"The dispute with Applebee's began June 14. Ryan chose a booth in the back of the restaurant away from other customers. When her baby, Michael, got hungry, she began to nurse him discreetly, she said.But a waitress came over and said that if she wanted to breast-feed, she had to cover the baby with a blanket. Ryan said it was so hot that she didn't have a blanket. The waitress then repeated her request. Ryan said she then asked to see the manager and handed him a copy of the 2006 Kentucky law that prohibits interference with a woman breast-feeding her baby in public.The manager said he knew about the law but a customer had complained about indecent exposure, so she had to cover the baby with a blanket."
Now, many of you know about my love-hate relationship with breastfeeding. I do it because my babies are the most important people in the world to me, and breastmilk is the ideal, optimal food for them...but I don't claim to love it all the time. In fact, some days I downright hate it. There are times when it's nice to be rocking in my glider, feeding a baby, and amazed at how my body is able to perfectly nourish these two little beings. And there are other days, days when the babies seem constantly hungry, and I feel like I have parasites attached to me 24-7; and so I pull them off of me and announce, "You're weaned!" But inevitably, within 20 minutes I'm nursing one or the other again.
What I just do not understand is how some people are so offended by breastfeeding mothers. You are providing nourishment for a child, for Pete's sake. There's nothing indecent about that. ANY doctor will tell you how beneficial it is to breastfeed, and every bit of research proves it. But there is still this taboo about nursing in public that I just don't get, despite the fact that we live in a nation of fairly educated, informed people.
I had my first encounter with this taboo last weekend. Charlotte was exceptionally cranky, and we were out at a restaurant, in a private room, for a 30th birthday party. I went to the corner of the room, where there were maybe five people, and sat down to nurse Charlotte. I was discreet, and used my sling to cover up, but I got an incredibly nasty glance. No one said anything directly to me, but that was perhaps because Charlotte didn't want to nurse right then. If I had actually sat there and nursed her, there might have been a few comments. I'm not sure how I would have reacted, but I'd like to think I'd be both intelligent and poised.
I respect a mother's right NOT to breastfeed. I would expect nursing mothers to receive the same courtesy.