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Old 05-06-2012, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Q: I teach first grade, and the mother of a child in my class brings her 1-year-old son to school events—and breast-feeds in public without covering up sufficiently. Other parents have asked me to say something to her. Should I?
—Name withheld, *Scottsdale, Ariz.

A: As moms everywhere know, breast-feeding is natural and sometimes has to be done in public. The law generally supports a mom’s right to do so, and even asking this woman to cover up could have legal ramifications. But *Everyday Etiquette author *Patricia Rossi has this suggestion: “Talk to the school *principal about designating a comfortable, quiet place for breast-feeding. You can then offer the mom use of the room as a place away from noise and germs.” (Of course, she could also consider the feelings of others and try to feed her son before or after a school event.)

— Judith Newman
 
 
My response to this was:
 
Hi Judith--

Although I can see that you attempted to be fair to both sides of the issue regarding nursing in public, I really think you missed the mark in this week's response. (Or rather, Patricia Rossi missed the mark.) As a nursing mother, I do attempt to be discrete while nursing my toddler in public. However, unlike infants, toddlers are squirmy and easily distracted (and have no appreciation for discretion.)  I am concerned first and foremost with the needs of my child, and although I attempt to be mindful of those around me, I do not see public nursing as shameful or distasteful. Although it seems well-intentioned, asking a nursing mother to remove herself and her child in order to nurse somewhere "away from noise and germs" still carries the subtle implication that nursing is somehow shameful, and is something to be hidden away and done behind closed doors. I often choose to eat my own meals in public places such as restaurants that are no doubt teeming with germs and the noise of other diners. I don't see why my toddler--or any other children and infants--should require different dining accommodations than the ones I enjoy.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Old 05-06-2012, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm happy to say that the majority of the comments on the online column are pro-breastfeeding. That is a relief!


Married 12/08 to Chilean DH and mama to DD 2/2/10. We're a bilingual home and we familybed1.gif and toddler.gif

 

Expecting #2 in late June!

kitteh is offline  
 

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