Remember the story about the protest planned at a restaurant whose manager had the gall to ask a breastfeeding mother to make an attempt to cover up?
It prompted a question in the Patrick’s Place Poll: How do you feel about breastfeeding in public? Here were the results:
- 60% – Moms should breastfeed in public, but should try to be discreet.
- 23% – Moms should do it in public and everyone should deal with it.
- 10% – Moms should do it in public, but should be very discreet.
- 7% – Moms should go somewhere private for the sake of others’ feelings.
The majority here are the ones I agree with; those who feel that everyone else should just “get over it” are really in the same boat as those who would banish moms to a restroom and have them “get over it.” A little compromise goes a long way.
When I’ve talked about breastfeeding before, one of the main arguments I’ve heard from moms who seem to think that no one else should have any opinion whatsoever about the practice is that when a hungry infant needs to eat, nothing is more important.
This story might be enough to make them rethink that little line of reasoning.
An Ohio mom was given a ticket for breastfeeding her child while she was driving her other children to school. And apparently, for at least part of the time she was driving and breastfeeding, she was also talking on a cell phone.
The mom actually agreed to a television interview, admitted she’d been breastfeeding while driving, and added, “If my child’s hungry, I’m going to feed it.”
If nothing is more important than feeding a hungry baby whenever and wherever its stomach calls, then I guess there’s nothing wrong with this scenario.
She then added this line of screwed-up logic:
“Walking down the street can be dangerous. I’m not going to say that this one incident was just going to put us in harm’s way.”
Well, sure, walking down the street can be dangerous. That’s why we walk on sidewalks, not in the middle of an interstate. Driving a car can be dangerous, too. That’s why most conscientious drivers don’t allow themselves to be distracted in any way, especially when they have young children in the car.
I think keeping the baby safe — by keeping it in a child safety seat while a car is in motion — is at least as important as its next meal. I also think that endangering a baby by placing it between a mother and a steering wheel, which would have resulted in serious injuries at the very least had she been in any kind of collision, isn’t justified by that “critical need” for food.
Why didn’t she get up a little earlier to breastfeed before taking the kids to school? And what was so important that she needed to further distract herself from driving by talking on a telephone en route?
I’m guessing the judge is going to throw the book at her. Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but it’s not worth that level of risk.