Senate Bill 87 is moving its way through the legislature. Missouri should be commended for being one of 45 states that has breastfeeding protection laws in place. HOWEVER, some legislators believe that the “discretion” clause should be kept in. It’s important to note that we are the ONLY state which includes this. It reads:
191.918. 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary,
2 a mother may, with as much discretion as possible, breast-feed her child or
3 express breast milk in any public or private location where the mother is
4 otherwise authorized to be.
Now, perhaps you don’t see a problem with “discretion”. That sounds reasonable, right? BUT…who defines discretion? What I think is discreet is most likely different from what you think is discreet. How will this be enforced? If I’m nursing my baby in Wal-Mart in the carrier using two shirts (one lifted up and one folded down, ensuring minimum skin showing), and someone notices what I’m doing…is that discreet? This actually happened!
Other incidents include mothers being asked to cover up (or leave):
Where does it end? If we would not ask a bottle-feeding mother to cover up or move someplace else, then we can not ask a breastfeeding mother! We can not limit where or how she nurses…not all babies allow covering up and it is completely impractical in 100 degree weather.
It’s time for the legislature to quit being so stuffy and think about what is really workable for motherbabies.
It’s important to note that only ONE of the pictures above involved breastfeeding in public. Proof that even the most brazen mother uses “discretion” when out and about….even though we shouldn’t have to!
If you’re feeling brazen, want to jazz up your wardrobe or show your support for public breastfeeding, click below to order your own “Discretion Can Kiss My Breast” tee shirt. Proceeds go directly to community breastfeeding support.