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post #21 of 71
so in her little (backwards) world- moms who are using aim to feed, should also be locked away- cuz ime, babies drinking from a bottle almost always need ":agoodburp" whereas only a handful ofbabies (including one of my 2) are burpers.
post #22 of 71
My response:

"Regarding your nursing in public article, while I don't agree with your point of view, I'm glad we live in America where we all have the freedom to express ourselves however we please, be it by protesting or by writing. I'm also glad to live in a state that legally protects nursing in public and gives me the right to file charges against anyone who harrasses me for feeding my child wherever and whenever he wants to eat. You can avert your eyes, my newborn son [okay, so I lied, my son is 2 and has since weaned ]cannot avert his hunger."
post #23 of 71
my response to her:

Part of me understands your position simply because you experienced breastfeeding in a different way. you can have your opinion, however misguided it may be.

but remember, most woman CAN breastfeed. As a journalist you should be checking your information. Any information you found saying women CANT is not true. It is extremely rare for a woman to be physically unable. most are just misinformed and try to nurse "on schedules" like yourself and that can interfere with milk supply, or try to supplement with formula or solids.

I would never nurse my baby in a bathroom. For my child's comfort and MINE. Yes, i am a mother who chose to have a child and make sacrifices, but that is something that I was not raised to do. Public bathrooms are unsanitary and cramped. Anyone who would find that a suitable place to hang out for 20 minutes to do ANYTHING is themselves uncivilized and uncultured. Just the idea of it seems ridiculous.

Maybe I am more concerned for natural resources than you, because going to your car to nurse in arizona requires air conditioning 80% of the year due to the intensity of the sun. With global warming and high gas prices this idea too is absurd. Unless you sit in 110 dergree weather to nurse.

I nurse in public everyday. I can tell you that my breasts ARE RARELY exposed. I do not use a blanket. I wear two shirts. Its quite convenient.

I frequent museums, parks and public pools. Running to a bathroom every hour, or worse yet, all the way to a car just seems silly. Like your article.

With the recent progress nursing mothers have made in changing laws to protect ourselves, I find it shocking that there are women like you, seemingly educated, who still take this stance.

I wish that you never act this way to a new mother trying to do her best and nursing in public. I hope that writing for you is a way of "saying the things you wish you had the nerve to say in person".

Or I wish that we cross paths and you say these things to me.

So that you may hear intelligent debate and discussion without being able to hide behind, Timmi Toler is a firm believer in breasts and all their many wonderful uses. Contact her at 353-1171, ext. 220 or ttoler@freedomenc.com.

All my many wonderful uses include nursing anytime, anyplace, in front of anyone.

thank you for your time and the oppurtunity to educate someone of the many positives of nursing in public. I'm sure you will hear from many loving lactating mothers.
post #24 of 71
Here is a copy of the e-mail that I sent. I could have gone on and on but I figured she would just toss it anyways...




How can you say that "bottom line...your breasts are exposed...". I have NEVER onced had my breast exposed and I have nursed three children in public at many times.
Victorias Secret models/posters show more breast than a typical nursig mother.
It's pretty sad that when you see a mom nursing in public you see a "a woman using her baby to make an in your face point...". We ALL have rights, and the statute clearly states that we can feed our babes ANYTIME, ANYWHERE, so mind your own business.
You're obscurred opinion is one of a very small few so don't think you are the majority.

K.Paolino
Vancouver, BC Canada
post #25 of 71
sent reply via email, probably too mean but oooo well.
post #26 of 71
My email to her
-------------
I read your article with interest on breastfeeding in public since I often breastfeed my 8 month old when I am out and about with him - and nursed my now 2 1/2 year old son previously.

Frankly, I am rather disappointed in your standpoint. I have lived in breastfeeding supportive cultures (i.e. NOT the US nor western Europe) and in my opinion, the one thing that makes breastfeeding rates so high is the universal acceptance of breastfeeding, anywhere and everywhere. It is NOT considered a "special moment between mother and baby" - it is considered feeding a child.

How do we make nursing in general more accepted and raise breastfeeding rates past 3 months in the US? By nursing in public. By presenting to non-nursing individuals the reality that babies are meant to be fed at the breast, that they should be fed on demand, and they should be fed wherever convenient and comfortable for mom and baby. By creating a culture where nursing is normal, everywhere, and expected, more and more women will feel comfortable choosing breastfeeding for their kids and more and more businesses will hopefully change their policies to support breastfeeding employees and customers.

On the topic of indecent exposure - surely you know that throughout the US, breastfeeding is not considered legally as indecent exposure. In addition, I do not choose to expose my breasts to others, but if they see a flash of nipple while feeding my son, so be it.

I am frankly more appalled by the current displays at Victoria Secret or on MTV videos, overly sexualizing women and girls than I am at the rather mundane usage of a breast and nipple doing what it is biologically intended to do.

It is like the old joke about the gynecologist no longer being "turned on" by a woman's vagina because he sees it as work. The idea that a baby suckling on a breast is in some way sexual is fundamentally inaccurate and the only way we can correct this error is to positively show the breast being used as it has been biologically designed to do - feed babies.

Thank you for your article as it is generated a great deal of discussion and debate - which I think is great for raising awareness of the legal and social rights of women to nurse their babies wherever and whenever they need to.

Siobhan
post #27 of 71
Quote:
But I will never think that breast-feeding in a public place is the right thing to do.
Well, here's a thought, Timmi. My hungry baby doesn't give a rat's patootie what you think the right thing to do is. And neither do I.
post #28 of 71
Also, I didn't realize I was supposed to go naked when nursing in public! Can't believe I've been doing it wrong all these years. I'd better fix that next time.
post #29 of 71
There is just so much wrong with this article that I don't even know where to begin. Her absurd declarations and numerous contradictory statements are truly dizzying :

Quote:
I didn’t do this because I was ashamed of breast-feeding or because I felt there was anything weird or strange about it.
Yet:

Quote:
You might be feeding your baby but you are still nude in front of total strangers. It’s shocking. It makes people uncomfortable and a little freaked out. They’re human.
Quote:
. Most people don’t want to see that and they shouldn’t have to. These folks are also entitled to certain rights when they visit the mall and seeing an exposed breast isn’t one of them.
But according to the law, mothers are entitled to the right to nurse at the mall. So WTH is she talking about?????????
post #30 of 71
I was reading the OP to my DH, and we were both just so saddened by the article. His response was this: As per the "lots of mothers who cannot breastfeed", as a history buff, I am still waiting to hear the stories of the droves of dead babies that "lots of mothers" could not feed before formula came along!!

And I won't even touch that remark about hiding in the closet to breastfeed your baby... Sheesh! Come out of the closet!!
post #31 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by RachelGS
Also, I didn't realize I was supposed to go naked when nursing in public! Can't believe I've been doing it wrong all these years. I'd better fix that next time.
she'd really have something to nag about if we all did that
post #32 of 71
Here's what I sent:

**
Dear Ms. Toler,

I was saddened to read your recent column about breastfeeding in public. Not only for the negative impact your column may have on the breastfeeding relationship between some mothers and their children, but also for the way you needlessly limited your life while breastfeeding. It's just a hunch, but I would bet that your children were not breastfed exclusively (with only supplemental solids) up to 1 year of age (the AAP *minimum* recommendation), but rather that like many mothers who take the shamed route for breastfeeding public (hiding in hot vehicles, sitting on toilet stalls in dirty bathrooms, or staying at home instead of going out in public) -- you started supplementing with either formula or cow's milk to meet the one year mark, if you even met it.

Fear of breastfeeding in public is one of the largest barriers to breastfeeding success and to breastfeeding duration, according to studies. What makes mothers afraid to breastfeed in public? Inaccurate and judgmental comments like yours. On top of the larger "breasts are for sex only" and "Formula is what babies SHOULD get" beliefs which they also know are out there.

When I breastfeed, it isn't a private and special moment (that ended oh, say, at about 1 month). Breastfeeding is simply feeding my child and responding to her needs. How can it be anything else, when she breastfeeds for 45 minutes at a time, every two hours?? It's just part of our lives. It's no more private or special than eating with my husband is. We're just eating. Sometimes it's romantic, sometimes it's in a rush because we need to get someplace. It's eating. And that's what breastfeeding is. (Incidentally, in both cases, organs that we associate with sex are on prominent display - mouths and breasts - why are we OK with people eating in public, when we know for certain that many of them have had those same mouths in places where no breast has ever gone??).

Whether a woman is discreet or not, breastfeeding in public is our right in this state; it's the right of women in many states in this country; it is our right on federal property anywhere, and there is NO LAW AGAINST IT, even where it is not "protected." People who don't want to look at it, for some misbegotten reason (and they're all misbegotten) - can look away. Babies' needs come first. Not the unsubstantiated biases of strangers.

Please don't make the mistake of applying your own experience and assumptions to every other breastfeeding mother. Some mothers who "schedule" like you did, find that their supplies can't handle it, and fail to meet their breastfeeding goals. Some mothers choose not to schedule, and *that's just fine too, and in fact, is the recommendation for breastfeeding moms.* Some mothers, like myself, have children who for whatever reason need to nurse frequently (my daughter had severe reflux, and the advice for reflux babies is to nurse them often, on demand - with my daughter, that meant a 45 minute nursing session every 2 hours). My circumstances aren't yours, and I shouldn't have to cloister myself for the duration of my breastfeeding relationship just because you were willing to do so.

Further, I am disturbed by your casual statement that "many women can't breastfeed." In actuality, all the research shows that many women (perhaps as many as 98 or 99%) can indeed breastfeed. And they do in all other cultures where breastfeeding is the norm. For some reason, women here in the USA seem not to reach that mark. It's not because we're biologically disadvantaged. It's because of poor information and support for breastfeeding mothers. You yourself are perpetuating that poor information by suggesting scheduling breastfed infants (all major medical and breastfeeding authorities recommend breastfed infants be fed "on demand."). Just because it worked for you, doesn't meant that it will work for most mothers (and I'm not sure that it worked for you, either, in terms of meeting the AAP minimum). Most mothers who believe that they "can't" breastfeed, have been given bad advice and have had their breastfeeding relationships knowingly or unknowingly sabotaged. They shouldn't feel guilty, and they shouldn't accept it, and they should be enraged. Misinformation has robbed them and their child(ren) of a very valuable function.

Moreover, the assumption you make that it's impossible to breastfeed in public without being essentially nude, is insulting to many breastfeeding mothers who regularly nurse in public. I nursed in public for 2 1/2 years - I was noticed breastfeeding in public at the following times:
1. When I used blankets to cover up (pretty obvious what's going on). No one was offended, although one man (a good friend) was uncomfortable.
2. While breastfeeding at a Division 1 Basketball game - some women in front of us were turning around and flirting with my daughter. They turned around later in the game and after about 15 seconds of watching her sleeping, realized she was actually nursing. They smiled and turned back around.

That's it. That's all. No one else noticed. Obviously my supposed attempts to make political statements by breastfeeding my child all failed. Good thing that's not what I was doing. Ms. Toler, here's a surprise for you - it's not about you, it's about doing the very best thing I can for myself and my child, by breastfeeding her and responding to her needs. If you choose to assume that I'm doing this because I get some perverse satisfaction in offending people, then you've got some esteem issues and might want to get counseling. Because I don't plan my day around you, or around people like you.

If you have any further children - please know that it really is OK to breastfeed in public. There are lots of mothers who are willing to support and advise you on how to do so comfortably for yourself and your child. You don't have to sit in a stinky bathroom, where fecal matter is regularly sprayed into the air while people flush their toilets, to breastfeed. Until formula feeding mothers are given the very same advice, no matter what you *say* you are obviously applying a double standard to mothers who breastfeed. And it feels a lot like punishment and martyrdom for doing what's best for ourselves and our children. I don't breastfeed to be a martyr, and I hope you won't in the future (and won't expect it of your children, either!).
post #33 of 71
Quote:
I’d plan my daily outings around my child’s feeding schedule. I’d get to my destination and back before they needed feeding again.
People like this make me laugh so hard!!

How can you get annoyed about someone so obviously totally and utterly clueless. Although I'm glad I'm not related to her.

SO, if I'm not nude in front of strangers, is that desecrating BFing? Or is the nudity a requirement for desecration? Oooh, it's all so complicated! And how can feeding my baby BE desecrated. It's just a meal, ffs! Does eating my dinner in front of the TV desecrate the ideal of nutrition?

Do articles like this make anyone else want to nurse their toddler as the toddler rides in the grocery cart? Just because?
post #34 of 71
My response warning its long!

Timmi,

There were a number of points you bring up in your article that I take issue with. Because there were many, I have responded point by point below. As you are probably getting a ton of email in response to this I understand if this gets dumped in the trash before you read to the end, but I ask you to in good faith read on, since I read your whole article.


“Breasts serve a lot of purposes. There are plenty of women out there who don’t have kids that get a lot of good use out of their breasts. Breasts are multi-functional amazing parts of the female body. “

You are correct! But the two primary biological functions of breasts are to attract a mate in order to procreate, and to nourish the results of that procreation.

“For mothers who can breast-feed — and there are a lot of moms who can’t — it is a wonderful thing they can do for their children.”

It is extremely rare for women to be unable to breastfeed. The most common causes of failed breastfeeding attempts is lack of support including lack of support for nursing out of the home, and bad information. The availability of breastfeeding education and the quality of the information being passed along to new mothers is seriously lacking in our country.

“I didn’t do this because I was ashamed of breast-feeding or because I felt there was anything weird or strange about it. I chose to find a discreet place because breast-feeding was a private, special moment with my baby. I wanted my child to have a quiet, calm place to nurse. And as a mother, I needed to be able to focus on my child as she was nursing — to note when she needed a good burp or when she was full. That would have hardly been possible if I was feeding my kid in a public area, especially a mall, with hundreds of people walking by.”

For you and your child this was the right decision! I am glad you were able to make that work and still successfully breastfeed your children. Each family and child is different. What would you say to the single mother of 3 who has no choice but to take her baby along to her older child’s school play that is scheduled right at the time the baby would be hungry? Just one example. Also many many many mothers who suffer from PPD find relief of their symptoms just by getting out of the house. Would you consign someone to being closeted at home if it was unhealthy for them?

“Supposedly these breast-feeding activist moms are tired of the looks, comments and stares they get when they feed their kids in public. I find it absurd that these women expect people to act otherwise. When you choose to make something a public event, then you invite public comment.”

For me and many mothers it is not the looks or comments that bother us. It is the blatant disregard for the law and our rights that causes us to attend events such as the Victoria’s Secret nurse out. Most of the states in the union have laws protecting nursing mothers from harassment and discrimination, giving us the legal right to feed our babies whenever and wherever they are hungry. Many of these laws also exempt the act of nursing from public indecency statutes, clearly stating that breastfeeding is not indecent exposure.

“Most folks didn’t enter the Jacksonville Mall that day with any idea that there’d be a group of women breast-feeding their children. Most people don’t want to see that and they shouldn’t have to. These folks are also entitled to certain rights when they visit the mall and seeing an exposed breast isn’t one of them.”

I would hazard a guess that on any given day in many many malls around the country there will be at least one mother nursing her child somewhere in that building. It is not a rare occurrence. As for the entitlement you claim people have, our laws do NOT say that you or I have the right to NOT be offended. The first amendment protects acts of speech that offend millions of Americans every day. Each person has the ability to look away, each person has the ability to check his or her own attitude toward breastfeeding, but breastfeeding babies do not have the ability to satisfy their own hunger. I say the right of my child to eat trumps anyone’s perceived right to not be offended.


“And that’s the bottom line, mothers. Your breasts are exposed. You might be feeding your baby but you are still nude in front of total strangers. It’s shocking. It makes people uncomfortable and a little freaked out. They’re human.”

Not true. When I feed my daughter my breasts are not exposed. My nipple might be momentarily while she latches on, but after that my shirt covers almost all the skin. You will see more skin on the underdressed teenage girls roaming the mall than you will when I feed my baby.

“The Jacksonville Mall has a nursing room and several bathrooms. The argument that a mother shouldn’t feed her child in a bathroom because they themselves wouldn’t eat in a bathroom is ludicrous. It’s not like your child is having a seven-course meal in there. You, as a mother, might be inconvenienced, but the baby doesn’t know — or care — one way or another.”

The nursing room is a great thing I agree, and when I need a quiet place to feed an easily distracted older baby I use them. But as for the bathrooms. Would you seriously take your lunch into a bathroom stall and eat your turkey sandwich there? Studies have been done all over the place showing how unclean the average public restroom is and I barely want to change my child’s diaper in there or pee in one myself let alone feed my baby. I get in and get out as soon as I can, I don’t want to sit listening to other peoples bodily functions for 15-20 minutes while my child eats. Elimination and consumption are completely separate acts of nature and have separate locations for a reason! As for the baby not caring, the noises of a public restroom can be just as distracting as a busy mall, but more random and less consistent. The white noise of people milling about and talking actually creates a better environment for baby to concentrate on the task at hand. I say this from experience!

“And being a mom is full of inconveniences. Once that baby is born, it isn’t about your schedule anymore, it’s about theirs. And that means shopping, errands and other activities have to wait until the appropriate time.”

Once again you are right that our lives change when we have children, but one of the leading causes of premature cessation of breastfeeding (less than the recommended one year by the AAP) is lack of support, and mothers being discouraged to feed their children out of the home. We as a society benefit from breastfeeding in so many ways, so we need to encourage mothers to nurse and nurse longer (average time span in the US is 6 weeks to 3 months) so that the health, economic, and social advantages will pay off.


“When I see a mother breast-feeding her kid in public, when she has the option of doing it in private, I do not see a courageous mother standing up for her beliefs and doing what is best for her kid. I see a woman using her baby to make an “in your face” point to an unsuspecting public.

And that point doesn’t advance the cause of breast-feeding. It desecrates it”

It is your opinion and attitude toward this that causes so many of us to feel humiliated and discriminated against. We are standing up for our RIGHTS not just our beliefs. The law is on our side not yours.
post #35 of 71
Thread Starter 
Okay so I wrote an email, but I was pretty fired up so I may write another one.....once I cool down. But I have to say this one has a little humour in it....


Dear Timmi,
I am writing in regards to your recent article about breastfeeding, which could have been entitled "women should be not seen and not heard, my views on women's breastfeeding rights."

You mentioned that people don't go to the mall to see a group of women breastfeeding, although you state earlier in the article that it was in fact two women breastfeeding outside a Victoria's Secret store.

I am surprised that you breastfeed both of your daughters and were able to be home whenever they were hungry, I certainly couldn't have done that as I am a busy person and actually leave the house daily! (I also went to post secondary school, drive my own car and vote!) I would rather nurse in public tan share my "private, special moment" with my baby in a dirty smelly bathroom!

You state "Most people don’t want to see that and they shouldn’t have to. These folks are also entitled to certain rights when they visit the mall and seeing an exposed breast isn’t one of them.And that’s the bottom line, mothers. Your breasts are exposed. You might be feeding your baby but you are still nude in front of total strangers. It’s shocking. It makes people uncomfortable and a little freaked out. They’re human." While I am nursing my daughter my breast is not exposed unless someone gets VERY close to me, in that case they have no concept of personal space. Most people think that a little baby is sleeping while nursing, unless they are staring and trying to sneak a peak. NUDE??? That must be a new trend in breastfeeding because I have always kept all my clothes on in public to nurse, I haven't seen a women breastfeeding in the nude, but prehaps that is because I am in Canada and it is a little chilly up here sometimes! I think it would be rather uncomfortable to sit on a mall bench in the nude, do these women bring a pillow to sit on?

"When I see a mother breast-feeding her kid in public, when she has the option of doing it in private, I do not see a courageous mother standing up for her beliefs and doing what is best for her kid. I see a woman using her baby to make an “in your face” point to an unsuspecting public." I breastfed in public to feed, soothe, comfort my baby not to prove a point. I have never made it an in your face point to anyone in the mall or anywhere.

Timmi, could you tell me how long you breastfed your daughters for? I imagine it was quite an ordeal for you, the embrassment, the scheduling, and most of all the dressing and undressing for every nursing session (as you mention that women in your area do breastfeed NUDE). You are welcome to come up to Canada and discuss this with me anytime.....I will even let you pick the bathroom!

A happy extended breastfeeding mom! (21 months)
post #36 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchie
We can say there are a lot of things "most people" don't want to see, yet everyday we are forced to. People just need to get over it! I don't enjoy seeing 350lb. women squeezed into short lycra dresses. I don't enjoy seeing women, regardless of their size, with skimpy shirts plunging so low that they might as well be walking around topless. I certainly don't enjoy seeing men in pants so tight I can estimate the size of their penis if I were to look long enough...and that's my point. If you don't LIKE what you see, look away!

LOL I almost choked reading that!!! Good one.

Did this writer ever think of how I as a breastfeeding mom feel when I see something like this www.bottlesling.com .....it makes me feel sick! : : : :
post #37 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaFae
Elimination and consumption are completely separate acts of nature and have separate locations for a reason!
Ooh, I like that!

And MomtoS, your post made me
post #38 of 71
There were so many things wrong with that article my head is spinning.

Elanorh: your letter was superb - articulate and right on!

It makes me angry and sad that such garbage was actually printed in a newspaper. UGH!! : : :
post #39 of 71
Quote:
And as a mother, I needed to be able to focus on my child as she was nursing — to note when she needed a good burp or when she was full. That would have hardly been possible if I was feeding my kid in a public area, especially a mall, with hundreds of people walking by.

Yes, it is very difficult to tell that your baby is full when they turn their head away from the breast . .or that they need a burp. Who said that NIP means you are paying NO attention to your child?

What an idiot!!:
post #40 of 71
Quote:
Most people don’t want to see that and they shouldn’t have to. These folks are also entitled to certain rights when they visit the mall and seeing an exposed breast isn’t one of them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVC

But according to the law, mothers are entitled to the right to nurse at the mall. So WTH is she talking about?????????


She's talking about The Right Not To Be Offended, which unfortunately for her does not exist. I wonder if they would publish MY article on that!?
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