Right in time for Breast Feeding Awareness Month, another mother has been shamed for public nursing. On Friday, a restaurant patron actually called the cops to report a woman who was feeding her baby. Yes, we are serious.
A woman began nursing her baby while dining at All Reddy Cafe in Sharonsville, Ohio. According to the owner, Viktoria Reddy, a fellow diner started complaining loudly about the "situation".
Reddy was occupied in the kitchen, and did not get the chance to speak to the irate customer. The next thing she knew, the police arrived. Apparently, the upset diner had phoned the cops to report the woman for...feeding her baby?
The story ended well. First of all, the nursing mother had already left by the time the police arrived, so she didn't have to deal with any of the drama. Further, the cops came by to give the whiny woman a talking to: they let her know that the mom wasn't doing anything wrong.
Let's start out by reviewing the legal information on public nursing. The law tells us that a woman has the right to breastfeed her child, uncovered, in any public location. In other words, breastfeeding is allowed anywhere a person is legally allowed to be. Literally, the only way another person can ask you to stop breastfeeding is if you are on their private residence.
Breastfeeding is also one of the greatest gifts a woman can give her child. With benefits from better protection from a variety of diseases to a reduced risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), it quite literally saves lives. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all mothers breastfeed exclusively (as the sole source of nutrition) for the first six months of a baby's life. Further, they suggest continuing to nurse, with breast milk as the primary food source, for at least one year in total.
Here's what we want to say to the woman who called the police: Breastfeeding women are heroes, not criminals!