Nursing in Public - It's NOT Against the Law
Chrissy shares a story about her friend's experience with nursing in public - breastfeeding mamas really shouldn't have to think twice about it. Chrissy thinks we should "support breastfeeding mommies by boycotting Fred Meyer." Or, does this call for a mass public breastfeeding event a la Critical Mass to raise awareness?
Last week, a friend of mine was shopping at the Fred Meyer near her house when her two-month-old decided he wanted to be tanked up. She settled on a bench outside the play area, where her daughter was, and started to breastfeed him. He was crabby and popping on and off, but she finally got him settled. As he was eating, the store manager came up to her and told her she needed to be more discreet. Needless to say, she was embarassed and completely horrified. She had a short exchange with him, in which she asked him if he'd tell someone with a midriff-baring top that SHE needed to be more discreet, and he explained that breastfeeding was "different" and she should at least cover up with a blanket.
Now, how many of you have tried to breastfeed a crabby, flailing infant while successfully covering up with a blanket?
My friend later called the regional office to complain and was basically told the same thing by the regional manager - you're allowed to breastfeed in our stores, yes, but you need to be "discreet".
Women are never going to breastfeed in large numbers in this country if the culture continutes to see it as embarassing, sexual, or something that should only be done in private. While I don't argue with the need to try to be as discreet as possible, due to the current unsupportive climate, but it's NOT always possible. Women should not be harrassed for trying to feed their babies! I'm sure a bottle-feeding mother has never been approached and told to cover up that bottle...
Anyway, I wanted to let breastfeeding moms and supporters that Fred Meyer is not breastfeeding-friendly and that I won't be shopping there any more. I've also written about this on my blog today -http://knittinmom.blogspot.com. I want to spread the word as much as possible - Fred Meyer should at least be shamed into apologizing for harrassing my friend!