Thursday, September 10, 2009

Me, On a Soapbox

Here's one thing that really gets to me, and I think I've mentioned it before.

People who are disrespectful to nursing mothers.

If you are one of them and think nursing in public is wrong, please read this so you can be a bit more open-minded and educated on the subject.

Nursing your child is natural. It's normal. It's not gross or disgusting or something that needs to be done in a closed room. Men should love public nursing since they might get to see a glimpse of part of a sliver of a boob. Woohoo. Hello? Who doesn't like boobs? Am I right?

Come on people. We saw more boob from Janet Jackson at the Superbowl than you'll ever see from a woman nursing in public. How long will it take for times to change on this issue?

My first beef is regarding an article I read recently about a woman nursing in a park in Logan Square, a neighborhood here in Chicago. Some woman, a mother of two girls mind you, went by and said the nursing woman was disgusting, a disgrace, indecent and she was going to call the police. The nursing woman of course encouraged her to do so knowing that she has every right to nurse in public and not be arrested for indecent exposure. It's not like her breasts are flapping in the wind people. Thankfully, that woman got media coverage and arranged a "nurse-in" where she had about 30 moms meet at the park the next day to openly nurse their babies. Take that stupid woman who's against public nursing. And my your daughters not have to deal with people like you once they procreate. Here's to a better, more accepting world for them.

And my second beef is concerning a good friend of mine. A family friend and a bridesmaid in my wedding. She's a young mother at 20. She has a job at Wendy's to pay the bills while going to school and managing a newborn. She has grand plans to marry her boyfriend once they are on solid financial ground in a few years but college comes first. (At least this setup is becoming more acceptable in society.) So here she is. A new mom. New to nursing. New to her rights. Her boss at Wendy's has told her that she can't work more than a 3 hour shift in a 24 hour period, supposedly so that she can go home to nurse for the other 21 hours of the day, and she is not allowed to pump on Wendy's property. Not at all. Not in the bathroom. Not in her car in the parking lot. Not anywhere. Not ever.

I'm doing everything in my power not to call La Leche for her (since those are my only facts and they'll need more details), and I've implored her to contact them on her own because this is just outrageous to me that a new mom can be treated this way. But REALLY? I hope that someone who really knows the laws as they apply to nursing mothers can explain to me how any company can legally do that to a new mom. Obviously she started looking for a new job and found something temporary at a local orchard for the fall. But REALLY? Deep down I'm hoping she calls La Leche and they send over some high powered attorney that just throws Wendy's to the ground and stops on their head repeatedly. Ada and I will surely be there for moral support when it happens. A place like Wendy's must be governed by FMLA rules and there is no way that a restaurant can really claim that it's unsanitary to nurse on the premises. If that's the case, someone really needs to straighten this out.

If anything more develops on this, I'll keep you posted.

Moral of the story: Nursing mothers deserve way more respect and rights than we have right now. You can help by simply being a supportive friend.

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