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Mom Gets Ticket for Breastfeeding...While Driving!?

A too-loose harness is nothing compared to driving around with your baby sitting in your lap. In the front seat. While breastfeeding.

Woman driving car Daxiao Productions/Shutterstock
Experts have already discovered that nearly all of us new parents make at least one major error when installing the car seat. But a too-loose harness is nothing compared to driving around with your baby sitting in your lap. In the front seat. While breastfeeding.

Yet that's exactly what Washington state troopers saw when they pulled over an unidentified mom last week. Apparently, other drivers noticed the nursing 1-year-old boy riding shotgun sans car seat and called 911. Police managed to track down the woman and pull her over to the side of the road. "I WISH I WAS KIDDING: 911 caller reports baby riding on mom's lap. When Trooper stops car, he realizes mom is breast feeding the child," tweeted State Patrol trooper Mark Francis.

The woman's reason for her on-the-road feeding sesh? Her son was crying and needed to be fed. But rather than pulling over and nursing safely, she decided to multitask. Even more frightening? This wasn't the first time she's breastfed behind the wheel. In fact, she was pulled over once before for it.

Look, I understand how the sound of your baby's crying can drown out normal, rational thought. Science has even proven its dramatic effect on your brain. But still, that's no excuse for putting your baby in harm's way. And while some moms swear by pumping behind the wheel, I have yet to meet one who thinks actively breastfeeding while driving is a smart idea. Washington State troopers reportedly gave the woman a citation for child restraint violation. That's a good start—and hopefully enough of a penalty to remind the mom to keep her babe where he belongs: safe and sound in his car seat.

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Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on TwitterPinterest, and Google+.

Breastfeeding in Public