Courthouse advocates defend public breast feeding

Women nurse a cause

Monday, March 5, 2012 2:07 PM
Last updated 10:50 PM
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A sign hanging near the front steps of the Columbia County Justice Center reading “Don’t Be Lactose Intolerant” reinforced the message a group of nursing mothers hoped to get across to lawmakers Monday.

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Eliza Cagle participated in a Nurse-In in front of the Columbia County Justice Center with her children to ensure breastfeeding in public is exempt from claims of public indecency.  JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
Eliza Cagle participated in a Nurse-In in front of the Columbia County Justice Center with her children to ensure breastfeeding in public is exempt from claims of public indecency.

About 20 women, a handful of husbands and numerous children gathered at the Evans courthouse for a protest, which was part of a statewide effort to bring awareness to what they say is discrimination faced by mothers breast-feeding in public.

Several signs made by protesters, who called themselves “lactivists,” were taped to garbage cans surrounding the group. One stated, “If adults can eat in public, so can babies.” Another proclaimed breast milk “The Original Happy Meal.”

“I don’t think Evans has ever seen this before,” said local event coordinator Heather Comprosky.

The idea for the turnout started when Woodbine, Ga., mother Nirvana Jeannette was sent out of church for breast-feeding and told by law enforcement she could be arrested for indecent exposure.

As a result, events similar to the one in Evans were held Monday in Atlanta, Woodbine, Savannah and Warner Robins.

“When women are under attack, we look out for one another,” said Andrea McPherson, who also helped organize the Evans event.

The women hope to change state law to protect mothers nursing in public from being harassed or arrested.

Anyone caught nursing in public now faces charges of indecent exposure and a maximum fine of $1,000.

“We’re not strippers,” said Comprosky, who nurses her 18-month-old son, Wyatt. “We believe the law needs teeth.”

Evans resident Kristin Lovell heard about the event on Facebook, where 50 people had confirmed their attendance.

She brought her husband, Steven, and four of her five children she has breast-fed.

“It just seems as the years go by, breast-feeding becomes more taboo,” said Lovell, who nurses her 8-month-old son, Jake. “It’s just a shame that people are being told it’s obscene and not to feed their children.”

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wmarkw
164
Points
wmarkw 03/05/12 - 03:54 pm
11
4
If the kid is old enough to

If the kid is old enough to ask for it then he is too old to be breast feeding! 18 month is pushing it!

jmac
0
Points
jmac 03/05/12 - 04:03 pm
9
6
Why would you want to

Why would you want to breast-feed in public??? Discrection is a key word in this situation. I understand it is a natural thing to breast feed your child, however, urinating is a natural thing as well. What's next? Take your children home please, its too windy for them to be outside.

museofsatie
586
Points
museofsatie 03/05/12 - 04:09 pm
3
2
My youngest is almost 10

My youngest is almost 10 months-old. I've been breastfeeding him since he was born, and I plan to continue for at least another six months, if not longer. When he was smaller, I would often have to nurse him in public (especially at restaurants), and I got odd looks a couple of times but generally had no problems with other people. Now that he's closer to his first birthday, I rarely (if ever) have to nurse in public, but if I ever have to, I'll still gladly do so for him.

And, just to be nitpicky, not all 18 month-olds are able to "ask" for anything. Our oldest was still using hand gestures and just starting to form words at 18 months. So, I'd consider that age (even up to age 2) as completely appropriate for nursing. Beyond that, though, it does start to get a little pointless.

"Why would someone want to breastfeed in public?"

Babies get hungry, often in public. Besides, isn't a baby being breastfed a lot less disruptive and irritating than a screaming, wailing baby? A vast majority of women who nurse their children DO practice discretion. You won't see breasts and/or nipple exposed during a feed. Most likely, you won't even see the baby's head, as it will be shielded either by a blanket, nursing cover, or jacket.

Little Lamb
46022
Points
Little Lamb 03/05/12 - 04:06 pm
9
1
Anyone who thinks it is

Anyone who thinks it is possible to feed infants only at home never had children - - - - - or kept his wife prisoner at home.

urright
465
Points
urright 03/05/12 - 04:10 pm
2
0
Why Columbia County? Has

Why Columbia County? Has there been an issue here? Why didn't they go to Woodbine to protest? Protesting here is like having a pro-motorcycle rally in Sturgis. What's the point?
I don't have a problem with breast feeding in public as long as they are somewhat discreet.
Also, the way the law is written, unless there is a "lewd" display of the sexual organs, all of the elements of the crime are not met and they cannot be arrested for public indecency. City or county laws could be more restictive, but state law doesn't outlaw breast feeding in public.

museofsatie
586
Points
museofsatie 03/05/12 - 04:11 pm
4
2
urright: This was a

urright: This was a statewide "nurse-in". So, there were similar events throughout the state today, as a sign of solidarity I believe.

jmb578
98
Points
jmb578 03/05/12 - 04:13 pm
5
6
This is ridiculous! My wife

This is ridiculous! My wife nursed our kids and was able to go to the car for privacy. At least go to a public bathroom and do it, rather than do it in public!

seenitB4
87304
Points
seenitB4 03/05/12 - 04:14 pm
6
2
You know what..THAT is what

You know what..THAT is what the things are for...feeding a baby...why is it some make a stink out of body functions....geez....a woman can't get a break anymore.......wish I didn't have an appt. right now because I could really get jacked up on this.

A healthy baby is a breast fed baby btw.

seenitB4
87304
Points
seenitB4 03/05/12 - 04:17 pm
8
1
Go to the car each &

Go to the car each & everytime??? What if it is 10 degrees outside.

Throw a hankie & nurse away...that is what I would say.

seenitB4
87304
Points
seenitB4 03/05/12 - 04:18 pm
1
0
Dang...I wish this is all

Dang...I wish this is all America has to worry about..LOLLOL

museofsatie
586
Points
museofsatie 03/05/12 - 04:22 pm
7
1
"My wife nursed our kids and

"My wife nursed our kids and was able to go to the car for privacy. At least go to a public bathroom and do it, rather than do it in public!"

Yeah, it's really nice to sit in a car on a 100 degree day with a baby trying to eat. Even with the car on and the AC running, you and the baby are sweating and extremely uncomfortable. If the sight of a woman nursing a baby (one who will most likely be so covered up that you'd have to be leering at her like a creeper to even notice that she was nursing in the first place) is so offensive, you* can move to another seat/table/part of the room. Or, better yet, you could stop staring at the woman and get on with your life.

* "You" meaning people, not specifically the poster who wrote the above quote.

stephykins
39
Points
stephykins 03/05/12 - 04:27 pm
9
2
Why should I feed my baby in

Why should I feed my baby in the bathroom? If you don't like seeing a totally natural act, feel free to eat your dinner in the bathroom.

urright
465
Points
urright 03/05/12 - 05:05 pm
8
4
Neither of my kids were

Neither of my kids were breast fed and they were both happy, healthy, and had no bonding issues with their mommy.
The discreet nursers aren't an issue. I saw one in the food court at the mall that didn't cover up, didn't bother to move from the center of the area, and whipped it out for a kid who had to be two years old. (He was old enough to ask for it.) Her entire breast was just out there for a good 5 seconds before the kid got on her lap and latched on. Was it illegal? No. Was it in poor taste? Definitely.
Passing gas is a totally natural act, but it usually isn't done in a restaurant either.

museofsatie
586
Points
museofsatie 03/05/12 - 05:32 pm
7
3
"Passing gas is a totally

"Passing gas is a totally natural act, but it usually isn't done in a restaurant either."

Now that's just bull. Everyone farts, and every time you go out to eat, someone near you will fart. It happens, but since you can't smell/hear it, it goes unnoticed by you.

And I agree that formula-fed babies can and do grow up happy and healthy. My oldest was formula-fed, and he's a healthy, happy 4 year-old. I say that if your child is healthy, then keep doing what you've been doing. That being said, breastmilk is best for babies, in most cases.

urright
465
Points
urright 03/05/12 - 07:12 pm
6
1
Muse, you kind of made my

Muse, you kind of made my point. If they want to breast feed at the table, I don't have a problem with it if it's done discreetly. It's the in-your-face people who ruin it for everyone, like with most issues.

Jake
32552
Points
Jake 03/05/12 - 08:20 pm
4
1
I personally see nothing

I personally see nothing "sexy" about an exposed breast when used in breastfeeding. Kids gotta eat. The wear and tear on the woman's breast will become evident in time and that is the sacrifice many loving mom's make for the health and nurturing of their children.

museofsatie
586
Points
museofsatie 03/05/12 - 08:22 pm
3
0
"It's the in-your-face people

"It's the in-your-face people who ruin it for everyone, like with most issues."

And I've never disagreed with that point.

jmb578
98
Points
jmb578 03/05/12 - 08:47 pm
4
6
There are plenty of "natural

There are plenty of "natural acts"...like sex and using the bathroom. That doesn't give me a license to do it in public. They're done in privacy, which is where breastfeeding belongs.

specsta
6505
Points
specsta 03/05/12 - 09:06 pm
5
2
The main problem is the

The main problem is the Puritanical attitude of a lot of Americans. In what other country can one exposed nipple prompt Congressional investigations and hefty FCC fines (as in Janet Jackson/SuperBowl)? We are beyond ridiculous.

Breastfeeding lowers the risk of cancer and diabetes for babies and gives protection against childhood infections and allergies. It makes for healthy babies and is a natural process. If someone glimpses a nipple or even part of a breast during that process, they aren't going to die or be scarred for life.

Women should be free to breastfeed whenever, wherever and however they choose. There is nothing offensive about it. No one should feel uncomfortable providing nourishment for her baby. Maybe if folks were more concerned about real issues, we would have healthier children in this country.

seenitB4
87304
Points
seenitB4 03/05/12 - 09:30 pm
5
0
Dang...Animals sure have

Dang...Animals sure have things a lot easier than we do....

bathroom
farts
sex
breast feeding...
the list just goes on & on..:)

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 03/05/12 - 10:43 pm
0
0
ok, that wasn't very nice of

ok, that wasn't very nice of me:(

david jennings
601
Points
david jennings 03/05/12 - 11:20 pm
6
1
If you are offended or

If you are offended or arroused by watching a woman breast feed an infant, you have some serious issues.

itsanotherday1
43258
Points
itsanotherday1 03/05/12 - 11:54 pm
3
1
No joke David Jennings! It is

No joke David Jennings! It is the most basic act in nature for heavens' sake! We Americans are so messed up with puritanical values it is pathetic. We are 50 years behind the rest of the developed world in attitudes about nudity, sex, etc.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 03/06/12 - 12:09 am
5
4
That did it, I am not holding

That did it, I am not holding back anymore. I believe that a woman should have the self respect to appropriately cover herself. There's just too much of "my rights" and self centeredness going on. It isn't tasteful, it is never attractive and it isn't appropriate. I highly doubt that any woman who breast fed in a discreet and dignified manner would meet with any complaints. I'll reverse it and say, if someone wants to expose themselves to strangers or if someone wants to view their exposure, they have some serious issues.

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 03/06/12 - 12:10 am
3
4
It's Obama's fault. Just ask

It's Obama's fault. Just ask all the regular posters here.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 03/06/12 - 12:21 am
3
4
Actually, it is Obama's

Actually, it is Obama's fault. He's pulled out all the sex/birth control talk for two purposes: 1) to divert attention from the economical issues
2) to reach another segment of voters to support him. Welfare recipients may not be enough to get him re-elected.

itsanotherday1
43258
Points
itsanotherday1 03/06/12 - 12:45 am
5
0
Willow, I assumed that women

Willow, I assumed that women generally did do it discreetly and with appropriate cover? That has been my observance anyway, and why I don't understand what all of the kerfluffle is about.

Codie Dohery
0
Points
Codie Dohery 03/06/12 - 12:58 am
7
4
Wow first I have breastfeed

Wow first I have breastfeed both of my children. No one is telling you not to feed your children. However You must understand that seeing your boob could possibly make people feel uncomfortable no one wants to see that! have some consideration and atleast use a blanket to cover up to be mindful to those who may not be use to seeing that. You can not expect everyone to just be okay with seeing your boob in public especially men. They make so many things to conceal yourself in public with you dont have to hide but atleast have the curtosy to respect those around you. I breastfeed both my children but It still makes me uncomfortable if you were feeding your child right in front of me with no cover. It seems to me these women who insist on breastfeeding in public with everyone watching crave the attention or need the attention.

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 03/06/12 - 01:07 am
5
1
There are great works of art

There are great works of art depicting breast feeding, including the Christ and His mother.

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 03/06/12 - 01:10 am
5
0
I came from a large family.

I came from a large family. My old man was a hoot. He was blind from his teenage years and still raised 8 of us. Four sisters and they all breast fed. When pop heard the slurpin' noise he'd perk up and say "She got the lunch pail out again".

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