This is a two part series. Part I will give you tons of facts, and in part II, I shall climb onto my soap box and give you tons of opinion.
In case you want to read for yourself, all of the included information I got from www.bluegrassmoms.com and www.4woman.gov. I have not learned how to do a direct link, nor do I have time to figure it out right now, sorry. Anywho...
Wisconsin, June 2006...A mother, shopping in a Victoria's Secret store with a friend, asks to use a dressing room to nurse her baby. She is told that dressing rooms are for customers only and is offered the employee bathroom. She declines to use the bathroom to breastfeed and says that she would rather sit in a chair in the back of the dressing room. The associate tells her that is not acceptable, she would rather her not nurse in the store in front of customers.
Lexington, KY, July 2007....A mother and her children are meeting family at Applebee's on Richmond Rd. for lunch. The mother strategicly asks for a corner booth in case she needs to feed her baby. At some point during lunch she begins nursing and the waitress asks if she would mind to cover with a blanket, another table could see her feeding her baby and had complained. She apoligized and explained that she did not carry blankets with her in the middle of summer, but offered to re-position herself so the table could not see her from the front. This was still unexceptable and the manager quickly came out to ask the lady to leave.
Berea, KY, August 2008....(World Breastfeeding Month...may I add) A young mother meets her parents at a local McDonald's. When her baby gets fussy, she places her oversized purse on the table in front of her to act as a visual shield while she nurses. The manager catches a glimps of what she is doing and demands that she stop and go to the bathroom. The young mother thankfully knew her rights and calls the police. By the time the police get to the location she is through nursing and is told that since the nursing "incident" was over there was nothing to be done. The manager asks the police to escort the young mother out of the restaurant.
There is a Kentucky law that says a woman has a legal right to breastfeed her child, without harrassment or interference, in any location-public or private-that she has a right to otherwise be. The problem with this law is that there are NO consequences for businesses that break the law by harrassing the breastfeeding mother or asking her to leave the premises without good reason. The law further states that each Kentucky town can enforce a civil fine of up to $2,000, if they so choose, to any person/business-private or public-who breaks this law.
To make the issue even more sticky, the business owner can claim indecent exposure as a reason for calling the police, which there IS a fine for and possibly jail time. AND a person who is asked to leave a location in front of a police officer and is not agreeable, can be arrested and charged with tresspassing.
*Of the 50 states, Kentucky ranks 50th in both breastfeeding initiation and breastfeeding continuance, according to the Center for Disease Control
*The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a baby be breastfed exclusively for 6 months, and that a mother should continue breastfeeding while introducing solids until the baby turns 1 yr. According to the AAP, breastfeeding after 1 yr of age can be continues if desired by either mother or baby.
*However, the World Health Organization suggests that every child should be breast fed until the age of 2yr for optimal physical and brain development and to further encourage bonding between mother and child.
*Breast milk is the most complete form of nutrition for infants, and a mother's milk is tailored specificly for her baby's needs. The amazing thing about breast milk is that it adjusts nutritionally as a baby grows. (The milk that my body makes for Sydney now is different that the milk that I made when she was a newborn. How cool is that!)
*Adults who were breastfed as infants, have less obesity problems.
*Breast milk is easier to digest than formula, so less spit-up, less stomach cramps for babies, less gas....which results in a more content (less fussy)baby.
*No slaps in the face intended but... in multiple studies, adults who were breast fed as babies, consistantly showed higher IQ results those who were formula fed.
*Breast feeding lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancer for both the mother and female nursing baby. Also, nursing lowers the risk of osteoporosis after menapause.
*Studies prove that babies who are soothed by offering skin-to-skin physical contact on a regular basis (which breastfeeding provides that type of contact) are more secure-feeling, content, and in general, show a stronger bond to their mothers.
*Breast milk boosts immunities and antibodies in babies, leading to fewer allergies, less sickness due to bacteria, and stronger immune systems.
*It makes life easier...no measuring, heating, or packing.
*Breastfeeding saves on health care costs since breastfed babies are typically healthier, there are fewer doctor visits, hospitalizations, and prescriptions.
*Breastfeeding mothers miss less work, as their children are sick less often. This statement has both truth and longevity. Adults, teens, and children who were breastfed as babies are healthier individuals and tend to miss work less or cause their parents to miss work less for illness related absenses.
*Breastfeeding is better for the environment because there is no trash or plastic produced by bottles or formula cans.
*The last fact that you should know is that I am a LACTIVIST, and proud of it. If you make me mad, I will yank my "bobos" out and squirt you in the face with breastmilk!