Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Breastfeeding in public

At 1.30 today, there will be a public hearing for bill LB 499 at Nebraska capitol building. You can watch it live here

If we get it passed, the new law would state,

"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breast-feed her child in any public or private location where the mother is otherwise authorized to be."

Currently, there's nothing to stop a women from breastfeeding in public, but there's also no law to protect our rights.

My two cents worth on the topic (this is MY soapbox, remember); I think we need to have more exposure to breasts in their correct context - nourishing a baby/young child. Unfortunately, the only time most people see a boob these days, in America, is on the top magazine rack or a billboard in Florida, or an obnoxious Internet pop up. This is just reinforcing the suggestion that breasts are only for sexual pleasure and therefore feeding a baby with them is yucky or strange.

I disagree with the well intentioned folks who offer, "breastfeeding is a beautiful intimate experience between mother and child and should be kept discrete". Thanks for trying to be supportive, but it is not a private, intimate function. It's a practical way to nourish your offspring, and should not be considered more private than feeding the baby a bottle. Breastfeeding is a fantastic way to help our next generation to be healthy, lower the rates of obesity, and raise the IQ level. It's great for humanity. It's great for making our children feel secure and confident.

Sending us to the public bathroom to feed our babies (who in the heck wants to eat in there?) is only going to reduce the number of women willing to breastfeed, and at the same time, it will further reinforce the squeamish, sexualized taboo this culture has created about breasts. I think the more boobs we see, the merrier. It will help our daughters to grow up in a breastfeeding friendly environment, and to learn how to do it, so they won't feel so lost when they have their own babies and begin to feed them. It will help our sons have a healthy respect for the female body, as a nurturing, nourishing body and not just a sexual object.

If you're in Nebraska, why not write to your senator and let him know how you feel about this issue?

I make milk. What's your superpower?


Kinsleys3 said...

Here here! I heartily agree. Hope the hearing goes well. Who is the sponsor?

Niecey said...

Senator Dubas. I'm not familiar with this senator.
It was yesterday, I was out all day, but Rene watched it and said it went really well. There were a lot of highly educated, well versed professionals speaking in support of the bill, and no opponents.