Breastfeeding is a loving and natural way to care for our baby's needs. Studies show the benefits of nursing are tremendous, not only to our baby but to ourselves and in our relationship with our baby. I nursed both my babies, and I loved it. It was the best choice for my babies and for me. Although, I will admit there were some drawbacks.
I am sure you are well aware that breastfed babies as all babies, need to be fed on demand. They will let you know when they are hungry and rather loudly at that. When and where doesn't matter to them they just want fed. Breastfeeding in public IS LEGAL. As a nursing mom we are sometimes made to feel uncomfortable nursing in public places. Cold stares from others in restaurants, snide comments made under their breathe regarding you nursing your hungry baby in public or even worse asked to leave or to feed our babies in the restrooms at public places. Just think of it, would you eat in a public restroom? Why would anyone be so sick as expect us to feed our babies there, any adult certainly wouldn't eat there? But incidents like this do happen. And sometimes we just don't know how to react or respond to some statements.
Beleive me moms, I know how you feel. Then one day, I got MAD! No one has the right to tell me WHEN and WHERE I can feed my baby. I went home and began researching my rights and was amazed at what I found. The internet provides so much helpful and up to date information for us.
There are legal rights that all nursing moms and nursing babies have. We have the right to nurse our babies anywhere they have a right to be. One of the best resources to find out just what your legal rights are in your home state is http://www.lalecheleague.org/LawBills.html Check out the site for information on Breastfeeding Legislation in General, by state and the new Summary of Enacted US Breastfeeing Legislature.
We are doing what is healthiest and best for our babies and we SHOULD NOT be made to feel uncomfortable, embarrased or ashamed of it. BE PROUD. The law is on your side.
Here are just a few other online resources you may want to look further into for more information regarding working moms and your rights, and the National Alliance of Breastfeeding Advocacy should you ever need to report a problem or public incident and more.
http://www.ncsl.org/programs/health/breast50.htm - 50 State Summary of Breastfeeding Laws , for reporting an incident: http://www.naba-breastfeeding.org/advocate.htm#feedback, http://www.breastfeeding.com/workingmom. shtml , http://www.nursingmotherscounsel.org/workingmoms1.htm for working moms, http://breastfeed.com/resources/articles/bflaw.htm .
There is so much information out there, take advantage of it and get to know your rights so if an incident does occur you will be well equipped to handle the situation. Knowing I had rights gave me the confidence to nurse whenever and wherever my babies needed to eat. I hope it empowers you as well and encourages you to continue doing what is best for your precious little one.
Nanette Gomez is owner of http://www.BabyTalk-Learn2Sign.com Your online resource for information and products to help you teach your baby sign language and http://www.TheMommyCircle.com ~ Helping you find little ways to make and save.