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farking hell [Jun. 30th, 2006|02:14 pm]
[Current Mood |crankycranky]

I was reading over on Fark.com and they came up with a funny story about the La Leche League doing a nurse-in at Victoria's Secret because a manager was not well trained and told a mother not to nurse in their store. Corporate issues an apology and the manager gets a stern talking too.

Legally, pretty much every state in the US specifically allows nursing in public. In fact, a specific exemption has been made in the laws of almost every state to exclude public nursing from the public indecency laws. The logical reason for the exclusion being where do you draw the line about it, it is kind of an all or nothing deal. La Leche League and the medical community have pushed for a growing acceptance of public nursing.

La Leche League has worked very hard to the the APA and the rest of the medical community on board with the plan to make breastfeeding the most common means of feeding an infant. Now, I gave birth to my little girl five months ago and the difference from five years ago at the same hospital was astounding. They were actively frowning on giving babies bottles and doing whatever they needed to do to convince new mothers to try nursing.

I nurse anyway and both my kids refuse bottles completely. Yes, that's right, they wouldn't take a bottle no matter how you offer it. This actually is fairly common among breast-fed babies. They get so used to the real thing nothing else will do. An aversion to pacifiers is also common. Nipple confusion both is and isn't a myth. It is a myth that you can only offer the breast to a newborn because the newborn will get confused with the bottle. It is not a myth in that for older babies, two to three months old, they do get confused about how to handle a bottle when they have only ever had the breast.

There is a way to nurse in public without offending everyone around you. Its called a blanket. I'm serious. You put a blanket over your shoulder, lift your shirt, unlatch the bra and latch on the baby. No one needs to be the wiser, you are not making a scene and the kid gets fed. The blanket trick usually settles down so they nurse nicely too.

There are also these things called nursing shirts. They allow for easy access without being total exposure of things that aren't so pretty, like the post-partum belly. With a good nursing shirt, you don't even need the blanket. Seriously, nursing shirts can be bought for around fifteen dollars at the maternity store in their nursing sections. They are not that expensive. Consider it a small price to pay for other people's comfort and compare it to how much you would otherwise spend on formula.

As for where to nurse, unless there is a ladies lounge, nursing in a public restroom is unsanitary. First, there is no place to sit down. While you can carry a baby and nurse at the same time in what's called the "cradle hold" your arms get so tired you risk dropping the infant. Second, consider how well cleaned those restrooms usually are? You can't put a diaper bag down on the ground for anything.

Dressing rooms are a good choice for the shy. They have a place to sit most of the time. Even if the changing room is just a stall there is usually a seat that can be had that is outside of them. It's semi-private and most places are very good about making the attempt to keep their dressing room areas clean if not neat and tidy. They are; however, meant for trying on clothes and as such if the store is busy using one of their rooms is not very polite. Most of the time the kid can wait long enough to find a seat on the floor a little ways away so that you can watch your friends try on nice outfits and tell them if it suits them while nursing away.

The best possible place to go nurse is of course any place that has been set aside for nursing. Nursing lounges are becoming a positive fashion in the malls. At the mall nearest us, there is one right off the food court and a merry go round for older children to enjoy while mommy has the baby nursing about thirty feet away. Several stores are also returning to the concept of the ladies lounge with seats away from the toilets and sinks to rest on.

What gets me is Victoria Secret doesn't even sell nursing bras. I mean get real, don't protest one store employee being an idiot, protest the lack of good bras. Nursing bras are so unsexy it isn't even funny. Hell, they only just came out with other colors then white a year or two ago, I'm told. I'd like a red one. ;)

[User Picture]From: jenihe80
2006-06-30 09:15 pm (UTC)
I'm all for breast feeding. Hell, if I ever decide to have kids they'll be breast fed. Public breast feeding doesn't offend me in the least (as long as they're not being completely indecent about it). However, some of the "boob nazis" (not my term :-D) on LJ think it's wrong to even ask a woman to cover up when breast feeding. "It's completely natural. And if I want to walk around topless while feeding my infant, it should be accepted". Yeah, someone on customers_suck actually said that in response to a post about a woman who was walking around a grocery store breast feeding with her boobs fully exposed. *eyeroll*

Anyway, the point of this rambling comment is that I agree with you. :)
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[User Picture]From: telosphilos
2006-07-01 02:13 am (UTC)
Yes, it is completely natural and short of a major wardrobe malfunction, you should try to be discrete. Hell, its completely natural to walk around naked and that sure isn't legal most of the time either. Only one boob needs to be exposed at a time lady. *sigh* People can be stupid.
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[User Picture]From: iamzuul
2006-07-01 01:35 am (UTC)
Nursing a baby is completely natural, and while I have to agree that (baring some basic ways to remain fairly decent like using a blanket because seriously, I don't care if I'm nursing a baby, no one needs to see my breast in public) nursing in public is great, I can't agree with how hard hospitals are starting to push breast feeding these days.

There are very good, very legitimate reasons why a mother won't/can't/shouldn't breast-feed her child, such as her health (she's anemic or has HIV or has some other health problems), the baby's health (the child is allergic to milk or lactose intolerant or has jaundice and needs the extra iron), or the mother simply can't produce enough milk. And I've heard a lot about mothers who have felt frowned upon by the health industry or somehow inadequate and failures as mothers because they can't/won't/shouldn't breast-feed their children.

Something like this should remain a suggestion, like the suggestion to eat a balanced diet with so many servings of veggies and meat a day. There are plenty of good reasons to breast feed, and just as many good reasons to not breast feed. And because of that I'm disappointed at the health industry's need to push this current fad.

/soap box
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[User Picture]From: telosphilos
2006-07-01 02:10 am (UTC)
We agree on all points. I don't much care if people see me feeding my baby in public and I've had plenty of occasion to prove it, but I do try to be discrete about it.

I'm very bothered by how hard they are pushing that trend. Frankly, breast-feeding is practical if you are with your baby all the time and not everyone can do that. Formula is a pretty good substitute. Women who go back to work really should bottle feed or supliment. I've spent over a year of my life with a baby on the teat at this point, there is just no way I could have done that if I had gone back to work.

New moms are often made to feel as if the medical industry is fault-finding. Post partum depression isn't just hormonal, the doctors can make it worse. My sister in law acted like her mommy card was going to get taken away when she didn't have enough milk. She still tries often and suppliments with formula for my neice, but part of that is because they get better benifits from WIC. Why does WIC even care?
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[User Picture]From: lookfar
2007-02-19 12:27 pm (UTC)
Would you friend me?

I have to say -- I was a LLL leader for five years -- that no one in Northern Virginia has ever said boo to me about public breastfeeding. With my first, he was so cranky and needy we did it everywhere. I made him stop nursing in public when he was about 3 1/2, though, because I thought the effect was perplexing to people (what's that kid doing?). All I ever got was smiles from other moms. I can't figure out what bugs people so much, since you can't see any breast at all unless you are using a telescope.
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[User Picture]From: telosphilos
2007-02-19 02:26 pm (UTC)
Where have I seen you before? Your name sounds familiar to me. I'm not terribly comfortable friending people out of the blue. I like having a context for where I met thus and such person. My lj is friends only for a reason.

When we lived in Northern Virginia, I was not nursing and I never actually saw anyone not being discrete. Here in Texas, I've seen occasions where some poor mommies have had it all hanging out in public, usually waiting on the bus. Texas in the summer is miserably hot. It makes no sense at all to try and do a blanket because it is just too hot. A good nursing shirt on the other hand does still provide the decent coverage without overheating everyone.

The indiscrete nursing is more of a problem where the weather is hotter and blankets aren't all that practical. Yes it is legal to run around with your shirt off completely if you are nursing a baby. I'd rather not have my kids seeing that though. My kids seeing other mommies nursing their babies in public, fine with me. My kids seeing someone running around topless when I'm trying to teach them to keep their shirts on, not so much. The beach is one thing, but just at random is another as it undermines my teaching my children the accepted cultural mores of our society.
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[User Picture]From: lookfar
2007-02-20 01:59 am (UTC)
Why, we've been in the same circle for ages. Probably because I think we're both friends of either Rickfan37 or Whitemunin or both. Maybe you read a fanfic I wrote called Jehane Desrosiers? I was on Snapecast! Do you know you me because I'm famis? You could look at my LJ (coax, coax). I want to enlarge my circle, and I run across your LJ comments sometimes and like what I read.
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[User Picture]From: telosphilos
2007-02-20 02:16 am (UTC)
Ah, it'd be Rickfan37's lj. Whitemunin and I don't talk much. I enjoy her fics, but she's never been on my flist.

I'm afraid my lj is usually pretty boring. I've been totally heads down in motherhood lately. My kids are the center of my world. I use lj to keep track of things since mommy brain set in. I used to have such a good memory, particularly in the short term. :)
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[User Picture]From: lookfar
2007-02-20 02:50 am (UTC)
I think mine are older than yours, but my LJ is pretty family/kid centered. I like to read about people's daily lives. Some LJs are political, or fannish, or "here's a link" oriented and that doesn't spark my interest as much. I also see that you have an interest in autism; have you ever noticed how common that is on LJ? In my teeny flist of about 12, two have autistic children. I don't, but I think there's an auty strain in my family. My brother's son has Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder, my own son has a mild case of SI, and I'm convinced that my 94 year old father has Asperger's. So why are all the Auty Types on the internet?

How do you use LJ to keep track of things?
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[User Picture]From: telosphilos
2007-02-20 03:11 am (UTC)
I post to do lists so I don't lose track of things that need done as stuff gets hectic. I post little details that would easily be overlooked if undocumented or remembered, but the day and time forgotten.

Autism has really had an upswing both in diagnosis and an actual increase in cases. No one knows why. The latest figures are that one child in 150 is on the spectrum. They've identified at least three highly probable gene sites for the disorders to be genetic. We still don't know why boys have a much higher rate then girls. Nothing they have spotted yet is on the X-chromosome which seems a bit odd considering the way the numbers skew.

I think a lot of families with autism turn to the internet because you can find more data online then anywhere else. The doctors only know so much. The teachers only know so much. Even the specialists only know so much. It's left to the parents and sometimes to a case worker to put it all together to form the most appropriate treatment for the child. You wind up feeling out what other people are doing, what works for one family, what works for another. It give you a place to start on evaluating what's best for your kid.

My kid is doing twice weekly speech therapy for an hour each session. He's also in a speech/language classroom for kindergardeners. It's a special ed classroom, but all the specials like art, gym, and music are with mainstream kids. I'm also seriously considering the special ed version of little league for some more, but not quite completely, mainstreamed game play.

Add in that we have a baby girl and a second baby girl on the way, I'm generally rather active. I've added you, you can see what I mean about this being very mommy oriented. This week should be relatively tame, but last week I wouldn't wish on anyone.
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[User Picture]From: lookfar
2007-02-20 11:29 am (UTC)
Thanks for the friending!
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