Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

6 Bumps

Breastfeeding in Public: A Right or a Privilege? adult content

Last Tuesday, Nichole Eidsmoe was breastfeeding her 11-month-old daughter Izrael in a resale shop in the Chicago outskirts called No Strings Attached. The shop owner, John Rapp, reportedly suggested that she not breastfeed her child in his store in the future.

Cue the crunchy nurse-in. About 40 parents (with babies and toddlers in tow) calling themselves Crunchy Moms of DeKalb congregated in the Chicago suburb outside of the store where Miss Eidsmoe was asked to cover up her nursing daughter or breastfeed elsewhere.
From what I can tell, this mama was not denied the right to breastfeed her child on the premise. It was simply suggested to her that due to the clientele of the shop, it might be a better idea to nourish her child in another location. The owner stated for the record, “I support breastfeeding but I just think there’s a time and place.”

As a passionate advocate of both nursing mothers and limited government interference in the private sector, this story has led me to my Thinking Spot.

First thought: What happened to private property rights? Are ‘No shirt, no shoes, no service’ rules at fancy restaurants now banned as well? Shouldn’t a proprietor have the legal right to expect a certain behavior from his or her customers? After all, if the level of expectation is outside the realm of normality, no one will frequent their establishment and they’ll go out of business. It’s within a business-owner’s best interest to cater to their clientele.

Second thought: Just because something is legal doesn’t mean that it’s advisable. Breastfeeding is legal anywhere it’s legal for mom and baby to be. Does that mean I should walk through the aisles at Target with my boob hanging out and a toddler attached to my nipple? (I actually saw this once. Seriously.) Probably not.

The store-owner suggested that due to the kinds of people that frequented his shop, it might be a good idea for the mama to be more discreet about her nursing, or take it elsewhere.

What do you think? Should the store-owner have kept his mouth shut? Or should mom have been more adept at inferring the social acceptance of breastfeeding a near-toddler in a private business open to the public?


Asked by mommy_of_two388 at 3:45 PM on Jun. 5, 2011 in Parenting Debate

Level 43 (154,356 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (51)
  • I would like to know what kind of 'clientele' the person was referring to...
    It is a legal right to breast feed you child where every your child is hungry. Is it nice for the mom to be discreet?- YES it shows respect for others feeling even if you believe their feelings are silly and ill placed. Should a mom *have* to cover up? No. she is doing nothing wrong that *needs* to be hidden. The store owner would have been better off not saying anything.
    Your thought on the no shirt no shoes no service got me thinking though. In the same vain about dress codes. You know the restaurants that require you to wear a dress and men to have a tie... so *is* it wrong for them to enforce a 'dress code' type of enforcement requiring them to cover up? I can see where this could become a very back and forth argument. Obviously feeding a child is very different than being dressed up but if one rule can be put into ... cont

    Answer by But_Mommie at 4:12 PM on Jun. 5, 2011

  • The shop owner was being an ASS. She was being discreet. She was feeding her child. WTF would someone be bothered by a child being fed? I hate that TIME AND PLACE garbage. The time is when the baby is hungry, the place is whereever you are. My BF baby fed ON DEMAND. There was no schedule. When he was hungry, HE ATE.

    SINCE the woman WAS BEING DISCREET, that shop owner was disrespectful to her imo.

    Answer by KairisMama at 4:36 PM on Jun. 5, 2011

  • Its a RIGHT! WTF is wrong with people this is what our bodies/boobs were born and MADE TO DO!

    Answer by kylansmommy09 at 4:00 PM on Jun. 5, 2011

  • Its a right, and mommy of two, if you read more about the story, she was being discreet, and the shop owner was being an ass.

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 4:05 PM on Jun. 5, 2011

  • I think you should have a right to breast feed but still have to be considerate of others, there's some women that just pull the tit out and don't care whose around but they make shawls you can put on so its more discrete its all about compromise we know baby has to be fed its just the way you do things

    Answer by toybar02 at 3:59 PM on Jun. 5, 2011

  • To the anon who is BORED, and assumes DHs are too - you sound like a damn moron!!

    Answer by KairisMama at 5:09 PM on Jun. 5, 2011

  • I do support a mom's right to bf in public. If the store guy did not like to see her bf, then maybe he should have offered her one of the dressing rooms to use, so she could have some privacy? Instead of suggesting she not bf in his store again. I don't know if she was covered or not, or how 'modest' she was about it. (not that it really matters, as some babies do not like to be covered up). I am sure that since he was a man and obviously never bf that probably helped to stir things up and make this into a big issue. I DO think that stores that attract a lot of pregant/nursing moms should set aside a small, private space for nursing moms to use when baby gets hungry. It is not right to let a baby go hungry and fuss, and it is not right to get 'the look' or rude comments when you do choose to bf your baby. Or worse yet... be forced to bf in a dirty bathroom because there is no other place to sit or do it.

    Answer by MizLee at 5:12 PM on Jun. 5, 2011

  • And you assume that all breastfeeding mothers feed their babies like that picture? Perhaps up assume to much.

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 5:44 PM on Jun. 5, 2011

  • Minnie you ONCE BF, but feel to breastfeed in public is DISTASTEFUL? Wow, distasteful to FEED A CHILD. SMH

    Answer by KairisMama at 6:05 PM on Jun. 5, 2011

  • I know all too sad if i was asked to leave i would have the police on my phone in a hot second :.( oh society :.(



    Answer by kylansmommy09 at 4:17 PM on Jun. 5, 2011