Should women be able to breast-feed anywhere?

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Being reasonable

I have no problem with breastfeeding in public. However, if I started eating a sandwich in a courtroom I wouldn't be surprised if I was told to leave too. If a judge's thinking is affected by some distraction it is reasonable to address the issue. There are many things inappropriate in a courtroom. Distractions take many forms, and finding oneself distracted by an activity should not be conflated with a value judgement on the activity; i.e. people talking loudly in any context can be distracting, though the value of the act of talking is itself not in question.

In the context of justice being considered I think that the most important thing is a clear-headed judge.

Is it appropriate?

Being natural has nothing to do with it - is it appropriate is the question. A crying baby is also completely natural, but would a crying baby be appropriate in a courtroom? I don't think so. Just like sitting on a plane for hours having to listen to one. I am all for breast-feeding, but is it appropriate in a courtroom? Probaby not. [abridged]

Judge's choice caused the disruption

If the judge had chosen to allow the mother to continue attending quietly to her baby's needs, there would have been no fuss or interruptions to the courtroom proceedings. How embarrassing for the mother to be shamed in this way. My support is with better education for all, in understanding, showing tolerance and respect for breastfeeding mothers.



To the person who concedes it's perfectly natural, but argues there are other things natural to humans for which we would get arrested in public ... eh? We're talking about feeding babies, not urinating or whatever else you were suggesting. Babies are totally helpless and therefore completely reliant on their parent for food. It doesn't compare to any other "natural" adult function.

Agree Olive

I completely agree with you, Olive. It is disgraceful that an element of society frowns upon breastfeeding to the point where many mothers are now too embarrassed to feed their babies in public for fear of scathing looks. Fortunately, we live in a country where it is perfectly legal for a mother to breastfeed her baby in public - hopefully stories such as this will help see a shift in mindset as well. 

46% not appropriate? Really?

Wow, our society is sicker than I thought.  Very disappointed in this.  I guess we are all doomed when a human feeding a human baby is considered inappropriate anywhere.  Sorry, but what is wrong with you people?

It's never inappropriate

There is no situation where it isn't appropriate to feed a baby who requires it. The sexualisation of womens breasts to the point where women are frowned on for feeding a hungry child is so far removed from the interests of the child it should not even be a question. There is not place that a women would be questioned for putting a bottle in a child's mouth, so there should be no questions or comments when a child is offered mother's milk. This is how humans are designed to feed their infants.

'Perfectly natural'

We all know that breast feeding is perfectly natural, but what's that got to do with it? I could list quite a few things that are perfectly natural, but would have you arrested in no time if you performed them in public.

Is there anywhere women shouldn't breastfeed?

Yep. Public/shopping mall toilets. Filthy places, and one should never eat/drink in them, but unfortunately that's where some women are forced to go. Discreet breastfeeding should not offend anyone, or be pushed out of sight. It is natural, and a baby should not be expected to wait for his/her milk just because some adults have a problem with it!