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Police Called On Public Breastfeeding… Even Though It’s Legal

With all of the criminals that exist in the world today, you would think that mother’s who breastfeed would definitely not be one of them. Unfortunately, people are still offended by mothers who dare feed their babies from their breast in public.

Although the mothers cover up their breasts while feeding their baby, some people still complain that the sight is just too much for them to witness and that women should go into the bathroom for feedings. To show just how prevalent this problem is, one mother recently felt the pain of being shamed for breastfeeding her baby in public when someone called the police on her.

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The woman was not arrested because she was not breaking any laws. As it turns out, breastfeeding publicly is legal in all 50 states. So, why are people still bothered by mothers who feed their babies the natural, and most healthy, way?

When we think of those who are mortified by mothers who publicly feed their children, we have to consider a few things. First, are people disgusted by this practice because of their own discomfort? According to a few experts, this is exactly the case. Some people are simply uncomfortable seeing a woman allowing a child to drink from her breast. This is especially the case if the child is older than one year.

A recent study was conducted by the makers of Aeroflow Breast Pumps who surveyed 1,000 households to find out the public’s opinion about breastfeeding and pumping. In this study, it was discovered that over 61% of the people questioned were still highly uncomfortable with seeing a mother breastfeeding her child in public. According to the survey, people felt that although the practice of breastfeeding was healthy for a baby, they still did not feel that a woman should feed her baby around others.

“The practice of breastfeeding is something that is private,” stated one anonymous participant. “It’s not something that should be done around a bunch of people who are eating or drinking. Some people just don’t care to see that,” they continued.

Another factor that contributes to the reason some people are still uncomfortable around mothers who publicly breastfeed is that they feel the activity itself should be done in a more appropriate space.

The study showed that over 46% of men and 24% of women felt that the mother’s breastfeeding their babies should be provided a special location where the mother can do so privately. Some have even referred to the special rooms as ‘lactation rooms’ and state that mothers should have a private place allocated to them for special occasions such as breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is a natural process for mothers, and it is the healthiest alternative for a baby. Although most people agree that breastfeeding is a wonderful thing, they still find it uncomfortable to witness when in a public space. Currently, many companies and public facilities are including family bathrooms that allow space for mothers to breastfeed their babies.

Unfortunately, more accommodations will be needed to ensure mothers can feed their babies without either offending others or having the police called on them for doing so.

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About Audra L.

Audra L. is an author, columnist and community activist who's dedicated to finding truth through research and effective communication. She received her degree in Public Policy and teaches Community Development, Public Speaking and Communications Law to youth throughout the nation. She is the recipient of over 23 awards and honors for her commitment to community outreach initiatives.

5 comments

  1. As long as the mother is covered , it should not brother anyone. This is a natural and a God given right to breast feed. And it is healthier for the baby.
    Yet, it’s OK to pour or dump water on police officers with NO consequences.

  2. Norman Hinderliter

    While I am a man, I think that some practices should remain PRIVATE.

    For example, “solo” acts should NOT be practiced, in public.

    There is a REASON why some things should be PRIVATE.

    WE need to respect the rights, of others, in public.

  3. I am most against this practice, I find it leads to other troubles with rude people making public comments or catcalls

  4. I understand the benefits of breastfeeding and that it is natural. However, using the toilet is natural, too, and no one wants to see someone in the act. Most places have private rooms for nursing mothers, which I think is a fair compromise. I don’t mind seeing a woman nursing, but you can see from the above comments that men feel uncomfortable in that situation. If a mother will be gone for a long time, she could always pump and bring a bottle along.

  5. Breastfeed in a public bathroom? I think not. How unsanitary. When the baby is hungry, the baby is hungry, that’s all there is to it. I’m sure most moms try to be mindful of the baby’s schedule if they have to be out of the home, but unexpected things happen. Grow up, and lighten up people, you don’t live in a bubble.

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