The rights of a nursing mother

by DaniGirl on September 27, 2006 · 52 comments

in Uncategorized

I’ve been following an interesting story here in Ottawa for the past couple of days. A mother to a five-month-old baby (and two older children) registered for an adults-only pottery workshop. It’s not a class, but a chance to use the studio tools and resources for a set three-hour period each week. The woman is still exclusively nursing her daughter and has not yet introduced solids or formula, and although she took the baby out of the studio to nurse her, the baby stayed in the class in her infant seat throughout the class.

Three-quarters of the way through the first class, the woman was approached by an official from the program and told that since her daughter did not meet the 19-years-or-older requirement of the class, she would not be able to bring her to subsequent classes. The city offered the woman a full refund of her registration fees when she indicated that she was unwilling to leave her baby at home. In an article in the Citizen, she says, “”I’m not asking to bring a child. I wouldn’t bring my year-and-a-half-old here. It’s not a day care. But the baby doesn’t do anything. She’s an exceptionally quiet baby. I just wanted to bring her until she starts eating pablum, probably about a month from now. Then I could make other arrangements, but now I’m nursing.”

She (and the Citizen article) are spinning this conflict as a ‘discriminating against breastfeeding mothers’ issue, but I’m not so sure I agree. I think the city was probably being a little too officious when they pulled out the “the baby is under 19 therefore does not meet the eligibility requirements of the class” argument, but I do see why they might have concerns about an infant being in the workshop.

I’m a fervent supporter of a woman’s right to nurse a baby wherever the hell she chooses. I nursed both boys in public, and have no problem with any mother nursing any baby anywhere. But I also have sympathy for the other people in the class – maybe mothers who signed up specificially to be able to get away from the babies for a little while, or maybe an infertile woman who finds the presence of a baby a painful reminder, or maybe someone who simply isn’t ga-ga over babies.

I personally don’t think the mother was being discriminated against because she was nursing, I just think that there are places that maybe babies aren’t welcome. There’s a huge difference between a mewling newborn and a curious five-month-old, too. I’m trying to remember my boys at five months, and I can’t quite imagine them being content to sit in the baby bucket for hours at a stretch. (Matter of fact, I think Simon had outgrown the baby bucket by about four months, but that’s another story.)

What do you think? Does the mother’s right to nurse her baby trump someone else’s right to be in a baby-free space?


{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Beanie Baby September 27, 2006 at 2:29 pm

I’m kind of twitchy about the whole idea of baby-free spaces to begin with. I think a public space needs to have a really good reason to exclude any group of people, and babies are people. The baseline assumption ought to be that babies are free to go wherever people in general are free to go.
If babies are being excluded because of safety reasons, I could get behind that. I wouldn’t want, say, a sculpture workshop with all those lovely sharp tools lying around to be accessible to babies unless there are eagle-eyed childcare professionals on site.
I don’t see this as a nursing-in-public issue, and I’ll bet the mother doesn’t either. The fact is that, if babies aren’t allowed in that space, neither is she, because as a nursing mother she can’t leave her daughter at home. That’s the discrimination. It isn’t that they’re telling her she can’t nurse there, it’s that they’re telling her she can’t be there unless she leaves the baby at home–which she can’t do. I’m not sure who’s in the right, I don’t know enough about it. But anytime I see a “kids not allowed here” sign I get twitchy, especially limited to 19. What, is alcohol served on premises? Are there no fifteen year old artists nearby who would use that space responsibly? I don’t like it.
It reminds me of a local EYC that said that babies weren’t allowed in the evening parenting classes. Hello? By definition, you’ve now said that nursing mothers can’t attend, because they can’t leave their kids at home. Mind you, expectations for an EYC would justifiably be different than an arts workshop–but still.

2 Beanie Baby September 27, 2006 at 2:29 pm

I’m kind of twitchy about the whole idea of baby-free spaces to begin with. I think a public space needs to have a really good reason to exclude any group of people, and babies are people. The baseline assumption ought to be that babies are free to go wherever people in general are free to go.
If babies are being excluded because of safety reasons, I could get behind that. I wouldn’t want, say, a sculpture workshop with all those lovely sharp tools lying around to be accessible to babies unless there are eagle-eyed childcare professionals on site.
I don’t see this as a nursing-in-public issue, and I’ll bet the mother doesn’t either. The fact is that, if babies aren’t allowed in that space, neither is she, because as a nursing mother she can’t leave her daughter at home. That’s the discrimination. It isn’t that they’re telling her she can’t nurse there, it’s that they’re telling her she can’t be there unless she leaves the baby at home–which she can’t do. I’m not sure who’s in the right, I don’t know enough about it. But anytime I see a “kids not allowed here” sign I get twitchy, especially limited to 19. What, is alcohol served on premises? Are there no fifteen year old artists nearby who would use that space responsibly? I don’t like it.
It reminds me of a local EYC that said that babies weren’t allowed in the evening parenting classes. Hello? By definition, you’ve now said that nursing mothers can’t attend, because they can’t leave their kids at home. Mind you, expectations for an EYC would justifiably be different than an arts workshop–but still.

3 jo(e) September 27, 2006 at 2:41 pm

Since they had a 19-years-or-older requuirement up front, it seems they are absolutely within their rights to ask the woman not to bring an infant. And they did offer to refund her registration fees. It seems to me they are acting reasonably.
I would think there might be safety issues involved in a pottery studio — dust and such. It doesn’t seem like a particularly smart move to bring an infant.
I myself would find the baby distracting if I were using the studio — even if the baby wasn’t crying.

4 jo(e) September 27, 2006 at 2:41 pm

Since they had a 19-years-or-older requuirement up front, it seems they are absolutely within their rights to ask the woman not to bring an infant. And they did offer to refund her registration fees. It seems to me they are acting reasonably.
I would think there might be safety issues involved in a pottery studio — dust and such. It doesn’t seem like a particularly smart move to bring an infant.
I myself would find the baby distracting if I were using the studio — even if the baby wasn’t crying.

5 Marla September 27, 2006 at 2:53 pm

Can I just ask why it took 3/4 of the way through the class to notify her? Why not at the door? And did she not inquire about bringing the baby before she registered for the class? I need to know more. I’m feeling really nosy now.
While I agree with Andrea as to the real discrimination here, there is this tiny, dust mote of evil in me that says an investigation ought to be conducted in order to see whether she’s been anywhere in the past while for more than three hours without her baby. If so, then that minute, teensy weensy microscopic meanie bit of me wants to suggest that she’s choosing a battle. And then, an itsy bitsy teenie weenie part of wants to say, if this is her chosen fight, “WHO DO YOU WORK FOR #2!”
I can’t wait to read all the comments you’ll get from this later.

6 Marla September 27, 2006 at 2:53 pm

Can I just ask why it took 3/4 of the way through the class to notify her? Why not at the door? And did she not inquire about bringing the baby before she registered for the class? I need to know more. I’m feeling really nosy now.
While I agree with Andrea as to the real discrimination here, there is this tiny, dust mote of evil in me that says an investigation ought to be conducted in order to see whether she’s been anywhere in the past while for more than three hours without her baby. If so, then that minute, teensy weensy microscopic meanie bit of me wants to suggest that she’s choosing a battle. And then, an itsy bitsy teenie weenie part of wants to say, if this is her chosen fight, “WHO DO YOU WORK FOR #2!”
I can’t wait to read all the comments you’ll get from this later.

7 Myra September 27, 2006 at 3:13 pm

I’m with Beanie Baby on this one.
This woman sounds like a fairly reasonable mother of three who just wants a few hours to do something she enjoys. And, this became an “anti-breastfeeding” issue the moment it involved a breastfeeding mother.
I breastfed both my girls for about 2 years each and neither would take a bottle. I recall all too well the times I knew I was going to be out for more than a couple of hours or around bedtime. Should/could I take the baby? Will she be hungry; inconsolable? Often I took the baby along, even if it hadn’t been “encouraged”. Pretty sure no one got hurt.
It doesn’t seem like the complaint was about her baby “interrupting” the class but simply based on the fact the child is under 19.
And let’s remember this is a municipally-sponsored class… not a private studio. In addition to the fee paid for the class, that woman’s tax dollars go into supporting such programs. Should they not be accessible to her?
I think it’s quite a shame.

8 Myra September 27, 2006 at 3:13 pm

I’m with Beanie Baby on this one.
This woman sounds like a fairly reasonable mother of three who just wants a few hours to do something she enjoys. And, this became an “anti-breastfeeding” issue the moment it involved a breastfeeding mother.
I breastfed both my girls for about 2 years each and neither would take a bottle. I recall all too well the times I knew I was going to be out for more than a couple of hours or around bedtime. Should/could I take the baby? Will she be hungry; inconsolable? Often I took the baby along, even if it hadn’t been “encouraged”. Pretty sure no one got hurt.
It doesn’t seem like the complaint was about her baby “interrupting” the class but simply based on the fact the child is under 19.
And let’s remember this is a municipally-sponsored class… not a private studio. In addition to the fee paid for the class, that woman’s tax dollars go into supporting such programs. Should they not be accessible to her?
I think it’s quite a shame.

9 Phantom Scribbler September 27, 2006 at 3:14 pm

I’m with jo(e). A pottery studio is probably not the safest place to bring a very young baby — most adult-level art studios involve working with substances that are potentially hazardous. There are more reasons than just ease of clean-up to explain why very young children use playdough and non-toxic fingerpaints rather than clay and oils.
I mean, it’s safer than deciding to take up bungee-jumping with a nursing infant strapped to your chest, but the comparison is a better fit than it ought to be.

10 Phantom Scribbler September 27, 2006 at 3:14 pm

I’m with jo(e). A pottery studio is probably not the safest place to bring a very young baby — most adult-level art studios involve working with substances that are potentially hazardous. There are more reasons than just ease of clean-up to explain why very young children use playdough and non-toxic fingerpaints rather than clay and oils.
I mean, it’s safer than deciding to take up bungee-jumping with a nursing infant strapped to your chest, but the comparison is a better fit than it ought to be.

11 mamaloo, the doula September 27, 2006 at 3:32 pm

I am with Beanie and Myra.
If it’s a safety issue, and I suspect its ENTIRELY a liability issue at its heart, the mother can sign off on a liability waiver, if she wants to have babe with her. If there are liability issues, of course, the woman should have had to sign off on a liability waiver for herself.
But, yes, if her exclusively breastfeeding child is not permitted, then she is being discriminated against.
On the issue of baby free spaces? If you are in a public space, what right do you (the royal you, btw, not anyone specific) to demand that it be made exclusive for your benefit and to your specifications.
If you want a baby free space, and are indulged, that’s not so different that 100 years ago wanting a Jew free space or a woman free space or… It’s a slippery slope. You can’t make it unconstitutional to discriminate against one group and sanction the discrimation of another.

12 mamaloo, the doula September 27, 2006 at 3:32 pm

I am with Beanie and Myra.
If it’s a safety issue, and I suspect its ENTIRELY a liability issue at its heart, the mother can sign off on a liability waiver, if she wants to have babe with her. If there are liability issues, of course, the woman should have had to sign off on a liability waiver for herself.
But, yes, if her exclusively breastfeeding child is not permitted, then she is being discriminated against.
On the issue of baby free spaces? If you are in a public space, what right do you (the royal you, btw, not anyone specific) to demand that it be made exclusive for your benefit and to your specifications.
If you want a baby free space, and are indulged, that’s not so different that 100 years ago wanting a Jew free space or a woman free space or… It’s a slippery slope. You can’t make it unconstitutional to discriminate against one group and sanction the discrimation of another.

13 Ali September 27, 2006 at 3:40 pm

I’m in agreement here with Danigirl. It looks like they were trying to protect theirselves against any unwarranted claims say if the baby was hurt whilst in the classroom.
Surely the mother should have realised when she looked at the advertisement for the course as it said “adults-only pottery workshop” and may be she should have checked prior to signing up for it. Anyway they have offered her, her money back so she isn’t really out of pocket and it might be an idea to wait until she has weaned the child before looking at starting any courses in the future.
When having a baby in many ways your life is put on hold unless you have a good network of carers to help you.

14 Ali September 27, 2006 at 3:40 pm

I’m in agreement here with Danigirl. It looks like they were trying to protect theirselves against any unwarranted claims say if the baby was hurt whilst in the classroom.
Surely the mother should have realised when she looked at the advertisement for the course as it said “adults-only pottery workshop” and may be she should have checked prior to signing up for it. Anyway they have offered her, her money back so she isn’t really out of pocket and it might be an idea to wait until she has weaned the child before looking at starting any courses in the future.
When having a baby in many ways your life is put on hold unless you have a good network of carers to help you.

15 BeachMama September 27, 2006 at 3:41 pm

I haven’t heard this story, but I do think that there would be huge problems with insurance having a 6 month old in a pottery studio. I am sure that there was really no issue with the breastfeeding, but an issue with a baby in a pottery class.

16 BeachMama September 27, 2006 at 3:41 pm

I haven’t heard this story, but I do think that there would be huge problems with insurance having a 6 month old in a pottery studio. I am sure that there was really no issue with the breastfeeding, but an issue with a baby in a pottery class.

17 Lugina September 27, 2006 at 3:53 pm

I don’t think it’s an anti-breastfeeding issue. I also think they should have told her on day one not to bring the baby.
My view is that it’s a safety issue and, probably, the “official” and other people in charge didn’t know what to do because they knew she was nursing and they knew it would turn in to an anti-breastfeeding issue no matter how they approached it. Kudos to them for refunding her money. I’m sure they’ll specify in the future that children are not allowed to be in the facility – even with a registered adult. I live WAY south and I don’t even know the whole story, but if I registered for an adults only class I don’t think I’d plan on bringing my baby anyway. “Adults only” kind of sets the stage for leaving kids at home, no? It’s not just nursing children – it’s all children. In this situation, I’m okay with that.
I’m all for breastfeeding. I just don’t think you should take your baby to a pottery class ~ or an aerobics class or college class or any other class unless child care is available.
I’m jealous that she has time for a pottery class with three children!! I only have two and am lucky to make it to my scrapbook “class” once a month!

18 Lugina September 27, 2006 at 3:53 pm

I don’t think it’s an anti-breastfeeding issue. I also think they should have told her on day one not to bring the baby.
My view is that it’s a safety issue and, probably, the “official” and other people in charge didn’t know what to do because they knew she was nursing and they knew it would turn in to an anti-breastfeeding issue no matter how they approached it. Kudos to them for refunding her money. I’m sure they’ll specify in the future that children are not allowed to be in the facility – even with a registered adult. I live WAY south and I don’t even know the whole story, but if I registered for an adults only class I don’t think I’d plan on bringing my baby anyway. “Adults only” kind of sets the stage for leaving kids at home, no? It’s not just nursing children – it’s all children. In this situation, I’m okay with that.
I’m all for breastfeeding. I just don’t think you should take your baby to a pottery class ~ or an aerobics class or college class or any other class unless child care is available.
I’m jealous that she has time for a pottery class with three children!! I only have two and am lucky to make it to my scrapbook “class” once a month!

19 Snack Mommy September 27, 2006 at 3:59 pm

I agree with Dani on this one. It’s not a breastfeeding issue, it’s one of safety and as Dani said, recoginizing the fact that the other adults in the class signed up for a child free atmosphere. As a woman who has battled infertility for years, and then has nursed 2 children, I can appreciate both sides of the issue.
I think the studio was completely in line with what they did. They probably waited that far into the class as they wanted to ensure they handled it appropriately. Or, perhaps, it wasn’t until sometime into the class that another particiapant(s) complained.
Either way, I think the studio handled it appropriately.

20 Snack Mommy September 27, 2006 at 3:59 pm

I agree with Dani on this one. It’s not a breastfeeding issue, it’s one of safety and as Dani said, recoginizing the fact that the other adults in the class signed up for a child free atmosphere. As a woman who has battled infertility for years, and then has nursed 2 children, I can appreciate both sides of the issue.
I think the studio was completely in line with what they did. They probably waited that far into the class as they wanted to ensure they handled it appropriately. Or, perhaps, it wasn’t until sometime into the class that another particiapant(s) complained.
Either way, I think the studio handled it appropriately.

21 alison September 27, 2006 at 4:46 pm

Ummm, couldn’t she pump a bottle of breastmilk and leave the baby with its dad or a babysitter? I breastfed both my girls, and in public too, but sometimes I wanted to go places that I didn’t want to bring my kids. And so I pumped.
I’m coming down on the side of those who say this is a safety issue and not a breastfeeding issue. It seems that it’s the presence of the baby being objected to, not the breastfeeding per se.

22 alison September 27, 2006 at 4:46 pm

Ummm, couldn’t she pump a bottle of breastmilk and leave the baby with its dad or a babysitter? I breastfed both my girls, and in public too, but sometimes I wanted to go places that I didn’t want to bring my kids. And so I pumped.
I’m coming down on the side of those who say this is a safety issue and not a breastfeeding issue. It seems that it’s the presence of the baby being objected to, not the breastfeeding per se.

23 Sharon September 27, 2006 at 8:23 pm

I wouldn;t want my kids in a studio like that. ANd I would not want to be there with someone else’s either…breast feeding or not. Breast fed both kids in public and anywhere else I choose but I would never take them to that enviroment. As long as all Babies are allowed then it’s not a breastfeeding issuse which I’m sure it is NOT. Some places are just not places to be with baby.

24 Sharon September 27, 2006 at 8:23 pm

I wouldn;t want my kids in a studio like that. ANd I would not want to be there with someone else’s either…breast feeding or not. Breast fed both kids in public and anywhere else I choose but I would never take them to that enviroment. As long as all Babies are allowed then it’s not a breastfeeding issuse which I’m sure it is NOT. Some places are just not places to be with baby.

25 Fryman September 27, 2006 at 8:48 pm

Ok, I agree with the majority in that this is not a breast feeding issue, but an access issue. My biggest question is why did she sign up in the first place? It was clearly advertised as an adult class, obviously for a reason (liability or otherwise). While I sympathize that having a newborn can be restricting to some extent, with all respect to moms with newborns (and I know many), what made her think it was OK in the first place?
Of course, you also need more info – was there a kid friendly class available? did she tell the center prior to showing up?
To see it another way – would you like to see a 12 year old at a art class specifically focused on the under 6 crowd, even if the older kid was ‘quiet’? what if an adult showed up? There would be the same result – it would ruin the atmosphere or environment that the organizers were trying to create.
As for restricting access, I totally disagree with comparing this to some sort of discrimination. Society is rife with places and activities which, most often for very good reasons, are exclusionary. Sports, especially for kids, are segregated by age and sex for safety reasons. Some gyms are women only, for reasons of comfort (guessing here – haven’t been). Movies have age limitations due to content.
Its not dicrimination as I see it, but in almost all cases an honest attempt to establish an certain environment that is comfortable and safe for those attending and those presenting – whoever they are. As long as the ‘restrictions’ are made clear ahead of time, I don’t really see a problem with it.

26 Fryman September 27, 2006 at 8:48 pm

Ok, I agree with the majority in that this is not a breast feeding issue, but an access issue. My biggest question is why did she sign up in the first place? It was clearly advertised as an adult class, obviously for a reason (liability or otherwise). While I sympathize that having a newborn can be restricting to some extent, with all respect to moms with newborns (and I know many), what made her think it was OK in the first place?
Of course, you also need more info – was there a kid friendly class available? did she tell the center prior to showing up?
To see it another way – would you like to see a 12 year old at a art class specifically focused on the under 6 crowd, even if the older kid was ‘quiet’? what if an adult showed up? There would be the same result – it would ruin the atmosphere or environment that the organizers were trying to create.
As for restricting access, I totally disagree with comparing this to some sort of discrimination. Society is rife with places and activities which, most often for very good reasons, are exclusionary. Sports, especially for kids, are segregated by age and sex for safety reasons. Some gyms are women only, for reasons of comfort (guessing here – haven’t been). Movies have age limitations due to content.
Its not dicrimination as I see it, but in almost all cases an honest attempt to establish an certain environment that is comfortable and safe for those attending and those presenting – whoever they are. As long as the ‘restrictions’ are made clear ahead of time, I don’t really see a problem with it.

27 ella September 27, 2006 at 11:24 pm

I really don’t like the idea of excluding babies from public events and places unless there is a very good reason; safety would be one of them. Excluding babies seems to me to be just one more way to marginalise mothers, especially breastfeeding mothers.
Having said that I wouldn’t have signed up for a class like that with a small baby because I would have felt uncomfortable taking her. But I would have liked to know that I could have gone if I’d wanted to!

28 ella September 27, 2006 at 11:24 pm

I really don’t like the idea of excluding babies from public events and places unless there is a very good reason; safety would be one of them. Excluding babies seems to me to be just one more way to marginalise mothers, especially breastfeeding mothers.
Having said that I wouldn’t have signed up for a class like that with a small baby because I would have felt uncomfortable taking her. But I would have liked to know that I could have gone if I’d wanted to!

29 Rev. Dr. Mom September 27, 2006 at 11:25 pm

I too think this is a safety issue and it would be better if whoever asked her to not have the baby there had said so.
As for baby-free spaces, not so much. I totally agree with mamaloo about that.

30 Rev. Dr. Mom September 27, 2006 at 11:25 pm

I too think this is a safety issue and it would be better if whoever asked her to not have the baby there had said so.
As for baby-free spaces, not so much. I totally agree with mamaloo about that.

31 Kate September 28, 2006 at 1:14 am

I agree with jo(e) and Phantom.
I am facing this issue myself. My book club is in two weeks. I attended with AM when he was one month and two months old; he slept or nursed 95% of the time. We didn’t meet in August and last month I didn’t go. Now he’s five months, and frankly, I think he has the potential to be a disruption. Not necessarily a crying, cranky one, but a happy, gurgly one. (And I don’t like the book we’re discussing, so I want to be able to focus on that.)
It’s not anti-baby crowd–it’s full of moms and grandmas–but meetings should be about the books. AM will be at home.

32 Kate September 28, 2006 at 1:14 am

I agree with jo(e) and Phantom.
I am facing this issue myself. My book club is in two weeks. I attended with AM when he was one month and two months old; he slept or nursed 95% of the time. We didn’t meet in August and last month I didn’t go. Now he’s five months, and frankly, I think he has the potential to be a disruption. Not necessarily a crying, cranky one, but a happy, gurgly one. (And I don’t like the book we’re discussing, so I want to be able to focus on that.)
It’s not anti-baby crowd–it’s full of moms and grandmas–but meetings should be about the books. AM will be at home.

33 mamaloo, the doula September 28, 2006 at 2:42 am

I’d like to add a couple of things ( or maybe, add one thing and clarify another).
First, the clarification: I think that if you have to purchase a membership, the place isn’t wholly public. I was talking about public spaces.
Second, the addition: I used to work in art studios. I’ve even been present in the room for bronze pours. I’ve been around a lot of different chemicals, pigments, powders and anything that could constitute a potential respitory or physical hazard. Unless the studio where the woman was working was freakishly small, there really isn’t going to be much risk of baby being in harm’s way if s/he’s off to the side hanging out quietly in a seat.
Third, and you just knew I had to get an extra point in: small babies usually get admittance to places children and teens can’t, by virtue of their being, mostly, immobile. Such as pubs. It is certainly a grand tradition around here to have an infant (and even a well behaved small child now that there is no smoking in Ontario pubs and restaurants) along for a relaxing afternoon pint (the genteel kind, not the “we’re ignoring baby and getting drunk kind”). I would assume that the woman thought this was a similar situation.

34 mamaloo, the doula September 28, 2006 at 2:42 am

I’d like to add a couple of things ( or maybe, add one thing and clarify another).
First, the clarification: I think that if you have to purchase a membership, the place isn’t wholly public. I was talking about public spaces.
Second, the addition: I used to work in art studios. I’ve even been present in the room for bronze pours. I’ve been around a lot of different chemicals, pigments, powders and anything that could constitute a potential respitory or physical hazard. Unless the studio where the woman was working was freakishly small, there really isn’t going to be much risk of baby being in harm’s way if s/he’s off to the side hanging out quietly in a seat.
Third, and you just knew I had to get an extra point in: small babies usually get admittance to places children and teens can’t, by virtue of their being, mostly, immobile. Such as pubs. It is certainly a grand tradition around here to have an infant (and even a well behaved small child now that there is no smoking in Ontario pubs and restaurants) along for a relaxing afternoon pint (the genteel kind, not the “we’re ignoring baby and getting drunk kind”). I would assume that the woman thought this was a similar situation.

35 JoJo September 28, 2006 at 3:30 am

Wow. The comments are almost as good as the post (don’t worry hon, almost) . ๐Ÿ™‚
I think if ti’s a safety issue then it ends there. Safety first.
However, I fought tooth and nail to breastfeed Amelia. I had a very low supply and I pumped after every.single. feed for 6 months. I took Fenugreek and Blessed thistle. I took Domperidone and I used a Lact-Aid instead of a bottle so I could hopefully raise my prolactin levels enough to supply all the milk she needed. If someone would have suggested to me that I leave my baby at home they would still be removing my foot from their ass.
The city cannot plaster their campaign for “Breast is Best” all ovet the damn city if they are not willing to do everything in their power to support it. So I don;t think it’s a question of her “right” to nurse. I think it’s a question of do they support that right? What are they doing to protect that right?

36 JoJo September 28, 2006 at 3:30 am

Wow. The comments are almost as good as the post (don’t worry hon, almost) . ๐Ÿ™‚
I think if ti’s a safety issue then it ends there. Safety first.
However, I fought tooth and nail to breastfeed Amelia. I had a very low supply and I pumped after every.single. feed for 6 months. I took Fenugreek and Blessed thistle. I took Domperidone and I used a Lact-Aid instead of a bottle so I could hopefully raise my prolactin levels enough to supply all the milk she needed. If someone would have suggested to me that I leave my baby at home they would still be removing my foot from their ass.
The city cannot plaster their campaign for “Breast is Best” all ovet the damn city if they are not willing to do everything in their power to support it. So I don;t think it’s a question of her “right” to nurse. I think it’s a question of do they support that right? What are they doing to protect that right?

37 Marla September 28, 2006 at 4:14 am

Having now read the article and the subsequent comments, I agree with the majority – it isn’t a breastfeeding issue…unless it is. I know she just wanted three hours of sanity a week, since she has other young kids…but, I’ll say it again. I’d want to know if, in the past five months, even with her husband’s difficult schedule, she’s ever spent three hours away from her nursing baby. But, since I can’t know, I can’t say anything more.

38 Marla September 28, 2006 at 4:14 am

Having now read the article and the subsequent comments, I agree with the majority – it isn’t a breastfeeding issue…unless it is. I know she just wanted three hours of sanity a week, since she has other young kids…but, I’ll say it again. I’d want to know if, in the past five months, even with her husband’s difficult schedule, she’s ever spent three hours away from her nursing baby. But, since I can’t know, I can’t say anything more.

39 kris September 28, 2006 at 4:44 am

Okay, I guess I am mean, but if I were paying for that class, I wouldn’t want to have the baby there. When I was in grad school, one of the students used to bring her infant to class. He was generally pretty quiet, but when he did make noise, it was really distracting. Even when she took him outside to cry, it was after the class had been interrupted as he started his crying jag and she hurried out. I think that people in an “adults only” class can reasonably expect that there won’t be any children there.

40 kris September 28, 2006 at 4:44 am

Okay, I guess I am mean, but if I were paying for that class, I wouldn’t want to have the baby there. When I was in grad school, one of the students used to bring her infant to class. He was generally pretty quiet, but when he did make noise, it was really distracting. Even when she took him outside to cry, it was after the class had been interrupted as he started his crying jag and she hurried out. I think that people in an “adults only” class can reasonably expect that there won’t be any children there.

41 owlhaven. September 28, 2006 at 4:59 am

I nursed my oldest in college classes for 3 months. She was born just 3 months before I completed my nursing degree. I sat in the back and kept her quiet. No one had a lick of trouble with it.
I did leave her sometimes– I had to be away from her two 7 hour days per week, to complete my in-hospital practice. But frankly, I was not about to leave her home a minute longer than I had to.
Maybe the pottery mom was a working mom who had to be away from her baby some already. (not that it matters, really. I think she was totally within her rights to bring the baby.)
Here from bub and pie
Mary, mom to many

42 owlhaven. September 28, 2006 at 4:59 am

I nursed my oldest in college classes for 3 months. She was born just 3 months before I completed my nursing degree. I sat in the back and kept her quiet. No one had a lick of trouble with it.
I did leave her sometimes– I had to be away from her two 7 hour days per week, to complete my in-hospital practice. But frankly, I was not about to leave her home a minute longer than I had to.
Maybe the pottery mom was a working mom who had to be away from her baby some already. (not that it matters, really. I think she was totally within her rights to bring the baby.)
Here from bub and pie
Mary, mom to many

43 DaniGirl September 28, 2006 at 12:37 pm

First, can I tell you all how much I love you for taking what could be a divisive topic and offering such varied, smart and above all POLITE comments on the subject? I’m so proud of y’all!
And how interesting that it’s our token male participant (Fryman) who so perfectly expressed what I was trying to say in my post. *hat tip*

44 DaniGirl September 28, 2006 at 12:37 pm

First, can I tell you all how much I love you for taking what could be a divisive topic and offering such varied, smart and above all POLITE comments on the subject? I’m so proud of y’all!
And how interesting that it’s our token male participant (Fryman) who so perfectly expressed what I was trying to say in my post. *hat tip*

45 nancy September 28, 2006 at 12:55 pm

I am late. But my first thought was “OMG all the dust and stuff!” cause I have done pottery in a studio before, is there even room for a baby?
Totally agree with (can’t remember who and too lazy to go back and look) can you not pump and leave a bottle? or even one bottle of formula with the father or sitter?
Anyway, terrific comments and like you said, most polite.

46 nancy September 28, 2006 at 12:55 pm

I am late. But my first thought was “OMG all the dust and stuff!” cause I have done pottery in a studio before, is there even room for a baby?
Totally agree with (can’t remember who and too lazy to go back and look) can you not pump and leave a bottle? or even one bottle of formula with the father or sitter?
Anyway, terrific comments and like you said, most polite.

47 Jen September 28, 2006 at 3:15 pm

I imagine it is a safety/liability thing. It’s too bad when things like this are spun another way. Making lots of places mother-friendly is a definite must if we really value children the way we say we do but I’d be working on getting pumping rooms and daycares in all places of work before I started to campaign for infant-friendly rock-climbing classes.

48 Jen September 28, 2006 at 3:15 pm

I imagine it is a safety/liability thing. It’s too bad when things like this are spun another way. Making lots of places mother-friendly is a definite must if we really value children the way we say we do but I’d be working on getting pumping rooms and daycares in all places of work before I started to campaign for infant-friendly rock-climbing classes.

49 twinmomplusone October 1, 2006 at 8:43 pm

another late commentor but really, pump and leave baby home OR wait a few more months before taking the course
my 2 cents

50 twinmomplusone October 1, 2006 at 8:43 pm

another late commentor but really, pump and leave baby home OR wait a few more months before taking the course
my 2 cents

51 Guinevere Meadow October 2, 2006 at 10:40 pm

Hi, I clicked over here from someone’s blogroll. I found your blog title intriguing! Anyway, after reading this it seems to ME that since the class is blatantly advertised as an “adults-only” class, then there was no discrimination here. The playground at McDonalds has a height requirement- are they discriminating against short children because they aren’t allowed in the playplace? Now, if this class was NOT advertised as an adults-only class, then yes I would say she was being discriminated against. However, it seems the situation was handled well by the staff- she was approached about it, offered her money back, and was apparantly not harassed about it. (Of course, I haven’t read any of the news reports about it, just reading what you have here!) She KNEW she was going into an adults-only place, and she chose to broke the rules.
Just my opinion. ๐Ÿ™‚

52 Guinevere Meadow October 2, 2006 at 10:40 pm

Hi, I clicked over here from someone’s blogroll. I found your blog title intriguing! Anyway, after reading this it seems to ME that since the class is blatantly advertised as an “adults-only” class, then there was no discrimination here. The playground at McDonalds has a height requirement- are they discriminating against short children because they aren’t allowed in the playplace? Now, if this class was NOT advertised as an adults-only class, then yes I would say she was being discriminated against. However, it seems the situation was handled well by the staff- she was approached about it, offered her money back, and was apparantly not harassed about it. (Of course, I haven’t read any of the news reports about it, just reading what you have here!) She KNEW she was going into an adults-only place, and she chose to broke the rules.
Just my opinion. ๐Ÿ™‚

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