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Breastfeeding and Target Protest

I recently heard about all the protesting going on at the Target stores as it’s spreading nation-wide, and after breastfeeding 6 children of my own, I feel the need to post some kind of comment.  I also frequent Target and quite frankly I’m shocked that this kind of thing would happen there at all.  Target has always been one of my favorite places to shop because they are quiet and peaceful (in our area) – unlike “in your face” Wal-Mart, sounds like a great place to nurse! (though I don’t think I ever personally have)  Plus, I’ve also always had the best experiences shopping there for maternity and nursing clothes!~lol

As I said I have successfully breastfed 6 children, with a set of twins in there – never once have I felt the need to expose myself in public to state that it’s my right.  Yes, breastfeeding is natural, so is peeing – if you do it in public you get indecent exposure charges and rightfully so.  The difference is – if you breastfeed in public – you don’t have to expose yourself in order to feed your child.  And quite frankly, I feel that anyone who does is offending everyone around them with their lack of modesty – just like wearing a bikini to the store would be, modesty matters.  Now, Michelle Hickman was NOT being rude or offensive nursing in a quiet corner of the store – so why the problem??

I’m sure that the issue was some misinformed employee who was unaware of Target’s policy on breastfeeding OR they felt it was a chance to push their beliefs on a harmless mother and child.  I could see if the woman was walking around “hanging out” for all to see and saying it’s her right, but she wasn’t!   From what I read Target did not handle it well when the woman called the corporate office and did not get an apology – so that’s an additional disappointment.

I have breastfed in church – sitting in the back with a blanket.  If I was ever in a store I always preferred to go sit in the car because it was more relaxing for both me and my baby.  I also noticed that with all my children they preferred to have a blanket or a large t-shirt over them when they were nursing.  If you think about it, a big reason to breastfeed is to give your child security and nurturing – who can do this in the middle of a crowded store completely open for all to see?  What nursing mother really wants to do this?

There is no reason to be rude to a nursing mother, because generally they’re just feeding their baby – they’re not walking around flaunting, that’s not the point of breastfeeding!  Yes, there are a few who do, but as a general populace, that’s not the agenda.  But, now, of course, there are women all over the nation protesting to breastfeed.  I just don’t know about that – is that really a good idea?  The store’s policy already allows breastfeeding anywhere in the store – are they drawing attention to something that needs attention drawn to it?

Sometimes it’s best to show our support in other ways – send the woman a bunch of nursing bras from Target, or Target gift cards.  But, there’s no reason to protest a policy that’s already in place.  Perhaps demand a public apology from Target instead.

Either way, I don’t feel that breastfeeding in public is an offense – unless you are publicly exposing yourself – then that is exposure.  Breastfeeding is right, and there shouldn’t be anywhere that you cannot breastfeed, just like bottle-feeding.  But, do we need a policy or a law in place that says so?

All we do here is open a can of worms that should be left alone, freedom isn’t about having a law for every thing you’re allowed to do – that’s how they take away your freedom.  A store having a breastfeeding policy is fine – they own the business.  But, on the same hand, if they don’t want you breastfeeding in their store they have every right to say so as well – that’s what having a free country is all about.

If this protesting leads to state or federal laws infringed on businesses to allow breastfeeding in their stores – then this country will just be in far worse shape than it already is – doesn’t everyone remember the absurdity about the hot McDonald’s coffee?  Now it’s mandatory for every restaurant business to follow “hot coffee rules”.  Just because you believe in something or not doesn’t mean you should infringe your beliefs on businesses – whether it’s right or wrong.  That’s what destroys the free market.

We already have the right to breastfeed – we also have the right to shop where we want.  Target has a policy that allows breastfeeding in their stores.  And if they didn’t, boycotting them would be better than protesting.  That’s freedom.