Seattle Makes It Illegal For Businesses To Tell Breastfeeding Moms To Cover Up Or Move

While many states, including Washington, have laws that allow for breastfeeding moms to nurse in public without being hassled, some of those regulations are not clear on whether or not this protection extends to places like restaurant interiors or even offices. Thus, Seattle has made its stance clear: It is illegal for a business to ask a nursing mom to cover up or move elsewhere.

The measure, which adds a mother’s right to breastfeed to the list of protected civil rights, earned unanimous approval by the Seattle city council earlier this week.

From King5.com:

Seattle’s ordinance would make it illegal to ask a nursing mom to stop, cover up or move to another location; it would apply to areas open to the public, including doctor’s offices, restaurants, libraries and theaters.

“[I]t’s a health issue for our community,” the measure’s sponsor tells King5 News. “It’s very clear the benefits of breastfeeding. What we want to do is move the needle in terms of community acceptance of breastfeeding by having our local civil office of rights enforcing the law.”

For a thorough list of state laws regarding public breastfeeding, check out this index put together by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Seattle City Council acts to protect public breastfeeding [King5.com]

Thanks to Harper for the tip!

Comments

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  1. HowardRoarksTSquare says:

    Heck, I might as well just go to the bathroom in the middle of a restaurant or change a child’s diaper.

    I mean heck that’s just a natural act too right – and it would be unhealthy the child to have to wait to go to the bathroom changing station when a table or booth works just as well.

    • Marlin says:

      2 out of 10 on the troll scale. Not even close, try again.

    • chefboyardee says:

      You, sir, are an idiot.

    • Marlin says:

      2 out of 10 on the troll scale. Not even close, try again.

    • Coffee says:

      It’s always nice to have your opinion of someone validated. I know mine just was :)

    • GMFish says:

      Really, you’re comparing defecating with drinking milk?! I sure hope you’re a troll, because if you’re not, you’re too stupid to be alive.

      • MathMan aka Random Talker says:

        Sweet! Two posts with the word “defecating” within 1 minute. New record!

      • Plasmafox says:

        They are comparing a woman exposing her breast to a man exposing his buttocks or penis. And it seems to be a reasonable comparison.

      • Plasmafox says:

        They are comparing a woman exposing her breast to a man exposing his buttocks or penis. And it seems to be a reasonable comparison.

    • MathMan aka Random Talker says:

      I hear ya. Simply because it’s a “natural act” does not mean it should be done in public- sex for example.

      However, defecating or urinating in public areas could in fact have adverse effects on public health whereas breastfeeding generally would not.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      Meathead: Arch, it’s perfectly natural.
      Archie Bunker: So is throwing up but I don’t want to look at it.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Obvious troll is obvious.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      …one can only hope you were kidding, and did a really bad job trying to convey your sarcasm.

    • runswithscissors says:

      If this was intentional parody of the stupidest anti-breastfeeding argument, then kudos!

      If this was serious then I weep for humanity.

  2. Sean says:

    Let me be the first to say to those who want women to breastfeed in the bathroom “Would you want to eat your food in a public bathroom?”

    • caradrake says:

      Right. This. If you are allowed to eat in a room, a baby should be able to as well.

      I will admit to eating a bag of chips (already paid for, btw) in Walmart’s restroom when my manager refused to give me a break right away and I was getting sick from low blood sugar. But I wouldn’t take my dinner and eat it on the toilet.

      When I was nursing my kids, the first week or so would be a bit awkward – babies don’t have perfect latch right away, it takes time. But, those days I was staying at home anyways, recovering, relaxing, and enjoying the new baby. After that, I could bet that no one saw my nipple. I got very good at having my shirt resting on the baby’s face (not covering it, just kinda resting there). A stranger could potentially see a little bit of my belly as I moved my baby around, but that’d be it. And usually I was sitting so not even that.

      • longfeltwant says:

        I don’t think it’s the “baby eating” to which prudes object. A baby can be fed mashed carrots or bottled milk in public and I’ve never heard anyone object. To phrase it the way you did, is an intentional an weak attempt at tilting against a straw man. The issue is whether the presence of a baby should change the application of public decency laws.

        Me? I say no. I say the baby should make no difference. If we want to make it an offense to show female breasts in public, then it should be no different when a baby is included. That is why I suggest tweaking decency laws to allow topless women in public. But, if we aren’t willing to do that, then I suggest breastfeeding mothers simply cover up when in public. Finally, though, if legislatures want to carve out a breastfeeding exception to decency laws, then that’s also fine, even if it isn’t optimal (because it creates an unnecessary protected class).

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      bathrooms are nasty and only appropriate for their intended use or non health risk things like changing clothes.
      i just got a new supervisor and during our “get to know each other” meeting i made sure to let her know that it’s not ok to ask me to go to the restroom to give myself an insulin injection because bathrooms are dirty bacteria filled places. not that i think it would have been a problem with this supervisor, i just like to make sure whoever is in charge of me knows that it’s inappropriate to suggest it.

    • longfeltwant says:

      I am fine with laws that allow women to breastfeed anywhere they want; I am also fine with laws requiring women to breastfeed out of public view. Anything done in public is done with the understanding that people have the right to stare at you, and I think reasonable mothers know that they might be stared at while breastfeeding. That’s all fair.

      Offering a woman a bathroom for breastfeeding isn’t an attempt to put a baby in a disgusting place for its meal. (First of all, bathrooms are cleaner than almost anywhere else we spend our time. Second of all, many women’s bathrooms are quite nice and feature furniture to sit on.) Rather, it is an attempt to offer a breastfeeding woman the closest available non-public space. Other private spaces may be similarly offered when available. Or, women might just want to plop down on any old bench and do the chore, and allow the public to watch. It’s fine either way.

    • Jawaka says:

      Its not that I necessarily want them to have to breastfeed in a restroom, its that I don’t think that its an appropriate thing for a person to do in public in front of people that it makes uncomfortable. Find a table in a corner somewhere. Go out in the lobby away from a crowd. God forbid go out to your car. Is it a really that big a surprise that you’re going to have to feed your infant that you can’t plan ahead?

      If the people who think that they should be able to breastfeeding in public want us to respect them then they need to respect the wishes of other people’s as well.

      • matlock expressway says:

        “… its that I don’t think that its an appropriate thing for a person to do in public in front of people that it makes uncomfortable.”

        And seeing homosexuals holding hands (or, god forbid, kissing in public) makes some people even more uncomfortable. Let’s ban that too.

        Oh, and mixed-race couples? My grandma is still shocked by that. Better ban it again.

  3. lint42 says:

    Amen. Do the same thing across the US. Down with the manufactured chemicals people are feeding their kids!

  4. Hi_Hello says:

    This country have an issue with the female breast. It’s okay for male to go topless but it’s weird with a female does it.

    I can’t believe that people are okay with manboobs from some hairy overweight guy but a nice perky female breast is a no no…

    Get over that and people probably won’t care about breastfeeding.

    • axhandler1 says:

      What do you expect from a country founded by prudes?

      • TheMansfieldMauler says:

        Yeah actually the US wasn’t nearly as prudish as all that up until the prohibition era. All at once all kinds of stuff became illegal – booze, drugs, gambling, prostitution, nudity, a few other things. The 18th Amendment spurred on a bunch of local/state laws about all the other vices. Even after the 18th Amendment was repealed, the rest of the stuff stayed on the books.

        • Talmonis says:

          I think he’s referring to the puritan settlers, back before the founding of the U.S. itself.

      • iesika says:

        Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson would be offended by that.

    • Maz says:

      You can’t passive-aggressively make people do what you want if they feel no shame. Duh.

    • Ben says:

      I don’t know where you get the idea that it’s okay for men to go topless everywhere. It’s not. Men will get asked to put shirts on in certain places.

      And I think it’s more an issue of ugliness than with the breast itself. I’m sure attractive women don’t get asked to cover up as often. And ugly/fat shirtless men definitely get asked to cover up.

      • MutantMonkey says:

        So you feel that when it comes to going shirtless, men and women are on equal grounds in that particular freedom and social expectation?

      • Hi_Hello says:

        hmmm….i was thinking more about open public spaces.

        I never heard of cops telling someone to cover up their manboobs….I’m sure people would say it’s gross and stuff and they just ignore it… they would never call the cops on it. hmmm maybe I should google it.

        google about it. you see a lot of woman trying to protest about it. some laws are weird about it. They can go topless but can’t be related to anything sexual. It’s not about attractive or not. It’s about the sex.

        maybe it’s just me…since my mom goes topless all the time around the house when I was growing up.

    • dolemite says:

      Blame it on the bible belt. A woman’s body should be covered up and she should be ashamed, and the act of sex is an abomination that should be reviled. But hey, feel free to watch this movie with a beheading, disembowelment in it.

      • Gertie says:

        If it’s a Bible Belt issue, then why is Seattle, which is distinctly¬†NOT in the Bible Belt making a law to protect nursing women? Why is a law needed at all if it’s such a forward-thinking place, unlike those Bible-thumping places?

        • George4478 says:

          Don’t you know — outside of the Bible Belt people walk around naked whenever they want, sharing their beautiful bodies with those around them. Only in the repressed states of the Bible Belt are people expected to wear clothing.

        • longfeltwant says:

          Are those rhetorical questions, or do you really not have the thoughtfulness to answer them yourself?

          The answer, obviously, is that the difference between a conservative region and a liberal region is about five to ten percent of the population, or maybe at most twenty percent. So a super-duper conservative region is 60% conservative, and a super-duper liberal region is about 40% conservative. Cite: McCain received 40% of the vote in Washington State [http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/wa.htm].

          Thus, a super-duper liberal place like Seattle is still dealing with 40% conservatives who might complain about seeing a bit of boobie. To protect the boobie owners, they passed this law.

    • shepd says:

      The US has a problem with people exercising their right to decide what happens or does not happen on their private property, is how it appears to me.

      • OutPastPluto says:

        If you are open to the public, it’s not private any more.

        • Jules Noctambule says:

          …that’s actually not how it works.

          • RandomHookup says:

            Well, it’s still privately owned, but considered a “public accommodation”. And it’s not like the government is restricted from limiting certain behaviors on private property, even if it’s not a public accommodation.

    • Cat says:

      “a nice perky female breast is a no no…”

      See the thing is, outside of breastfeeding, the women that want to bare their breasts in public don’t have “nice perky female breasts”. Trust me -

      http://rocwiki.org/Rochester_Topfree_Seven

      I’ve seen them, and no amount of brain bleach will ever remove that violent stain upon my memory.

    • El_Fez says:

      I can’t believe that people are okay with manboobs from some hairy overweight guy but a nice perky female breast is a no no…

      Actually I have no desire to see breasts from ANY gender, be they hairy Moobs or perky young thangs.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      …at least some locales, like NYC, have started to make progress. In NYC it’s legal for a woman to be topless in public so long as she’s not intentionally being sexy, or something to that effect.

      But yes…we are wildly out of line with our retarded ideas about what is and isn’t offensive regarding the human body. And sex in general. We seriously need to get out of the middle ages on this stuff…

    • maxamus2 says:

      Who says anyone is ok with manboobs??

    • Jawaka says:

      Men can’t go topless in restaurants.

      I’m all for letting women breastfeed anywhere that a man is allowed to go topless.

    • smo0 says:

      I have zero issues with this except…. I get physically ill at the thought of someone drinking fluids from another person’s body.

      If I see it go down in a restaurant, I will leave… or I will honestly throw up, and they will most likely ask ME to leave.

  5. Randy says:

    really… REALLY? My wife has always went to a bathroom or secluded area to breastfeed.

  6. El_Fez says:

    I’m cool with people having their tits out in public. Hope they don’t mind me leering at their fun-bags in the meantime.

  7. Extended-Warranty says:

    If you have the right to do this, then I have the right to film it, just as I film the police officers. Thank you for teaching me my rights internet.

    • Free Legal Advice! says:

      Okey dokey, but you won’t see much.

      • matlock expressway says:

        And they might even get the counter-film, with obligatory youtube upload (“Pervert films mother breastfeeding child; explains that it is a legal right to do so.”)

  8. Bladerunner says:

    I still don’t fully understand why breastfeeding infants are being afforded more legal rights than the average adult. Which is not to say I’m necessarily against the right to breastfeed in public, but to use movie theaters as an example, what is the logic that babies are allowed to violate the “no outside food” rule, while adults are not?

    • Cicadymn says:

      People need to stop bringing babies to movies anyways.

    • Not Given says:

      Would you rather have the kid screaming during the movie or breast feeding?

      • Bladerunner says:

        A screaming child should be removed from the theater.

        • Cat says:

          As should screaming – or talking, texting, phone calling – “adults”

          • longfeltwant says:

            Yes! Some people don’t understand this: the rules of civil society are the same for adults and children. If an adult throws a tantrum, the police take him away; if a child throws a tantrum, its parents should take him away. An adult likely to cause a disturbance may not be allowed in certain places; a child likely to cause…

      • Mike says:

        That’s how my wife stops me from talking at movies, too.

      • Mark702 says:

        Option C, don’t bring the infant in the first place. How you figure out that problem is your issue, not mine. They don’t understand the movie, it’s borderline child abuse to subject their newly formed eardrums to 80+ decible loud sounds, and is a nusiance and distraction for those who paid a high price for the theater experience, and babies screaming and crying isn’t part of that intended experience.

      • ihatephonecompanies says:

        I would much rather breastfeed than be surrounded by screaming kids.

      • drjayphd says:

        Or, Option F: go to an infant-friendly screening. They turn the volume down, etc. so as to not disturb sleeping kids (and they’re scheduled ahead of time, so you can plan ahead and have them nap during the movie), and there’s already the expectation that there will be children there, so if someone’s baby starts crying, well, you knew that going in there.

    • Vox Republica says:

      I’ll buy that as an argument the second they start offering Similac at the concession stand.

      • Bladerunner says:

        I don’t understand that objection. Are you saying that there’s nothing there for babies? Because many concession stands have water and milk, and there are other things you shouldn’t feed your baby that the baby can technically eat/drink, which considering it’s junk food is sorta true for adults, as well.

        • chefboyardee says:

          I’m pretty sure you’re trolling, but just in case: babies under 6 months should *not* have water due to risk of death (also filling on nutrient-less liquid and losing their desire to eat, leading to being underweight). It is not recommended to give cow’s milk to a baby under 1.

          More importantly, who the hell brings a baby to a movie theater?

          • Bladerunner says:

            I’m pretty sure you’re trolling, but just in case: babies under 6 months CAN have water, provided it’s small amounts (no more than a few ounces).

            In addition, the WHO recommends:

            “Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.”

            Two year olds can have many of the things that concessions sell.

            • Kuchen says:

              Also from the WHO:
              “Infants should be exclusively breastfed ‚Äì i.e. receive only breast milk ‚Äì for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. “Exclusive breastfeeding” is defined as giving no other food or drink ‚Äì not even water ‚Äì except breast milk.”

              And from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
              “During the first 6 months of age, even in hot climates, water and juice are unnecessary for breastfed infants and may introduce contaminants or allergens.‚Äù

              There is no reason to give a breastfed baby under 6 months old water.

              • MajorGroove says:

                I’m a pediatrician, and I endorse this comment. No water, juice, or really anything else except breastmilk for babies under 6 months of age! Give formula if you must, but no other liquids. . .and solids can wait until 6 months.

                • Bladerunner says:

                  True, however, the statement ” 6 months should *not* have water due to risk of death ” is a bit of hyperbole, neh? An occasional sip is not murder.

      • El_Fez says:

        So then it’s okay to bring in a big bucket of chicken wings from the outside since that food is not offered at the concession stand?

    • caradrake says:

      Your post gave me the mental image of movie theater employees requiring women (and some men?) to completely empty their breasts on their way into the theater.

      Much amusement ensued.

    • chucklebuck says:

      The baby’s outside food paid admission.

    • Jawaka says:

      Are adult men allowed to have the same dinner as infants are?

      If not why?

  9. Leela says:

    I never got hassled for breast-feeding, but I was always careful to make sure everything was covered up. I didn’t even get hassled while feeding my son on Main Street, Disneyland. Maybe it’s a benefit of living in SoCal.

    • Extended-Warranty says:

      Most people honestly don’t have a problem with it. It’s when people flaunt it because it’s their right, and complain to store management who is in a tough position. The following nurse-in gains the respect of few.

      • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

        Forgive me if my ignorance is showing, but how does one flaunt breast feeding. I mean it seems pretty simple: baby wants milk, mom pops a titty out to where baby can latch on, baby suckles, everyone’s happy. How could this act possibly bother some people?

        • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

          Because unless they’re nice tiny perky tits belonging to somebody with a playboy-centerfold body, its considered obscene. Tits are for men to oogle and play with dontcha know? They’re not SUPPOSED to be used the way nature intended – that’s considered obscene.

          • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

            yeah that way of thinking gives me a sad, I mean I love me some tittays as much as the next guy, ogling has a time and a place neither of which is while a woman is breast feeding. Plus it’s not like nursing Moms are whipping them out and spinning firey tassles while they breastfeed, now that would be obscene.

            • Talmonis says:

              I think it’s more the 350 lb Slygathor with a bad attitude giving people the stink-eye while their toddler hangs from their near completely uncovered chest/gut that gets some people’s blood up. And “Milk-in’s” are just obnoxious. Absolutely nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public, just be polite enough to make an attempt to be as covered/inconspicuous as you can.

        • Such an Interesting Monster says:

          Because some women are intent on making a spectacle of themselves just to rile people up or worse, attempt to push people into violating their rights so they can sue for a cash payout.

          I don’t think anyone has an issue with breastfeeding in public when it’s done with consideration and discretion. It’s when they decide to be in your face about it is when it becomes a problem, and laws like this don’t leave any wiggle room for poorly-behaved mothers who make a nuisance of themselves.

  10. shepd says:

    So much for personal liberty…

    (of the kind that owns a store, that is)

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Constitution supercedes state laws which supercede store policies.

      Deal with it.

      • Bladerunner says:

        Ooookay? Constitution doesn’t protect breast feeding. Was that just a general comment?

      • Jawaka says:

        Which part of the Constitution guarantees the right to breastfeed in a public place?

        • Difdi says:

          There isn’t one. Which, by the nature of the Constitution and the basis of all laws in the U.S., means that it’s not prohibited. The Constitution defines limits, it doesn’t grant permission of any kind.

          • Auron says:

            1st amendment: Guarantees the right to free speech and the right to freedom of religion. That is not a limitation.

            2nd amendment: Grants people the right to keep and bear arms. Again, not a limitation.

            4th amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures. Another example of a right vs a limitation in the US Constitution.

            Shall I continue?

            • matlock expressway says:

              You’re both right, but are approaching it from different angles.

              Constitutional rights are nothing more than limitations on government power.

              In one sense, all the “right” does is make the government liable for transgressing its limits.

              In another sense, though: this is precisely what a right is.

              (It is, though, quite stupid to say that the constitution doesn’t grant permissions.)

      • shepd says:

        The constitution doesn’t even list a “right to eat” never mind a “right to breastfeed”… :)

    • Conformist138 says:

      If you own a store open to the public then there are a lot of requirements that have to be followed, many that deal with discrimination.They can become a private club if the idea of a boob being glimpsed on their property is so horrifying.

      Honestly, women should just be allowed to go topless wherever men are allowed to remove their shirts. Fat moobies are allowed to flap free and some really small women have nearly flat chests they are legally required to cover. It’s a silly double standard based more on gender roles than actual logical sense.

      • shepd says:

        Absolutely there are those requirements, also limitations on the liberty of a shop owner.

        Some of those requirements make sense (although, honestly, IMHO few to no stores would say no jewish people allowed today), others don’t. This requirement doesn’t make sense, since your baby can feed in a few minutes after you’re done shopping. Your breast isn’t an epi-pen for the baby.

        And this is coming from a parent who has a 2 year old who breastfed until she was 1 1/2 years old. Baby can wait until you’re done shopping. If you’re on a long shopping expose, like, say, in Ikea, feed baby somewhere appropriate in the store–in my 1.5 years of experience, all stores that expect someone to shop there for more than 5 minutes have an appropriate place that makes breastfeeding simple, and it isn’t the bathroom.

        This is taking away a store owner’s liberty for nothing. And frankly, if I were a store owner who were affected by this, I’d remove all seating and breastfeeding areas as most all moms do NOT want to breastfeed in public. When asked, I’d explain that as long as I’m under force of law to permit it, I can’t provide comfortable accommodations for it, but if you would please not vote for crazies in the future and strike down the law, I’d make the necessary changes again.

        It’s this sort of law that CAUSES the us-vs-them attitude.

    • costanza007 says:

      Maybe you can still deny service for ANY other reason? Maybe in doctor’s office or restaurant? Just speculating though.

  11. Gman says:

    On a side note [likely semantics]: since when are doctors offices and restaurants public places? I thought they were private businesses?

    Now on topic: Good for Seattle. But man it sucks they had to make a rule.

    • darklighter says:

      They’re private property, but public spaces. Most business that are open to the general public are considered such.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      It depends on the state’s law, but for the most part any place to which the public or a substantial portion of the public has access is considered to be a “public” place.

      Otherwise you could go nude in the Walmart and not be charged with indecent exposure because that charge requires you to be in public for it to stick (in my state, for example).

      • Jules Noctambule says:

        There are plenty of places that are open to the public but with limited access (Costco, etc.), and in my state some 21+ venues require a membership to enter (clubs serving liquor) though anyone may join, so what’s considered a ‘public space’ in Seattle very certainly might not be one where I live.

  12. dolemite says:

    I say…just go all the way and women shouldn’t have to cover up in public. If a man can go topless, why can’t women? Because their chest is bigger? Ex-CEO of BB says that isn’t true.

    • Velvet Jones says:

      Men cannot go topless in most places of business. I think women should follow the same rules as anyone else. If you’re in a place where food and drink are banned, say an office waiting room, then you should also not breast feed. But if others are allowed to eat and drink in the same location then I don’t have problem with it. I only have a problem with breast feeding when a special exceptions are made for it.

  13. wheeitsme says:

    What about if you don’t have a baby, but you are showing your breasts? Is that protected? Because otherwise, isn’t that discriminatory to those without babies?

    • Michael Belisle says:

      Isn’t that discriminatory to those without babies?

      1. Not really, because the laws seem to be written to say that the act of exposing the breasts in the course of breastfeeding is not indecent. If she’s not breastfeeding, then it’s still “indecent”. If for some reason a woman without a baby has reason to breastfeed, then she is free to expose herself to do so.
      2. Regardless, human society spends an excessive amount of time drawing arbitrary lines in the sand and then arguing that there’s an objective reason that the line is here and not there. Appears to be some sort of hobby, to put ones foot down on an issue where there’s no real reason for your foot to be there, and then claim that obviously my foot is in the right place. Why can’t you see how right I am?

      • costanza007 says:

        What is arbitrary to you is not arbitrary to everyone. Can’t you see how right we’d all be if we just all thought the same, especially if it’s the same as you?

  14. Mark702 says:

    Just to play devil’s advocate, what are the limitations? Can a mother breast feed both a 1 year old and 10 year old child? Are there age restrictions like that?

    • Talmonis says:

      That’s the one thing that really urks me. The future window lickers of America vocally demanding breastmilk in the grocery store. Then again, I do live in Hillbilly-ville.

  15. samonela says:

    If you get to do it, I get to watch.

    Solved.

  16. Miss Malevolent says:

    I like how the law is stating it’s there to change people’s mind about public breastfeeding.Seems like thought policing through law.

    I don’t understand, they have breast pumps. My friend uses it…If you want to feed your child naturally fine…but if you’re out on the town why not use a breast pump to have an alternative.

    I think it’s kind of ridiculous that people think they can flop out their tit and have the expectation everyone else deals.

    It used to be that you had to fear the tyranny of the majority, now it seems we have to fear the tyranny of the minority.

    Oh and if baby doesn’t like fake nipples on a bottle…then use a cover-up and I’m not buying that “Do you eat with a blanket over your head?” I’m an adult…I have the ability to feed myself thus I can decide HOW I eat. besides a baby isn’t going to care about a blanket/scarf or sheet over their head (or if they’re in a five star restaurant…they only care about getting sustenance down their throats. In other words, baby isn’t uncomfortable…this is a lie.

    This is honestly all about this vocal obnoxious minority of folks getting their way and flaunting it in people’s faces.

    • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

      I don’t understand where the opposition to this comes from, what specifically offends you about public breastfeeding? if its a “don’t tell private businesses what to do” thing that’s a non starter since they’re open to the public.

      • Miss Malevolent says:

        Because it’s called having respect for other people. Not everyone is going to look at your breast and baby as the miracle of life happening before our eyes, just cause YOU feel that way, doesn’t mean I’m going to see it as nothing more than a floppy tit and a squealing baby. I don’t particularly care to see someone scratching their balls/ass in public, digging in their noses, farting…or any other innocuous actions that are natural and relatively sanitary.

        However today, we have the vocal minority telling everyone else, “deal with my complete lack of respect for anyone but myself ” under the guise of, “it’s a natural process”.

        As I said, there are alternatives to making sure your baby has YOUR healthy milk. A well placed burping rag or scarf does wonders….OR prepare when you are out on the town, and make sure there are bottles of your milk readily available for your child. (and I don’t want to hear about it gets cold because my friend asked the Chili’s waitress for a glass of warm water to set the bottle in for her baby).

        And if your baby is THAT fussy and can’t stand milk that isn’t coming directly out of your breast, well that is a sacrifice you made when you decided to be a parent. So maybe you’ll have to watch that game on television instead of at the stadium with your tit hanging out on the Jam Cam.

        • darklighter says:

          “I don’t particularly care to see someone scratching their balls/ass in public, digging in their noses, farting…or any other innocuous actions that are natural and relatively sanitary.”

          The difference between these and breastfeeding is that I’ve never seen anybody asked to leave a store for doing these things.

    • RayanneGraff says:

      Exactly. I hate those stupid arguments. No, I don’t eat in a bathroom or with a blanket over my head, but I’m an adult and I don’t suck my dinner out of a private body part of another adult. Just because someone chooses to breed should not mean that I have to look at their nipples in public.

    • Menelly says:

      I’m breastfeeding my 4 week old. It took her a matter of DAYS to figure out how to pull the blanket off. She hates blankets over her head.

      Don’t blame her, so do I.

      And, to be fair, a discreet breastfeeding mom can have a baby eating and it’s barely noticeable. Putting a cover on or a blanket over my shoulder practically screams BABY EATING BOOBIES OVER HERE, CAN YOU SEE ME?

      If you are discreet about it, you can see maybe a sliver of boob and some side of waist. That’s about it.

  17. do-it-myself says:

    GOOD! I see it in various places and I’m smart enough to mind my own damn business!

  18. damicatz says:

    This is nothing but more fascism from the government.

    Who the hell are you to tell a private property owner what they have to allow in their property? Open up your own damn restaurant and then you can set the rules.

    I personally have nothing against breastfeeding, even out in the open. But I do have a problem when the government uses coercion and violence to dictate what a property owner MUST allow on THEIR PROPERTY.

    If you don’t like the fact that a restaurant owner chooses to not allow breastfeeding on their PRIVATE PROPERTY then the solution is simple. DO NOT PATRONIZE THEM. Boycott them. Protest. Picket. Lead a campaign to get them to change their minds. But using coercion and the government to force your views on someone else is unethical and immoral.

    • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

      if the establishment is open to the public, there are lots of things the gov’t can impose on property owners

      • damicatz says:

        There is no moral or ethical justification for doing such. It is a violation of the most basic of rights.

        Not all of us subscribe to the cult of big government.

        • drjayphd says:

          Sounds like you subscribe to the cult of no government. I’d love to know where you draw the line about what regulations the government can enforce (and don’t just say “this is too far”, tell me where the line falls, not this law), but I’m guessing you either don’t believe there should be any regulations at all, or you’re just barking for the sake of being heard.

          • damicatz says:

            I draw the line at coercion. No one has the right to initiate force (deliberately or negligently) against a person or their property or to use force to coerce someone to accede to their views. Government should exist to protect those rights and to adjudicate disputes over contracts in a court of law.

            Forcing a private property owner to allow breastfeeding on their private property is coercion. People are forcing their personal views onto someone else on their private property. I cannot stress the private property part enough. You do not own the restaurant, it is not yours.

  19. daynight says:

    So many arrogant comments here stating that breasts are ugly! Realize that people are not here to ornament your personal world! A person is a person independent of your preferences and selfish aesthetics.
    Feeding a baby is natural and normal and healthy. If you have been trained to faint at the sight of a baby eating, then please find a nice bed to hid under and pray real hard that the world goes away.

    • longfeltwant says:

      Shitting is also natural, normal, and healthy. Masturbation is also natural, normal, and healthy. We don’t decide whether things should be allowed in public based on whether they are natural, normal, and healthy. That’s a bad standard to try to use — an extremely bad standard, actually. The standard to use is ‘civil’. Is exposure of a female breast in public ‘civil’? Is exposure of a female breast in public with a baby feeding ‘civil’? These are the questions. If you ask me, I think really they are not civil, but nor are they terribly offensive. I’m willing to legally tolerate women who want to show their boobs or breastfeed in public, considering there is a significant minority who feels strongly that they should be allowed to do so.

    • neilb says:

      I prefer the normal that humankind has dealt with for thousands of years. You cover up as much as you have to so YOU feel personally comfortable. Boobs of all shapes and ages happen. No one cares.
      I remember how common it was when I traveled to Ghana to see women sometimes covering up, sometimes not. Muslims did. Some grandmothers didn’t. No one had a problem with the choices each woman made. No one stared. It was not weird. Babies got fed. Women were not made to feel uncomfortable. No one was harassed.
      Of course, public urination (from the lack of public toilets) also was commonplace, so not all standards would apply to the US!

  20. daynight says:

    I have seen women who where breastfeeding in public. I have never seen a nipple on any of those instances. I have, on the other hand, gotten a glimpse of nipple when women bend over.
    So first, what is it really that is being complained about by the dissenters other than their right to be paranoid about possibly, maybe seeing a very brief glance of something they are scared of?
    Second, if they don’t like it in the first place, why are they staring so hard? (Pun intended!)

  21. backbroken says:

    We are going about this the wrong way. Rather than making the breastfeeders cover up, I’d like to propose legislation that forces the non-breastfeeders to uncover.

  22. ckspores says:

    I think women should be able to whip those puppies out anytime their spawns need to eat. What i don’t appreciate is women who can’t be bothered to cover they ginormous milk jugs with a freaking towel or something so that not everyone in Macy’s has to see their clogged milk ducts.

    I have kids and I have breastfed in public places but I never understood the need of certain women to be obnoxious about it just because they can.

  23. RayanneGraff says:

    It’s illegal for businesses to ask them to cover up…. *I* can still tell them to throw a blanket over their udders, cause nobody wants to see that shiz.

  24. jojo319 says:

    I wonder if this is a 10 page bill that spells out the nipple/mouth ratio, etc…

  25. J-Purchase says:

    It amazes me that we’re even having this discussion. Is our aversion to a breast so bad that we need to change what humans have been doing for millions of years of baby-feeding? Consider that this is also the most health way to feed a child, this should be a non -issue/

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      I find the sight of milk-drooling infants repulsive, actually. I can’t stand small children covered in food, and I don’t think it’s cute at all no matter how ~natural~ it is.

  26. Jules Noctambule says:

    Maybe my state is odd, but I can think of at least half a dozen business I might frequent in the course of the average week that, while ‘open to the public’, are not open to just any random person off the street. I have to flash my membership card at Costo, my ID at the local brewery, and so on. I see so many people asserting that any business open to the public is not considered a private space, and yet there are so many businesses which have restricted access based on extra factors. Clearly, there is a marked difference between such a business and, say, a public park. To what extent does one consider them ‘public’ spaces?

  27. DarkPsion says:

    So if an F5 tornado is bearing down on the store, a forklift hits a gas main and a swarm of killer bees invades the store, a breastfeeding mom cannot be told to evacuate because that’s against the law?

  28. Aliciaz777 says:

    I have absolutely nothing against allowing nursing moms to nurse wherever they want. It’s a completely natural thing because *gasp* boobs aren’t JUST sex objects! Shocking, I know.

    However, for me, personally, when I have children I highly doubt I’ll breast feed in public. I don’t mean to offend with what I’m about to say, but I’m a very modest person. I don’t even like wearing “skimpy” clothes, not even once in a while, so whipping my breast out in public isn’t something that’d be easy for me to do. I’m not self conscious or anything, I’d just be very uncomfortable. Some people have a tendency to stare, and that’s not cool. I have nothing but respect for moms who, as I see it, are brave and breast feed in public.

  29. Costner says:

    Ok here is my sincere question – since it would be illegal to ask a nursing mom to move to another location, does this mean someone could hire a half dozen nursing moms to block the entrances to a competitor’s business? Each one can just stand in a doorway and nurse, and it would be illegal to ask them to move correct? Provided they only block people from entering and don’t block people from exiting it seems it would be illegal to force them, or even ask them to move.

    What about standing in the checkout line nursing while a queue of 30 patrons stacks up behind her? What about her stopping in the middle of a busy aisle or perhaps in front of the door to a restroom?

    I know these ideas sound far fetched, but when Target had their big “feed-in” last year, a few moms did just that…they sat down in the aisle and blocked customers from getting through. They didn’t totally block anything so you could just walk around them, but they went out of their way to be an obstacle and it was a hassle for other shoppers.

    I’m all for women’s rights to feed their children, but just as there are designated areas for changing clothes or urinating, there should be an option to have a designated area to breastfeed. It doesn’t have to be a room or a place in the back of a store, but there should be restrictions from doorways and obvious pathways which can impede the flow of others.

    • RandomHookup says:

      There is such a thing as trespassing still.

      • Costner says:

        Seems that would be in conflict with this law. On one hand you have to ask someone to leave your property before they can be cited for trespassing. On the other hand it is illegal to ask a breastfeeding mom to move.

        So which law takes precedence? And what are the chances a breastfeeding mother who was asked / forced to leave under threat of a trespassing arrest would turn around and sue the business / police officer / city / whoever else has deep pockets.

        • RandomHookup says:

          That’s for the police and the courts to decide, but it will depend upon the wording of the statute. I doubt it will be an absolute “you can’t ever ask a breastfeeder to move” situation. Laws typically have some wiggle room involved and I don’t doubt that deliberately blocking aisles in a protest would be treated as trespassing.

  30. dangergirljones says:

    I’m all for mothers being able to breast feed in public, although I do appreciate those that have a blanket or other cover (or attempt to, some babies are too fussy).

  31. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I’ve NEVER seen anyone just “flop it out,” not even when I lived in hippie-infested Santa Cruz, California*. If I even noticed some lady is feeding a baby, why the hell would I be offended?

    THAT’S WHAT BEWBIES ARE FOR DON’T YA KNOW.

    *PS I’m not dissing SC; really I miss it so bad. CA needs to get its shit together so I can return to my spiritual home.

  32. cheviot says:

    This, like most pro-breastfeeding laws is easy to get around. They all basically say you can’t ask a nursing mom to stop, cover up, etc anywhere she is otherwise legally allowed to be.

    All the place has to do is ban lactating women. Now the woman isn’t legally allowed to be there. Problem solved!

  33. smartypants503 says:

    Why must we take our breastfeeding age children out in public, at meal times? Is your life so busy that you cannot wait to go to Target at a convenient time for your infant? Or are you such a pretentious mother that you have to bare them titaes in order to breastfeed?

    Just for the record…no one WANTS to see you breastfeed. But by all means, go ahead.

    • sadie kate says:

      Young babies eat very frequently, sometimes less than every two hours. When my baby was a newborn, by the time I changed her diaper, got her and the diaper bag in the car, drove to whatever store I needed to go to, got groceries or whatever else I needed, and paid, guess what? It was time for her to eat again. So unless you think I should have been chained to my sofa and not allowed to leave the house for 4 months, I kind of had to feed my kid in public, sometimes.

      • VHSer says:

        There are these things called bottles. If you know you’re going to most likely have to feed your baby in public, just pump beforehand and not be so gross. If you show your boobs in public, you have no right to say anything when people look.

  34. Jawaka says:

    But there’s no law stating that I as a paying customer can’t tell the person to show a little class and cover up.

  35. ibuystuff_too_99 says:

    Private businesses lose certain rights when they choose to be open to the public. They can’t discriminate based on irrelevant characteristics like race, for example. And now (in Seattle) they also can’t shame a woman who’s doing what’s best for her kid.

    Lots of crap goes down in public places I don’t want to look at. So I don’t look at it. I know this is tough for some people to understand, but you don’t have a rignt not to be offended. That’s how Saudi Arabia works, not America.

  36. mydailydrunk says:

    reading the anti-breast feeding comments here have now convinced me that consumerist attracts more trolls than chan.

  37. jiubreyn says:

    Even though I understand why, it still makes me uncomfortable to see a woman breastfeeding in public. Boobage in the restaurant.

  38. axiomatic says:

    “I’ll take “puritanism” for $300 Alex.”

    “Something a mother might want to do in public that (depending on your personal level of puritanism) may or may not be offensive to you.”

    “What is Breastfeeding?”

    Ding!

  39. btdown says:

    It’s natural, eh? So’s jerking off, but you don’t see me doing it in the middle of a Chili’s….
    I dont have a problem with breastfeeding and it’s no big deal to me, but if some private establishments do not wish for you to do it in front of patrons, i think that’s a reasonable request you should accommodate. The fact women want SPECIAL rights for this is ridiculous.

  40. VHSer says:

    I think it’s only fair that if women get to whip out their chi-chi’s, I get to check for huevo lumps.