Breastfeeding while driving - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 91 Old 02-27-2009, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know I've read a lot of posts about leaning over if you're in the back seat with your baby, leaving the baby in the carseat and letting the baby nurse. I have to admit that I don't think I could physically accomplish this and have never tried. If my baby is crying to nurse while I'm in the car, we stop and take a break to nurse.

It never crossed my mind that someone might take it even further:

http://www.whiotv.com/news/18813161/detail.html

This makes absolutely no sense to me since the safety risk is so great. I see it as a lactivism-related issue because I do feel that people who do really outrageous things while nursing and then insist that it is a lactivist issue make things worse for nursing moms. This mom is talking about how she's going to feed her baby when and where her baby's hungry. That feels to me like using pretty common lactivist rhetoric in a way it was never intended to be used. I think this has the potential to affect all nursing mothers because she's been given a bit of a forum on the news (and I know this is a local web page but the link comes up in the top stories on the front page of cnn.com) and there are a lot of people who will put the Denny's mom or the Ronald McDonald House mom and this mom in the same basket.
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#2 of 91 Old 02-27-2009, 09:02 PM
 
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I just saw this on another forum and I was thinking the same as you. I really wish this woman wouldn't turn this into a breastfeeding rights issue, because its not. This is about how she's putting her child at serious risk - even a very minor collision could kill an unrestrained infant - in the front seat between the adult and the airbag, no less! :

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#3 of 91 Old 02-27-2009, 09:09 PM
 
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wow, ok...

1st off, props mama for nursing a 2yo!!!

but..."same difference"? really? a full grown adult and a tiny toddler do not have the same bone strength with regard to a car accident/air bag deployment. thats common sense. i mean, the car comes with all sorts of stickers warning against rear facing seats and ppl weighing less than 100#!!!

i'm surprised to see that this mama is a bit older. 14 yrs ago i was 17 with a very HN newborn and yes, i drove while nursing/slinging on more than one occasion. i recall one evening in particular where i pulled over literally every few miles, got ds to sleep, put him in the carseat and within minutes he was up and screaming. i was a very inexperienced driver and was near on having a panic attack. never mind being a new mother...however, 14yrs and one more nursling later, i am horrified that i did that.

i dont think this mama should go to jail for 180 days, but i were i a judge i woul ddef force her to watch crash scene videos and talk to parents who lost kids that rode unbuckled.

best wishes to her and her family.


ETA: about using bf'ing as an excuse...the child certainly appeared old enough to be able to learn "nursing manners" ie, we dont nurse while the car is moving. here is (fill inthe blank bribe) for now and we will have nursies at home...

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#4 of 91 Old 02-27-2009, 10:11 PM
 
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Not only was she breastfeeding, she was talking on her cell phone! This isn't a breastfeeding rights issue, this is an issue that this mother is being reckless and endangering her child. Definitely needs education on this matter. As a pp mentioned, even a small accident could have killed that poor child.

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#5 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 12:48 AM
 
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I'm going to move this to Family Safety

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#6 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 01:07 AM
 
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OH my goodness!

I often wonder if that's what people think I'm doing when I get into the front seat of my car with my baby in a parking lot. A lot of times she doesn't nurse well while we're in a store; too much to look at! So I relax in the drivers seat and nurse and listen to the radio before I pop her in the seat and get on my way. I've gotten some sort of puzzled looks before, but anyone curious enough to watch me surely figured it out pretty fast.
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#7 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 01:33 AM
 
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For goodness sakes, is it so hard to pull off the road?

This breaks at least 2 laws in my state, the car seat laws and the law that children under 13 cannot ride in the front. Probably also coule be prosecuted as child endangerment and wreckless driving.

NOT a breastfeeding rights issue. Breastfeeding rights only apply, IMO, when there is no added danger to the child.

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#8 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 10:15 AM
 
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Sure she can feed her child whenever she wants - right after she pulls over!! That's just crazy.

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#9 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 11:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Equuskia View Post
Not only was she breastfeeding, she was talking on her cell phone!
That's what got me too - not only was she endangering the life of her child by just having her so close to the air bag, but she was talking on the phone at the same time?!?! While driving. That's outrageous.

And then she says in the video(paraphrasing): it would have been the same thing, if I had been in an accident without her in my lap, and the airbag had been deployed, it would have been the same thing. : WHAT? So she thinks that the airbag hitting her would be the same thing as the airbag hitting her small toddler, who was sitting that much closer to the airbag, and probably would have suffocated. Wow. Just wow.

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#10 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 11:09 AM
 
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Boy, what a terrible, terrible idea. Endangering a child like that is never okay, and I think she should be prosecuted.

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#11 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 11:09 AM
 
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I used to sit and nurse in the fron seat of my car in parking lots before getting back on the road and I alway sworried someone would see me getting in and think I was about to drive like that.

I have a super high needs kid when she was baby any drive lasting longer than about 10 minutes resulted in having to pull over. It was hard and stressful but not worth risking the safety of my babies life.

I nursed for two and half years in a variety of strange places and situations but I always managed to avoid it being a life risking event.

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#12 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 11:42 AM
 
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At the very least CPS should be involved. She is risking her baby's life. They should take her license too. To me her judgement is just as bad as a person that drinks anddrives.

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#13 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 12:01 PM
 
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This is actually down the road for me & there are TONS of places she could have pulled over! She also said she would take it into consideration, but may do it again! Of course an infant pinned between an adult & airbag would be no different that an adult in front of an airbag (lots of sarcasm) Grrr!!!

I agree that this is NOT a BFing Rights issue. It IS a SAFETY issue.
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#14 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 01:06 PM
 
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I worry about getting arrested for sitting in the front seat of a running vehicle to nurse DS. (Running for A/C or to run movies for DD when travelling for her medical stuff) I can't imagine driving along nursing like that. I've done the over car seat thing for a bad case of ear popping mtns. but normally, I pull over or I choose to bring bottles of pumped milk if its a time constraint issue
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#15 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 01:36 PM
 
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That's completely insane.

My mil used to tell me how she'd breastfeed dh (who nursed till 18 mos) while driving. I was in shock! But that was in the 70's and laws weren't as strict now. (And ppl didn't think???)

I'm appalled. I've never driven and breastfed. That's just not safe. Hello?!

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#16 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 02:05 PM
 
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She said herself that she will do it again if she needs to. I have run across many people like this, and no amount of educating or ticketing will help them make a better choice. They have this "I am right and how dare you judge me" type of attitude.

She compared walking down the street to driving. I think that speaks for itself.
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#17 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 02:16 PM
 
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She drives with her kid in her lap?


While she's talking on her cell??


And she thinks she's making a statement about extending breastfeeding???


Wow. How on earth do you respond to such poor decision making? State-mandated parenting classes? Loss of driving privileges? Required viewing of car safety videos?

Just wow.

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#18 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 05:41 PM
 
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bad idea : :

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#19 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 05:54 PM
 
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Well, if you live in Michigan it is legal... Yes, we have a nursing exemption. So she should just move here and then she can drive and nurse whenever she likes. Because, you see, in Michigan the laws of physics don't apply if you are nursing. Your baby is clearly not going to become a projectile and fly through the window in a crash because he/she is attached to the breast and therefore safe.

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#20 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 06:02 PM
 
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I am bothered by the fact taht she was on the phone. I think nursing while driving isn't always the best choice, but I certainly don't want laws against it. I think it should be up to each person to decide if they need to do so. It's all about weighing the risks versus the benefits. Maybe she was going very slow and for only a short while. Maybe baby was screaming and crying so hard that would have been distracting. HEr other children have to go to school. What if she didn't have anyone else to drive them? Should her kids miss school?
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#21 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 06:03 PM
 
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Well, if you live in Michigan it is legal



I am glad that Michigan allows people to make their own choices.
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#22 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 06:09 PM
 
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i will support bf'ing anywhere and anyhow but not if it involves putting the child at risk. give me a break!
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#23 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 06:11 PM
 
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I feel this is less a breastfeeding rights issue, than a parental rights issue. If something terrible happens to the child, then the authorities can go after the mother. Otherwise, I think the government should stay out of parent's business. I certainly wouldn't want the government dictating how I parent, ie...must vaccinate or put my children in school.
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#24 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 06:13 PM
 
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I am bothered by the fact taht she was on the phone. I think nursing while driving isn't always the best choice, but I certainly don't want laws against it. I think it should be up to each person to decide if they need to do so. It's all about weighing the risks versus the benefits. Maybe she was going very slow and for only a short while. Maybe baby was screaming and crying so hard that would have been distracting. HEr other children have to go to school. What if she didn't have anyone else to drive them? Should her kids miss school?
We're not talking about an infant though. The child in the video was clearly at least 18mo. My nephew is probably around the same age and my sister would never take him out of his seat to nurse him, even in the back seat (and I wouldn't allow it in my car either). She waits until we get to wherever we are going or we pull over if its a long trip.

Anyway, the point is, she could have brought the kid a snack - as in, one that doesn't have to operate the vehicle.

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#25 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 06:19 PM
 
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We're not talking about an infant though. The child in the video was clearly at least 18mo. My nephew is probably around the same age and my sister would never take him out of his seat to nurse him, even in the back seat (and I wouldn't allow it in my car either). She waits until we get to wherever we are going or we pull over if its a long trip.

Anyway, the point is, she could have brought the kid a snack - as in, one that doesn't have to operate the vehicle.
I agree with your point about the kid being older. She should have brought a snack. I am thinking of my dd at 6 weeks old, who had a heart condition that made too much crying possibly unsafe for her. We still had to go to many doctors appointments. I was blessed to have someone else usually available to drive us (I could sit in the back and lean over her carseat and nurse her) but I do know that there are circumstances in people's lives that cause people to make choices that may seem crazy, but everyone has to weight the risks and benefits for themselves. I do not want the government any more in my parenting than they already are.
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#26 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 06:28 PM
 
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I feel this is less a breastfeeding rights issue, than a parental rights issue. If something terrible happens to the child, then the authorities can go after the mother. Otherwise, I think the government should stay out of parent's business. I certainly wouldn't want the government dictating how I parent, ie...must vaccinate or put my children in school.
I don't think you can compare those with car seat usage.

There are risks and benefits to vaccinating and risks and benefits to not vaccinating. But what are the risks of using a car seat and what are the benefits of not using a seat? Vaccines alter your child's body and never go away. Carseats don't.

And well, I've always believed that education is a parent's responsibility (whether they trusted someone else to it or not) so I'm probably biased on that one.

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#27 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 06:31 PM
 
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I don't think you can compare those with car seat usage.

There are risks and benefits to vaccinating and risks and benefits to not vaccinating. But what are the risks of using a car seat and what are the benefits of not using a seat? Vaccines alter your child's body and never go away. Carseats don't.

And well, I've always believed that education is a parent's responsibility (whether they trusted someone else to it or not) so I'm probably biased on that one.
The risk is of emotional harm to your child left in the car seat to cry hysterically. Or, as in my dd's case, if she was left to cry too long, her oxygen saturation levels went way down, and could cause brain damage. And not using a carseat doesn't guarantee harm. There is only harm if you are in an auotmobile accident. nak sorry
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#28 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 06:36 PM
 
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I agree with your point about the kid being older. She should have brought a snack. I am thinking of my dd at 6 weeks old, who had a heart condition that made too much crying possibly unsafe for her. We still had to go to many doctors appointments. I was blessed to have someone else usually available to drive us (I could sit in the back and lean over her carseat and nurse her) but I do know that there are circumstances in people's lives that cause people to make choices that may seem crazy, but everyone has to weight the risks and benefits for themselves. I do not want the government any more in my parenting than they already are.
Yep, I can totally understand your situation. In this instance, there actually IS some benefit to feeding your daughter ASAP. I can see where the benefits way outweigh the risks here.

This woman didn't say anything about medical need though, all she said was "if my child is hungry, I'm going to feed my child". So in her case, I'm going to assume that the risks WAY outweigh the benefits here. Especially considering that she implied that she does it often and while on the phone, no less.

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#29 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 06:42 PM
 
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Well, if you live in Michigan it is legal... Yes, we have a nursing exemption. So she should just move here and then she can drive and nurse whenever she likes.
WHAAAAT? For real?

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#30 of 91 Old 02-28-2009, 06:44 PM
 
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The risk is of emotional harm to your child left in the car seat to cry hysterically. Or, as in my dd's case, if she was left to cry too long, her oxygen saturation levels went way down, and could cause brain damage. And not using a carseat doesn't guarantee harm. There is only harm if you are in an auotmobile accident. nak sorry
She still could have pulled over. And like I said, this isn't just about a mom needing to BF. She was also on the phone while her child was out of her seat, which just screams negligent to me. She obviously wasn't even thinking about the risks.

And I know not using a seat doesn't guarantee harm! I totally agree there because I hate when people use the same reasoning for NOT using one ("I never used a seat and I'm okay") but if you never used a seat and never got into an accident, of course you'd be okay. And again, if you are on the phone, driving, and nursing all at once, I would think you'd be more likely to cause an accident than anyone else. So this is different than you sitting in the back seat nursing your babe that needs to be nursed NOW, kwim?

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