Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"There's no breastfeeding here!"

Yesterday, on twitter, a coffee shop in Tulsa, OK posted that they saw a woman breastfeeding and that there is no breastfeeding in their store.  Of course, they quickly said they were joking (how convenient).  In Oklahoma, there are 2 very specific laws regarding breastfeeding.  The Oklahoma State Health Department gives cards to women, after they give birth, with the laws on them.  I happen to carry one in my purse.

HB 2102 (since 2004) gives women the right to breastfeed wherever they have a right to be AND they shall be excused from jury duty upon request.

HB 2358 (since 2006) allows moms to use unpaid (boo!) break and meal times to breastfeed or pump at work.  This law also urges employers to provide a place for women to pump, other than a toilet stall.

When my daughter was a newborn, I always used a cover-up to nurse her.  I was modest.  Of course, I'm not entirely comfortable with my large breasts.  And, there is hardly a way to nurse without exposing half of my upper body.  So, I use a cover-up.  I'm not sure what I'll do with the my next child, but I will breastfeed it public.  Maybe I'll cover up, maybe I won't.

It's frustrating that women are being harassed to either not breastfeed in public at all or to cover-up.  For one, we don't eat our meals on the toilet.  And two, we don't eat under blankets.  Babies, of all people (and yes, they are people), should be afforded those same rights.

Perhaps next time I'm in Tulsa, I'll stop by the Double Shot.  It's not that I'm against them, I just think it's a sad example of how our society views breastfeeding.  The ultimate reward would be for them to have a "Nursing Mothers and Babies Welcome Here" sticker from the Oklahoma State Health Department.

Maybe I'll take them one!

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