November 16, 2011

WTF Wednesday: Woman Reprimanded By Judge For Breastfeeding In Court

I just read an article on Circle of Moms (thanks to Lucy from A Little Lucidity for tweeting it) about a mom who was reprimanded by the judge for breastfeeding her five month old baby in court. I was shocked by the headline and read the article immediately. Even more shocking than the judge's words were some of the readers' comments. Would you believe a few moms thought the mother in question should have brought a bottle with her? In the breastfeeding mom's defense, I have prepared the following statements:

  • Many babies will not drink formula. If this is the case, the bottle would have to contain expressed (pumped) breast milk.
  • It takes a considerable amount of time to pump enough milk for one feeding. Most five month old babies require five to six ounces of milk per feeding. The average amount pumped in one session (15-20 minutes) is half an ounce to two ounces (Source: Kellymom.com) Since the baby was too sick for daycare, it is unlikely his mother had the chance to pump a few times in preparation for the court date. 
  • Even if you have a supply of pumped milk in the freezer, it is for naught if your child refuses a bottle. Many babies will not take a bottle. My husband and I tried everything we read and everything people recommended (get Dad to give the bottle when Mom isn't home, give bottle when baby is sleepy, etc.) to get our girls to take a bottle to no avail. Before the girls were on solids, if I wanted to go out for more than two hours, baby had to come with me. I was literally attached at the boob. 
  • Babies that take a bottle from another caregiver will not usually take a bottle from Mom.
  • When baby is sick, he wants to nurse more often and you should nurse more often because baby needs the antibodies from your milk to get well.
  • When baby is feeling out of sorts (as would be likely in a strange environment like a courtroom), he wants to nurse for comfort. 
  • Even if there was a nursing room at the courthouse (and I'm almost certain there is not), the mother could not leave while awaiting her turn, so her options were: a) feed her baby, or b) ignore her baby's cries. The latter would have been unkind to the baby to say the least and extremely disruptive to the courtroom.
What is offensive about this? Image source: www.couturebabyshop.com

I understand that people of my parent's generation might be narrow-minded when it comes to breastfeeding, but where is the support from Gen X, Gen Y and later generations' mothers? If a mom chooses not to breastfeed, that is her choice, but she shouldn't be put down another mom for doing what is natural. Breasts are not just for ogling, grabbing, and titty f@#king, they have a biological function called making milk for baby (yes, that's what my Biology textbook says). Mamas have been nursing babies for centuries and will continue to for many more. Get over it.

UPDATE: My faith in humanity has been restored by the poll results on the KCTV5 story page. At the time of posting, 84% of respondents felt the judge was "a Neanderthal."

Has anyone ever made you feel uncomfortable about nursing your baby in public?

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