In the day and age of social media, people can connect and put together events at a moment’s notice. That’s just what happened in our surrounding neighborhood of South Hadley, Ma two weeks ago. The owner of a business said she posted the policy restricting breastfeeding on her business’s Facebook page and the backlash was immediate. Some comments included the 2009 Massachusetts law that prohibit any restrictions on nursing in a public place. The business owner than said she took down the post within minutes and now her business does NOT have a policy regarding breastfeeding.
The business owner told the local media that she was trying to be considerate of everyone’s feelings and was trying to make her business a place where everybody feels comfortable. Her post originally read “For the comfort and consideration of all our guests, uncovered breastfeeding will not be allowed in the play area. Please use a cover in the seating area or ask to use one of our party rooms.” – She followed the back lash up afterwards, that she was unaware of the nursing law when she instituted the policy.
Although the post was deleted and the policy retracted, area mothers took to social media to organize a “nurse-in” protest at the business. Area mothers were encouraged to head there if you were currently nursing or if you were a supporter of nursing mothers. By midafternoon there were nearly 300 comments on the “nurse-in” Facebook Page.
State law dictates that “no person or entity can restrict a mother from breastfeeding her child in a public place and that any exposure of the breast during the feeding process is not considered lewd.” The business owner wanted to point out that her original policy never completely prohibited nursing. She said in asking mothers to leave the main play area or cover up to breast feed, she was encouraging something many women already did. She wants everyone to know she is a true believer in breastfeeding.
However, there are many that feel there should be more emphasis in teaching women about breastfeeding and that when people feel uncomfortable by what breasts are designed for, it speaks to the larger issue of the lack of support. We’re not normalizing this behavior, breastfeeding is NORMAL.
Nursing Moms and their supporters were happy that the business decided to eliminate their Facebook post and this new policy. Feeling that if anything they should have been going out of their way to support breastfeeding mothers.