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At this point, most of us have heard about Kim Kardashian’s now-infamous tweet declaring how grossed out she was to witness a milking mum. (K-Kar later backpedaled, calling the act itself “a natural, beautiful thing” -- as long as she didn’t have to see the mammary source. I find this particularly ironic from the woman whose boobs -- not to mention every other body part -- are pretty much everywhere these days.) And now there’s the story of the Manhattan mom who was kicked out of a cozy little café for having the audacity to feed her baby there. In a café. Whose very purpose, last time I checked, was to feed people. (The eatery denies that she was ordered to leave, claiming she was only asked to cover up; the mom is suing anyway. Now, a sign hangs in the window, declaring, "Breastfeeding welcome here.")
I, personally, breastfed in public and never had an incident. In preparing this post, I started thinking about how everyone by now must know that nursing wherever you want is every woman's right. I was positive that I was going to do a quick Google search and find the law that declares breastfeeding -- anytime, anyplace -- a legal, constitutional American liberty, but sadly I was wrong. And even though the majority of states do address the issue, in most cases the language is so vague and ambiguous (nursing must be done with “as much discretion as possible”) that you’d be hard-pressed to make the call on whether any nursing mom was doing it within legal boundaries anyway. I've never ever seen a nursing mom whip out her nipple in a public place, but why must there be stipulations about discretion anyhow? And why do we continue to hear about café employees and reality stars putting moms down for feeding their kids without going into hiding?
My only hope is that controversies like this don't discourage new moms from breastfeeding, since having to rush home every time your ravenous newborn gets hungry is more than just a little inconvenient. Breastfeeding is good for babies, and nursing moms shouldn't be banished to their homes -- or dirty bathrooms -- to feed their little ones. Shouldn't we make breastfeeding in public the norm, so moms can feel good about their decision to nurse? To the folks who are actually up in arms about a little old areola: Don’t be such boobs.
How do you feel about breastfeeding in public? Chime in below!