Sunday, April 18, 2010
So, did anyone hear the story about the woman in Old Country Buffet restaurant in MN being asked to stop nursing her six month old baby there? Crazy that this is still happening. The state of MN even has a breastfeeding protection law, stating that mothers can nurse in both private and public places, and that it should never be considered "indecent exposure." Apparently the police don't know the laws in their own state, because they were called and agreed with the restaurant staff. They also claim that the baby's father become loud and aggressive or something... unclear whether or not that is true, but had the restaurant staff not been confrontational in threatening this family that they'd have to leave if they didn't stop nursing, then there would not have been an issue to begin with.
If other patrons are complaining about a mother breastfeeding at another table in the restaurant, then management needs to know how to deal with this. They need to offer to move the offended party to a different seat and say that the mother and baby are within their legal rights. Mentioning that it is a family-friendly restaurant and that babies are part of many families could be helpful, and that babies who aren't fed when hungry end up much more disruptive to the dining atmosphere!
I know why this keeps happening across the US: ignorance. people who have never breastfed, or at least not for long, just have no idea what it entails and how it works. Every time one of these situations is made public, there are ignorant comments such as, "She should stay home until the baby can eat solid foods," "She should just pump and bring a bottle," and, "Just because the baby has a right to eat doesn't mean it trumps my rights." People apparently think they have the right to not have to be around things they see as offensive. If that were the case, we'd be kicking people out of stores and restaurants left and right: "Excuse me, your tight-fitting clothes over your overweight body offend me, so please put on larger clothes that fit you or leave." "You talking on your cell phone while I eat is offensive, so please take it to your car or leave." "Your tube top and short shorts are offensive to my eyes, so leave." Ha.
Some people think that restaurants have the right to kick out anyone they want, regardless of the law, because they are a private company and have the right to refuse to serve people who might be offending others in the restaurant. So, to people who think that, I want to know: are you saying that if patrons find the eating habits to be disgusting if a physically handicapped person cannot put his food into his mouth and chew it neatly and with typical "good manners," then they should be able to kick him out? Or ask him to cover himself or go eat in the bathroom because other patrons don't like seeing food falling out of his mouth and him chewing with his mouth open? You say moms should bring a bottle for use in public, so would you say this man's family should give him a feeding tube when they go out with him in public? Or they should just stay home until he can eat "normally?"
The breastfeeding laws often say that a mother can nurse her baby wherever she and her baby have a right to be. Old Country Buffet allows babies in their restaurants, so they are allowing breastfeeding there as well. I'm sure there are high-price restaurants out there that don't allow any children - and so they don't have to allow breastfeeding there either. People can eat there if they don't want to be around babies who might do normal baby things!
Speaking of all this, did you know there is a movement of people out there who hate children so much that they choose to be "child free" and actually have websites encouraging this, calling themselves "brat free." Do these people not realize that they were children once, and that the only way to continue the human race is to have more children? It is almost laughable, except that it is just evidence of the Culture of Death.
The latest news regarding the Culture of Death is just sick... a couple wanted one of their twins aborted because he appeared to have Down Syndrome. The doctor killed the other twin mistakenly. Then the parents went back to him so he could kill the "correct" twin. And then they sued him, of course. Sick, sick, sick! This article on catholic.org does a good job of explaining why people feel like they have the right to do this... they think they can have complete control over reproduction.
And one last parenting topic I came across recently: Changing Minds about Infant Circumcision. It is a collection of comments from people about how they came to realize that it was wrong to choose to have their babies circumcised. Interesting range of comments, from nurses who had to assist in hospital circumcisions to parents who had their first son circumcised to people who didn't care one way or another until they watched a video of one being done...