Story by: Elizabeth Doyle, M.D. on January 10, 2017
Making the news from time to time is a story about a woman who was asked to leave a public place because she was breastfeeding. We have recently seen stories about moms in stores, airports and restaurants who were told to leave or to nurse in a bathroom.
Breastfeeding mothers also often are subjected to stares and negative comments. Some of the mothers I work with view breastfeeding in public as a huge barrier that is very difficult to overcome. In fact, some moms are afraid to even try breastfeeding due to their concerns with nursing their baby outside the privacy of their own home.
Pope Francis recently invited mothers to breastfeed in the Sistine Chapel, in the heart of the Vatican. He told them during a recent baptism service, “You mothers, go ahead and breastfeed, without fear.” When a baby needs to eat, a baby needs to eat.
Breastfeeding is the best way to feed your baby, and there is no shame in it. A nursing mother, by law, is allowed to breastfeed in any place she is allowed to be. What, then, are some ways you can make breastfeeding in public easier?
See more tips on how to make breastfeeding easier.
More moms in Kentucky are giving breastfeeding a try, but we still have work to do — Kentucky ranks well below the national breastfeeding average. If you see a woman breastfeeding in public, remember that the law allows her to breastfeed anywhere.
If you see someone breastfeeding:
If you are a nursing mom and have a negative experience while nursing in public, there is help. Best for Babes, a nonprofit breastfeeding promotion/mother support organization, has a hotline for such issues. Call (855) NIP-FREE for support and help in understanding your rights.
Learn more about returning to work while breastfeeding.
Do you know about the Baby Bistro & Boutique at Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital? Find everything you need for breastfeeding all in one place, including access to lactation consultants.
The Baby Bistro & Boutique is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call (502) 899-6530.