Friday, April 28th, 2017

Bloody Breastfeeding! How Nursing Discrimination Made Me Believe In Goddesses

Published on November 5, 2011 by   ·   102 Comments Pin It
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I used to think people who had issues with women breastfeeding lived in the bible belt, had missing teeth, and didn’t believe in evolution.  Until I lived this tit-tascular tale.

Yesterday morning I finished an average toddler gym class with my 18 month old son.  As I was leaving, I popped over to the teachers station to thank them so much for an extra awesome puppet show, calling it their “best one yet.”

The always sweet teacher said, “Oh, I meant to talk to you about something.  We’ve gotten a number of complaints from other Mothers about your breastfeeding in the circle, so we have to ask you to nurse in the lobby.”

My mouth dropped open and my first thought was “Wow, someone finally said something” as if I’d somehow expected and waited for a moment of nursing discrimination, since I’d yet to have one.. ever.  She went on;

“It’s just that we don’t allow snacks on the gym floor.”

Chloe Jo Davis breastfeeding Panther Britain in Italian Elle, shot by Amanda DeCadenet

Here’s me breastfeeding Panther in Italian Elle, shot by Amanda DeCadenet

I barely responded.  Said something about sort of understanding.  I looked at the other Mothers – who were totally listening – one of which I knew from another class and NEITHER OF WHICH SAID A DAMN WORD TO STICK UP FOR ME.  I grabbed my son and left.  Let’s just clarify here that I’m usually one of the only Moms at any of these classes, this one had about three Moms in the room, the rest were Nannys.  I would almost bet my bottom dollar that no kid in that class was currently breastfed.  I can almost say with certainty, most were probably never breastfed.  Welcome to New Yorks Upper East Side!  Where Moms go to Prada to shop, and baby’s are strolled in Central Park by cell phone chatting Nanny’s.  Maybe we should have to go get our plastic bottles filled with creepy powdered formula if our kid needs a sip.  Maybe if things were as they should be, a sippy is as close as your nippy.

Moving on..

What happened next was 24 hours of sheer shock, upset, and realizations about my lactivism (lactation actvisim) and my powerful, juicy feminism.  My like-minded friends rallied by me on the phone and online all day.

I had so many different emotional reactions – shame for being called out like I had done something wrong in front of other Mothers, anger for their stupidity, and helplessness for my child who doesn’t know exactly what was going on but certainly picked up on my energy.

So I did what any good yenta does,  I got on the phone with my BFF’s.

My friend Alex was outraged and said they needed to rectify or I should take it further.  Her suggestions included making sure they added the la leche league “breastfeeding friendly” decal to their door and giving a hand out of their supportive breastfeeding policy to all their Mothers.  She mentioned that wether other Mothers felt comfortable with my breastfeeding or not was a non point since it’s ILLEGAL TO ASK SOMEONE TO MOVE THEIR BREASTFEEDING OUTSIDE.

Here’s NY State law;

My friend Krysta suggested a “nurse-in.”  My twitter followers demanded to know where the space was and some called for a boycott. My husband Jeremy said “Disgusting that we live in a society that actually finds the most NATURAL thing for a child and mother to do as something that makes others uncomfortable. Horrified.”   Moni said; “Fight back! I recently went to Chelsea Piers for a bowling party and surprisingly I was the only one in a pretty progressive group of people who stuck up for the lady who was breastfeeding at the next lane. Breastmilk power!” Sandra said; “Fight back! Who do these people think they are? This sort of thing is so disturbing! Talk about backwards right-wing thinking? What year are we living in again??” Aimee said; “Scare the shit out of the school with a lawsuit. You are fully protected under NY State law to breastfeed your child wherever you see fit.” Gayle said; “Seek legal council if you do not receive a personal apology. Also, they need to make a public apology if they said it in front of anyone else! Those Nanny’s are their to represent the mother, not to be the Mother. If they don’t like it, look away. Next step threaten to go to the community newspaper so that local mother’s can find out. Nobody will want to take their child there!” James said; “Someone’s about to get schooled in the art of “I shouldn’t have said that.”  Matt called it “boobgate.”  Barb said; “Boobs make her mad? She needs to take a long hard look at that situation.” Julie said; “Umm I wouldn’t be returning to that class again, so wrong on so many levels.”  And these were just a few of the many, many responses I got.  And let me just say, THANK YOU for all that sweetness.  I was a tired, upset Mommy and you all saved me from total meltdown with your loving, supportive voices.

As the daughter of a lawyer, and my husband being the son of a lawyer, we know from lawsuits.  I wanted to give them a chance to rectify the situation, particularly because this was a woman owned small space, so I have (and continue to) keep this business anonymous.. for now.  I realize people can make mistakes, lordisa knows I’ve said some absurd things in my day that I had to make right.   I hoped my bad experience would inspire (or force them into) policy change and understanding.  There are a lot of issues I care about that I see people being afraid of – veganism, lgbt issues, green living, animal rights, et all – but now, I have to add breastfeeding to that list.

I left a message on the gym’s machine, saying how horrified I was by what had gone down and requesting a call from the owner of the establishment.

I spoke with the owner, let’s call her Betty, a few times.  We went back n’ forth.  She was breastfeeding supportive from the start but worried that me breastfeeding on the gym floor could cause an accident.  I told her I had always breastfed to the side on a radiator, and that the one time I had breastfeeding the circle was when songs were being sung and Panther had just gone for it (all you nursing Mama’s know how easy it is to stop your baby from wanting the boob when they want it – yea right.)  She told me the teacher who had taken me aside is a Mother of 3 and currently pregnant.  That she too breastfeeds.  I kept responding with no matter how you rationalize, this request is illegal.  I can go breastfeed Panther wherever I like.

Let’s go back in time for a minute.  My breastfeeding journey was a hard one – it was incredibly painful, I worried about production, lack of sleep (we also attachment parent,) and scabs.  I cried almost every time I nursed for the first 3 months.  And then, like a phoenix rising from flames, one day the pain subsided and breastfeeding became what it was meant to be – a nutritional, emotional, and beautiful bonding experience between myself and my little boy.  Many women come up to me when they see me nursing places to say it didn’t work for them or that they couldn’t get enough milk.  Yep, it didn’t “work” for me either right away.  I was tenacious and I was driven to give my baby the best.  Formula wasn’t an option.  I was going to go down nursing if I had to.  I think so many women don’t even give themselves enough time to get in the groove.  And then many get in the groove, and then stop before their time.

My final conversation with Betty ended last evening. I asked her how she could control younger babies nursing non stop in the younger classes.  She said she couldn’t and didn’t.  I realized this was not only nursing bias, but TODDLER nursing bias.

According La Leche League;

Toddlers breastfeed for many of the same reasons infants breastfeed: for nutrition, comfort, security, for a way to calm down and for reassurance. Mothers breastfeed their toddlers for many of the same reasons they breastfeed their infants: they recognize their children’s needs, they enjoy the closeness, they want to offer comfort, and they understand the health benefits. (See the FAQ, “What are the Benefits of Breastfeeding My Baby?” for more information.) The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends that “Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child..” * The World Health Organization and UNICEF recommend that babies be breastfed for at least two years.

 

Breastfeeding a toddler helps with the child’s ability to mature. Although some experts say a toddler who is not weaned will have difficulty becoming independent, it’s usually the fearful, clingy children that have been pushed into situations requiring too much independence too soon. A breastfeeding toddler is having his dependency needs met. The closeness and availability of the mother through breastfeeding is one of the best ways to help toddlers grow emotionally.

 

Breastfeeding can help a toddler understand discipline as well. Discipline is teaching a child about what is right and good, not punishment for normal toddler behavior. To help a toddler with discipline, he needs to feel good about himself and his world. Breastfeeding helps a toddler feel good about himself, because his needs are being met.

Just as babies do, toddlers receive health benefits from breastfeeding. Your milk continues to provide immunities and vitamins, and can help protect your toddler from illness and allergies. If your toddler does get sick, nursing will help comfort him. In fact, a toddler with an upset stomach may be able to tolerate nothing but human milk.

Toddlers have a huge world to explore, and breastfeeding provides them (and their mothers!) with some quiet time in their busy, waking hours.

Betty said I was doing what was best for my child, and that she breastfed her own children. She claimed the teacher had no complaints but just fumbled because she was nervous to talk to me about breastfeeding (hm, perhaps because she knew what she was saying was innately wrong.)  She stayed on the whole “We just need to be cohesive and have all snacks in the lobby” trip.  I refused. She agreed to my terms. Let’s see how that plays out.  If it doesn’t, I may be asking some of you to make some supportive requests and emails to the space.  Til them I’ll allow them this time to rectify their err in judgement and give them the sisterly nod I wish I had been given.

I went to the bathroom after getting off the phone with Betty, and behold, there it was.  My first period since getting pregnant.  It has been a big topic of conversation in my household.. when will the period return so we can work on baby #2.  And here it was.  On the most ovarian-positive, female-swelling, girl-powered day I’d had in years.  You can’t make this shit up.  I ran for my Lunapads, and then called my cousin Jennie who said “That’s some real crystal shit.”  Crystals, Stevie Nicks songs, and patchouli too.  This is the power of our lunar rosé, our amplified vag-voiced chorus.  We will not be stopped.  We will have each others backs – as Mother warriors, sisters in the army of femme.  We will feed our babies ourselves, from our bodies.  We will not shut up and shut down.   Repeat after me, hell NO, my boobs won’t go.

Chloé Jo Davis, is the founder of GirlieGirlArmy.com The Glamazon Guide to Conscious Living; the award-winning eco-vegan fashion site that keeps your high heels as clean and green as your yoga toned bod. Chloé is a proponent of attachment parenting and breastfeeding.  She’s the Mother of two sons; Panther Britain and Freedom Midnight and lives in NYC with her husband and their five rescued pets.

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Readers Comments (102)

  1. Liskula says:

    You are such an inspiration Chloe. I can only hope to be a supermom such as yourself. I am going to spread your good words of wisdom and do the best to make the appropriate changes in my life. I will follow in your footsteps… xx
    Thank you for educating us…
    Love you…

  2. elaine says:

    I’m appalled at what you (and Panther) have been through. On the one had, one *could* argue that at his age, he could wait until the end of class to breastfeed. On the other hand, it’s not AT ALL unusual to breastfeed an 18 month old (at least in some circles — it was “normal” in mine!). (I breastfed my last one until he was two and a half, and did so in all kinds of locations…)

    And as far as “accidents” — what? At 18 months, he’s going to “spill” breastmilk *coming from a breast*? CRAZY! Good for sticking up for your rights. After all, he’s only this age once, and he will, one day, not ask for your boobs at all. :) Hang in there.

  3. Adrienne Borgersen says:

    Right on, Chloe Jo!! I’m not a parent (yet), but I support you 100%. We can’t back down on any – not one – time our rights are denied. You could have capitulated and moved on with your life, but you stood up for yourself, for women and people everywhere, for what is right and good about the world. You seriously rock. \m/ \m/

  4. Alexandra says:

    I’m glad you were able to present this woman and her company with the legal truths about breastfeeding in New York. Your bravery and ability to present a thoughtful argument will help other women in the future to avoid being treated poorly.

  5. joanna says:

    What a beautifull and articulate article! Proud a’you. Boob-time during non-snack-time is not a snack violation, its the same as a hug or a kiss! Its comfort and security from mama. I’m pretty much one of the most independent people I know and always have been (my first sentence was “do by self!”), and I was breasfed foreveRRRR. Panther will thank you for giving him self confidence! :)

  6. matt says:

    You are funny, smart, pointed and poignant. You were born to write and observe and write what you observe. You are here to witness and be made example of in order to be the explainer of the explanations. the only ones for me, mother darling, are the mad ones…like roman candles exploding in the night…can you even booblieve it?

  7. Medea says:

    Amazing writing! We need more influential and strong women like you. I love the end of the article… which proves in the midst of chaos, the Universe always comes up with something positive to keep you going :).

  8. Stanzi says:

    Thank you for speaking up. I wish every mother would make it public when this happens – city slicker or country bumpkin. They don’t seem to have a problem feeding their babies chemical-laden liquid that blocks their neurotransmitters and depresses their immune systems, but can’t stand the thought of seeing a booby. We are fixing that now.

  9. I’ve reposted this mamacita fantastic blog post on my Fb page. You rock! I can’t wait to hear what happens next…

  10. Concetta says:

    you gotta fight! for your right! to booobie!! way to go chloe. in a way it’s good it was you and not some quiet scared mama. now some minds will be changed hopefully!

  11. Khrystine Raguet says:

    Good for you for standing up for you and your baby. I am from New York, but live in Paris now and we face the same problems here. Thankfully, I have not been told I can’t breastfeed my son. He’s just a little more than a year now and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Like you we struggled in the beginning. My son had an undiagnosed tongue tie and I finger fed him with a lactaid for the first few months because he was not able to latch. Finally I got him on the breast, but fed him with donor breast milk via the lactaid. We had his tongue tie clipped at 4.5 months and still did not see improvement. After months of hard work, pumping and patience I am happily breastfeeding him on my own. I am happy I stuck with it. Keep breastfeeding your little one and don’t let anyone make you feel uncomfortable for doing what is best for him.

  12. This is an awesome article. Thanks for not backing down Chlo. My mother breastfed all of us. There is nothing more natural than a mother feeding her child in the way she evolved to for millions of years.

    God forbid we see a boob! Meanwhile… everywhere we look in pop-culture is violence and weapons simulation. We are perfectly comfortable with killing, but not so much with providing an act of beautiful, natural life support. So shamefully backwards.

  13. Melody says:

    SO proud of you for sticking up for your, and Panther’s rights!!

  14. Lisa-Marie says:

    you and your kid you’re not the nable of the world.
    breatfeeding is sth intimate and definately not something everyone wants to see or to hear.
    when there’s a room in which no food is allowed, this counts for EVERYONE. moms and babies shouldn’t have more rights than the rest when it’s so easy to go elsewhere.

    sorry, but I think you’re totally egoistic.

  15. Joni says:

    Lisa-Marie,
    Perhaps if you could spell or use grammar properly, you’d be considered mildly dumb. But your comment was full on stupid.
    Get a clue.
    Love,
    Joni

  16. Chloe says:

    Luckily what you want LM doesn’t matter as the law is on my, and every other nursing Mother and child’s, side.
    You have no right to tell anyone where to do anything. If you find Breastfeeding offensive, you are really not well in the head. Sure, I’m an egotist because I want to feed my infant. Get a clue.

  17. themessenger says:

    @Lise-Marie – First off, I hope English is not your first language.

    Second, breastfeeding is the MOST NATURAL form of nutrition and comfort that a mother can provide their child, period, fact. If you look at it as an “intimate act” such as sex that should remain behind closed doors, you’re an idiot. Hand holding is intimate as well, should we not hold hands in public?

    You seem to overlook the fact that what took place was illegal, no matter what your archaic mindset tells you. In NYS a breastfeeding mother can do so ANYWHERE, ANYTIME, with the state law backing her up to do so. There is nothing egotistical about this writing nor this mindset.

    The reason places like this have no food or drink policy is because of dirt. I have never seen a breast spew milk all over the place, thus making it possibly unsanitary, have you?

    A womans body is as much built to do this as it is to breath. It’s the ole god fearing society (another joke amongst itself) that has dictated for hundreds of years whats decent, in the eyes of the lord of course.

    Wake up, catch up, or fade out.

  18. Chloe Jo says:

    And another thing, Lisa-Marie, this was a tiny gym class of new Moms… not a church meeting full of Grandparents! If EVER there was a place where this was TOTALLY okay and should have been warmly accepted, it was in this WOMAN AND CHILD ONLY SPACE.

    • As an Upper East Side mom myself, I can TOTALLY see how this would happen but am horrified that it happened in a mom’s only space. Even though I know it would not be right to have a problem with you doing it at a birthday party where dads (and thes woman’s husbands) would be surely panting. Completely don’t get it!!! As a mom who also attended classes, I cat attest that they are primarlily nanny only with a few sprinklings of moms so RIDICULOUS! I wonder if they havea. Problem with all of the lazy nannies on their cell phones ignoring the babies!

  19. OMG!!!!! I don’t know ANYTHING about the Upper East Side, but you are kind of making it sound like there is some truth to the stereotypes. I think they need a copy of the Book “Cu*t”. It’s not like you were war painting with MENSTURAL BLOOD!!!!!!!

  20. I F***ING LOVE YOU CHLOE!!! <3 Red Tent love to you goddess! Btw LOVE Stevie Nicks LOL one of my FAVE gals! But somehow I think you knew that already ;-) xoxo

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  22. Elijah Shannon says:

    I am SO OUTRAGED by this occurring in NYC, in a woman-owned space full of mothers (and nannies). It actually frightens me that people think this way. I am so grateful for your articulateness and BIG OVARIES! PLEASE KEEP UP THE GOOD FIGHT!

    I want you to know that I am one of those women who tried and failed breastfeeding. Well, I still breastfeed but I don’t produce enough milk. Initially I kept hearing from lactation consultants that “a lot of moms worry about supply, you have enough” but when my son kept losing weight and couldn’t gain despite breastfeeding constantly (yes, through bloody nipples and blisters) I had to feed him formula. He is now 6 months old and I still pump all day, breastfeed at the beginning of each of his meals and take supplements to help increase supply but I’m lucky to pump 6 oz a day. I often cry and feel angry and cheated that I don’t make enough milk for my son. I HATE formula. I had planned to breastfeed for years! I am grateful I can give my son the little bit of breast milk that I make, but certainly I have extreme guilt about not producing enough. The worst part is, no one seems to know why–it seems there simply is not enough research done on this topic! Anyway, I just wanted you to know that to the extreme heartbreak of many women, they truly cannot breast feed. But I will continue to defend all women’s right to breast feed everywhere for as long as they wish!

  23. Kyle Svendsen says:

    Good for you Chloe! I’m proud of you. Breast is best for babies. You should be proud of yourself for standing up for yourself, women, and your son.

  24. Mariel (Spargelfrau) says:

    What I don’t understand is how other women can sexualize another woman’s body part that is meant to sustain her child? I mean yeah boobs! They are sexy, but this is about eating, and comfort- not flaunting yourself in front of everyone. If only people like the negative commenter could realize this… What a backwards thinking world we live in.
    I’m sorry you had to be put through the stress of a situation like this, but I’m glad you can’t be shamed out of doing what you think is best!

  25. Chrystal says:

    I have breastfed each of my four children. The thought of just the smell of formula disgusts me. I have also worked as a Play & Music mommy & me instructor. I know the laws in Florida (where I live) and it states a baby may be breastfed in any location that a baby may be bottlefed. I had one complaint from a mother about another mother breastfeeding her toddler (15 months/walking) on the gym floor. I simply spouted the law to her. Issue resolved.

    You are owed an apology. If this is a franchise & is not resolved, contact corporate, if it is privately owned and the owner refuses to give a public apology (since the criticism was made in front of other mothers). I do beieve you should take further action. Nobody wants to “make a scene” however, there are times when it is called for. A family oriented company should NEVER make a mother feel uncomfortable about their parenting. Mommy & me is a luxury, and being descriminated against does not feel luxurious.

  26. Chloe Jo says:

    Elijah: You are a WARRIOR!! Can you get some frozen milk from a friend with a stockpile? FYI, I have if anyone needs. I’m sure you have tried everything, as I did. I met a woman in Central Park this summer who told me that the best thing she even did was feed her child formula because breastfeeding is “gross.” The idea of sitting on a perfectly healthy supply and sticking a fake nipple in your kids mouth is so shocking to me, particularly because I did suffer so much for Months and Months. All you women are just complete stars. This is why I don’t go completely mad living in this hood, because I know my “people” are out there, and always with me!

    • Olia says:

      Yes, we are your people. I breastfed until Isaiah was 17 months old and the whole time, I was getting so much pressure to stop. People were constantly commenting. “Wow, isn’t it time to stop already? He is a big boy.” I think formula is disgusting and I would never give my child a sip unless I absolutely had no other alternative. Do these people read any books on how breast milk shapes a person’s immune system for life? Do they realize what an immune system does?
      I love your post, I love your people and looking at your photo, I would not mind if you were breastfeeding in my baby class… hee hee. Those moms are totally jealous.

  27. Tamara says:

    Loved your post!

  28. Or says:

    the same day it happend to you in NY, it happen to a friend of mine in TLV. i guess ignorance and dark age are everywhere. NO woman, under NO circumstances, should feel a shame or even slightly uncomphtable for breastfeeding her child. this is a world-wide booby war!

  29. Lisa Marie, you have got to be tripping, right? Please tell me someone put you up to this and you let the cat type it.

    The most fundamental right and responsibility of being a mother is caring for your child, and you, yes you personally, have neither standing nor sense enough to feel accurately entitled to criticize or comment on someone else’s parenting choices.

    In a space where food is not allowed, I can understand a desire for consistency in policy, however breastfeeding is not the same as giving a kid a Goldfish from a baggy and scattering crumbs like you’re trying to find your way back to the cottage through the woods. Get real. Breastfeeding is about more than nourishment, it is also about connection, closeness, and care.

    A concern for a mess? Really? Was Chloé chasing kids and caretakers around the space squirting them with her weirdo icky boob milk making “honk honk” noises and laughing? A fundamental disregard for women, their bodies, and mothers is a pervasive problem in our society that has produced a generation of women who are disgusted by their own bodies and uncomfortable with natural functions. Unfortunately, everybody poops, dear.

    Newsflash: although breasts are sexualized and commodified, they are not merely fashion accessories or tools for pleasure. We have them because we are designed to bear children, if that is our choice. (I am equally supportive of those who choose not to have them because it is a highly personal choice, not a biological imperative.) If b00bs r icky and the thought or sight of a mother partaking in a natural act of caregiving disgusts you so, perhaps it is you who are truly the egoist. The world does not revolve around you and your distorted worldview of the female form, motherhood and what you deem as things that should be “private”/behind closed doors because it is somehow “dirty” or unfit to be seen.

    This act that you consider inappropriate for public viewing is actually in fact a legal right as well as an important aspect of supporting women as a whole, and especially mothers and children. When we stop letting people tell us our bodies are things that should be sanitized & controlled and forced to conform to their standards and commercial demands…when we stop nitpicking at each other or being “Mean Girls”…when we learn to keep our mouths shut until we can express ourselves with some intelligence and grace when addressing each other…maybe then we can actually work on things like making progress for women as a whole.

    Respect for all people starts at home with mothers. If we as a society do not stand up for parents and give them all the support they need to form the next generations, then what do we stand for? What is important at all!?

    I’m proud of you, Chloé. If these pricks wanna run a business that banks on cashing in on the stroller sidewalks of the community, they have to serve that community in a way that is respectful of the law and of parenting choices. Not like you’re disrupting class by beating your kid, you’re breastfeeding. They’ll get over it.

    Or they’ll have me to deal with. ;)

  30. Lisa says:

    Hi Chloe, this also happened to my friend in Montreal. Being a media-savvy momma, she wrote a blog about it. It made the Canadian news and the establishment issued a formal apology. You two are cut of the same cloth! Here is her blog, for you and those here who may be interested: http://breastfortheweary.com/2011/01/06/tired-hungry-baby/

    What strikes me about both of your experiences is how you had the same initial reaction: shock, awkwardness, a bit of embarrassment, and the feeling that somehow it was your fault. I think that is completely normal – I probably would have started to cry! As a breastfeeding mother I am proud that you both stood up for your rights and for the rights of your baby. Fortunately I have never been asked to stop breastfeeding in public (and dog knows I’ve certainly done it a lot!), but if I ever am, I feel like I am more prepared to deal with the situation thanks to others like you and my friend Shannon who have shared your experiences. Thank you!!

  31. Emily says:

    Frankly you sound like you are making a (hormonally induced?!) drama out of a tiny incident. If there’s a rule about snacking where’s your “loyalty to the sisterhood” in respecting it?! You’re not being singled out for breastfeeding, you’re being singled out for not abiding by the rules. Sounds like you’ll get away with it because you’re threatening some poor little business with more trouble than they want. In my book that’s called bullying.

    Plus your judgemental remarks over other people’s parenting choices don’t make you sound that supportive of other women.

    You’re clearly talented and passionate, can’t you find something more important to spend your energies on? Good luck with baby no 2, I assure you you won’t have the energy for this kind of over the top drama when he or she arrives!

  32. Lisa Viger says:

    I breastfed both my children, my daughter until she was 3 1/2. And some of my fondest memories are of nursing with the other moms during gymnastics classes! That was 25 years ago, and I nursed both kids everywhere under every circumstance (in the upper midwest, no less)and no one ever complained. I think breastfeeding then, especially in public, was more unusual then. Most people were so unaccustomed to it they didn’t even recognize I was doing it and would come up and rub my kids’ heads or some other really inappropriate thing.

    Now, most people are “breast aware” and have a strong opinion one way or the other. It’s great to have an opportunity to spread good info, like the list of breastfeeding rights, and just spread the word of the benefits of breastfeeding in general.

    So, I’m sorry this happened to any women, but am glad you’re using it to inform.

  33. chloejo says:

    Thanks Lisa. :)

    Emily:

    You sound like a misogynist, “hormone induced”? You probably believe that a woman couldn’t be President due to her period.

    And I support ALL other women, but do I have a problem with millionairesses who have no job and never look after their own kids? Yea, I think it’s sad for the kids. We are not discussing the woman who has no choice but to work and support her family, we are talking about women who would rather shop at Prada than attend a gym class with their kid… EVER. These women have weekend live in Nanny’s, half of them can’t stand to even be with their children. It’s a problematic epidemic. We ALL need help, but when you have nothing to do with raising your own child, why have one at all?

    I’m a stickler for rules, which is precisely my point. There is no RULE higher than the LAW, which is what I was abiding by.

    This is no “poor little business” – this is a CHAIN of kids gyms in NYC… HARDLY doing anything but rolling in the dough, particularly on the UES.

    Check yourself.

  34. OrganiKooK says:

    Chloe love your spirit! Stick to your vegan guns and don’t let them tell you what you can do. I am with you, when someone tells me I can’t it, it just makes me more determined. You have to do what you feel is best for you and Panther. I can’t believe the irony of getting your period that very day. Unreal.

  35. Chloe Jo says:

    I know, O.K: You couldn’t WRITE that up! Totally magic! Thanks for your support!! :))))

  36. Clare says:

    Awesome Chloe! As the breastfeeding mum of an 11 mo old I feel your shock and admire your class. I’m happy to say that in the groups I take my son to downtown & in BK this has never been an issue for us – and I’m rarely the only person nursing. Breastfeeding was tough for us in the beginning too – my son was a premie – but we stuck with it and I fully believe that it is the best, most natural thing for our little ones. It is NOT just nutrition, it is an instinctive maternal behavior that too many babes miss out on due to cultural and societal pressures – don’t even get me started on the shocking state of maternity leave in this country and how it reduces breastfeeding rates. Please keep posting on this story and opportunities for b’feeding awareness, education, volunteerism, support etc. etc. Thank you.

  37. As someone who was (and is) an attachment parent, and am now looking at high schools for my soon-to-be 14 year old vegan son, I am so happy that I refused to let anyone bully me out of breastfeeding my baby everywhere and anywhere we needed, until we were both ready to stop. William breastfed until he was a little over 2 1/2 years old. There were some interesting moments, as we saw people’s issues surface in regards to breastfeeding…especially a toddler. But, we did it, and I was so proud I could give him that wonderful beginning.

    We also had a difficult time with breastfeeding in the beginning, but found a good lactation consultant who taught us how to make it work, and we stayed with it until we both agreed it was over. My son and I have such a beautiful relationship, even as he’s entered into his teen years. I believe so much of our relationship was built on those first few years when we bonded so deeply, through attachment parenting and breastfeeding. I’m behind you 100% Chloe. We’re changing the world one boob at a time!

  38. Alice Dean says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I have nursed all four of my boys for most of their first year and longer. I too, was not giving them formula. I struggled in the beginning but because of my desire to give my boys the best I went through it and got help when needed and stuck it out. It is beautiful that God gave us our bodies for this purpose. I still to this day totally support breastfeeding moms and encourage them to stick with it. It is totally worth it! Keep up the great work! Breast is Best!

  39. Paige says:

    While yes, its totally awful that they are breaking the law, this is the problem with any fundamentalist viewpoint… as in fundamentalist vegan… (I used to be a fundamentalist raw foodist) it leaves you vulnerable for emotional wreckage if anyone disagrees with you. For Goddess’ sake, maybe some gratitude that this place actually has a pro-breastfeeding stance to being with might have helped you realized all you need to have was a conversation and not a jihad? Jihads I personally reserve for folks who are actually KILLING people as in immunization & fluoridation. Peace!!

  40. Julie says:

    I was very glad to read your blog about standing up for your legal right to breastfeeding your child Anytime, Anywhere. I have worked with many mothers who are unaware of their legal right to breastfeed. Nursing discrimination, especially of toddlers, is still very rampant in every community.

    I was very saddened, however, to read your opening statement. You support the rights of many communities, yet made such a harsh and discriminatory comment against people with different beliefs. Funny enough, some people who live in a “Bible belt” and “don’t believe in evolution” also might nurse their children to nearly 4 (child-led weaning), breastfeed in public – even in Church with old people! (per another commenter) – promote breastfeeding rights, follow attachment parenting, and even use LunaPads and DivaCups.

    Stereotypes don’t help the message. Education, compassion and open-mindedness do. I’m interested to read the continuing events of the policies of this play centre, how they make amends for their discrimination, and more.

  41. Jessie says:

    Thank you for bringing this issue to light for those of us who don’t have children and haven’t given it much thought. I’ve always planned on breastfeeding if & when I do have a child of my own, and was always told by my own mother that I was breastfed until I was two as I refused the bottle, but I hadn’t really considered what my rights (as well as the rights of current mothers) are when it comes to feeding in public. Thanks to your story, I looked up the laws in my state (which are on the mother’s side in public and the workplace) and I definitely plan to stick up for the mother if I ever see someone harassing her about feeding her baby or toddler in public.

  42. Dana Solof says:

    Awesome post! I read this on my phone at 7am in a coffee shop waiting before a meeting. It made me tear up because I didn’t get to nurse my 19 mos old son before leaving the house. Luckily I made it up to him a couple hours later.

    It’s funny how the toddler bfing discrimination works. So many people are all for nursing babies, but pass judgement if you nurse past a year old.

    I still haven’t gotten my period back. Just wondering, did you have any PMS prior or any signs that it might be coming?

    PS what an amazing photo.

  43. Khrystine Raguet says:

    Elijah: You should check out Human Milk 4 Human Babies. There’s a NY page on Facebook. It can help you find donor milk for your baby. Also I would suggest having your baby checked for a tongue tie. It’s not too late for you to have enough milk and to be able to feed your baby on breast milk alone. If you’re on Facebook PM me. I know a lot about finding donor milk. I fed my baby that way for a very long time. I also know of a great holistic lactation consultant who can help you. She was the only one who got it right for us. I had major problems breastfeeding and my son is now a year and I am still breastfeeding him, so it’s possible, I’d love to help.

  44. Go, Chloe and all the other brave mamas being sane in an insane world. Stories like this is why I left my career as an editor to go to nursing school, become a nurse-midwife, and, lately more and more I’m thinking, a lactation consultant and professional lactivist.

    Prior to school, I was already rabidly pro-breastfeeding but neutral on artificial human milk. Now that I know what is in formula, what formula companies have done and continue to do to mothers in the US and now developing countries, what it smells like, and tastes like (I just had to dip a finger in a sample because I had the opportunity in class but there’s no such thing as vegan formula so I did not chug), that shit is nasty.

    Two of the major reasons so many women have trouble breastfeeding is because of this hostility and discrimination you and many other women face and the way birth goes down (taking perfectly healthy babies away from their moms to assess them instead of putting them on her chest and traumatizing women with unnecessary interventions and manipulation). We put up so many obstacles against simply being the MAMmAls we are (I normally hate cutesy misspellings but this one had to be done!). No wonder breastfeeding is so painful for so many. Of course it would be in this climate.

    And this isn’t a judgment against anyone experiencing physical pain with breastfeeding. It happens to even the most educated and committed, like you, Chloe, so you can only imagine how it will feel when you’re ambivalent about breastfeeding.

  45. Claire says:

    “…We don’t allow snacks on the gym floor”!! LoL. A Mom with a BF toddler in a mom & baby gym class. Sounds pretty normal to most of us. Thanks for your extra efforts to explain, cut the gym some slack to retract & get on the right path.
    Terrific writing! creative sharing your experience, your struggles to breast feed your precious & not only overcome but become a fierce Panther Mama. You go girl. Us LLLs (LeLecheLeaguers) are cheering you on. We have your back (*&your bosom*)I’m re-posting to many & even OurBodiesOurselves Book Collective, National Women’s Health Network. @Joanna. Sweet supportive sister & I understand why, the child of Edna:)♥

  46. Jessica says:

    This right-wing, Darwin loving, breastfeeding athiest who grew up in the bible belt and has all of her teeth can support your breastfeeding choices, but perhaps not the language you use to blanket insult quite a few groups of people who have nothing to do with this incident. I suppose it was silly for assuming progressives who wish so much to be free from discrimination might extend the same courtesy to others.

  47. Danielle says:

    I’ll start by saying that I really enjoy your blog, your commitment to such important causes and the energy and style with which you fight the good fight. That being said, I really take issue with some of your comments and judgements made in this post…

    I am a breastfeeding mom of an 8-month old and while I think the experience you had in the class is unacceptable and inexcusable, I also find your blatant stereotyping and dismissal of bottle-feeding mothers to be equally disrespectful and inappropriate.

    I relate completely to your three months of pain while adjusting to breastfeeding as I too when through that– five months of it, in fact. And due to my baby’s problematic weight gain I have had to supplement my breast milk with formula from very early on- against my wishes but by doctor’s orders, and absolutely essential to the health of my baby (clearly the most important issue, in my book).

    While you feel that the gym attached a stigma to your breastfeeding, you are committing the same crime against bottle-feeding mothers. Every mom has a story and many of those feeding formula to their babies do it through tears, not laziness or lack of love or will. For some of us there is no other choice.

    And that comment about the Upper East Side is just unnecessary and really undercuts your entire message. I can’t imagine that you would support people judging others based on their address. Because these women leave their children with nannies they are therefore bad mothers who could not have possibly ever breastfed? It’s insane, shallow, and obviously not something that anyone could know to be true. Some of us must work, some of us pump and nannies feed our children breast milk in bottles. Or, some moms don’t work but they can afford and indulge in the luxury of some extra help- it’s not a crime, especially if it helps them to be better, more attentive and loving mothers when they are with their children.

    I appreciate the overall message – the burgeoning lactavist in you – but it doesn’t help the cause or the message to stereotype, generalize and assume you know anything about the path upon which another woman travels.

    • AliceKS says:

      Chloe Jo, I think you’re an awesome role model for the grrr-goddess, but I do feel that Danielle has a point, & I hope you can hear it. The worst thing about parenting has been mothers judging other mothers. I too had the difficulties of breastfeeding my first child, & it broke my heart to formula feed her, but I literally couldn’t hold her against my chest for the weeks that I breastfed her. Every feeding hurt, & my breasts burned between feedings as well. I figured out much later that it was probably a very bad issue with candida, but I didn’t know or understand that at the time. I’ve already shared your beautiful photo on my Facebook, so excited to see you & Panther featured in Elle! But it did sting to read “creepy powdered formula” in your first paragraph. :( Is that what every nursing mother thought of me while I was out with my child & prepared a bottle to feed her? That I was a terrible person, less of a mama, selfish & uneducated. That’s exactly what I feared–& felt about myself. And it took until I nursed my second child successfully to heal that wound. Can we all please just not judge other mothers & their choices? I definitely share your values–attachment parenting, nursing, lactavism!–but I also think the best we can do for each other is know that we never know the whole story of what another mother’s life is. There is no perfect answer or situation. I am so excited to see you & your values featured in a well-established & widely-read magazine! And while you’re spreading the message of love for our children, we can also remember to love the moms too! Every single mom needs it!

  48. gobsmacked says:

    Danielle, you’re missing the mark completely on this and taking points out of context to support whatever it is you’re trying to say here.

    The point to this article is to shed light on the fact that there is still discrimination towards breastfeeding mothers, and in this case, the law was broken amidst that discrimination.

    Being a NYC native, I can tell you first hand, no matter what your experience has been that the upper east side of Manhattan is a bubble of mostly pretentious, judgmental and elitist people who look down their nose at anything that deviates from their perception of the norm.

    It’s quite clear to me as a reader that Chloe was not speaking about mothers like you but about woman who hand off their children to nanny’s while they go shopping for more crap they dont need at Prada or Barneys, the same woman who are gabbing on their phones walking in front of their crying children being pushed by nanny’s behind them, I live on the UES, I see it CONSTANTLY.

    I believe she respects and supports any mother like yourself, and does NOT believe all mothers should be like her. But, there is a clear cut difference btw those like yourself and those that I described above. It’s not black and white.

    Bottom line, to be discriminated or looked at like some sort of freak for doing what your body is naturally built to do is just absurd, period. It should not even be a point of discussion in this day and age, but sadly it still is.

  49. Chloe Jo says:

    Danielle

    I’m pretty sure I answered all your questions on the blog I wrote about attachment parenting that fielded similar questions to yours.

    I’m NOT speaking to Moms like you. You are a warrior. I’m SPECIFICALLY speaking to the MANY MANY Mom’s I have met (more who are like this than NOT) who literally didn’t even ATTEMPT to breastfeed.

    I think it’s clear I’m not talking about the woman who has a sitter here or there. Or even the woman who has f/t help! I’m speaking about the woman who have very little to do with their children – not because of a career – but because of narcissistic endeavors. If I didn’t live in this world (since I was 3!) I wouldn’t say something so resolutely if I hadn’t done my research.

    To say my blog is “insane” is insane! ;)

    This is a story that I have PERSONALLY lived, a world I know incredibly well, perhaps better than most.. I feel well versed and safe in speaking about it.

    Thanks for your respectful comment.

    • AliceKS says:

      Thanks, Chloe Jo, for this response to Danielle. I commented below hers & then saw this. I guess I’m *still* sad about not nursing my firstborn longer, & I still have a quick reaction to judgment about it. :( And on the subject of moms who don’t attempt it, I have a quick story that might give us a little hope for how we can make a difference! :) I met a very good friend when our first babies were almost one. I was shocked to find out that she had a planned c-section (b/c I run with a pretty crunchy crowd & myself had homebirths). Turns out, both her mom & her mother-in-law told her that if she had a vaginal birth, she would become incontinent. Of course, she didn’t want that to happen, & these were two women she trusted. And in this uneducated circle, she of course received no info or support about breastfeeding either! She said she didn’t know what to do at the hospital, that they offered her baby a bottle, & she used it. And her milk never came in–of course, because she never put the baby to her breast! After we met, I told her a lot about breastfeeding. When she was pregnant with her second, I gave her a little tutorial (“tit-orial”!), & she ended up breastfeeding her daughter for over a year! Yay! But the truth is in this day & age, even in large cities, even with smart women, they sometimes don’t have all the information. And we can all still make a difference–just like you are with your lactavism! :)

  50. […] et all – but now, I have to add breastfeeding to that list. … … Continued here: Bloody Breastfeeding! How Nursing Discrimination Made Me … ← Breastfeeding and a High Palate NCT Breastfeeding Tips – 3 […]

  51. […] Bloody Breastfeeding! How Nursing Discrimination Made Me Believe In Goddesses […]

  52. Way to go Chloe, It amazes me that the most natural thing in the world is called unnatural. I hope you fill us in on what happens next.

    Discrimination appears in many forms and breastfeeding a baby shouldn’t be one of them in any location.

  53. lizzie says:

    I think this so sad that you can’t even go into a place for mothers and get harassed for breastfeeding your child….

    I thought things like this went out back in the 1980’s …when my mom breastfeed me she always had a cotton diaper ( clean) and she would cover me when it was feeding time I didn’t fuss and no one complained ( as far as I know but knowing my mom she would have given them a look that let them know “This is my child now, I’m feeding her now leave me alone” )

    I think it is great that there is law for mom’s to be able to breastfeed without harassment but I guess some people aren’t up on those or the fact they (the business) is trying to not offend the other mother’s or nanny’s there.

    I don’t know I just don’t get why people have to be annoyed about it… looked @ the other links that people posted here andI see that some of the comments there are just terrible…

    Also to me it’s not really progressive to be a breastfeeder.. I mean before formula women generally breastfeed or they had someone else feed the baby…to me it’s just normal…

  54. lizzie says:

    I just realized that should read ” I think this is so sad that you can’t go into a place for mothers and not get harassed for breast feeding your child….”

    Sorry :-)

  55. Rick Brewster says:

    I’ve aready expressed how I felt about breast feeding on SlipofaGirls blog re her interview with you however I must give you your due and say so here also. Breastfeeding is one of the most precious acts I have ever seen performed. All of my children were breastfed and blessings be on their mothers for doing it. I cannot comprehend the negativity to breastfeeding unless it is done by severely repressed individuals seriously in need of of a good therapist.

    Aslo, your refusal to just lie down and take it is not only spot on but should be the response of every woman so treated. Maybe then the point would be made and most of the world would get the picture. Good on ya mate!

  56. Amy says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! Love & Light to you in your magnificent womanhood :)

  57. Jacki says:

    I think that the owners had a right to ask that you breast feed where non-breast fed toddlers were permitted to drink… having nothing to do with being ANTI BFing but rather being fair to toddlers who used sippy cups with milk via their nannies vs. available mom who breast feeds. JMO

  58. All this talk of “warriors” and fighting for rights? Please. A privileged woman making a fuss about being asked to nurse on a sofa in the lobby instead of in the middle of the floor during a gym class is not a warrior. This is “first world problem” bullshit, not a civil rights issue. You wanna be a warrior? Fight for children who are missing basic human rights – family, food, shelter. The ones who live in Appalachia with neglected dental care like the families you are mocking above. Stop acting like your bourgeois neighborhood mommy-and-me is infringing on your rights because you can’t be respectful of other kids and move off the floor if your child is hungry (or – God forbid – request your child finish the gym class before eating like those poor deprived bottle-fed kids are required to do).

    Legally, you have the right to breastfeed wherever you want. But it doesn’t mean you have to be a jerk about it – it’s a right to breastfeed anywhere, but it’s common courtesy to assess the situation and be respectful of others in the space (including children who aren’t nursing). Or don’t go there anymore.

    I believe strongly in a woman’s right to nurse, but I also believe in kindness and common courtesy. This article is sorely lacking in both.

  59. GirlieGirlArmy says:

    Hey Kristen,

    It’s always girls like you who talk about believing in kindness and yet leave the nastiest comments. The truly kind wouldn’t kvell about how kind they are. And women who breastfed or understand breastfeeding would never speak about another woman’s breastfeeding experience so nastily. Real motherly.

    But let’s get real here – you are calling ME bourgeois but you blog about “the impact of the skinny jean on Kristen’s self-esteem, her tendency to spill food on her laptop, and her inappropriate crush on Jon Stewart” and “mocking” celebrities. Not very kind. Or philanthropic. If you have ever read this blog or newsletter over the last 12 years, you’d know we are ENTIRELY devoted to philanthropic works of all kind. That’s the purpose of this blog.

    And finally, if you are so concerned about kids in other countries – I hope you are vegan. If not, you are directly hurting children in other countries with your food choices.60% of the world’s grain is fed to farmed animals while 925 million people do not have enough to eat.

    Did you know that it takes 16 pounds of grain to produce just one edible pound of animal flesh? While we’re feeding the majority of our grain crops, along with our soy and corn crops, to animals on factory farms, millions of people around the world are starving to death. Seems wrong, doesn’t it? Being vegan doesn’t only save animals. With the amount of food and water that is wasted on animal agriculture while people starve to death or struggle to find clean water, it makes sense to stop eating animals—even the United Nations thinks so.

    It’s a fact: If we stopped eating animals, we could easily feed everyone on the planet with healthy and affordable vegan foods.

    Happy New Year!

  60. Seriously? You’re implying that I didn’t breastfeed or don’t “understand” breastfeeding just because I disagree with you? I fought through insane circumstances to continue breastfeeding my youngest – you have no idea. I’m not talking about your breastfeeding experience, or your right to nurse in public. I’m talking about your overblown reaction to being asked to move out of the way of a teacher and students in the middle of a gym class, and then labeling it a human rights issue. You weren’t asked to leave, or to stop nursing, right? It’s not nursing discrimination – it’s a teacher trying to manage a class of small children, and you making it all about yourself. Have you ever tried to wrangle a room full of toddlers and keep the dynamics of a class going while one plops down to eat? Have you thought at all that maybe this isn’t about “nursing bias”, but about the teacher genuinely trying to keep the flow of the class going?

    I think it’s great that you do so much advocating and I share similar ethics in terms of meat, sustainability, and ethical consumerism. I think your copy-and-paste lecture above on meat was a bit of a derail, but I generally agree. As you quoted, I do occasionally blog about trivial subjects – no biggie. So do you. But I would never use my platform to ask readers to contact a suburban gym over whether or not I should breastfeed on a sofa or in the middle of a class full of toddlers, and act like this is an injustice when there are so many other real issues going on in the world. That is what my reaction is over.

    Well, that and the judgey tone.

    I am shocked that you aren’t getting more pushback over your condescending attitude towards Christians and towards women who bottle-feed. Despite long nursing relationships with both my biological children, I did have to use formula with my adopted children, and comments like yours above only made me feel marginalized and shamed. Amazing that you are calling me out for being nasty and using these “army of women” analogies when you clearly don’t tolerate the viewpoints of people who share a different faith, make a different choice about feeding their babies, or (GASP) want to minimize the distractions in a gym class.

  61. Paula says:

    And with that, Kristen wins the argument.

  62. Megan says:

    And w that, kristen LOSES. And the 60 comments prior that are positive. This blog is an amazing resource. Thank u gga for existing.

  63. Chloe says:

    So you wouldn’t use your platform to talk about Breastfeeding, but you’d use it to talk about your kids living for sushi over pizza? Think Appalachian kids can afford that? Talk about elitist! Check yourself Kristen. After seeing your blog, your argument is mute and lacking. You are no Saint, and its not very “Christian” to judge others. Not to mention black hearted. Oh and the whole Christian thing is a big phat lol. Go be anti Semitic elsewhere. This blog is entirely embracing of all religions. I don’t spend my time leaving negative comments on other mothers blogs. Go kiss your kids and stop being a toxic Internet troll. I’m sure you have better uses for your time!

    • While I’m sure it makes you feel better to paint me as an internet troll, the truth is that your post really just hit a nerve on a couple levels: stereotypes, intolerance, and labeling issues of privilege as “social justice”.

      I’m not the only one reacting to it, though. Other commenters have as well. You can dismiss me all you want, but really . . . do you have any Christians in your circle who would give you honest feedback? Read that top line to them and see what they think. Do you know any mothers who bottle-feed? See how they feel about the tone of this post. (And for that matter, talk to some women who teach toddler gym classes or preschool for some perspective on your wanting to be exempt from the class rules because your child drinks from the breast instead of a sippy.) I think if you would be open to listening, instead of labeling those who disagree, that you would see that some of your phrasing is offensive.

      Again, I think it’s great that you do a lot of advocacy. I’m not calling you “mute” just because you write about fashion or other topics as you are doing to me. But your original post did make it clear that you were ready to ask your readers to get involved if things didn’t go your way. That’s the part I was reacting to. In my opinion, human rights advocacy should be about calling your audience to action for people who don’t have a voice, or for issues beyond things that affect your own comfort. . I have used my blog to advocate for everything from human trafficking to foster care reform to raising money for midwives in Haiti. Clearly you do that kind of advocacy too – I’m not going to dismiss that. But I felt this particular post was a self-serving call-to-arms.

      And regarding my original point: I thought you were crying “discrimination” over a benign request. We probably won’t agree on that. But the fact that you’ve labeled me “anti-semetic” (seriously??) and labeled another commenter a misogynist is kind of illustrating my point . . . I’m not a fan of waving the flags of social injustice because other people have an opinion you don’t like. Because when you do that, it dilutes the message for REAL issues of social injustice. Which is, again, the whole reason this post got under my skin.

  64. themessenger says:

    This article was about discrimination, no matter how big, how small, what economic glass, gender, etc. This is about a women’s rights as a human being. It was not about complaining about trivial issues or being spoiled, it was about oppression which comes in all forms shapes and sizes. Something I would think you would understand by your self righteous tone.

    GGA has been discussing and taking action against all forms of injustice for over 10 years. Sure there is plenty of trivial content as well but that doesn’t take away anything from the importance of this subject and the like.

    Your bible thumping, god fearing ethics mean nothing. As a matter of fact, almost all of the oppression, judgment, torture and murder, in the entire history of the world comes from religion. This is a fact. Just because you save “love” doesn’t mean you practice it. Your rant is full of hatred and it saddens me to see yet another hypocrite attacking a genuine person who actually practices what they preach.

    Peace to you oh blessed one.

  65. Kat says:

    I think you have a valid point and I admire your passion to stand up for what you believe in. I do agree with Kristin however, when she points out that by stereotyping other people the entire message of your article is lost on me.

    I breastfed each of my three kids for less than a year before switching them to “creepy” formula. When I got to this line of your article, “Maybe we should have to go get our plastic bottles filled with creepy powdered formula if our kid needs a sip.” I was filled with shame for that decision and instead of rallying behind you I finished the article feeling like I needed to defend my decision…which may have not been the intention, but the clear disgust for bottle feeding here makes me feel that way.

  66. GirlieGirlArmy says:

    Thank you Kat for your well thought out and un-attacking comment. I’m sorry my article made you feel judged, but this is opinion piece written months ago the day I was attacked for breastfeeding, actually minutes after. I am a breastfeeding Mother, and I support lactavism all the way, so when I was upset.. I wrote about it! Like every Mommy blogger in the world. To clarify, as it seems Kristen got MANY facts wrong, I did NOT ask people to call the gym space AND kept them entirely anonymous, in fact the owner of the space called to admit they were in the wrong and to deeply apologize NUMEROUS times in the following days. We still go there and all is cool. And we still breastfeed when he demands it. Kristen all assumed (boy, she seems to do a lot of that!) that I was nursing in the center of the room around all the kids (WRONG AGAIN!) – we were in the corner, almost impossible to detect. This was a mistake made by one staff member that made me, as a MOTHER of a toddler, feel awful. I shared with my readers, which of course Kristen dose every single day. She clearly has a bone to pick with lots of people ergo her intent to “make fun of celebrities.” Real nice.

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion, of course. I’m not making an outright rally cry against formula Mommy’s! I was telling my personal tale in an impassioned way. It makes sense – if you are a regular reader of this blog – for me to be anti traditional formula, just like I’m the anti traditional SAD (standard American Diet.) Of course I don’t feel this way about organic soy and homemade organic vegan formulas for Mommy’s who can’t breastfeed for medical reasons or adoptive Mothers – that’s pure ignorance. I have issue with Mother’s who choose not to breastfeed because it’s “annoying” or will “ruin their boobs” or it’s “icky” (yes, I’ve been told that by numerous woman!!) and that’s my beef with formula women in my neck of the woods.

    Where Kristen got this whole Christian thing is absolutely hilarious to me. I have never uttered an unkind word about anyone of another faith, color, or persuasion in my entire life. I’m involved in more charities than anyone I know and bust my ass to try and do some good in the world. Boy oh boy, Kristen, you must go to TOWN on the Mothering Mag message boards! You must despise all those lactivists in one place!

    Though I do blog (rarely about personal situations) I ONLY use this blog to share information that is positive. I have never left a mean spirited comment on another Mother’s blog and we have a FIRM in house policy that we do not leave negative reviews about any submissions that come our way (we’d sooner not review it.)

    I encourage women to breastfeed because I had an INTENSE journey with it and know if I did it (almost) anyone can!

    I honor any MOTHER – this is not a job for the weak of heart! I don’t honor nitpicking and belittling of other Mothers. There is no place for that here.

    Best,

    • Shannon says:

      Hi I read this and thought that’s awesome to stand up for your right as a mother on the other hand I was a little offended because I never attempted to breatfeed, both of my boys were formula fed and not because I thought it was icky or that my boobs would be ruined for the simple fact that I was not comfortable with it and I knew that me being uncomfortable would make my baby uncomfortable…I completely support breastfeeding and it does not bother me. All of that being said my youngest is 22 months and I have read alot about breastfeeding since he was born and I have strongly considered breastfeeding my next child when the time comes.

  67. Tricia says:

    That Kristen seems like a really angry, vile person. Chloe, you so won here and, as always, take the higher ground. Your blog helps so many people, thank you for doing what you do. I’ve been a fan and a reader for years, and will continue to do so!

  68. Andrea Howe says:

    I am fully supportive of your cause and I too am a proud breastfeeding mama of 2, with another on the way that I of course plan to breastfeed and proudly! I am also a right-wing conservative and the only part of your post here that stung was the quote from your friend “Talk about backwards right-wing thinking?” Being that it is an election year and political views are a little “hyper sensitive” just wanted to point out that there is a very wide spectrum of pro-breastfeeding in public women; both on the right and the left :)

    • Charity says:

      Whether it’s an election year or not, Lactivism is not a right-wing or religious issue. Chloe, please consider broadening your perspective to imagine this Christian Conservative Attachment parent in California supports your legal right to breastfeed anywhere anytime, because indeed I do. That mother next to you at the nursing sit-in might not vote the same way you do or worship in the same way, but we support each other because we’re women and we rock.

  69. Jenni Griffith says:

    love your post. i can’t even count the number of stares and comments i received while nursing my son. i nursed until he was 3 years old in public, and he was a HUGE baby & toddler. i’m so glad you stood up for yourself. breastfeeding mamas need to stick together! xo

  70. Hovawart says:

    Worrying about nursing causing an accident on the gym floor is very confused thinking. If she is worried that babies and toddlers might leak fluid out one end or the other, causing an accident, her only resolution is to ban babies and toddlers from her toddler gym class. After all, that is where fluid would come from, not nipples. Nipples are in mouths or clothing. But obviously the random puddle “risk” is greatly exaggerated, or there wouldn’t BE a toddler gym class.

  71. Karalee says:

    Well, I just have to throw in my 2 cents and opinion. I have been nursing babies for 6 1/2 years now. Nursed my son (oldest of three) through not 1, but 2 pregnancies. My youngest was born in November. Do the math, I know, some of you are disgusted now. Oh well. I fully support a women’s right to breastfeed, obviously, and loved your post. I can’t speak for others and how or why they did or did not get offended by your words, but as a Christian right winger (sort of) who eats meat (sorry), I never took the “sterotyping” comments as offensive. I got the point you were making. Heck, it’s a daily struggle for me to not be judgmental! We are human. Let’s all slow down and settle down and not take everything so personally. You made a passionate statement about a subject you are passionate about. Good for you. I’d like to say that we all do our best as mothers, but like you, I’ve seen far too many who seem more inconvienced by their kids than anything. So all I can do is do what I feel is best for my babies, and throw my support behind anyone who does the same. Good luck on number 2. Don’t stop nursing when you get pregnant! There was nothing so sweet as watching my kids share with their new sibling the best thing in the world! Here’s a big, “you go girl” from a co-sleeping, toddler nursing, tandem nursing, homeschooling “freak” from California!

  72. Karalee says:

    And another thing, in my honest opinion, it had far less to do with breast feeding and way more to do with his age. I actually had someone, a friend no less, say, “shame on you” when I told her I was nursing my 2 year old.Trust me, like a previous person commented, after a year most people think its “sick”. To them I say “suck it!” major pun intended!

  73. […] събитие по време на абсурдната тренировка е родило тази статия и хиляди пъти по-чаровната снимка към […]

  74. hmm says:

    the “this is the most natural thing in the world” argument is really really bad.

    Sex is also the most natural thing in the world. Doesnt mean you should go do it in public.

    Public indecency is not ok in usual cases. so why is it ok when you are breastfeeding?

    BUT, since it is allowed by state law – this gym did something terribly wrong.

  75. Chantelle says:

    i also breastfeed my 18 month old and am amazed by people who think it is any of their business! this is what breasts are for people and if you have a problem with feeding in public maybe you should hide under a blanket or in a toilet when you have your lunch!!!! you go girl xxxx

  76. Paala says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and that beautiful photo. I wanted to let you know I linked your story from my blog – http://doublethink.us.com/paala/2012/02/09/upcoming-nurse-ins-why-they-are-a-big-deal/

  77. Shannon says:

    Hi I read this and thought that’s awesome to stand up for your right as a mother on the other hand I was a little offended because I never attempted to breatfeed, both of my boys were formula fed and not because I thought it was icky or that my boobs would be ruined for the simple fact that I was not comfortable with it and I knew that me being uncomfortable would make my baby uncomfortable…I completely support breastfeeding and it does not bother me. All of that being said my youngest is 22 months and I have read alot about breastfeeding since he was born and I have strongly considered breastfeeding my next child when the time comes

  78. Scott says:

    “Repeat after me, hell NO, my boobs won’t go.”

    Unfortunately pregnancy/breast feeding will make your boobs go. Go smaller, go saggy, and worst of all….go lurpy.

  79. blue milk says:

    Found your site from an anti-breastfeeding site that had also linked to my site, and just wanted to say that I LOVE this post of yours.

  80. Donald Ross says:

    Just because you are into public breastfeeding, not everyone sees it as ‘cute’. It’s not too much to ask someone to take a few moments and find a private spot for this activity. Of course I’m a guy, you want to put it out there, I really don’t mind, but to me it is a very personal thing and not everyone is going to be excited about it.

  81. Donald Ross says:

    If a guy was urinating in public, he’d be arrested. All about preferences and when in the public forum everyone is entitled to their feelings. The crowd following the latest fad is always attempting to make villains of anyone who might disagree.

  82. Themessenger says:

    You didn’t really just compare urinating in public to breast feeding in public did you?
    One is the evacuation of liquid waste from the human body while the latter is the biolgical and factually healthiest way for a mother to nurture her child.
    I’m not even going to waste my time backhanding you for that comment because it was just so stupid.

    • Eve says:

      It’s obvious he was pointing out that using the excuse of being NATURAL isn’t justified. Stating the difference between the two acts was just obnoxious. I’m not even going to waste my time backhanding you for that comment because it was just so stupid.

  83. Spargelfrau says:

    Donald Ross, if women need to breastfeed in private, then you should have to eat in private as well. I’m sure it’s not “cute” to watch you sustain yourself either. What kind of egotistical, ignorant pig do you have to be to think that women are breastfeeding in public for you to see? This is not for you- or anyone else to decide an “excitement” factor. Shame on you and your mother for failing you so drastically in raising you properly.

  84. Eve says:

    The lobby isn’t a private place nor is it outside. You were simply asked to go to the lobby to do it.

    You claim you felt shame but yet did nothing wrong. That feeling then is on you, not them, and your baby’s suffering from your energy. How can someone make you feel shame if you did nothing wrong?

    You had the excuse the one time you breast fed in the circle during the song circle and Panther had just gone for it. If the breast wasn’t bare, then he didn’t just go for it, he had to be catered too. You had an excuse and you felt that was okay, when the establishment voiced their excuse, you didn’t give them the same weight. You broke the rule about not snacking on the floor yet you still act like you shouldn’t have to follow the rules. So typical of a person who’s parent is a lawyer.

    Having a lawyer in the family always brings out the bully and power issue characteristics in a person. They feel privileged and know how hard it is to fight someone with that backing, not to mention the cost. Even if an accused is in the right, they have to pay the bill to prove it.

    It also wasn’t toddler nursing bias. Yet again so typical of a lawyer’s verbage to create a victim where there isn’t one. It was in your class that someone voiced a complaint. The same action would have taken place if someone voiced it in the infant class, hence no bias.

    And for the people who think they can use the word NATURAL as a shield. Dedicating and having sex are NATURAL

    • Veronica says:

      Hey Lunatic,
      You are either someone who thinks nursing is gross, have issues with your wealthy parents, or are a man. Which one is it? Pathetic response to this warrior woman!
      Get a LIFE!

    • Jessa says:

      Are you joking? What on earth does having a lawyer in the family have to do with nursing discrimination? You are really reaching there! It’s borderline comedy, except that there are really people like you in the world which is scary.

    • Kimberly says:

      Rapists shame their victims. Masters shamed their slaves. Are you saying these people were at fault. The only person who should feel shame here is you.

    • Georgie says:

      Why do you know so much about Chloé? I’ve been reading this blog for 12 years and had no idea her parent was a lawyer.. you sound like a creepy obsessed fan to me!

  85. themessenger says:

    So someone shaming you cant trigger a feeling of shame? Your argument does not only fall flat but is full of resentment and jealous undertones. Until you have been in the same position you really have no ability to take an unbiased position and from the sound of it, I cannot imagine you have been. To attribute her reaction and argument on being the child of a lawyer? What mail order psych degree do you have? And yes, nursing is NATURAL just like defecating (which is what I assumed you meant to say) and intercourse, but neither of the latter are there to nourish and comfort a young child. Seriously one of the dumbest things I have ever read. Get a clue coward.




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