LETTER: I’m entitled to breastfeed in public

I was floored at last week’s poll question “Is breastfeeding in public a crime?” and that 13 per cent responded with a yes!

Editor:

I was floored at last week’s poll question “Is breastfeeding in public a crime?” and that 13 per cent responded with a yes! As a nursing mother and breastfeeding advocate, I must comment.

Have the statements about the positive effect of breastfeeding on the health and well-being of our children continued to fall on deaf ears?

Is our culture so backward that we cannot get past realizing that breasts were made for babies and not purely for selling music, cars, clothes, etc.?

Can we not celebrate and encourage those who choose to breastfeed their babies and make it easier for them, knowing that breastfeeding can be challenging but that the benefits are immense?

I appreciate The Gazette taking a stand the previous week but, was disappointed at the expectation that the woman should be covered when in public; this is unfair and unrealistic.

If I don’t have a cover of some sort and my infant is hungry, should I not be able to nurse him?

Would you really rather hear a baby wailing in hunger? If a woman feels more comfortable wearing a nursing cover, that is great, but it is not a crime for me to bare my breast in public and use it for its intended purpose – feeding babies.

If the sight of me nursing my baby in public offends you, please avert your eyes.

I am certainly not putting on a show for you. As I was given breasts to feed my baby, you were given a neck with which to turn your head.

It is my child’s right to eat when hungry and my human right, under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to breastfeed anywhere and anytime.

According to the BC Human Rights Code “It is illegal to discriminate against a woman because she may become pregnant, is pregnant, or has a baby… it is discriminatory to ask them to cover up or breastfeed somewhere else.”

Nursing a baby should not be offensive and a mother need not be discreet; breastfeeding is natural, normal and beautiful.

Kristy Kuromi, Grand Forks