Whether you want to believe it or not, the world at large isn't always kind to breastfeeding parents. Many things are designed to accommodate parents who breastfeed. No matter how discreetly they may try, it isn't always that easy. But at the end of it all, the baby needs to nurse. This is most true with infants and babies. A mom in North Carolina was threatened with having her baby taken for her because she needed to nurse during traffic court. And her baby is only three months old. And she was covered up. Stuff like this happens all the time.
Mom Danielle Bell was quietly nursing her three-month-old daughter Penelope in the back of the courtroom. She was waiting for her traffic court case to be called. Anyone who's breastfed knows that when baby needs the goods, they need them. Doesn't matter what's happening, you better get them the boob before they get upset.
Court can take forever. If you've ever been in court, especially in traffic court, you know this. Basically it's a game of hurry up and wait. That's difficult for many adults to withstand. It would be impossible for an infant who likely needs to nurse every few hours to be patient. And if you're not being disruptive, how are you actually doing anyone any harm. Bell had Penelope covered in a sling, so it's not even like people had to *gasp* see her nursing. But nonetheless, a court deputy told her she needed to leave. Their reason? No one under 12 is allowed in the courtroom.
For the record, there are state laws in North Carolina and federal laws that say women can legally breastfeed wherever they have a right to be. And this isn't a toddler or preschooler who can be disruptive, this is an infant, who literally needs breast milk to survive.
"I felt discriminated against," she told her local news affiliate WKRG. "This is the way she survives, by breastfeeding, because she refuses a bottle."
Luckily Bell was able to step out and leave the baby with her husband while she continued to wait. But then things got worse when she stepped in front of the judge.
Bell explains that the judge warned her not to bring the baby with her to court again. After explaining to him that breast milk is her only source of nourishment, she claims, "He then replied to me that was not his problem and that, if I had any other excuse, he was going to take her that day and have me put in contempt."
This is simply unacceptable behavior, especially from a judge.