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Judge doesn't allow breastfeeding in courtroom? This Michigan judge broke the law.

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http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/11102011-judge-tells-mom-not-to-breastfeed-in-courtroom/

Judge tells mom: Don’t breastfeed in courtroom
CAROLYN ROBERTSON
MOMS ON THE EDGE
posted: 11/10/2011, 9:01 am

“I felt like I was being attacked for breastfeeding.”

So says Michigan mom Natalie Hegedus, who claims that she was left “humiliated” this week when a district court judge openly admonished her for breastfeeding her 5-month-old baby in the courthouse.

Natalie hadn’t planned on bringing her son Landon with her when she went to court this past Tuesday, but had to pull him out of daycare after he came down with an ear infection. So when he became hungry after a 2-hour wait, she did what most moms would do – she fed him.

Making sure that “nothing was showing,” Natalie says that she discretely nursed Landon as she continued to wait in the courtroom. When her name was finally called, she asked the Honorable Robert T. Hentchel for a moment as she collected herself and her son. According to Natalie, the judge then asked her if she thought the courtroom was an appropriate place to breastfeed her baby.

Showing considerable calm, Natalie says that she pointed out that her son was hungry and that nursing in public is not against the law so she didn’t feel it was inappopriate to feed him there. She claims that the judge disagreed, citing, “My court, my law and I feel it is.” Apparently it was then that the mortified mom noticed a note that a court employee had passed to the bench that warned, “There is a woman breastfeeding in court.”

“Needless to say I left in tears, I have never felt so humiliated,” Natalie wrote as she later related the experience in a post in the BabyCenter Community. She was so outraged that she’s contacted lawyers and plans on filing a formal complaint.

As disappointing as Natalie’s story is, what makes it all the more frustrating is the fact that it’s not exactly a one-off incident. She is just one of many moms who have felt judged and criticized for simply feeding their children. Despite the fact that just about everybody encourages moms to breastfeed these days, we still hear stories of women being kicked off of busesremoved from airplanes and asked to leave restaurants for daring to nurse their babies in public.

Is it any wonder that new moms like BabyCenter blogger Sabrina Garibian might have a few jitters at the prospect of breastfeeding in public?

If we really want to encourage nursing, then it can’t be shrouded in mystery and shielded from sight, something that good moms do while huddled behind closed nursery doors. Natalie’s story just goes to show that despite all of our best intentions, society’s collective hang-up over breastfeeding still exists.

by on Nov. 11, 2011 at 6:10 PM
Replies (21-30):
ShortThumbs
by on Nov. 11, 2011 at 7:36 PM
1 mom liked this

Ahem. 

Michigan state law states:

"Public nudity does not include any of the following:

(a) A woman's breastfeeding of a baby whether or not the nipple or areola is exposed during or incidental to the feeding."

So looks like that judge can go ahead and suck it. (No pun intended.) 

collinsmommy0
by Gold Member on Nov. 11, 2011 at 7:37 PM
I haven't even called or tried to get out of it - DH can watch DS if I get called in, then I figure they will probably send me home because givin me a space & time isn't worth their time!
Maybe I'll call on Monday & let them know - I'm 'on call' for the next 2 weeks (& hoping not much is going on due to thanksgiving during that time)

I live like 5 minutes away from it so I figured it may be worth the drive just to be sent home.


Quoting dairymama:

You can't get out of it? My husband got a summons a couple months ago and on the back of his it said if you are the primary care taker of a child(ren) under 5 and/or breastfeeding you don't have to go. Maybe that's just where I live?




Quoting collinsmommy0:

Wow. I have jury duty next week - I wonder what they will think of me & my pump & my request to pump for 20 min every 2-3 hours in a place other than a bathroom!


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Nicholle5
by on Nov. 11, 2011 at 8:19 PM
breastfeeding in public was illegal in az when i had my first 2 kids.i remember reading in the paper when i was pregnant with my oldest daughter(2nd child) back in 06 that breastfeeding in public was now legal but to my surprise it was still not in effect by aug 07.i remember breastfeeding my daughter(completely covered up btw) in downtown tucson az when she was only a few weeks old when some people took offense when they asked if they could see the babys face and i replied no she is eating.they looked taken aback and soon after a cop came up to me and told me that i was not permitted to breastfeed my child in public and to please go into a restroom or wait til i returned home.i told him that i read a while back that breastfeeding in public was now legal and he said that the law wasn't in complete effect yet but understands why i was confused.i didn't get a ticket so at leased that was good but even later after i had my 3rd child when the law was in effect i was always cautious and worried about breastfeeding in public.i now have identical twin girls who are 5months old and i still don't like breastfeeding in public.
TTC2Long
by Gina on Nov. 11, 2011 at 9:38 PM
I hope she NAILS his ass!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
geronima2003
by on Nov. 11, 2011 at 9:42 PM
What a jerk! Poor Natalie, I'm glad she's doing something about it
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
raven1114
by on Nov. 11, 2011 at 9:44 PM

i believe the cop was mistaken (or lying) because it has never been illegal to breastfeed in public

Quoting Nicholle5:

breastfeeding in public was illegal in az when i had my first 2 kids.i remember reading in the paper when i was pregnant with my oldest daughter(2nd child) back in 06 that breastfeeding in public was now legal but to my surprise it was still not in effect by aug 07.i remember breastfeeding my daughter(completely covered up btw) in downtown tucson az when she was only a few weeks old when some people took offense when they asked if they could see the babys face and i replied no she is eating.they looked taken aback and soon after a cop came up to me and told me that i was not permitted to breastfeed my child in public and to please go into a restroom or wait til i returned home.i told him that i read a while back that breastfeeding in public was now legal and he said that the law wasn't in complete effect yet but understands why i was confused.i didn't get a ticket so at leased that was good but even later after i had my 3rd child when the law was in effect i was always cautious and worried about breastfeeding in public.i now have identical twin girls who are 5months old and i still don't like breastfeeding in public.


Poisongirl98
by Bronze Member on Nov. 11, 2011 at 9:47 PM
Quoting collinsmommy0:

Wow. I have jury duty next week - I wonder what they will think of me & my pump & my request to pump for 20 min every 2-3 hours in a place other than a bathroom!



I actually did have to pump while on jury duty for federal court. There was no problem with it and they did have a separate room for pumping moms and it wasn't too bad. I wasn't there for long before being dismissed so i only had to pump once.

Anyway, this story is ridiculous. WTF is wrong with people?!
FLmommy0204
by on Nov. 11, 2011 at 10:29 PM

"my court, my law"?!  Wow talk about an ego.  He needs some deflating! 

tttsmommy
by Member on Nov. 11, 2011 at 11:05 PM

i think it is sad that you arnt SUPOSED to breastfeed your child in public but they can display victoria secret modles in there bra's and panties or men just in a speedo. come on america our boobs are not on display for sexual pleasure they are made to FEED our children. i got thrown out of a resturant in 2000 after having my first one and trying to bf. i was livid and went home crying. i didnt bf my three that followed very well but i do plan on bf the lil one that is on teh way.

Nicholle5
by on Nov. 11, 2011 at 11:50 PM


breast feeding in public was illegal in az as well as in other states because its up to the states to pass legislation for/against issues such as this. i was(surprised) able to find this old link on the issue http://www.azcentral.com/families/articles/0216breastfeed0216.html i believe most if not all states allow public breastfeeding now but that hasn't always been the case.there was a story in the news back in 2005(i remember because i just had my 1st child at the time)where a mother was nursing her baby at a bus stop or something of that nature and some children with their parents came within close proximity and a child asked what was that lady doing with her shirt off(if i remember correctly her shirt wasn't off just lifted up or pulled down) the parents of the child were offended and actually called the cops on her for exposing herself to their child in public.she was arrested,her child was placed in cps custody and she was charged with a whole slew of things including indecent exposure to a minor and she later had to register as a sex offender apparently the judge felt that she should have at leased covered up her exposed breasts and really slapped it to her anyways i will try to find the actual story and will post a link when i do

Quoting raven1114:

i believe the cop was mistaken (or lying) because it has never been illegal to breastfeed in public

Quoting Nicholle5:

breastfeeding in public was illegal in az when i had my first 2 kids.i remember reading in the paper when i was pregnant with my oldest daughter(2nd child) back in 06 that breastfeeding in public was now legal but to my surprise it was still not in effect by aug 07.i remember breastfeeding my daughter(completely covered up btw) in downtown tucson az when she was only a few weeks old when some people took offense when they asked if they could see the babys face and i replied no she is eating.they looked taken aback and soon after a cop came up to me and told me that i was not permitted to breastfeed my child in public and to please go into a restroom or wait til i returned home.i told him that i read a while back that breastfeeding in public was now legal and he said that the law wasn't in complete effect yet but understands why i was confused.i didn't get a ticket so at leased that was good but even later after i had my 3rd child when the law was in effect i was always cautious and worried about breastfeeding in public.i now have identical twin girls who are 5months old and i still don't like breastfeeding in public.



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