Thursday, January 12, 2006

Breastfeeding Rights and Attitudes

Today's Tennessean has a piece titled "Breast-feeding in public may get protections." Stemming from publicity surrounding an incident in which a Williamson County mother encountered problems breastfeeding in the local recreation center, County officials have apparently stated that the activity will be allowed in any public buildings. At the state level, Republican Reps. Susan Lynn and Glen Casada are planning to introduce a breastfeeding bill in the next general session that would cover public spaces statewide (not private buildings and businesses). The article, in a review of some locations' policies, mentions that Calypso Cafe in Cool Springs accepts breastfeeding - kudos to them, and manager Matt Whitford! Also in the piece:
Says Michelle Collins, a certified nurse midwife at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said she found it ludicrous that legislation was needed to protect a woman's right to breast-feed in public. "In our country there's this phobia about breast-feeding, but you can wear a shirt that shows more," Collins said. "In other countries women breast-feed where and when they want and it's not a big deal."
The Tennessean article has an associated comment board where users can post their opinions, with mixed opinions thus far. Nashville Knucklehead and Enclave also have posts on the story. Still waiting on comment from Franklin Circus, who previously called the mother who wanted to breastfeed in view of others at the rec center, "a spoiled kid who was never told no or spanked when she was young." Classy, right?

Some breastfeeding information:
  • Easy Guide to Breastfeeding (PDF file - National Women's Health Information Center)
  • Coping With Breastfeeding Challenges (NWHIC)
  • GotMom.org (Breastfeeding info from the American College of Nurse-Midwives)
  • Breastfeeding and the Law (La Leche League)
  • La Leche League International, and Tennessee LLL groups

    La Leche League has a particularly helpful page on breastfeeding in public and handling others' comments. In addition to general advice for mothers, they provide a list of comebacks for the harrassed breastfeeder:

    "You can't do that here."
    "Please show me a copy of the regulation against feeding my baby."

    "You have to do that in the bathroom."
    "I thought it was against health regulations to serve food in a restroom."

    "Wouldn't you be more comfortable elsewhere?"
    "I'm fine here. Thank you for your concern!"

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    MeSH Tags: Breast Feeding
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