Sunday, September 21, 2014

Breastfeeding in Public

Colborne mom Gianna Petrella breastfeeds inside the Tweed Tim Hortons Sunday during a nurse-in held by area mothers. A North Bay mother said she was asked by a staff member there to "cover up" while she was breastfeeding her child there last weekend. Emily Mountney-Lessard/The Intelligencer

Mammals are categorized by having a backbone, having fur or hair, being warm-blooded, and lastly whose females nurse their young with milk.  Like the over 4000 species of mammals female humans are naturally created to breastfeed their young. 

If breastfeeding is so natural and has been done since the dawn of time, why is it still taboo to see a woman breastfeed in public? Breastfeeding is considered one of the healthiest ways you can help your child.  Breastfeeding has even been linked to lower obesity rates in children and to influence the child's eating habits at age 6 and beyond. 

Why should she have to cover up when she is simply feeding her child?

Breastfeeding used to be 100% completely normal.  There are photos and paintings from hundreds of years ago that show breastfeeding.  If breastfeeding was considered acceptable then, why can’t we accept it now in this modern day society. 

In this world of sexualizing women why is it when a woman is using her breasts for the reason that nature intended for them to be used is offensive and unmentionable?

With the help of social media, pro-breastfeeding in public advocates are pushing for a change. 

There was currently a “Nurse-In” at a Tim Hortons recently when a mother was asked to “cover-up” by a female employee.  StaceyKennelly, who is from North Bay was traveling through the Tweed area, and was nursing her child while waiting in line.  She was asked to “cover-up” and she did not, saying it was against her human rights.  She says this has happened before.

“Unfortunately this is a major reason why mothers give up on nursing” she said.  Women don’t want to nurse their babies in public because they are afraid of being asked to leave, the dirty looks, and the comments.

There has also been the multiple stories of people asking nursing mothers to go into a public restroom and nurse there. 

"Do you like eating in public restrooms? Or does the sight of a toilet and the acrid scent of piss ruin your appetite?

Johnathan Wenske and Kris Haro, both juniors at the University of North Texas, created these nicely made student ads depicting young mothers breastfeeding on toilets—to support bill HB1706 in the Texas legislature, which would protect mothers from harassment and discrimination when they breastfeed their children in public.

The creatives were inspired by the story of a woman who was harassed for breastfeeding in a Target. They decided to shoot three young mothers, perhaps because young moms are least likely to breastfeed. To their credit, the ads don't try to shock. They merely capture the everyday situation many mothers face "when nurture calls." They don't go overboard by art directing a dirty bathroom or even a poorly lit bathroom, but the images are still powerful because breastfeeding in a toilet stall, even a reasonably clean toilet stall, is disgusting.
The three simple headlines are pretty perfect, too." -- Adweek 

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