In Illinois (as in most U.S. states and on federal property) a woman has the right to breastfeed anywhere that she is allowed to be. Still, some businesses are not aware of this, and try to get breastfeeding women to leave or stop breastfeeding. Unsupportive public opinions can make the difference between successful breastfeeding and a mother deciding to switch to a bottle.
I recently came across this article from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine: The 10 Commandments of Dining with Little Kids. In it, the author says:
THOU SHALT NOT BREAST FEED AT THE TABLEWhat amazes and scares me is not only that this article was written by a woman, but that she claims not to be 'anti-kid'. I have more than a few issues with this:
Yes, I have seen table-side breast feeding at a four-star restaurant. If at all possible, take it to the ladies room. (Note: most upscale restaurants have really nice restrooms!)
- Yes, a bathroom might be very nice, but no one wants to eat in one, and I think there are very few people who would want to spend up to 30 minutes of their meal out sitting in a bathroom.
- Handicap stalls are for people with disabilities, not for breastfeeding mothers.
- Who wants to wait in line for the bathroom while a mother breastfeeds, especially if there are not multiple stalls.
- She also includes the 'commandment' "THOU SHALL TRY TO QUELL HIGH-PITCHED SCREAMING". I don't know if anyone has noticed, but a hungry baby tends to be a loud baby.
- Most mothers who breastfeed show surprisingly little to no boob.
- You don't have to look, in fact, it's rude to stare.
- Society has created this insane oversexualization of breasts and has turned them into a taboo. Exposure to breasts being used for sustenance should be encouraged, not exposure to breasts as a way to use sexuality to sell products.
- Eating as a family is a positive experience and should be started as young as possible. Eating while breastfeeding is also a great way for the mother to make sure that she is getting the nutrition necessary to continue breastfeeding.
- The author is definitely anti-kid if she does not support breastfeeding. Breastfeeding has been shown over and over to provide the best nutrients for a child and lowers the rates of SIDs.