parenting

When a nursing mother is asked to stop breast-feeding or leave, she returns with backup

Moms stage nurse-ins around the country to protect their right to public breast-feeding.

When a nursing mother is asked to stop breast-feeding or leave, she returns with backup

Moms stage nurse-ins around the country to protect their right to public breast-feeding.
  • Indecent exposure? Or, a natural way for mothers to care for their children? Nursing mothers are pushing back against the public perception that breast-feeding should only be done in private.

  • While breast-feeding in public is legal in all 50 US states, nursing moms are often asked to cover up, go to designated nursing areas or leave by restaurant and retail workers and even public employees.

  • Moms are fighting back by staging nurse-ins, where dozens of mothers go and breast-feed their babies in establishments where nursing mothers have previously been asked to leave.

  • When an assistant manager at Barnes and Noble in Nanuet, New York asked Shereen Matera to cover up or leave, she took action. She shared her experience with a Facebook group that supports nursing mothers. She later returned to the book store with 15 more of the group's members who staged a nurse-in, feeding their babies under the disapproving glare of another manager.

  • Other recent nurse-ins have targeted Chick-fil-A, Target, Walmart, and Friendly's.

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  • Breast-feeding has been shown to have numerous benefits for both baby and mother. After decades of waning in popularity, breast-feeding is making a strong comeback. The CDC reports the number of women still breast-feeding at 6 months saw an increase from 35 percent to 45 percent in a decade's time.

  • With this increase in nursing mothers, breast-feeding in public is becoming more common. Not everyone is on board with asking mothers to cover up or leave. One waitress paid for a nursing mom's pizza and gave her a supportive note that has gone viral on Facebook.

  • Groups have sprung up around the country and online to encourage and support nursing mothers.

Megan Wallgren is a freelance writer and mother of four energetic children.

Website: http://kinetickids.blogspot.com

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