Posts Tagged ‘ public breastfeeding ’

Breastfeeding Mom’s Free Dinner Goes Viral

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

A waitress at a Des Moines, Iowa restaurant who paid for a breastfeeding mother’s pizza dinner and gave her a note thanking her for breastfeeding her baby has gone viral across mom blogs and social media sites, with more than 2,000 Facebook shares alone.  Reactions range from cheers of support to disagreement that public breastfeeding should be rewarded or celebrated.  More from Yahoo! Shine:

Jackie Johnson-Smith, 33, a stay-at-home mother from Ankeny, Iowa was celebrating her 33rd birthday on Sunday at Fong’s Pizza in Des Moines with her husband and their three kids, ages 4, 3, and 12 months, when her youngest started fussing. “I usually don’t go downtown for dinner because lots of places aren’t family-friendly but I had heard good things about Fong’s,” Johnson-Smith told Yahoo! Shine. “It was chaotic—I had one kid licking the honey container on the table, another standing on his chair, and my baby was fussing.”

So Johnson-Smith threw on a nursing cover and began discreetly breastfeeding her 12-month-old. “I usually don’t like to breastfeed in public because people can be judgmental,” she says. “The waitress kept walking by, and I was worried she didn’t want me nursing in the restaurant.” Eventually, worried that her baby would continue crying, Johnson-Smith left the restaurant and finished nursing in the car.

Shortly after, Johnson-Smith’s husband walked out with a huge smile on his face. “He handed me the dinner receipt and at first I was confused—why is he showing me how much my birthday dinner cost?” said Johnson-Smith. To her surprise, there was a handwritten note on the paper:  ‘I bought one of your pizzas. Please thank your wife for breastfeeding!’

“I was in total shock and started tearing up,” said Johnson-Smith. “After dealing with people’s reactions for so long, it was like the universe was giving me a pat on the back. I was too stunned to go back inside and thank the waitress.”

…[Waitress Bodi] Kinney, a mother herself, is familiar with the burden of breastfeeding in public. “Although I nurse my baby no matter where I am—at the supermarket, in clothing stores—people often react negatively. Recently, I had to leave my daughter’s school play to nurse my 8-month-old for fear of offending someone. I wanted to let this woman know in some shape or form, that she was doing the right thing.”

Image: Receipt from waitress Bodi Kinney, via Yahoo! Shine

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Breastfeeding at Mormon Meetings: Debate Growing

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Mothers who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as Mormons, are among the most likely groups of American moms to breastfeed, but a debate is growing over the extent to which moms need to “cover up” while feeding their babies.  Peggy Fletcher Stack reports for the Salt Lake Tribune:

Indeed, Utah, with its predominant Mormon faith, has one of the highest percentages of breast-feeding moms in the nation, according to a 2012 report card from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 86 percent of children are breast-fed at some point, with 64.4 percent still nursing at 6 months, compared with 47.2 percent nationwide.

In recent years, however, some Mormon moms in and out of the Beehive State have faced criticism, gossip and even reprimands from church leaders for “not completely covering up.”

As a new mother in Provo about three years ago, Heather Moore-Farley got a call from her Relief Society president, asking her to use a blanket or go to the mothers’ lounge in the women’s bathroom to breast-feed to protect others’ sensitivities. Then her bishop suggested Moore-Farley and her husband pray about it. They did and got the same answer: She was doing nothing wrong.

Sometime later, another ward member confronted the couple as they were walking home from church and accused her of “contributing to the pornography problem” and “not keeping [her] covenants.”

Moore-Farley felt hurt and angry, but it didn’t change her mind about breast-feeding. She began to collect stories like hers from other Mormon moms. The couple eventually moved to the Bay Area and had no more trouble nursing subsequent children at church.

Verbal attacks on lactating mothers from many backgrounds, though, have continued — even as proponents have grown more vocal and better organized in defense of their rights.

Image: Breastfeeding mom, via Shutterstock

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Leave Our Photos Alone! Breastfeeding Moms Stage Facebook Protest

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Breastfeeding moms staged nurse-ins at Facebook headquarters this week, protesting the networking site’s practice of removing photos of women nursing their children.

The Huffington Post reports the protest was launched by Emma Kwasnica, a Vancouver, Canada mother and breastfeeding advocate who has posted more than 200 photos of herself nursing her children and says her account has been suspended repeatedly for violating the site’s no-nudity policy.

About 60 protesters gathered in front of Facebook’s Menlo Park offices on Monday, and similar protests were planned in New York; Toronto; Austin, Texas; Seattle; London; Paris; Amsterdam; Madrid; Singapore; Dublin, Ireland; and Sydney. Protesters say they want to make the point that breastfeeding isn’t obscene.

The San Francisco Chronicle offered more details:

Facebook officials said that breastfeeding photos are taken down only when they are flagged as inappropriate and that sometimes errors happen.

But protesters called on the social-networking giant to better train employees to recognize legitimate photos and to institute a better way to contact the company when an error is made, especially one that causes a member’s account to be suspended.

“There’s no excuse for anyone to be harassed for breastfeeding,” said Jodine Chase, who was among about 60 protesters who helped organize the nurse-in outside Facebook headquarters. “We want Facebook to leave breastfeeding alone.”

Earlier this year, Facebook issued a statement about its policies to the Huffington Post:

“The vast majority of breastfeeding photos are compliant with our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Facebook takes no action on such content. However, photos which contain a fully exposed breast, do violate our terms and may be removed if they are reported to us. These policies are based on the same standards that apply to television and print media. It is important to note that photos upon which we act are almost exclusively brought to our attention by other users who complain about them being shared on Facebook.”

Readers, share your thoughts: Do photos of breastfeeding belong on Facebook?

Image: via The Huffington Post.

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NASCAR Driver Sparks Breastfeeding Controversy with Tweets

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Kasey Kahne, a NASCAR driver with a large fan base, sparked a firestorm of debate across social media sites after he posted remarks suggesting that it’s immodest for women to breastfeed in public.

As The Huffington Post reports, the controversy started Tuesday when Kahne posted on Twitter, “Just walking through supermarket. See a mom breast feeding little kid. Took second look because I was obviously seeing things. I wasn’t!”  He then posted that he had lost his appetite because of the sight.

Fans immediately responded, posting 400 comments and over 1,000 “likes” on Kahne’s Facebook page, which is linked to his Twitter feed. Responses ranged from messages of support from others who are offended by public breastfeeding, and outrage from mothers who defend their right to feed their babies wherever they chose.

By Wednesday evening, Kahne had published an apology, writing on Facebook, “My comments were not directed at the mother’s right to breastfeed. They were just a reaction to the location of that choice, and the fashion in which it was executed on that occasion. I respect the mother’s right to feed her child whenever and wherever she pleases.”

Public breastfeeding has been in the news recently, with a Michigan mother being asked to leave a courtroom when the judge deemed her feeding “inappropriate,” and a nationwide “nurse-in” after a Texas woman was asked to move to a fitting room at Target, rather than feed her baby in the store.

Image: Kasey Kahne, via Doug James /

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