I absolutely support breastfeeding–after all, I breastfed my own son–and I think moms should have the right to feed their children wherever they see fit. But I question whether the nurse-in that took place at 250 Target stores throughout the country yesterday, or the thwarted breastfeeding flash mob at a Michigan mall earlier this month, are a productive way to bolster public support for breastfeeding. I think they’re an excellent way for breastfeeding moms to support each other, but I suspect that these types of gatherings won’t really influence anyone who is against breastfeeding, or breastfeeding in public, to change their opinion.
Am I mistaken? Perhaps. I pondered the issue while we were making the five-hour drive from Bluefield, West Virginia, to Washington, DC, last night, with a feverish baby in tow, and I decided to ask the Facebook fans of High Chair Times what they thought. It was close to 10 p.m. when I posted this question — Are nurse-ins, like the one that just happened at Target, a productive way to bolster support of public breastfeeding?— but I got a few responses and here they are, in the order they were posted. I think all four women made excellent points:
“No, not because I’m against breastfeeding [but] because I think making all this noise adds fuel to an unnecessary fire,” Nesie said.
“I breastfeed and I don’t think they do any good,” Jessica said. “Personally I will feed my son in public if I want to, I’ve only had one person object, I told her it was my right to feed my child how I choose and she just left without another word. I just think that things like this make it easy for someone against public breastfeeding to have something to fight against.”
“No,” Kerry said. “It just makes the anti breast feeders think we are crazy. It’s one thing to feed your own child where you need to when you need to, but to stage a nurse-in doesn’t help. ”
“I haven’t read up on the one in Target, but I’m itching to participate in something like that,” Kate said. “I hear of too many moms who are afraid to breastfeed in public that I’m happy to make a stink out of it if it will convince at least one mom to say to herself, ‘Well, at least I’m not behaving like THOSE people, I guess I’ll give it a try.'”
What do you think? Are nurse-ins and breastfeeding flash mobs a good way to bolster public support of breastfeeding?