New mom Penny Schlanser from Texas decided to join a gym and get in shape after having a baby like so many other mothers. The Pure Fitness for Women gym must have sounded like a great choice for her, as it had a daycare for kids up to 12, and she could work out with her baby very near. But things didn't work out like that. When she breastfed her baby in the gym daycare after being a member for about 10 days, she was told to leave. But this mother's bad experience didn't end there. Instead there were radio broadcasts, twitter and facebook wars, and even news reports that all shared the sentiment that "children should not be exposed to that sort of thing". What?
You read that right apparently the gym's owner was concerned that children as "old as 12" could be exposed to... breastfeeding. The gym is now going to be hit with a large "nurse-in", where a group of breastfeeding moms get together to nurse their babies in public. As a former breastfeeding mother, I got some negative comments or looks while breastfeeding in public, but never anything as extreme as this poor mom and her baby.
This incident is, let's say it out loud, outrageous. In a world where nudity and sex are everywhere, some people feel the need to see the most innocent and healthy thing in the world, breastfeeding, as a problem? Let's say this out loud too: breastfeeding is not sexual, not shameful, and it is nothing more than the best nutrition and often comfort for babies and often toddlers too. It's International Breastfeeding Month.
This incident demonstrates the need for such an awareness month very well, unfortunately. Any public place that attempts to ban breastfeeding on its ground is not family centered, or family friendly, and very misguided. Also see how long should you breastfeed?