Go ahead and breastfeed! The law’s on your side
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“I was the original letter writer,” she recalls. “Thirty years ago I was getting kicked out of restaurants for nursing my children in public. I wrote to every local politican, the store manager, the mayor. It makes me so mad that women still have to put up with this. They are feeding their children! They are doing what they feel is best for their babies. I would like to hear the same protests with all the ‘exposure’ that’s on our television screens 24/7.”
During World Breastfeeding Week, Marian plans to join a nursing caravan, which will travel from Manhattan to Bedford Stuyvesant. Moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas are all welcome to travel the subway in support of this event.
Marian adds emphatically, “We want to raise awareness of a woman’s rights to breastfeed in public. This caravan will be one way to let people know that nursing in public is OK, natural, and within our legal rights!”
While many women have acknowledged that “breast is best,” breastfeeding in public continues to be a challenge for some. They often don’t quite know how to do that discreetly. Well-practiced moms advise that dressing in pieces works best — a top and pants, shorts, or a skirt. It is easy enough to lift a T-shirt and let your baby latch on without exposing too much. And once the baby is set, your little one will obscure any exposed skin. Helpful moms say that dresses, clothing that zips up the back, and heavy sweaters should be avoided since they are often cumbersome.
So go ahead, take care of your babies, feed your children. And carry a copy of the law around with you. Tell that restaurant manager or noisy neighbor in the playground that your child has every right to eat wherever you have the right to be.
Helpful websites and phone numbers:
• La Leche League: 1-800-LALECHE; www.lalecheleague.org
• LaLeche League, Manhattan: For a referral to the leader-on-call, call (212) 794-4687.
• World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action: www.waba.org.my
• American Academy of Pediatrics: www.aap.org. Please note the disclaimer on this website: The AAP Web site contains general information for parents of children from birth through age 21. The Academy is unable to respond to requests from parents regarding the personal medical concerns of their children. Your pediatrician is the best source for child and adolescent health information.