Georgia towns need to butt out of breastfeeding!

The Forest Park city council voted Monday night to amend the public indecency ordinance that banned public breast-feeding of children over the age of 2, Channel 2 Action News reports. The new ordinance drops the age limit.

From the AJC:

“City leaders told Channel 2 that the ordinance was changed as a result of the public’s reaction.”

“More than 300 breast-feeding women and their supporters participated in a “nurse-in” May 23 in front of the Forest Park City Hall to protest the new law.”

“Protest organizers, some calling themselves “lactivists,” said the law interfered with letting the child determine when he or she will stop nursing.”

“City attorney Robert Mack Jr. previously said the ordinance was aimed at public nudity and not breast-feeding.”

Three questions to talk about here: 1. Is there really nudity when nursing? 2. Can a child be too old to nurse? 3.Whose business is breastfeeding?

The city attorney’s quote doesn’t make any sense to me at all. How can limiting the age of the child nursing decrease the amount of breast shown while nursing? In actuality, the bigger the kid and the bigger the kids’ head the more of the mother he covers.

The fact of the matter is you can discreetly nurse any age child. You can use a sling, a blankie or even one of those new nursing aprons that pops out at the top so you can see the baby or child. You can use a nursing top that is designed to discreetly open. You can pull up from the bottom where you would in theory see midriff but the baby is usually covering your stomach anyway. How offensive can it be to see a mother feeding her child?

That’s all just a bunch of bull about the nudity. People aren’t comfortable with the act of breastfeeding and they just need to get over it.

And here’s the thing, Julie Duncan, the head of perinatal education at Piedmont Hospital always taught us, Georgia is a right to nurse state. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you cannot nurse your child.

I also think it’s wrong for anyone but the mother and child to decide when it’s time to stop nursing. I was determined to nurse my kids for at least 12 months and we did. But they still seemed like such babies at 1 that we just kept right on nursing. I was pregnant with Walsh when I stopped nursing Rose at 18 months. Walsh stopped about the same time gradually weaning himself and Lilina stopped a little before then on her own.

I think the mother and child know what’s best for them, and Georgia towns need to stay out of how and when we nurse our babies.

So what do you think? Do you really ever see mothers hanging out their breasts when they are nursing? Are people really offended by feeding a baby? Should the government determine how and when and how long a mother nurses her child?

(I have two blogs going this morning. We have another discussion on the princess makeovers at Disney’s Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. )

77 comments Add your comment

Gtmom

June 7th, 2011
6:42 am

I only nursed a year with my first son and only a couple weeks with my second son (due to postpartum). Currently, I think I am only comfortable with nursing a year or a little more but that is due to my experience. My older son weaned himself and he was done. If he wanted to go longer, who knows, I would have gone probably as long as he wanted. Saying all that, I have no problem with people breastfeeding their childern for as long as they want. And to be honest, I don’t get the whole breast thing being nudity… Why are men’s breast allowable and women are not? I can promise you that most men I know are a lot larger than my A-cup so it can’t be size! I think the one’s have problems with seeing a woman’s breast while she is feeding a child are the ones who seem to have low self esteem. If you don’t like what you are seeing, look away!

melissa

June 7th, 2011
7:00 am

while it might seem over the top to breastfeed a 3 yr old and older, that’s the mothers body and if that’s how it is leave it alone. although i wasn’t able to breastfeed (latching problems) i wish i could’ve, it would’ve have lowered the cost of formula and helped in weight loss. there is nothing gross about breast, ppl have sexualized them. they are natural and no one see’s anything when a woman is nursing. this is one of the dumbest things i’ve ever heard of. ladies, plop out those breasts and keep it moving! :)

MustangSally

June 7th, 2011
7:18 am

The woman should take in consideration where she is!!! Take the child to the bathroom or car, please do it is private.. Or, cover yourself up and the baby.. Who wants to see this taking place out in public, such as in a restaurant enjoying a good meal and the next thing you know, some lady opens her blouse and out pops her breast and a 2 or 3 year old kid is sucking on her!!!! They have no consideration for others… These people need to learn some good southern manners & cover up!!!

Gtmom

June 7th, 2011
7:32 am

Wow! How about you eat your dinner in the bathroom or the hot car? Neither one is safe for you or a child. I have probably only seen about 4 people in my entire life breastfeed their older child in public and I grew up with hippy parents whose friends did everything “natural”. I just don’t see an issue.
I really think the best thing is to keep doing it and eventually everyone will become desensitized. Keep it up and make it a non issue!

Joe

June 7th, 2011
7:43 am

Mustang Sally, please tell me you are joking.
These are all of the same arguments/rhetoric that people always claim. Yet none of them make any sense.

Would you like to eat in a bathroom?
would you like to sit there while your friends or family are out enjoying themsleves?
DO you really thing the moms “pop their brest out?”

The thing about this law is that it outlaws the practice. Not that it says anything about covering up. There are so many ways to be discrete, maintain that “Southern Modesty” and still feed the child.

Personally, I cannot speak to what age is appropriate for a child to be fully weaned but; Breastfeeding is a natural thing. We should start treating it that way.

shaggy

June 7th, 2011
8:03 am

I firmly believe that breast feeding is one reason that my boy is as healthy as he is, no allergies and an immune system suitable for an Abrams tank. It certainly is not pornography. A mother nursing her baby is one of the most beautiful images on the planet. However, 2 years old seems too old for “glugging at the jug”.

motherjanegoose

June 7th, 2011
8:13 am

I breastfed both of mine, until they were 10 and 7 months and covered up in public. I am an advocate of breastfeeding. I am also NOT a medical professional but when an older child can get his nutritional needs fully met from food, having a set of of teeth, why do you need to breastfeed a 2 or 3 year old? This, is where I think the problem is.

I could be wrong but I do not think MustangSally is against breastfeeding but against the size of children who could actually unbutton Mom’s shirt and help themselves. To me, it is easier to be discreet when they are smaller. If a child can push a straw into a juicebox…does he still need to be breastfed? How long is long enough and who is actually reaping the benefit? These are questions I would like a professional answer to. Perhaps a nurse on here or a medical professional?

I have read that after 12 months the nutritional needs should come from solid foods…is this still true?

MustangSally…manners/courtesy are on the downswing…I see it every day. My daughter told us a sad story yesterday, about a person she knows. The job assignment, for the day, was not safe…due being out for a long time in the heat of 95 degrees. She was upset about how the episode could have happened and that no one cared.

Last week, the teller at my bank gave me back a $100 bill, in error, I handed it back to her and said, ” I believe this is yours…I am honest.” She gushed, ” Oh THANK YOU!” I may have bad breath and bed hair as I type this and I am in a foul mood sometimes but I am honest and hope my kids will be too. No sense in that teller losing her job over $100 and yes it was her mistake but I have made mistakes with money too.

Techmom

June 7th, 2011
8:17 am

Anyone been to Forest Park lately? The sad part is that they need this ordinance b/c things are so out of control there.

No mother in her right mind is breastfeeding her child in public after the age of 2. Even if she is still breastfeeding a 3 years old, let’s hope it’s at home and not while walking around the Sav-A-Lot.

motherjanegoose

June 7th, 2011
8:17 am

@ shaggy…I breastfed both of mine and they both had ear infections, tubes and allergies. For me, it was the right thing to do but the promises of eliminating the above items did not work in my house. I am glad they did for you! I agree that is is more about the age and not the actual breastfeeding.

Lady Strange

June 7th, 2011
8:30 am

Cover up and you’re fine.

JJ

June 7th, 2011
8:32 am

Mustang Sally has no children…..

World Traveler

June 7th, 2011
8:35 am

My wife breastfed both of our children until the age of 1. One of my daughters is 2.5 years, and I simply cannot imagine her breastfeeding at this age!
We don’t live in a sub-Saharan country where it might be necessary to breastfeed until the age of 4 or 5.

Until/unless someone shows me some scientific evidence that breastfeeding older children gives them some immense advantage, I am not buying it after the age of 2.

p.s. I am also against 2 year olds drinking bottles, or walking around with pacifiers, and all of the other things that they should be weaned off of by the age of 2.

Oscar Greasemanelli

June 7th, 2011
8:36 am

There seems to be a largely unrealistic quasi-feminist mentality that seems to think you can somehow undo human nature and the natural reaction of others to seeing bare breasts in public.

You can’t change human nature.

Take care of your child in a reasonable, modest fashion but do not expect the world around you to bend over backwards to accommodate you wishes.

The idea that anyone can do anything because it’s their “right” is without merit.

Methinks the moms doth protest too much.

Mysstery

June 7th, 2011
8:37 am

Breastfeeding is natural and certainly a woman’s right. That being said, I had my special birthday dinner date this past weekend at a five star restaurant in Charleston. I see no reason why the woman across from me had to literally pull down her sundress and present her breast to her baby at the table. If she had been at all discreet, it would not have bothered me. Yet I have the right to enjoy my date without her breasts exposed in front of me, don’t I? A light cover or handkerchief would have been fine for both of us! Seriously.

nurse&mother

June 7th, 2011
8:37 am

MustandSally…..really……a bathroom?? How nasty is that! Ignorance.

catlady

June 7th, 2011
8:40 am

I think breastfeeding is great. However, once a child is old enough to say, “Titty, Mommy.” they don’t need to be nursing, at least not in this country.

I have a friend who “breastfed” her son till he was past 4, even after he was joined by a little brother. This “breastfeeding’ was actually for herself, not her son. He was able to get up on a stool and get to the sink, the fridge, etc. It was completely silly.

And yes, I am a former nursing mother, times 3. The longest I nursed was 11 months, until weaning. And yes, I occasionally nursed in public, with a lovely shawl or light cloth over my shoulder. I would NOT go nurse in the toilet.

However, we have a lot of people nowadays who are oppositional-defiant. It is their “right” to do this or that. At some point we have to just laugh and turn away.

Jonathan

June 7th, 2011
8:48 am

Look, it’s not really the breastfeeding that bothers me. I’m not sure why but it’s the entitlement that new parents feel, as if the whole world loves their kid as much as they do. New life being created is so awe-inspiring, blah, blah, blah. I love my kids and it was a wonderful experience but come on, do you really feel that way about other people’s kids? Screaming kids in restaurants and movie theaters aggravated me before having kids and it still does. Breastfeeding in public falls into the same category of annoying activity. I’m not a fan of laws that curtail more of our rights but having a baby doesn’t make you any more special than before you had a kid. If you want me to support your right to breastfeed and depend upon social law instead of statutory law, please respect the social law that says breastfeeding should be somewhat discreet. Most breastfeeding is discreet but I’ve seen some that were way over the top and they weren’t easy to describe away when my kids started asking questions that inevitably end up leading to the “Where did I come from?” question, not something I want to talk about over a relatively relaxing dinner…

YUKI

June 7th, 2011
8:54 am

I’m all for breastfeeding, but if the kid can ask for it they are too old. I’m sorry, but a 3 or 4 year old breastfeeding is just disturbing. I have a three year old son and I can not even IMAGINE breastfeeding him at this point. The kid can go to the fridge, open it, get out a bottle of water, open it and drink it up. I’m sorry, but I agree with this law. Nobody wants to see a kid over 2 breastfeeding in public, including this mother!!!

Razz

June 7th, 2011
8:54 am

well said Jonathan!

ssidawg

June 7th, 2011
8:56 am

So politicians can text/twitter/email pictures of their private parts but women can’t perform the most natural, generous act for the good of their baby? Hey guys- stay out of our business.

shaggy

June 7th, 2011
9:06 am

Jonathan,

What is “annoying” about a woman breastfeeding her child? If it is the questions that come from your kids, why not just do an educational moment and answer honestly. “The kid is hungry; Mother is feeding her child.” You could leave it at that.
Also, if it is annoying, why do you continue to look? Is it because it is in public and – “By God, I have a right to be annoyed!”?

motherjanegoose

June 7th, 2011
9:08 am

@catlady..is ODD contagious…if so…we may need a vaccine :0.

Jeff

June 7th, 2011
9:11 am

As a man, father, and fan of nursing, I think this is yet another issue that comes down to the individual. When a child needs to nurse, they NEED it. They’re infants. Yet, the mother should have enough discretion to have as much modesty as possible. Sadly, we have individuals that want to push the limits for different reasons. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again….the reasonable people on here are not the ones that imhave issues with. I would guess that a poll on here would say that somewhere around 90% of the moms on here agree with me.

Uh, ssidawg...

June 7th, 2011
9:14 am

….I don’t remember reading aout it being OK for” politicians to text/twitter/email pictures of their private parts” – seems like theu guy who is currently being castigated for these actions admitted to his doings, unlike the moms in the example in the article who think it is their right to expose herself. At least the politician did it in private – but once on the internet it became “public” .

Reminds me of the Ron White story about being arrested for “drunk in public”- he told the arresting officer “I was drunk in a bar; but they threw me out into the public”…

shaggy

June 7th, 2011
9:15 am

Some (actually many) people are cursed to walk this earth with an eternal case of “rigidis sphincteritis”.

david mccollough

June 7th, 2011
9:19 am

I am a 63 year old male. I grew up seeing everyone breast feeding. It is so natural that it has gone on since the beginning of people. How can it be wrong? It is one of the most beautiful and natural things in the world and has nothing to do with sex and the person who thinks it is pornographic is really weird and has there mind in the gutter.
Thinking of it I cannot remember seeing anything but a swell of the breast maybe. There is a hell of a lot more to see on a beach.
Surely our government and people have more to worry about.

JATL

June 7th, 2011
9:32 am

I support breastfeeding, but the latest it should go in the western world is between ages 1and 2. If you’re going beyond that, I think you have some psychological hangups. Kids old enough to ask for it who have full sets of teeth -sorry but that is gross and weird! Up until 2 though, women shpuld be able to breastfeed anywhere. There are tons of different ways to be discreet and I think moms should take into account the fact that while it’s not sexual or pornographic at all, many people just don’t want to see your private spots. I HAVE on several occasions witnessed the full “tit” flop in very crowded public places. In one instance at a festival last fall I actually shooed a group of 10-12 year old boys away from ogling a mom who was flopping both of them about everywhere. There was no reason for her to be doing that. I’ve breastfed -you don’t need to whip them both out and fully show them. So yeah, some descretion on the part of moms (and most ARE discreet) is always nice.

As far as nursing in bathrooms -GROSS! And it’s awful for those who need to go as well! A few years ago several of us moms traveling alone with babies in strollers as well as two handicapped people were forced to go pretty far from our gate at the airport because a woman had taken the one female handicapped stall for breastfeeding! After my journey afield to find another place (along wiyh another mom with stroller), I checked back in that bathroom and she still had it tied up! Over 30 minutes! So, it’s not only gross to eat in a bathroom but really rude to others as well!

catlady

June 7th, 2011
9:38 am

MJG–Ho ho, VERY contagious! Used to be another name for it, however.

But, I truly do think for most “breastfeeding” mothers of 2-4 year olds, it is about “her” needs instead of the child’s.

I am prepared to be jumped on now.

jarvis

June 7th, 2011
9:40 am

Why not let women just walk around topless? There’s nothing sexual about it. They were born that way, and they shower that way. Oh, right cause it’s f’ing weird. What has happened to discretion?

I’m not big on government regulation, so I don’t condone a law that is just about making people comfortable, but I can tell you a lady breastfeeding her speaking child in the stands at a sold out Braves game (yep….saw that) is not going to get much in the way of respect from me. It’s not anymore criminal than rushing through a door closing rather than pulling it open for the person behind you, but it shows you don’t care that you are making the people you are sharing public space with uncomfortable.

It’s low rent folks. Feeding your offspring out in the open is for animals and the impoverished. It’s don’t think it’s criminal, but don’t expect people to treat you well.

modesty is disappearling

June 7th, 2011
9:42 am

I’m seconding (or thirding or fourthing) the comments saying it’s not the breastfeeding that is the issue, it’s the lack of modesty. Yes, breastfeeding is natural. Yes, it is good for the baby and the mother (if it works). But – there is a certain decorum that should be observed. You can discretely breastfeed and very few would be offended. It’s the few people that show no modesty or consideration for others that cause the problem. And Yes, I’m a mother.

jarvis

June 7th, 2011
9:58 am

@ATL06, my cousin breastfed her youngest child until one day the child told her “I want cup”.

If your child is old enough to reason and tell you that they aren’t comfortable breast feeding anymore, you’ve probably carried it on too long.

ATL06

June 7th, 2011
9:58 am

I am all for breastfeeding but I met a woman last year that had a little boy that was 2+ and a newborn baby girl. She was still nursing the little boy on a regular basis like a baby and she of course was nursing the baby girl. In order for the girl to nurse she had to shower in between nursing the boy and the girl because the girl would not nurse after the boy please keep in mind that I have seen this boy eat candy, chips and hotdogs and drink sodas. I was disturbed by her still nursing him, I thought it was very strange sometimes he would just walk up to her and demand it. My son was premature and was in the hospital for 2 months so I pumped and he was also on a supplemented formula because he was only 3lbs he never latched on so I only lasted for 3 months pumping.

jarvis

June 7th, 2011
10:04 am

TWG, you might want to let the AJC’s tech support know that the timestamps on the posts are wrong. It’s causing the posts to be out of order. FYI, it’s not just on your blog. It is happening on many of the others including the sports blogs.

Denise

June 7th, 2011
10:08 am

If the issue for breastfeeding older children is the nutrition factor, why can’t mothers pump and give the milk in a sippy cup? I’m not being funny AT ALL. I asked my friends who are mothers this question when the issue came up a few weeks ago. The ones I asked ended up having to pump after going back to work so it was a reasonable question. The answer was hell no because pumping was painful/inconvenient but then again they didn’t want to breastfeed/pump past 12 months anyway.

JOD

June 7th, 2011
10:15 am

Based on the news coverage of the ‘boob-ins’, I’m surprised these women have time to protest at all, what with breastfeeding 2-3 kids at once. To me, this is just an extension of the superiority many of these women have about breastfeeding altogether. Nothing makes a mom who can’t breastfeed for long or at all gnash her teeth more than a woman who lords her success over others. The holier-than-thou attitude of these women grates on my nerves just like the whip-it-out anywhere lack of decorum. Footnote: Yes, I’m aware that not all women are like this. But they do exist, and I’ve met them.

I think breastfeeding over a year is weird, but that’s me. Others have said up to age 2, and that’s probably okay. After that I agree it’s about mommy.

Catlady said it well – I’m ready to get pummeled.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

June 7th, 2011
10:16 am

“Three questions to talk about here……2. Can a child be too old to nurse?”

Yes. 14 is too old to nurse.

Ask a stupid question…………

JOD

June 7th, 2011
10:22 am

@Denise – Good point. What’s more painful? Pumping or a toddler with a mouth full of teeth?

Jeff

June 7th, 2011
10:23 am

When I was married and completely head over heels in love with my wife and fiddling her a very sensuous woman, I never found that her nursing was a sexual thing. And that’s a woman that had my complete sexual attention.

So, these people are full of it. Again, that being said, use the best modesty and discretion you can.

Carolyn

June 7th, 2011
10:27 am

My children all strongly objected to a blanket or any other covering. It’s difficult to meet some people’s ideas of discretion when an infant is kicking and vocally objecting.

The comments that breastfed babies should be fed in bathrooms and hot cars really fry me. Would you even dream of suggesting that to a bottle-feeding mother? If not, then don’t suggest it for breastfed babies!

Babies nurse past infancy because it comforts them, it provides nutrients that a beginning eater may miss in the diet of solids, and regardless of how long breastfeeding goes on, it provides antibodies against the many diseases in a child’s environment. What I’ve never understood is why people other than the baby and the mother (maybe possibly the father) have any concern or business how long breastfeeding goes on. What business is it of theirs, how does it impact their lives in any way, shape or form?

What is Logic?

June 7th, 2011
10:52 am

What you choose to do with your own children is your own business but you should take into consideration that there is a maturity factor here in that if a child is old enough to walk, talk, and go to the bathroom on it’s own which, from my own experience with children usually has occurred by the age of 2, then the child should no longer be relying on it’s mother’s body as a food source.

jarvis

June 7th, 2011
10:59 am

@Carolyn, how does talking to somone with spinich in their teeth impact my life? I have to see it and it grosses me out.

RJ

June 7th, 2011
11:11 am

I didn’t breastfeed my oldest and she had the toughest time with formula. I was young and just didn’t know much. I was determined with the second that I wouldn’t go through that again. I breastfeed until he was 8 months. No problems at all. I will breastfeed the one I’m carrying, and yes, I will do it in public. My husband always had a problem with me breastfeeding in public, but he’s always worried about what people think. I could careless. I never walked around with my breasts exposed. This is natural and the government should not be getting involved.

JJ

June 7th, 2011
11:13 am

You cannot control what others think,a nd you cannot live your life worried about what others think. You do what you have to do, and if they are offended, then that is their problem. You cannot walk on this earth, without offending someone, somewhere, sometime.

Again Dr. Phil – “You wouldn’t worry so much about what people thought about you, if you knew how seldom they did.”

cc

June 7th, 2011
11:14 am

Two and Three year old children are able to eat enough through regular food that they do not need to breast feed in public. At that age they are to old to be latching on to their mother for feeding. Those mothers should be told they can not breast feed in public.

Warrior Woman

June 7th, 2011
11:24 am

@MustangSally – Do you eat in the bathroom?

@Denise – You answered your own question. Pumping is painful and inconvenient. Why do it unnecessarily?

I did not breastfeed my children past age 2, and personally think it’s a little odd. However, this is a absurd subject to address by statute. Apparently Forest Park has NO issues whatsoever if they’re wasting the council’s time on this type of topic.

Warrior Woman

June 7th, 2011
11:25 am

And another thought – What part of “good Southern manners” banishes someone to the bathroom or a hot car for a meal?

MomsRule

June 7th, 2011
11:26 am

I support breastfeeding and have no issue with breastfeeding in public when done modestly. I do find it odd that anyone breastfeeds in this country past 2 years of age.

jarvis

June 7th, 2011
11:26 am

JJ, Dr. Phraud? Really?

JJ

June 7th, 2011
11:33 am

Jarvis – Yes. He is my “Guilty Pleasure” and I watch his show with my neighbor. LOL….he is a just another tv quack, but once in a while, he does come up with a good line…..

Sometimes I think he is the new Jerry Springer…..

1911A1

June 7th, 2011
11:40 am

Sounds like the La Leche League descended on City Hall en masse. Love those folks, nursing sons old enough to shave.