When did nursing in public become a crime?

It’s been a while since I’ve written about any breastfeeding injustices in the world (not for lack of material, just lack of time). But a few things have surfaced recently in my very own state that have me shaking my head and wondering “what the hell.”

In the Rocky Mountain News:

Five-month-old Nicholas Monroe got hungry Friday while touring the state Capitol with his parents.His mom, 27-year-old Stephanie Monroe, of Rifle, decided that two comfortable-looking couches in the reception area of the governor’s office would be a good place to breast-feed him.

An office receptionist, she says, told her to go somewhere else, suggesting the basement of the building.

The entire article can be found here.

While the receptionist may have been uncomfortable with the woman nursing (though I can’t imagine why since the baby was even covered with a blanket), she had no right to ask the mother to move elsewhere. You see, Colorado passed a state law last year that says a woman is allowed to breastfeed in any place she has a right to be.

How is it that this woman – a receptionist in the governor’s office – isn’t aware that? Beats the heck out of me.

Elsewhere in the state…
In July, a woman breastfeeding her son at Carter Lake was ticketed for “knowingly (exposing) one’s genitals in a public place.” Read the article here.

Since when did breasts become genitals I ask you?! Somebody (the female ranger who issued the ticket) needs an anatomy lesson as well as to brush up on Colorado laws. The ticket has since been dismissed.

One of the things that gets me is that in both instances, it was a woman finding fault with the mother nursing in public (both whom, according to the articles, were doing it quite discreetly). Why are these women to quick to jump on nursing mothers’ cases?

And in national news…
On NBC’s Today Show this week, Dr. Judith Reichman discussed why “breast is best” when it comes to the health of baby and mom.

Dr. Reichman states, “It’s clear that these experts (American Academy of Pediatrics) feel that infants should be exclusively breast-fed for the first six months of life. And they also recommend that breast-feeding be continued for 12 months with the addition of complementary food. Finally, breast-feeding for the first two years of life is encouraged.”

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, it was a WONDERFUL segment (Kudos to NBC for supporting breastfeeding!!) UNTIL Katie Couric opened her big mouth and said that “But when they can ask for it, they are too old, right?” Chuckle, chuckle. And then said something about thinking it’s “creepy” when children ask to nurse.

Why is it that when children are able to communicate their wants and needs, it suddenly becomes “creepy” to give them what they desire? When kids are old enough to ask for a hug, should we refuse them that? When they are old enough to ask for a drink of water, should we say no? What the hell is the difference?

Wise up, Katie. Do some research and stop interjecting your opinion into stories. It makes for lousy journalism.

By the way, the worldwide weaning average is somewhere between 4 and 6 years.

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6 thoughts on “When did nursing in public become a crime?

  1. OH!! That always drives me nuts, when they are old enough to ask for it they are too old!! WTF!! DD could sign for nurse before she was a year old, did that make her too old?? Lucky for me, DD is planning on attended Fresno State, so she can come home and nurse on her lunch break ;)

  2. There will be some lawsuits out there, but I hope one day enough people are educated–not for the law’s sake, but for what is right for nursing moms.

  3. A hearty AMEN.

    Besides, I taught both my girls baby signs. By about 6 months of age they could both do the sign for “milk” (which to them was boobie milk). So I should have stopped nursing THEN?

    Hogwash!

  4. Ava’s been signing for “milk” (mama’s milk – the only milk she knows) since before she was 12 months too.

    I can’t understand how that argument (stopping as soon as they can ask for it) makes one iota of sense. It infuriates me. Are people honestly afraid that kids will nurse forever if someone doesn’t make them stop? Good Lord.

    LOL Beckie!

  5. I feel that if ppl are so conscious of breastfeeding moms, every public place should have a nursing room. the shopping malls, those big restaurants, clubs… it gets tough for one. I would like some privacy myself when Yumna wants milk. I feel its a private moment we’d like to keep to ourselves. Plus all those stares- urgh! the only place I’ve encountered a nursing room was in a hospital i went to- it had a paeds section with dozens of moms. Even there the nursing room was big enogh for two moms only!!

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