The Breast Milk Truck Arrives in Canada!
Having a breastfeeding issue? Someone giving you the evil eye for nursing in public? Who are you going to call? The Milk Truck!
The blue and white striped van with a breast perched on the top is a mobile art installation that broadcasts the message that breastfeeding is a right, anywhere. Julie Miller, the Pittsburgh artist and driver of the truck, will soon be in Toronto for a performance art exhibition about women and art.
“We’re saying (to businesses) if you think the nursing mother created a spectacle, we’re going to bring you an even bigger one,” says Miller in a Toronto Star article.
She is collecting stories about women's experience in Toronto with public breastfeeding and also offers advice about nursing. She will be driving through the city on Friday, using the stories to guide her route.
Personally, I love the idea about creating a crazy spectacle that you can't take your eyes off of to show the hypocrisy of people's disgust with public breastfeeding (especially when they seem to be just fine with all the posters of boobalicious models posted everywhere).
Edith Kernerman, president of the International Breastfeeding Centre (and my lactation consultant), worries that a wacky event could paint all women who breastfeed as nutty and “I’m worried that we will become fringe again, whereas this [breastfeeding] is just something completely normal."
To be honest, I don't think that public breastfeeding is the biggest issue that women face who nurse. Sure, you can run into some ignorant people, but the biggest issue is the lack of support.
The kind of support that Edith gave me meant the difference between breastfeeding and not. The kind of support that the chronically-underfunded Newman Centre offers is priceless. The knowledge and empathy of the women at the La Leche League and professional lactation consultants used to be part of our society.
Now women don't know where to turn for advice. Try the La Leche League (they aren't scary) or a breastfeeding clinic at your local hospital. Support is important, no matter what you decide.
Now, we have a truck with a giant book and a flashing nipple light trying to normalize breastfeeding. Is that really what we have come to? I guess it is. And that is too bad.
What do you think of the Milk Truck? Is it over-the-top or a good idea? Did you get the support you needed to breastfeed?
Want more chaos? Last year, I lamented the problems with swimming lessons.