Mari's Moments

August 9, 2013

Hey Burleson! It's not a crime to breastfeed in public

Parents are outraged that a mom was asked to cover up at a Burleson recreation center.

Mari's Moments

Making my way through motherhood, one moment at a time

It's National Breastfeeding Month.

Now, I'm sure you're sick of hearing about another cause-of-the-month but a recent incident at a Burleson recreation center has underscored why a whole month is needed to educate the public that nursing is a natural thing.

On August 3, WFAA-TV reported that Lucy Eades was nursing her 16-day-old infant while her older daughter was in a dance class at the Burleson Recreation Center. An employee came up to her and asked her to cover up. Eades correctly pointed out: "It is state law, I can nurse my child with or without a cover."

She continued to nurse.

Another mom, Ashley Kubacki, told WFAA-TV that earlier that day the same employee told her the same thing as she nursed her 4-month-old son just outside the center's entrance.

The City of Burleson, which owns the recreation center defended the employee's actions and issued this statement:

"The City of Burleson supports breastfeeding and appreciates recognition of National Breastfeeding Week. The city also supports the law, which states, "A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be." Today, two women were breastfeeding in or near a public entrance to the city's recreation center where we were hosting a camp for youth ages 5 - 13 in addition to other recreation center patrons. To be respectful of everyone's rights we asked the women to cover up. There is nothing in the law that prohibits the city from requiring a mother to cover up. We also offered a room in an attempt to be more accommodative. The city did not attempt to prohibit breastfeeding and we fully support the freedom of mothers to breastfeed as long as it doesn't infringe on someone else's freedom."

Eades' husband used his cell phone to capture the confrontation at the center and posted the video on YouTube where it has more than 550,000 views and garnered nationwide media attention.

The incident has also riled many moms -- and dads -- and a "nurse in" is planned tomorrow at the Burleson center in support of the two women.

On the same day this incident occurred the Tarrant County Breastfeeding Coalition held its annual family expo event, where they were trying to break a world record for the number of women breastfeeding at the same time. One of the lactation consultants told WFAA-TV: "We need to normalize breastfeeding, show that breastfeeding is natural."

What bothers me is that we have to be reminded -- yet again -- that nursing is a natural thing. The Burleson employee was somehow trying to "protect" children from seeing a breast because somehow a boob was going to devastate them.

Let me reiterate a point I made in a blog I wrote last year: Every day, we see visions of violence -- on TV, on video games, in movies and every single news source show images of war, conflict, mass shootings, etc. All in front of our children. Boobs don't kill, people.

We also have no problem with waitresses wearing body paint or flaunting cleavage at restaurants or former kid TV stars showing how adult they are by wearing next to nothing in movies or music videos.  

But feeding a baby in public is somehow immoral and obscene? It's not. It's natural.

The Brick In Nurse In

When: 10 a.m., Saturday, August 10

Where: The BRiCk 550 NW Summercrest Blvd. Burleson, TX 76028



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