Some may think that I’m touching on a controversial topic, but I’m really not. So I’m going to say something right now, but before you get all upset and fired up, please read on. Moms really shouldn’t breastfeed everywhere.
Just think about it… Why should the feeding of a person ever be controversial? It shouldn’t be. Eating is a natural part of life. We all do it. There really shouldn’t be a debate as to when and where a mother should feed a hungry baby. We as a society twist and turn things into being controversial, when we should really be able to have a conversation. To see why something is.
You Really Shouldn’t Breastfeed Everywhere
Recently I heard about a case where a mom was upset because she was pointed in the direction of an actual nursing area of a sports stadium. This nursing area is air conditioned, comfortable and even has televisions so you can continue to enjoy watching the game. I’ve heard that there are some stadiums that even have a giant window so you can see the game same as you would from your seat. How amazing is that?! The sports teams don’t need to provide such extras. They do it because they are in tune with the needs of their patrons. They do it because they want to go above and beyond.
Where did the mother prefer to feed her baby? Not in her seat. That location would have been perfectly acceptable, I might add. There is no problem whatsoever with feeding your baby in a seat at a sporting event. The guy next to you is eating a hot dog in his seat, so it’s a given that people eat in the stands. This mom was more modest though and didn’t want to feed the baby out in public. Also perfectly okay. She has that choice and that right.
Where did mom want to feed her baby?
Mom didn’t want to go to any of the designated, high comfort, nursing areas. Instead she preferred to use the family restroom to feed her baby because it was easily accessible to her and because she could. Now I get that there are laws that say a woman can breastfeed anywhere she pleases. That’s a good thing. We need laws to protect our rights, but it’s what we do with laws that cause issues or a divide to form. This mom was instructed that the family restroom was set aside for the use of the toilet. She could change her baby’s diaper there but the staff told her that she could not feed her baby in the little one family at a time room with just a toilet, changing table and sink. You know where this is already going…
Mom Was Irate
She was very, very upset. How could anyone tell her where she could and couldn’t breastfeed. The stadium broke the law. She felt discriminated against. Other moms became irate. There were social media screams of, “Call the news!” and “Lawyer up!”. All the while I was reminded of the purpose of a family restroom. Dads take their daughters in there to avoid a urinal scenario. Children with special needs sometimes need a little more help and the space in a tiny restroom stall is just not conducive to those needs. There are just a number of reasons why a family restroom is designed. We’ve all been there. Toddlers being potty trained would pee their pants while waiting in the long line and sometimes demand to take every article of clothing off before using the toilet.
Breastfeed everywhere experience.
I’ll be honest. I’m not at all an experienced breastfeeding mom. It was something that didn’t work out so well for me. My oldest needed to be bottle fed so he wouldn’t become failure to thrive. But something that he did have was a problem with often throwing up over half his bottle. Every. Where. All over me. All over the floor. All over. You never knew when it was coming. After the notorious Kohl’s incident in the aisle between toys and home decor, I realized that I could not feed him everywhere. I had to be selective where and when I fed him to avoid the eruption of formula all over a public place. It happens. It’s what moms do. We adapt. Could I have fed him anywhere I wanted? Of course. It’s the law. I just didn’t want others to have to clean up the mess.
Most people aren’t fans of eating in the toilet. Not very clean and not very appetizing. There was that one vacation when my husband and I had to hide out in the bathroom with our takeout dinners at the Disney World hotel while our children slept in the other room. Fun times. But why would anyone want to feed their baby next to a toilet when there’s a perfectly nice area designed solely for the purpose of nursing? Just because you can? Of course it’s the law. You really can feed in the restroom if you would like to, but there might be a child on the other side of the door waiting for the toilet or a person might have to clean up the mess when the child doesn’t get there in time. If there’s a nursing area, say thank you. It’s a special place that has been set aside and created just for you.
I learned a long time ago that it’s not always about me. My right’s don’t trump someone else’s. No one is entitled. Sometimes rules or requests are simply there to accommodate everyone. So before we get irate about a situation it’s best to stop, take a step back, take a big breath and think about why something might be. There very well might be a reason. We really are all in this together and can work together to make things even greater.