Is it appropriate for a teacher to breastfeed while at school? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 157 Old 07-20-2014, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is it appropriate for a teacher to breastfeed while at school?

I really sympathize with women who try to return to the workforce as soon as possible and obviously I benefited greatly from my mother breastfeeding me for significantly longer than most of my peers (thanks for the supercharged immune system!), but I recently felt very uncomfortable when in a classroom when a teacher openly breastfed in front of several other students. Honestly, I thought it was pretty inappropriate and I, along with others in my class, are considering complaining to the dean. I don't want the teacher to get fired or anything, but I do think she should be reprimanded a bit for her behavior and lack of consideration for others.

However, before speaking with the dean, I thought I would do a little research first and see what others thought to get a fresh perspective. Should she have been more careful in selecting her locale of breastfreeding? How do other new mothers navigate this breastfeeding predicament?

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#2 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 03:36 AM
 
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So you are grateful that you've been breasfed and you have a great immune system?
Then next time you see that teacher congratulate her or give her a thumbs up. Or at worst, mind your own business and keep your mouth shut.
You are the reason some people give up breastfeeding. Let that baby have his/her mama milk.
HTH!

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#3 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 04:55 AM
 
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To process this I think it would be helpful for you to ask yourself if you would have been similarly uncomfortable if this mother was feeding her child a baby bottle. If the answer is "no" I would seriously reconsider the origins of your opinion.

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#4 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 09:16 AM
 
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You are kidding, right? And just so you know, your teacher *very likely * has her right to breastfeed in a classroom protected by law. So your discomfort doesn't matter, that's your issue.
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#5 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 11:52 AM
 
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Agreed (with the above responses!!). You might like to check this out too http://thefeministbreeder.com/why-su...inappropriate/

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#6 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 12:14 PM
 
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If it's appropriate for the baby to be in the classroom, it's appropriate for the baby to be fed in the classroom. The university probably has a policy on children in class. It probably covers ideas like safety, and the children being non-disruptive.

Its been my experience that the occasional ability to bring children to class is helpful to many people. I wouldn't rock that particular boat.
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#7 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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To process this I think it would be helpful for you to ask yourself if you would have been similarly uncomfortable if this mother was feeding her child a baby bottle. If the answer is "no" I would seriously reconsider the origins of your opinion.
Of course it would be fine if she was feeding her child a baby bottle, but having a bare breast in a public setting is a completely different issue.
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#8 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You are kidding, right? And just so you know, your teacher *very likely * has her right to breastfeed in a classroom protected by law. So your discomfort doesn't matter, that's your issue.
Why doesn't my discomfort matter? It makes me uncomfortable and I'm at school to learn, not to watch a teacher breastfeed her child. It's distracting and I found it inappropriate. SEveral of my classmates obviously agreed.
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#9 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 12:57 PM
 
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Your discomfort doesn't matter because this is a child's nutrition at stake. This isn't NOLA style Mardi Gras bead grabbing she's feeding a baby! Being extremely disturbed by breastfeeding is a sign of immaturity very similar to children giggling in health class because someone said the S.E.X. word. This is college is it not? Maybe something has changed since I've been in college but I'm pretty sure most college students either have breasts or have seen them. It's not a big deal. If you wouldn't be disturbed by her giving the baby a bottle then you shouldn't be disturbed by her breastfeeding.

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#10 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Agreed (with the above responses!!). You might like to check this out too http://thefeministbreeder.com/why-su...inappropriate/
This seems like the author might be joking. No kidding you shouldn't breastfeed in traffic! Because it's dangerous, you might get run over, and you don't want other drivers to see your breasts like that in public when you're in the middle of the road.
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#11 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:00 PM
 
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Why doesn't my discomfort matter? It makes me uncomfortable and I'm at school to learn, not to watch a teacher breastfeed her child. It's distracting and I found it inappropriate. SEveral of my classmates obviously agreed.
Your discomfort doesn't matter because she is protected by law. That is why it's your issue.
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#12 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Your discomfort doesn't matter because this is a child's nutrition at stake. This isn't NOLA style Mardi Gras bead grabbing she's feeding a baby! Being extremely disturbed by breastfeeding is a sign of immaturity very similar to children giggling in health class because someone said the S.E.X. word. This is college is it not? Maybe something has changed since I've been in college but I'm pretty sure most college students either have breasts or have seen them. It's not a big deal. If you wouldn't be disturbed by her giving the baby a bottle then you shouldn't be disturbed by her breastfeeding.
Woah, no need for the hostility. I have seen breasts, but it's different to see them in a private setting and in a public setting. The difference is that in a classroom, teaching should be the number one priority, and the child has a lot of other ways to get the necessary nutrition it needs. It seems more like the teacher is making a statement about breastfeeding at our expense. I think that behavior is wrong.

Again, I am not extremely disturbed by the thought of breastfeeding. I was just extremely disturbed to see a teacher to blatantly do it in front of all of us, as I had never seen something like that before.
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#13 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:03 PM
 
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Should she have been more careful in selecting her locale of breastfreeding? How do other new mothers navigate this breastfeeding predicament?

- Breastfeeding Bro #BB
A mother should nurse her baby where ever she is when the baby gets hungry. A breastfeeding mother should nurse her baby anywhere just like a formula feeding mother gives a bottle anywhere. I have nursed three children and I nursed them anytime and place they needed to eat including McDonald's, walking through Walmart or grocery stores, parks, doctor's offices and anywhere else we went.

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#14 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Your discomfort doesn't matter because she is protected by law. That is why it's your issue.
How is she protected by law? I'm pretty sure there's no law that says you can just openly show your breasts in a public space. That has to be indecent exposure or something. It's a shame that she's using her child like that to get attention. She could easily just use a bottle.
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#15 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A mother should nurse her baby where ever she is when the baby gets hungry. A breastfeeding mother should nurse her baby anywhere just like a formula feeding mother gives a bottle anywhere. I have nursed three children and I nursed them anytime and place they needed to eat including McDonald's, walking through Walmart or grocery stores, parks, doctor's offices and anywhere else we went.
Did you consider the reaction of others when you made that decision? For example, what if there were young kids around who saw you doing that? It just seems like you have a choice when and where to breastfeed, and doing it in public might be a little off-putting or inappropriate, especially to some groups of people or cultures or religions.
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#16 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So you are grateful that you've been breasfed and you have a great immune system?
Then next time you see that teacher congratulate her or give her a thumbs up. Or at worst, mind your own business and keep your mouth shut.
You are the reason some people give up breastfeeding. Let that baby have his/her mama milk.
HTH!
How am I the reason? Gosh, no need for the hostility here. I'm just asking questions! I haven't spoken with her or the dean yet, which is why I cam here first. You're blaming me and making me out to be this horrible person when you don't even know all the facts.
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#17 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:08 PM
 
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How is she protected by law? I'm pretty sure there's no law that says you can just openly show your breasts in a public space. That has to be indecent exposure or something. It's a shame that she's using her child like that to get attention. She could easily just use a bottle.
Once again she is protected by law because she is feeding a baby! Like I said this isn't NOLA and the Mardi Gras parade where she's flashing you for the fun of it. She is nourishing a child. That is a fundamental right and she has no reason not to do so in a public place for your convenience. You also have a right to leave the room if it bothers you so much. The law protects breastfeeding mothers and their right to nurse in public because it is a fundamental right to feed our children.
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#18 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Once again she is protected by law because she is feeding a baby! Like I said this isn't NOLA and the Mardi Gras parade where she's flashing you for the fun of it. She is nourishing a child. That is a fundamental right and she has no reason not to do so in a public place for your convenience. You also have a right to leave the room if it bothers you so much. The law protects breastfeeding mothers and their right to nurse in public because it is a fundamental right to feed our children.
Actually, no, I can't just get out and leave the room because I would lose participation/attendance credit for that class. And I would probably fail my test. Like I said, she's not being considerate to her students, I was offended, and as a pre-law major I have never come across such a law for indecent exposure.
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#19 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:13 PM
 
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Did you consider the reaction of others when you made that decision? For example, what if there were young kids around who saw you doing that? It just seems like you have a choice when and where to breastfeed, and doing it in public might be a little off-putting or inappropriate, especially to some groups of people or cultures or religions.
No I did not. It would not occur to me that others would find it offensive that I fed my child since I'm pretty sure starving a baby is considered neglect. I'm not going to give my child a bottle to make someone else feel better.
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#20 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:16 PM
 
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Actually, no, I can't just get out and leave the room because I would lose participation/attendance credit for that class. And I would probably fail my test. Like I said, she's not being considerate to her students, I was offended, and as a pre-law major I have never come across such a law for indecent exposure.
The bolded part here. Try looking into breastfeeding law to understand more. It is not indecent exposure when you are nursing a baby.

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#21 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No I did not. It would not occur to me that others would find it offensive that I fed my child since I'm pretty sure starving a baby is considered neglect. I'm not going to give my child a bottle to make someone else feel better.
You wouldn't be neglecting your baby by feeding it with a bottle when you were in public, you would just be showing sensitivity to the feelings, cultures, and religions of others. If you were so insistent on breastfeeding, you could do it in a more private location.

Also, there's a difference between your situation and mine. You might disagree with my viewpoint, but I was basically FORCED to stay in the classroom and watch her breastfeed even though I was very uncomfortable, while you did not force anybody else to stand next to you in Wal Mart or in public or wherever you were.
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#22 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The bolded part here. Try looking into breastfeeding law to understand more. It is not indecent exposure when you are nursing a baby.
Ok but even if it isn't indecent exposure, I can't find any law that supports it. And from googling, it looks like I'm not the only one who is uncomfortable around these kinds of situation.

Who knew mothers could be so insensitive to the feelings of others?
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#23 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:27 PM
 
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How is she protected by law? I'm pretty sure there's no law that says you can just openly show your breasts in a public space. That has to be indecent exposure or something. It's a shame that she's using her child like that to get attention. She could easily just use a bottle.
Yes actually, most states have actual laws that say that it is ok for a mom to breastfeed anywhere she is. And if a breast is seen during breastfeeding, oops. I know I've certainly *unintentionally* shown more breast that I care to during breastfeeding.
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#24 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:27 PM
 
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How is she protected by law? I'm pretty sure there's no law that says you can just openly show your breasts in a public space. That has to be indecent exposure or something. It's a shame that she's using her child like that to get attention. She could easily just use a bottle.
Actually, the law generally states that a woman may legally breastfeed wherever she and the child are legally able to be.

I think I'm in the minority here, sort of. I would not be bothered by the breastfeeding itself, but I don't think professors should bring their children to class.
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#25 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes actually, most states have actual laws that say that it is ok for a mom to breastfeed anywhere she is. And if a breast is seen during breastfeeding, oops. I know I've certainly *unintentionally* shown more breast that I care to during breastfeeding.
What about if a professor brings her child to class and breastfeeds and basically forces all the students attending to stay and watch? That has to be like false imprisonment or something.
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#26 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:32 PM
 
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Hashtag, I think you came to the wrong place if you were looking for support for your cause. Breastfeeding mothers are very passionate about there right to do so and I don't think you'll be changing any minds here. If you feel so strongly about this impeding upon your education than by all means bring it up.
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#27 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:33 PM
 
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I'm not familiar with any state but my own, but here indecent exposure doesn't apply to a Mom feeding her child. It breaks down to "Mom can breastfeed anywhere she has the right to be". Your prof. might run up against school policy but in the U.S. she is surely within her legal rights.

I'm assuming she's nursing in class because the alternative would be a screaming baby at her lecture, surely a bigger distraction. "Just give a bottle" can be much harder than it seems; not all women can pump milk easily. Is it a young infant? It's easier to time feedings for Mom's breaks with older babies, not so much for newborns.

I'm assuming it's a lecture class, not a lab with one on one instruction? If so, just keep your eyes on your notes or on the presentation, just as you would in any public place when there's something you'd rather not see.
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Actually, the law generally states that a woman may legally breastfeed wherever she and the child are legally able to be.

I think I'm in the minority here, sort of. I would not be bothered by the breastfeeding itself, but I don't think professors should bring their children to class.
Finally, someone who understands what I'm trying to say!! I was very, very uncomfortable and think it's really inappropriate for a professor to bring a child to class and openly breastfeed.
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#29 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hashtag, I think you came to the wrong place if you were looking for support for your cause. Breastfeeding mothers are very passionate about there right to do so and I don't think you'll be changing any minds here. If you feel so strongly about this impeding upon your education than by all means bring it up.
I was actually trying to find the other side of the story. Just asking questions here.

Not necessarily trying to change minds because most people here seem really stubborn about their views anyway.
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#30 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:38 PM
 
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The only issue here is whether or not it is appropriate for a teacher to be caring for her child while she is teaching. Most of the time, I imagine, the teacher's baby is cared for at a daycare or by a babysitter or the child's other parent, so the teacher herself can focus on her work. However, for the one year that the child is an infant, it feeds on demand, so accommodations have to be made for the teacher to feed or occasionally care for her child at work. Many universities and other workplaces have such accommodations built in to their system for mothers of young infants.

You don't seem to have a problem with this teacher caring for her child in front of you on an occasional basis, since you said it would be ok if the teacher were there with her baby, feeding it a bottle. So it seems that your problem is just that it was disturbing to you personally that you SAW HER BOOBS. OK. We are here to guide you through the process of dealing with this trauma, my friend. You will see boobs again, and they won't always be for sex and they won't always be for you, so you are going to have to learn to grow up and deal with it!

It is going to be ok.

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Why doesn't my discomfort matter? It makes me uncomfortable and I'm at school to learn, not to watch a teacher breastfeed her child. It's distracting and I found it inappropriate. SEveral of my classmates obviously agreed.
Your personal discomfort doesn't matter because lots of things make lots of people uncomfortable that we still have the right to do. For instance, it makes racist people uncomfortable to see an interracial couple walking down the street holding hands. This does not mean that the couple should avoid holding hands in public because it might make some people uncomfortable. The racist people just have to learn to suck it up. Right?

It's the same for nursing mothers. We have the right to nurse in public--and when you have a hungry infant and you are running errands, you cannot wait and you have to nurse them right away. It makes you, a poor squeamish male college student, uncomfortable. Why do we have to consider your feelings? Oh right, we don't. You just have to learn to suck it up, because babies have to eat. You see?

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How is she protected by law? I'm pretty sure there's no law that says you can just openly show your breasts in a public space. That has to be indecent exposure or something. It's a shame that she's using her child like that to get attention. She could easily just use a bottle.
She is not using her child to get attention. She is feeding her child. This is not about you, it is about a hungry baby. You are wrong that this is no law about breast exposure during public breastfeeding. Tell us your state or province, and we will give you the law! Most states and provinces have laws, although not all.

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Did you consider the reaction of others when you made that decision? For example, what if there were young kids around who saw you doing that? It just seems like you have a choice when and where to breastfeed, and doing it in public might be a little off-putting or inappropriate, especially to some groups of people or cultures or religions.
A nursing mother does not always have a choice about where to breastfeed. Your teacher, for instance, was in a classroom (I imagine) and was working while her baby needed to eat. Infants cannot wait to eat, and it would be a big inconvenience for your teacher to leave her workplace.

When I had a nursing infant, it would have been a great inconvenience to stay at home all day in case my child needed to nurse. He needed to nurse about every hour, and I had grocery shopping to do, and board meetings to attend, and wine to drink in the afternoon in restaurants my friends. So I did those things, and when my baby was hungry, I fed him, and when he wasn't, he was an infant, and sat like a blob in a carseat or slept in a carrier on my stomach, bothering no one.

If I wasn't allowed to nurse in public, it would have made my (already sleepless) life very difficult.

However, what about people who have feelings about seeing my boobs? What about their very important feelings? Don't their feelings trump the immediate needs of a hungry child? Doesn't having me breastfeeding them near them make their lives so very difficult? Well, no, it doesn't. All they have to do if they can't bear to see it--and all you have to do, Bro--is simply look away and continue on with their day.

So I encourage you to practice not staring at the breast and sucking it up! It will become easier for you to do with practice. It will eventually be no work at all for you to look away, and you will have just made a new mom's life, and a baby's life, a lot easier. Encourage your friends to suck it up, too, and you can all feel great about supporting young families!
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