Town Outlaws Public Breastfeeding of Toddlers
A town outside of Atlanta has decided to outlaw public breastfeeding toddlers over the age of two. It is part of their quest to eradicate public nudity.
The law is just bringing up a pile of questions for me. If outlawing public nudity is important then why focus on breastfeeding toddlers? Why not all breastfeeding? Have they outlawed half-naked roofers as well, because I am looking at one out my window right now and I think that is a lot more common than a woman showing off her rack to nurse a toddler. In fact, I am hard pressed to think of the last time I saw a mother nursing a child over the age of two in public and I live in a pretty crunchy neighbourhood.
Why did this even come up? Is there a cabal of nursing mothers with their preschoolers attached roaming the streets of Forest Park?
Of course, the real question is why the hate on for breastfeeding? I nursed my kids until they were two, usually in our bed in the morning. I guess if I lived with the mayor of Forest Park, Georgia that wouldn't have happened.
I didn't start off thinking I would nurse that long. In fact, the idea kind of repelled me when I had my first child. I remember sitting in a mother's group watching the leader nurse her 18-month-old who had a cracker in her hand at the same time and thinking yuck! But I loved the intimacy of nursing and was happy to nurse my toddlers once a day.
The AMA and the WHO all recommend nursing until the age of two. Most women don't even make it past three months let alone the second birthday. And yes, there are weirdos out there, but mostly it's just mothers trying to get through the day and do what is right for their kids.
The hate on for breastfeeding is pervasive, Margaret Wente (who, at this point, I shouldn't even read) took a swipe at breastfeeding in the Globe and Mail this weekend in an article titled the Tyranny of Mothers Milk. She misquoted a scientist in the attempt to further her argument that breast milk and formula have the same benefits.
My first child was formula-fed and he is healthy, happy and I am at peace with the whys and hows of his infancy. But I know that breastfeeding is the healthier option in most, but not all, circumstances. And I accept that women make their own choices based on their, and their babies' needs. As for the tyranny, I came up against a lot more criticism for exclusively breastfeeding than I ever did from bottle-feeding.
This is not a debate, this is not a war. Outlawing breastfeeding or calling it a tyranny only riles up both sides of the issue and does all women a disservice.
End of rant. But I do look forward to women descending on Forest Park and flaunting their indecency laws with some nursing sit-ins.
Do you think nursing toddlers should be outlawed, or at least discouraged, in public? Or are you outraged by this law?
Want more chaos? Last year I wrote about a study that found a reason why my family can't find anything they are looking for when they open the fridge door.