moms an issue for nursing. A mom who dared breastfeed her child during a parent/teacher conference last year -- you know, trying to be there for BOTH of her kids -- was informed by the teacher that what she was doing was "not appropriate."
4. At Victoria's Secret. OK, so not exactly a child-friendly place necessarily. But we are talking about an establishment that's nearly synonymous with boobies. And yet a Texas woman was told she couldn't whip hers out to feed her baby at the store.
5. At Head Start. Do you know what Head Start is? It's a federal program meant to give kids the best start possible in life ... you know, kind of like breastfeeding? And yet a Washington Head Start told a mom that nursing her 13-month-old was a no go on their premises!
6. At the American Girl Store. They sell expensive dolls to kids, and guess who pays for them? Yup, Moms! But one mom said she was forced to hide out in a fitting room to breastfeed while employees stood outside, bad-mouthing her!
7. In church. You may believe that God created mom's body to feed her child, but a columnist for a Texas magazine was horrified that woman actually breastfed in God's house! Another mom was harassed for nursing in a Mormon church!
8. In a kiddie pool. When you hear the words kiddie pool, what comes to mind? Oh, right, a bunch of CHILDREN! It's a place for them ... and for their moms, right? Well, not exactly, at least not for the mom who was harassed for feeding her 10-month-old in the kiddie pool at a water park in Colorado.
9. In family court. Once again, let's key in on the first word here: family! No one really likes to go to family court, but it is, after all, a place where a lot of moms end up ... and it's supposed to be a place where they're looking out for the best interests of a child. And yet a nursing mom got escorted out of Connecticut family court for daring to feed her 3-month-old!
Folks, if these kid and mom "friendly" places don't get it, how are we supposed to get the REST of the world on board?
Have a hassled for breastfeeding story? What happened?
Image via Owen Franken/Corbis