This happened here, in Northern Kentucky. I came out of work Sunday morning, where John was there to pick me up after my shift, and he immediately told me to be quiet as he was listening to the radio host talk about an incident that had occurred in my own area. Of course the interview on the radio was rather one-sided and I got the impression that the woman in the restaurant was actually topless. With that in mind, and even as a breastfeeding mother, I sided with the restaurant. I believe we should have the right to feed our babies in public, and the law is on our side, but there is no need to flaunt it, and I think discretion is called for. I personally am too self-conscious to nurse Zach in public without being hidden. Instead of fighting the sensibilities of others, I would just as soon go to my car. Of course my self-consciousness has led me on many occasions to give in and give Zach bottles of pumped milk while out on trips. Of course, this is bad. My pumped milk, in light of my supply issues, really is precious to us and should be saved for my long hours at work.
So all of this has me thinking about the whole ordeal. I think the views of the public keep me from just whipping out my boob whenever Zach is hungry, but my own misgivings would keep me covered even if my breastfeeding in public would solicit applause from a crowd.
So back to this woman...She was vilified, and now I am appalled at the restaurant. Of course they made it sound like she was topless, which is now obviously not the case. But what of the people who complained?
The restaurant owner was on the radio speaking of how there were 8 year old boys in the restaurant at the time. And I happened to think of my own 8-year-old boy and my breastfeeding. And sadly, I could relate. Evan understands that the way I have chosen to feed Zach really is what is best for Zach and I both. With that in mind, it is not something that should be hidden from Evan. But then there is the conservative part of me who cannot get past the idea of exposing myself to my son at a time when he is most impressionable and curious about the differences between male and female. So for my own comfort, we have elected for me to pump and nurse out of Evan's sight. He knows what I am doing. We tell him. He laughs when he holds Zach and Zach roots, looking to nurse against Evan's chest. He'll tell his baby brother that he doesn't make milk as he giggles. He understands the process. It is all about personal comfort for us. But I am not going to force that on anyone else, and if this woman was feeding her baby in front of Evan, I wouldn't care.
And the bathroom....Really? Does the manager eat in the bathroom? Especially a public restroom! What do you think of when you think of public restrooms? Germ-laden. Gross. Dirty. Not exactly appetizing, is it?
So overall, I am appalled that this happened here. I am aghast at the way they presented this woman to the media, in such a way that another breastfeeding mother was even siding with the restaurant and labeling her as a fight-picker. I really thought this area was more progressive than that.