Friday, May 7, 2010

Asked not to Breastfeed

My daughter Lily, who is 4, qualifies due to her hearing loss to receive resource speech therapy at our local school, Bellamy Elementary, twice a week. During the half hour she’s there, my other daughters (Logan (4) and Addison (2)) and I wait in the lobby. On April 28th, 2010 I was called into the principal’s office and asked not to breastfeed in the lobby. The principal said it was “not appropriate” for students, particularly boys in the school, to see me breastfeed.

I informed her that FL law protects my right to breastfeed in any location, public or private where I am otherwise authorized to be. She said it didn't matter what the law states because it was not appropriate. She said that she could try to schedule Lily's speech therapy sometime when there were not students at the school, or I could wait in a private location and nurse there. I informed her that I did not want to nurse in a private location. She asked me to leave her office.

Link to FL statute 383.015 concerning breastfeeding

My first response was to write a letter to the principal of Bellamy, Lynn Rattray, and to her supervisor, Lisa Yost. Here is a copy of the letter I wrote to Ms. Rattray:

Dear Ms. Rattray,

I am writing to express my concerns in regards to our meeting today where you asked me not to breastfeed my daughter in the lobby of your school. Although I mentioned it during our conversation, I’d like to again remind you that Florida State Law 383.015 protects my right to breastfeed my child in any location, public or private, where I am otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether my nipple is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.

I feel that your suggestion that I change the time I bring my daughter for resource speech therapy or to nurse in a private location violates my rights. Furthermore, your suggestions deeply offend me and I would like an apology.

There are numerous and well-documented short and long-term health risks to not breastfeeding. The World Health Organization states that mothers need support to make optimal breastfeeding practices a reality and that, “above all, mothers everywhere should have a sense of pride in breastfeeding.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that breastfeeding should be protected, promoted and supported and that, “throughout your community, everyone plays a role in fostering breastfeeding. When health care professionals, legislators, employers, business owners, and community and family members work together, their efforts can increase the number of women who are able to start breastfeeding and the length of time they continue to breastfeed.”

You mentioned that seeing a woman breastfeed is not appropriate for young boys. I feel that seeing a woman breastfeed is highly appropriate for young boys. Breastfeeding is the biological normal way to feed a child. By letting children see a mother breastfeeding, we are teaching them that this is normal and that feeding our young are what breasts are for. And in turn, the children with greater exposure to breastfeeding will be more likely to grow up to be breastfeeding mothers and breastfeeding-supportive fathers. A larger breastfeeding population will benefit the whole society with less health care cost and less employee absenteeism (parents taking off work to care for sick children.) As a school principal, you are in the unique position to teach these values to children at a young age and make a lasting impression. You could even adapt a school curriculum to help make breastfeeding normal. Simple things such as teaching kindergartens that all mammals make milk for their babies and that humans are mammals can go a long way.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response.


Melissa Taylor

On May 4th I received a phone call from Lisa Yost, Area Director Area II. Lisa informed me that she spoke to their lawyer and that I do have the right to breastfeed where I’m authorized to be, but she said that the principal can authorize where I can be in the school. She said they would like me to wait in a private area while Lily receives speech therapy. She said that there is no food and drink allowed in the lobby. I replied that if I had been feeding my child a bottle, no one would ask me to go somewhere else. Lisa said that they might have because there is no food or drink. I find this hard to believe. When I dropped my letter off to the principal there was a baby drinking form a bottle in the lobby.

If I had been asked to wait for Lily in a private area from the beginning this would be fine and I would have been happy to do so. I don’t think it’s fair to ask me to wait somewhere else BECAUSE of the fact that I am breastfeeding.

We decided to take our complaint one step further up the chain of command. On May 5, 2010 we emailed the superintendent and the school board members. Here is a copy of the email I sent:

I am writing to express my concerns in regards to a meeting I had on April 28th with Ms. Rattray, principal of Bellamy Elementary school. My daughter, Lily, receives resource speech therapy twice a week at Bellamy and while she is in her session, my two other daughters and I wait in the school lobby. On this particular afternoon shortly after we arrived, I was told that Ms. Rattray wanted to speak to me. When I entered her office she informed me that nursing my daughter wasn’t appropriate in the lobby and that she’d like to either arrange another time for my daughter to receive speech therapy, or for me to nurse my daughter in a private location.

I mentioned to Ms. Rattray that Florida Statute 383.015 protects my right to breastfeed my child in any location, public or private, where I am otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether my nipple is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding; however, Ms. Rattray insisted that it was not appropriate for the young boys in the school to see me breastfeed.

The following day I sent a letter to Ms. Rattray and to Lisa Yost expressing my concerns. On Tuesday May 4th, I spoke to Ms. Yost over the phone. Ms. Yost informed me that as principal, Ms. Rattray can authorize which areas of the school I am allowed to visit, and that in the future I will need to wait in a private location while my daughter receives speech therapy. Because I had been previously authorized to wait in the lobby, I feel that being asked to now wait in a private location is a violation of 383.015 and Title IX and discriminates against me because I breastfeed.

Breastfeeding is an important act of nurture that needs to be encouraged, protected and supported. I’m not sure how familiar you are with the importance of breastfeeding, but there are numerous and well-documented short and long-term health risks to not breastfeeding. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that, “throughout your community, everyone plays a role in fostering breastfeeding. When health care professionals, legislators, employers, business owners, and community and family members work together, their efforts can increase the number of women who are able to start breastfeeding and the length of time they continue to breastfeed.”

My goal is to prevent other women from being asked not to breastfeed in any Hillsborough County School. I would appreciate a written and timely response. Thank you for your time.

A friend on mine had email Ms. Yost and she received this response on May 6:

I am in receipt of your email and responding to your concerns. The principal of the school is not denying any mother's right to breastfeed her child. It is the principal's right and responsibility to take care of the needs of all students, families and visitors at the school. As specified under the law, she is authorizing a convenient, comfortable location for mothers to wait for their children and breastfeed as necessary.

My husband replied to this response and the school board's lawyer wrote back. Here is a portion of what the lawyer said:

The Florida law does not, however, contain a right to breastfeed “wherever and whenever” a mother wishes. The law does not guarantee that a person will be allowed a place to breastfeed. It simply says that breastfeeding may occur wherever the “mother is otherwise authorized to be.” It does not provide that authorization nor undermine the power of the person in charge of the place where the feeding is to occur to give or withhold the authorization. If one were to read the statute as giving an unrestricted right to breastfeed, it would mean that a person in his or her own house could not ask a guest to perform the act in privacy. This statute could not impose such a requirement and no authority has said that it did.

It is therefore clear that a school principal may determine, based on factors including the place where the feeding will occur and the age and gender of students in that place, that breastfeeding is or is not appropriately conducted in a particular area at that particular time.

I do not agree with his interpretation of the law. I believe this is exactly the kind of thing the law was trying to protect against. Asking me to wait in a separate area is treating me different because I breastfeed. If they were asking me to wait in a separate area because of my race or my sexual orientation, there would be no question that it is discrimination. The preamble of the breastfeeding statute states:

WHEREAS, the social constraints of modern society militate against the choice of breastfeeding and lead new mothers with demanding time schedules to opt for formula feeding for reasons such as embarrassment and the fear of social ostracism or criminal prosecution, and

WHEREAS, the promotion of family values and infant health demand putting an end to the vicious cycle of embarrassment and ignorance that constricts women and men alike on the subject of breastfeeding and represents hostility to mothers and babies in our culture based on archaic and outdated moral taboo, and

WHEREAS, any genuine promotion of family values should encourage public acceptance of this most basic act of nurture between mother and baby, and no mother should be made to feel incriminated or socially ostracized for breastfeeding her baby

It is clear from the school's response that they feel breastfeeding is inappropriate. The lawyer stated, " It is therefore clear that a school principal may determine... that breastfeeding is or is not appropriately conducted..." I imagine the principal looking at two women breastfeeding and pointing to one and saying, "she's doing it appropriately," and pointing the other and saying, "she's doing it inappropriately."

Breastfeeding is normal and I feel I have been treated poorly. I am a mother of 4 and have been breastfeeding for about 6 years. I am a lactation counselor and very educated about breastfeeding. I have never been asked not to breastfeed or felt uncomfortable breastfeeding in public before. Even with all my knowledge and experience, the principal asking me to not breastfeed has caused me to feel uncomfortable every time I enter the school. Even if the result of my first letter was for them to apologize and say, “Go ahead and breastfeed!” I would still feel uncomfortable every time I go there. Asking me not to breastfeed has caused me to parent differently while at the school. Instead of following my instincts and looking to my child’s needs, I am finding myself hoping Addison does not ask to nurse while I’m at the school. I am trying to distract her from nursing. If she asks to nurse, I am still nursing her but I hate that they have caused me to change my behavior. If I were a first time mother new to breastfeeding, or even worse, struggling with breastfeeding, who knows how this would affected the nursing relationship with my child. I am not perusing this for my personal gain. We only have about 4 more weeks of speech therapy until summer and Lily will go to a different school next year. I’m doing this because I want to protect the right of women to breastfeed without harassment. I’m doing it to ensure that this does not happen to other women, and especially to my children when they are older. I'm doing this because I believe doing nothing is like agreeing I was acting inappropriately. My ultimate goal is for the school system to adopt an official policy where women are welcome to breastfeed on school property without interference. I thank everyone for their support.

If you would like to contact the school board, use this link. We're hoping that friendly reminders of the importance of encouraging, supporting and protecting breastfeeding may be helpful.


  1. What a story! I would like to think that it will definitely go in your favour!

  2. I just sent them a letter using your link (thank you) and I will be there on the 18th with the girls and that's right in the middle of nap time so I am sure they will be wanting to nurse...

  3. I hope that you have contacted a lawyer. The school system's lawyer is way out of line and his personal opinions of breastfeeding are definitly coming out. It really shows to me the level of education and the mindset of the Hillsborough County School system. As if Florida school didn't have a bad enough rap as it is!

  4. I'm sorry to hear about this! Surely the "socially ostracised" line should protect you?

  5. If they allowed you to wait in the lobby during one therapy session, and did not allow it for another one, when the only difference was the breastfeeding, then it seems clear that you were 'authorized' to be in the lobby to wait for your daughter. I wonder if the mother who was bottlefeeding would back you up with a statement that she was not asked to move.

  6. Seems to me that Preamble makes it very clear... Your letter to them was great, btw!!!

  7. Their "interpretation" of the law is completely laughable. Where did their lawyer get their law degree? University of Phoenix?

    You are completely in the right. Indeed.. Get a lawyer and sue them for your legal costs at the bare minimum. Hopefully the judge will force the Principle and the Lawyer to go to some kind of sensitivity training.

    You are amazing and so very calm in your approach. Good for you - you are the educator.

  8. I breastfed at the mall playground. I breastfed at the public playground. If you can do it there, you can do it in a school lobby. SDHC got this one wrong, and should rectify ASAP.

  9. This same thing happened to me a couple of years ago at a Pinellas County school. I contacted the media and it was resolved quickly with an apology and the acceptance that I am allowed to breastfeed in public. The reporter was Katherine Snow Smith with the St. Pete Times. She is a natural mother and a phenomenal reporter. I was also contacted by an attorney in my area to press charges, which I chose to not pursue. If you need more information, feel free to email me at

    Wishing you peace,
    Alicia Norris

  10. Please take the above comment from ms Norris seriously. My first thought was that this should b resolved quickly and more publicly w media coverage. Your stance is correct and admirable. Strong support heading your way!

  11. I live in Canada and sadly cannot attend events in Florida, but I'm glad to be a part of the process! This is what I've sent to the board via your link:

    Hello administration! I am writing simply to extend my support to a woman who has had difficulty feeding her child in one of your facilities. Maybe I just think women are swell, or maybe I think the world takes a little too much out on them sometimes. Like for example, when a woman is asked to leave a school or relocate because her child is hungry. I have a basic rule that the world as a whole does not seem to share: when a child is hungry, feed the child. Propriety should be a matter only with respect to how we are treating the breastfeeding women who are using their breasts for the function of nourishing life and consciousness in literally the best way we can humanly. Young boys and girls are otherwise going to grow up with the only alternative understanding of breasts available to them. Can you guess what understanding that will be? Peruse a single shelf of a magazine stand, look up at almost any billboard, turn on the television. You might have a better understanding of what it is we're teaching our youth about breasts when we also censor and shame the most healthy and amazing function of them. By extension we shame women (young girls, giving them INAPPROPRIATE and obscene perceptions of their breasts, sexuality), and distance boys from the nature of female experience and human reproduction. A mother nursing a child is nursing a father's child too. Boys should understand what breasts are for at a young age more than anyone. It instills respect for them. Do you see breasts treated with much respect by your community, media? Maybe something can be done to protect the rights and dignity of the nourishers of our future and change the LUDICROUS and UNDEREDUCATED perceptions that degrade them. In other words they're not just for men's fun and a source of women's insecurity (which are both exploitative considerations made and used to sell product). We live in a disgusting world. Stop helping. Start protecting humanity’s right to appreciate women, life, and health. There is no such thing as protecting young boys from a beautiful, healthy truth of life and nature. You only protect against a healthy mentality and view of women’s breasts and bodies. Thank You.


  12. Per the ludicrous logic of the district's lawyer, the principal would be fully right to overrule any public smoking bans that apply to the premises. I realize this is Florida and as such is backwards as can be, but laws applying to the public at large generally aren't subject to the whim and furor of the ignorant in charge.

    And any attempt to compare this public scenario to something in someone's private home is a desperate one indeed.

  13. Good luck! I really hope this turns out in your favor, I'm posting a link on my facebook page and hopefully some of my friends who live in Tampa can help! Thank you for working to make breastfeeding "normal". I have a 5 month old and I appreciate being able to feed him wherever I deem appropriate. Thanks again for your help toward this goal!

  14. First, your response was well written. I think you should stick up for yourself, but I agree with the interpretation of the law. Yes you can breastfeed in public, which I believe should be done discreetly because there is NOTHING wrong with throwing a blanket over your shoulder. HOWEVER, you are in a place where other children who may or may not understand what you are doing and get confused on why you are doing what you are doing. If the head administration feels that it needs to be done in a private area because of the well being other people then that is their right.
    As for YOU, Anonymous, who posted May 9, 2010 12:42 AM about the University of Phoenix, do you even KNOW anything about that school? That is a GREAT school, and whether your law degree comes from Harvard or University of Phoenix, as long as the Florida BAR is passed you can be a lawyer. Where is YOUR law degree from? Oh, I'm sorry. You probably don't have one....

  15. Good for you!! I also hope it works out in your favor. I'm nursing my 3 month old and so far nothing like this has happened. Honestly, there shouldn't have to be a law at all. Breast feeding is the most natural thing a parent can give their son or daughter. That's what the breasts are for!! Good luck with your story!

  16. Hello Melissa, & Family,

    I totally support your choice of standing up for your civil rights on this issue.

    Do you have private health insurance for your family? You don't need to be dealing with the school district IF your child's health issue is something she was BORN with. If her hearing issue diagnosis close to birth then you have protects under State of Florida insurance laws.

    I would be more then willing to help in any way I can.



  17. I'm thrilled to see a nursing mother standing up for her right to breastfeed in public. You were authorized to be in the location prior to someone taking offense to your feeding your child, so unless they are making all mothers waiting on their children move elsewhere, it seems to me that this is a simple case of discrimination. Private businesses can't force you to nurse your child in some backroom closet, why should the government break its own rules?

  18. The school district's lawyer is totally wrong in comparing a school building to a private house. A private homeowner would still have the right to ask you to breastfeed "where Grandpa can't see because he's just got a thing about it" (or similar). A PUBLIC school building, however, is a PUBLIC place, and even the principal's "right to authorize who is in the building and where they are authorized to be" is pretty questionable. Keep in mind that, until the past 10 or 15 years, schools were, indeed, usually wide open during the day, to the public, who do, of course OWN those buildings. Restricted access to public school buildings is a new thing & probably has NOT been adequately tested in the courts in itself. An elementary school is a public building, even more surely than Wal-Mart (which is. after all. privately owned) is, and CANNOT be compared to a private house. Nor can a public employee (a school principal) be reasonably compared to a private homeowner.

  19. As a civil rights attorney and mom, I am beyond appalled and so sorry you are dealing with this. If I were still breastfeeding, I would travel down for a nurse in with you all. You should see if you can find an attorney in your area (I wish I knew a public interest or pro bono lawyer I could put you in touch with), because they are dead wrong on the law. If I was closer, I would represent you! - Virginia in North FL

  20. You should also contact your state representative and the state superintendent of schools. Take this all the way to the top. I am proud of you for taking a stance, it is all about principle! (Which the principal clearly does not have!)

  21. Good for you. It should all go in your favor as that is an asinine application of the law.

    I take issue with a couple of the comments above however. First there is EVERYTHING wrong with throwing a blanket over your baby. It is a clear sign that breastfeeding is "immodest and indecent". It is only by normalizing breastfeeding that we make it normal (ie the norm).

    And, I think it is wrong to tell someone they need to go somewhere else to feed their baby even if it is a private home. If grandpa feels uncomfortable, grandpa needs to either get over it or leave himself. If grandpa was uncomfortable around black people should black people be asked to leave?

  22. Of all organizations, one would think a SCHOOL would have a child's best interests at heart. This school and their attorney are obviously uneducated morons. If I lived near you, I'd be in that room bfing away... This is absurd. It is 2010, there are much worse things to worry about than a child that IS receiving proper nutrition.

  23. Good for you! I'm quite shocked that they are belaboring this and getting an obviously confused lawyer involved, instead of apologizing immediately.

    I echo others' advice -- call the media! Don't let them keep this quiet and deal with it internally.

  24. I am so shocked! Good for you for taking action on behalf of all breastfeeding mothers! I will be contacting the school and following your story.

  25. Should there be a sign above the entryway "Check your breasts at the door"?

  26. God Bless you for standing up for mother's rights! Their interpretation of the law is ridiculous. If that was how it was it would mean nothing at all. You were authorized to wait in the lobby until you started breastfeeding. Only then did they want you to move.
    As for the comment about the, most children will not stay hidden under a blanket-would you want to eat under one?? Why don't you try it?
    And two, it sends the message that you are doing something inappropriate and need to hide which you DO not.
    Also I think they were referring to the U of Pheonix online program and it was a joke. Yes if you go to law school and pass the bar you will be an attorney but not necessarily a good or qualified one.....
    Good luck and thank you!!

  27. My letter to the school board:
    I am writing concerning a mother who was recently asked to stop breastfeeding in the lobby of one of your elementary schools. In reading the pre-amble to the FL state law on breastfeeding, it is clear that your principal ignored this law and therefore broke it. This woman was previously authorized to be in the lobby of the school, but now because she breastfed there, was asked to move. This is a ridiculous abuse of power. A reason was given, stated to this woman that there is no food or drink allowed in the lobby. However, she witnessed - after this incident- a woman feeding her child with a bottle in the same lobby. A woman should not be made to feel ashamed of what her body was meant to do, and teaching young boys that breasts are sexual only is wrong. The first and foremost reason women were made with breasts were for feeding our children. We need to normalize this so that our children, who are the men and women of tomorrow, can separate the different functions of the human body, and not sexualize women.
    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

  28. Melissa,
    Totally supportive of you!
    It's reprehensible and I hope I can make it to the meeting.
    Shannon Mitchell

  29. How come we can let children witness puppies, kittens and other mammals nursing and everyone enjoys watching the nurturing behavior, but if it is a human mother and her baby it is considered disgusting? What is wrong with our society? Women's breasts are used in advertising everyday and are much more exposed on billboards that while breast feeding. The principal and the attorney not only got it legally wrong, they got it morally wrong, ethically wrong as well as humanly wrong.
    A Supportive Lactation Consultant in California. You go girl!

  30. I am appalled at the school districts response to this. It is the natural function of a woman (and a breast!) to feed and nourish her child. It is the small mindedness of people like this that sexualize and pervert the true purpose of a woman's body. Stick to your guns! I would take this as far as you can. If you were not allowed to feed your child in the lobby, then the other woman is not either, but I am gathering that she was not asked to remove herself to another location?

  31. Hi Melissa...
    Here is the email I sent to the school board...


    Dear Members of the HCSD Board of Trustees,

    My name is Molly Ibietatorremendia and I am the PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association) President at Heron K-8 School, part of the Natomas Unified School District in Sacramento , California . I have two children attending Heron School (kindergarten and 2nd grade) and am also a nursing mother to a 3 1/2 month old son.

    As PTSA president, I volunteer at the school an average of 4 hours each day, 5 days each week. My time at school each day often overlaps the feeding and napping schedule of Max, my 3 1/2 month old. I have never, ever been asked to not nurse, come back when students are not at the school, or nurse in private. In fact, I have been encouraged and supported by ALL of our schools administration, and any of the staff who happen to walk by while I am nursing Max. I am horrified at the misconstrued perception of nursing by some of the employees in your school district. Not only are they violating state law, they are propagating the offensive notion that a woman's breast can only be perceived as a sexual object. It is absolutely appropriate for girls AND boys to observe discreet nursing. It teaches girls who are constantly bombarded with sexually exploitative images that their breasts are in fact NOT intended for men to stare at but instead were CREATED by God or evolution (your choice) to FEED AND NOURISH OFFSPRING, along with the hundreds of other breastfeeding benefits. Public breastfeeding can boost confidence by the nurser and also girls who observe the nursing. Boys and men who are exposed to nursing see that there is a purpose to a woman's breasts BESIDES an object of sexual desire. Remember, these boys and men are also under constant bombardment by sexually revealing photos also.

    I urge you to correct the perception of breastfeeding by those under your employ. Not only are you breaking the law, you are devaluing the importance of breastfeeding to the nursing mother, the nursed child, and those who come into contact with them.


    Molly Ibietatorremendia
    Heron School PTSA President

  32. My letter:

    I'm horrified to read of the discriminatory treatment of a nursing mother and her child. My husband is a graduate of Hillsborough County schools, and we're absolutely APPALLED by this type of archaic and biased behavior. 1 million children die every year as a result of not being breast fed. It's attitudes like Mrs. Rattray's that contribute to this global issue. How dare the district violate the statute in this blatant and callous nature? What if I were to call the office and complain that my child were seeing a baby fed with a bottle? That I don't want my child exposed to such unnatural behavior? That would be ludicrous.

    You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. You owe this mother and the entire public an apology. You owe the tax paying citizens of this county the assurance that your employees will be retrained to not only uphold the law, but in the benefits of breastfeeding.

    Good luck!

  33. I won't be able to attend because I live in Kansas. I will, however, post this on my facebook in hopes of more people seeing your story. I agree with the above comments; that you should get an attorney (I'm sure you can find one to represent you for free because this has the chance of being big media) & I also agree that you should go to the media (perhaps that will lead an attorney to you!) I wrote a letter via your link. I don't know that it states all the points I meant to make as clearly as I had intended. But, the point I would reiterate if I were you is that "Florida State Law 383.015 protects my right to breastfeed my child in any location, public or private, where I am otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether my nipple is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding." ... "OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED TO BE"... you WERE authorized to be there prior to breastfeeding! That is exactly why the law was written that way. If you were authorized otherwise (any other time than when you are breastfeeding) then it qualifies. They can't change where you are authorized to be based on the fact that you breastfeed. I'm not a lawyer, but I can clearly interpret this law and how it was written. It's unfortunate that their lawyer can't. But, hey... he's getting paid anyway! right? Good Luck to you, Melissa! Here's what I wrote to the school board:

    This letter is in response to the recent events regarding a mother breastfeeding in the lobby of Bellamy Elementary while waiting for her child who was in speech therapy. I don't believe that she should've been asked to move to a private location, as she was waiting in the same location she always waits (the lobby); which means she WAS authorized to be there. By asking her to move to a different location, I feel the principal of the school was discriminating against her. The law allows for her to breastfeed in public where she is authorized to be, which until she breastfed her child she had been authorized to be in that location. Another reason I have a problem with this matter is because this is a public school; "public" being the keyword. It is publicly funded & a place where many would seek to give their children a good education. I question whether or not a principal who thinks breastfeeding is EVER inappropriate should be a part of the process of educating children. If any child would feel uncomfortable by seeing a woman breastfeeding it is likely because they don't understand it. This can remedied by educating our children about the importance of breastfeeding & that it is a natural normal part of life for ALL mammals; instead of shunning it like it is something to be ashamed of. I am offended by the stance taken in this matter by both, Ms. Rattray & Ms. Yost. I also read the letter written by your lawyer to the mother's husband, in response to his. I must say that I believe your lawyer has a gross misinterpretation of the law & obviously doesn't understand why the law regarding breastfeeding rights was ever enacted. I believe all mother's who breastfeed should be applauded and never shunned. This is a chance for you to make a monumental decision that could affect many other people in the future. Are you going to affect them positively or negatively? The choice is yours (for now). But, if you make the wrong decision I believe you will be dealing with this issue on a mucher larger scale. Please think carefully and please be considerate in your decision. Thank You.

  34. Stay strong. To me is a shame what the principal is doing. It is also a shame the way they want to engrave in our kids minds (specially boys) with archaic thoughts about breast. This is just amazing. Be strong.

    Good energy your way.

  35. Your child is WAY TOO OLd to be breastfed. You are not doing it any favor. I support the school board. (I have an infant and I am an RN, after 1 year of age, there is no benefit to breastfeeding - be more informed if this is your specialty)

  36. I breastfed both my kids and I support breastfeeing - public/private it doesn't matter to me. HOWEVER, you are in the principle's "house", you are there for a mere 30 minutes and they didn't ask you to STOP breastfeeding - simply go in the other room. Also, your child is 2 years old and I really don't care about that - how long you breastfeed is totally up to you but I'm thinking by age 2, the child can go 30 freakin minutes without a drink?!?!?! Water is healthy too - bring a sippy cup of water. It's an hour out of your life each week you have to go in the other room. Get over it already.

  37. Sorry Anonymous at 6:36 AM but you might want to break out some medical books and read up on the benefits of breastfeeding. Breatmilk doesn't magically turn into an unhealthy substance after 12 months. "There is no benefit to breastfeeding" is your opinion and a statement that is not rooted in fact in any way. I wonder how many women you have given that kind of misinformation to in a work capacity??

    Anyway, Melissa, please keep standing up for yourself. This is exactly why this law is in place. I can't believe that the school district wants to be getting themselves into this fight.

  38. I recently fell in love with a slogan I saw a friend use... "If breastfeeding is sexual, then a bottle is a dildo!"

    I hope you will gain back your confidence and continue BFing in public when you feel its right for you & your child. I am originally from Brandon, but have moved out of state b/c my husband joined the Army. As a 20 year old new mom, I was so nervous about nursing my newborn in public, I carried a copy of the statutes with me, b/c there had been a recent rash of women in FL being arrested over BFing in public places. I am also blessed with a chest, and that made it a tad more obvious that I was nursing, b/c it wasn't a simple lifting of the shirt and hooking the baby up, was a process. I did eventually get more comfortable with it...but I feel like there should NEVER be a time when a new mom has to actually worry about whether or not its *appropriate* to feed their child.

  39. ....because at the age of one, there is a secret switch in the body that turns your baby into a juvenile cow, and therefore is better served by other mammals....

    Give me a break...I think it might be possible that the WHO, UNICEF, and even the AAP might know more than "anonymous"...

    Keep on nursing - and standing up for your rights, mama...

  40. I think that the key to this, as a previous poster said, is the phrase "otherwise authorized". Meaning, if another mother with a child in the school would be authorized to wait in the lobby, or if you are authorized to wait in the lobby so long as you are not breastfeeding, then you are clearly "otherwise authorized" to wait in the lobby. And as such, you may breastfeed your child there. They cannot remove your authorization simply because you are breastfeeding - that is the point of the word "otherwise".

  41. Anonymous said...

    Your child is WAY TOO OLd to be breastfed. You are not doing it any favor. I support the school board. (I have an infant and I am an RN, after 1 year of age, there is no benefit to breastfeeding - be more informed if this is your specialty)

    Wow are you serous you are obviously in the wrong field of work and are so completely misinformed the WHO (thats the World Health Org) says that you should breastfeed until at least 2 and beyond if mother and child are comfortable. Also there are numerous studies that proves that breastmilk changes as the child grows. Wow I am still shocked at your comment. You and people like you are one of the reasons that this lady is getting so much slack for feeding her child. I suggest next time you feel the need to speak about something you really dont know about that you do some research first. Here is the link to an article about extended breastfeeding and the benifits so you can actually do research and check the references

  42. Anonymous: as an RN, you can appreciate that that American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement on Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk clearly recommends "Exclusive breastfeeding for approximately the first six months and support for breastfeeding for the first year and beyond as long as mutually desired by mother and child. ( PEDIATRICS Vol. 115 No. 2 February 2005, pp. 496-506 (doi:10.1542/peds.2004-2491) (;115/2/496) Further, risks of certain maternal illnesses have been shown to be significantly reduced and are linked to the period of time a mother lactates. ((Blaauw, R. et al. Risk factors for development of osteoporosis in a South African population. SAMJ 1994; 84:328-32.) As an RN, you are in a perfect position to contribute to child-maternal health by reviewing the literature and supporting breastfeeding because we need to remediate significant obstacles noted in the AAP statement such as "misinformation; and lack of guidance and encouragement from health care professionals". J McCrory, MS, DT

  43. Just thought I would add my support!

    It is a sad day when a woman who is supposed to be an educator of children is unable to deal with something as simple and natural as breastfeeding. It is also sad that when called to task, she is unable to be humble and admit that she was wrong.

    I find that little boys really don't notice, or if they do don't really have much of an interest if you are breastfeeding in front of them. Girls tend to be more inquisitive and interested in the process, particularly if they haven't seen it before. I've never had a parent annoyed (maybe just a little embarrassed at the barrage of questions their kid is firing off) that their child has noticed me feeding my little darling.

    All the best with this and thank you for standing up for this basic right.

  44. I support you and cannot believe what the school's attorney wrote! Clearly, he is misinterpreting the law. I will not be able to attend the meeting as I am pregnant with a placenta previa and on bedrest, but I did send a letter to the school board via your link. Please keep us informed and I would definitely contact the media. They can be beneficial and bring more awareness to breastfeeding that American women so desperately need. Rock on, Sister!
    A. Anger

  45. I fully support breastfeeding and both my older children nursed until ~ age two and a half. Nursing an infant in public is a necessity! It is a baby's sole source of nutrition. To deny a baby food is cruel, and as mothers, we must fight to protect our right to care for our babies.

    However, nursing beyond infancy is not a necessity at all. My 25 month old receives nutrition form other sources. When I am out and about, I can easily tell her "Sweetie, we're only here for a few moments, you can have milkies at home."

    Everything a baby wants is a need. That is not the case with a toddler. I do believe an important skill we need to teach our young children is that sometimes we need to wait and sometimes we don't get exactly what we want exactly when we want it.

    Sometimes we need to wait our turn for the swing. Sometimes another child is playing with our favorite blue ball, so we can use the yellow one. And sometimes we are waiting in the lobby for 30 minutes, so we can have a rice cake and wait til we get home for milkies.

    I just think it's hard enough for mother's with infants to get people to understand that feeding our babies is not something we do because we feel like it. We have to nurse our babies because that is their only source of food. Our only alternative to nursing our infant in public is to deny our baby food! The laws to protect nursing mothers were put in place to ensure that this cruelty wouldn't happen.

    But nursing a child in public who has other sources of food is completely unnecessary, and using the laws designed to protect babies needs to permit nursing an older child who is not EBF simply serves to weaken the position of nursing mothers of infants.

  46. whoever the nurse is that said babies should not be breastfed after a year is only claiming to be an RN to promote their own agenda.

  47. nice to see mostly positive comments. i wrote to the board. good luck. my boobs will be there in spirit, wish i could squirt a little in that headmistress's eye!!!

  48. Anonymous May 10th @ 11:11
    You said it perfectly and respectfully. I applaud you!

  49. I don't understand why any Mother would breastfeed their child past a year old. The question is: Who is benefiting more from from this breastfeeding, the child or the Mother? I think that Mom needs it more than Junior.

  50. To the negative comments, if you don't understand why women breastfeed their children past a year, than you are ignorant and should educate yourself before you comment. Otherwise you just make yourself look silly.

    As for Melissa, I support you completely! I wish I could be there in support, but I'm in Colorado. Good luck, I hope you get the apology you deserve!

  51. Quote

    Anonymous said...
    Your child is WAY TOO OLd to be breastfed. You are not doing it any favor. I support the school board. (I have an infant and I am an RN, after 1 year of age, there is no benefit to breastfeeding - be more informed if this is your specialty)

    I don't understand why any Mother would breastfeed their child past a year old. The question is: Who is benefiting more from from this breastfeeding, the child or the Mother? I think that Mom needs it more than Junior.


    It is sad that an RN is so poorly educated on breastfeeding. Why do you feel breastfeeding magically loses its benefits at 12 months of age? Please take a minute to look up the recommendation from the World Health Organization.

    TO the blog owner...please keep us updated!

  52. The law is meant to protect breastfeeding moms not just the child! I applaud you for standing up for your rights to breastfeed no matter the age of the child.

    Anonymous 3:12 - What exactly do you mean by that? The child greatly benefits from being breastfed as stated my previous posts. DO YOUR RESEARCH before judging someone.

    And for the RN who is an idiot, please don't go around stating something you obviously aren't informed about.

    I will be writing to the board and I truly wish I could be there!

  53. Looking at the law, I don't see where the principal is breaking it. They are not denying her an opportunity to breastfeed and looks to have offered a place where the principal, who has a responsibility for everything that goes on in that school, determines as appropriate.

    It seems the mom here, nursing a TODDLER, is insensitive how other parents want to educate their children on breastfeeding and is on a crusade to force where, when and how the other children coming in and out of the public waiting area are to be educated in this regard. Is this woman going to claim it is her 'right' to breastfeed her child anywhere and anytime she wants to when they turn 3? 4? 6?

  54. I emailed the school board. Thanks for fighting this fight! We are with you!!!

  55. Melissa, why do you have an entire "facebook photo album" of you breastfeeding, and your children naked? If you want to share those with family and friends, that is one thing, but ANYONE can have access to those pictures and you dont know who is on facebook and what their agenda is.
    Although I dont agree with your stand on the breastfeeding, for 2 reasons, I wish you the best since you clearly feel strongly about it. I agree with the person who stated earlier, at 2 years old, if you are still breast feeding, the child can wait the 30 minutes or you can excuse yourself to a private area (it is afterall a private bonding time with mom and baby, so not sure why you feel everyone needs to share that with you) and there is no nutritional benefit at this point to continue breastfeeding.

  56. RIDICULOUS. I can not believe what you have been through with this. Do they seriously think that interpretation of the law is accurate? I pity them if so. I hope that you have contacted an attorney, for yourself and for the sake of any other future mothers who may (god forbid) plan to breastfeed younger children during school pick up or drop off, while waiting in the school for any reason, etc. Awful.

  57. I could understand it better if this were a third world country. The Mothers in those impoverished nations don't have much choice but to breastfeed their older children. But as for our country, when a child can hold a cup and drink out of it, why not let them start growing up. You can't keep them a suckling infant all their life. If nothing will do you except to give your child breast milk, why don't you pump it out and give it to him in a cup to drink? This practice of breastfeeding a child until they are past one year, is just really weird. I still say that the Mother needs it more than Junior. I know a person who is still breastfeeding her 4 year old son. He will walk up to her and try to pull her breast out of her clothing. What is wrong with that picture? Call me crazy and un-educated if you like, but common sense should come into play here. I support breastfeeding, but not to a half grown child. A year of it is quite enough.

  58. I have emailed the school board - this whole issue is disgusting.

    And to the IDIOTS who keep sproting about no health benefits - where do you get your information - from the back of a cereal box????? Cause it is WRONG!

  59. I have not nursed either on of my 2 kids, I tried, but was not educated enough to not give up when my first one didn't latch on after 2 weeks of trying. However, I would've liked to. My mother nursed 7 kids, it was just the way it was, no questions, no embarrassments. That simple. This issue with the school is very upsetting! It seems the school/principal is getting away with it because they are now only "authorizing" you to nurse in a specific area of their choice! It seems they are making their own rules and have their own interpretations of the law! There should be a law suit, and the money should go towards a good breastfeeding cause. When it comes to the school board, fight. We are tax paying citizens that have laws that protect us and it upsets me that a public school can try to take that away. Commented to the school board with the link you provided, and posting on my facebook and twitter!

  60. I found myself in agreement with more than a few of the educated posts. I also found a few of the posts VERY laughable.

    I plan on writing a letter and posting it later when I have more time but for now will just post this. Jack Newman, MD is always a great resource for the "why" of most natural parenting choices which includes extended breastfeeding:

    On the same note, please tell me for those of you who oppose extended breastfeeding, do you think giving milk from another mammal to a child is "good for them" instead? Or what about say Similac Go and Grow for up to 24 months? Is that okay? The nutrients and vitamins in those? Do you talk multivitamins yourself?

    Does your 2 year old toddler eat well? Wait patiently often? Or perhaps to keep the peace do you cave and give them some junk food so you can wait for the older child and their activity? Do they suck on their finger? A binky? Do you know that the sucking reflex is evident in many children worldwide, some to the age of even 7 or so?

    Giving a breast to nourish on demand (even at SHOCK 2 or so) is perfectly fine. Do we know the mother's circumstances? What her agenda looked like after the other daughter was done with therapy? Where she had to go, whether she'd be able to feed. I think those who say to wait, or to not do it... should shut up unless they know all circumstances. So quick to judge, it's sad... really sad and sick.

  61. I completely Disagree with your actions. I am 100% behind breastfeeding. But your daughter is 2! either nurse her before the appt. or after. Bring a snack if she gets hungry. There is no reason why you need to nurse your 2 year old in a school. none. I think you are being Ridiculous, and WAY over the top. Maybe you need to step back and look at the situation from a different mom's stand point. If you *HAVE* to nurse your 2year old in the 30 minutes you are at the school, either 1. go to your car or 2. Accept the private room.

    Just because it's your "right' to breastfeed in public doesn't mean it's always appropriate. Just like cussing. You don't see parents in elementary schools Cussing up a storm *just* because they can.

  62. As the mother of young boys, I would appreciate a nursing mother to be discreet and not show her breast to them. Yes, it is a natural way of feeding your child and you should be able to do that, but you also have to think of those around you.
    I have 4 children and have nursed all of them in public. I am, however, very discreet and careful to be modest. A light receiving blanket does not impede the child's breathing, but affords the mother and those around her a bit of modesty. There are also nursing clothes designed to be modest and still allow you to feed in public.
    I don't really understand those who feel it is their right to make others uncomfortable by showing their breasts. I feel you are taking this too far and should graciously feed your toddler in the other room. As another poster said, it is not like they are an infant and getting their sole form of nourishment from breastmilk. A 2 year old would/should be just as happy with a few Cheerios and there would not be an issue to get all up in arms about. Just my opinion.

  63. In my opinion (and everybody has one), I think Mothers that are advocates of "extended breast feeding" have serious emotional/psychological problems.

  64. I am a new mother and I have choosen to breastfeed. I believe that it is vitally important for others to show support for our rights. It is a choice to be made by the mother. anywherea woman can pull out a bottle and feed her child I can pull out my breast and feed my child. I am descreet about it and modest but I will not be told that I cannot feed my child it is my God given right and it is law. I support you and me and my mother-n-law will be coming to nurse in....she has 2 yr old twins that she nurses and I believe how long you decide to nurse is up to you. Breastfeeding has soo many benefits for the child and I say implemint that as long as you like!!

  65. You are a total nutcase! I am totally for breastfeeding, but you are only doing this for personal gain and attention. Step off your soapbox and get a life!

  66. Have emailed the school board. If I were in the area & nursing, I'd be there! Good luck! I am thankful you have the 'guts' to do what you're doing!

  67. As a breastfeeding mother, thank you for speaking out.

    It would make me nervous to send my children to a school with such an ill-informed principal, however.

    For the comments questioning nursing a two-year-old: get over it already! We are mammals: that is what they are for. If you don't want to nurse your two-year-old, fine. But there is no harm in it and this mother should have the right to do so if she so desires. It isn't any different that offering the child a sippy cup of milk.

  68. As a mother of a young boy, I would appreciate more women nursing in public!

    I want my son to have a healthy attitude towards the female body. I could care less if he sees a nipple -- that is what they are for, after all.

  69. I am a public health student in the area concentrating in maternal and child health. I applaud what you are doing both in a public health sense and as a breastfeeding mom (to a 10 month old son). We are taught in class that it is vital to normalize breastfeeding. Our breasts are primarily for nourishment - the sexual nature is created by our society. We need to remind society what truly is normal. And in response to those commenting negatively to so-called "extended breastfeeding"" the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding children to age two AND BEYOND!
    Other countries have less of an issue (if any) with women breastfeeding anywhere they need to. It is considered normal and would garner no more attention than two people having a conversation in public. For being such a "progressive" nation, America is very prudish when it comes to our breasts.
    Good for you! I will be there on May 18th and I will spread the word throughout the department about your nurse-in!

  70. You've got to be kidding. Right? There is all the differnece in the world between having a child drink from a sippy cup and suckle on your breast. If the child is able to sip from a cup, why would you offer him your breast? If you insist on giving him breast milk, why in the world don't you pump it out and give it to him in a cup? This is insane. It's true we have mammary glands, but it is insulting to me to be referred to a mammal. I am a woman.

  71. I am also a breastfeeding mother of two who was told that I was being inappropriate for breastfeeding my four month old in a Starbucks by another customer - she had the nerve to tell me I should be sitting in the corner with a blanket over my baby. If I lived closer to Tampa, I'd be there to support you in a heartbeat! Good luck and I hope they realize how completely insensitive they are being!

  72. The law you stated early does not apply is this situation. The law states baby. You have a toddler. These links below will show that you have a toddler not a baby. This means regardless of how you read the law it still does not apply to your situation.

  73. Breastfeed. Don't breastfeed. Pump. Formula. I don't really care what you choose to do, or what your take is on it. Just have MODESTY in PUBLIC. For the love of god, I don't want to see your breast, and I am SURE I am not the only one. Just AS much as you have a right to breastfeed in public, I have the SAME amount of right to stand up for something I do not want to see...

  74. I support your position on breastfeeding, but I would have gone in a private room as opposed to in the public area without a covering. I am just more modest. The reason the school is having an issue with you nursing in the public area is because they are afraid of what parents might say had their children witnessed the event and then told them about it. The school was afraid and chose to take matters in their own hands by asking you to go somewhere else. I don't think the school or the principal is against nursing or saying that breastfeeding is wrong. I personally do not want to see someone's nipple in public, but do I want my son to ask me what is going on? Yes, I do, and I would explain to him what a wonderful process nursing is and that it is natural.

  75. Some people are just so ignorant!
    There is nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public, doesn't matter the mother is breastfeeding a baby or a toddler!
    You people clearly don't understand that breastfeeding is more than giving milk to the child.

  76. i PERSONALLY don't agree with breast feeding a child over one yrs old 2 yrs at max.i am in no way against breast feeding at all not my personal choice but i have no problem with it.

  77. What about the rights of parents especially parents of the students at this school? Do you have the right to make decisions about letting 3rd-4th-&5th Grade boys see a woman's boob for the first time since possibly being an infant? Is that your decision or the parents of those children. Believe me, I am completely for breastfeeding and all of the examples you talked about teaching to elementary school kids are taught. Do you want to be a poster girl in their minds for them to remember seeing you partially topless first?

  78. I am just amazed at some of the RN who believes there is no benefit in breastfeeding past one? Despite the vast body of research and recommendations to the contrary?

    And those who think a mom should pump, keep the milk cool, warm it up, and forgo the benefits of actually breastfeeding (as opposed to just breastmilk) because it "offends" some sensibilities?

    The kicker, though, has to be the person who thinks a few Internet articles about toddlers establishes the term as a legal definition in opposition to baby.

    Have you never called a two year, "the baby"?

    And then the people who think they have a "right" to not see something that offends them? Where is that one enshrined in law?

    Yes, a toddler can often "wait" but sometimes not. They are still learning.

    But overall, there is nothing wrong with a woman breastfeeding her child. She should be able to do it anywhere she OTHERWISE has a right to be. As in, not in the boys' lockeroom but yes in the waiting area of a public school.

    Perhaps, at some point, a baby is no longer a that the same for every child? Is it a magical cutoff date? Who gets to make that determination?

    Kudos to you for sticking up for yourself, your child, and babies everywhere.

  79. Why is 12 months the "magic" age to kick your kid to the curb? There are SO many non-nutritional benefits to breastfeeding from birth until weaning. I mean really, is a 2 year old nursing toddler really making you THAT uncomfortable that you have to ridicule the nursing mother?

    I nursed my first for 22 months, my second for 5 months, and I'm currently nursing my 4 month old. I'm hoping to nurse him, in some capacity, until he's 2 years old.

    Even if there was no nutritional value after age 1, which there is so get off it, but even if there wasn't I still would because the connection between mother and child is almost palpable. It may not be for everyone, and that's ok, but seriously...don't shove a sippy cup into this kids hand just because YOU think that's best.

    Nurse on mama!!

  80. This is what I just sent to the School Board via your could have been better but...I thought it better to send now than not! I support you! I know plenty of my friends support you even if they haven't left you a comment to express it! Thanks for standing up for breastfeeding mothers. Lactating Mothers, UNITE!!

    "I'm very saddened to hear of Hillsborough's School System discrimination against a breastfeeding mother in the lobby of Bellamy Elementary. This very act only highlights the ineptitude and ignorance of our public school system and it's administrators. Principal Rattray violated this mother's right to breastfeed by asking her to breastfeed in a separate location. If the mother was authorized to wait for her daughter in the school lobby, that is where she shall breastfeed. However, because of Ms. Rattray's personal opinions the School District will now being using very dear and essential funds to defend itself in a legal case. I say make Ms. Rattray apologize and insist that every school employee follow the law regardless of their personal opinions!!!

  81. Modesty and Courtesy go a LONG way. Get off the soap box and step away.....quickly. The School administrator was not rude about it.

  82. I was just like to know what exactly are you hoping to get out of this? If you didn't do anything wrong and neither did the principal. I mean if someone feels uncomfortable about it then why make a fuss about it. Are you trying to get the principal fired? And please no one personally attack my comment. I'm not here to attack anyone's opinion. I'm just merely asking why make a fuss about it. If someone doesn't want to see you breastfeed then I'm sure its not going to be too difficult to change what location you breastfeed in. Now whether or not the child is too old to be breastfed I think is your personal opinion on when a child should stop. I think people need to stop personally attacking you as a person and I think you need to drop it. Nothing good is going to come out of this. Thanks. =)

  83. I like the fact that the School Board decided to make it the discretion of the Principal at any school.

  84. It is excellent that you are working for the right for women to breastfeed comfortably. We have enough going against us in our society!

    I am moving to Tampa in the fall where I will continue to do doula work and this is not giving me a good introduction to the area's tolerance. I hope that your efforts pay off.

    Its true that many people feel uncomfortable about women breastfeeding in public, but the solution is not to ask her to move, it is to change their comfort with seeing it. The only way to do that is to continue to advocate for a woman's right to breastfeed freely. It will take work and it will take time. Best of luck and thank you!

  85. The reason why it is important for this woman to continue to advocate breastfeeding rights is because of the ignorance that has been posted here. Because the ignorance that has been demonstrated here is an example of the ignorance that is still out there. The law states a woman has the right to breastfeed anywhere she is authorized to be and has the representative that authored the law states-since she is a parent, she is authorized to be in the school building where other parents are allowed to be. The law DOES NOT stimpulate that a woman is allowed to breastfeed anywhere as long as her child is under the age of 1. Does not state that this does not include toddlers...blah blah blah! It states that she is allowed to breastfeed. From my reading about the story, do we even know if she was sitting there with her entire breast and nipple exposed? Does it matter? There have been women that have been asked to not breastfeed when they were fully covered so that really doesn't have any merit here. People simply get freaked out from the IDEA that a woman is sitting there feeding her child from a breast whether or not they see anything or not. But it doesn't matter. What if I get offended from seeing a woman bottle feeding her baby? Does that mean that she should be sensitive to my feelings and not bottle feed her child in front of me? The idea to trying to making breastfeeding a normal thing is that it is a NORMAL thing. I breastfed all three of my babies and they breastfed past the age of 1. My first til he was 15 months, my 2nd at 3 yrs and my 3rd til she was 5 yrs. YES, I DID SAY 5!!!! My first child is 23 years old, my 2nd is 21 years old and my 3rd is 15 years old and they have all grown into healthy, independent young people with healthy attitudes and concepts. In fact, my son is currently in Portugal right now and is not freaked out by seeing the women walking around beaches topless. In is own words: "boobs don't bother me in any way." I say to this woman: Kuddos to you and just a play on words: MILK IT! By the way, I am also a lactation consultant and a health teacher. I just finished my student teaching at a junior high and I had NO PROBLEM TALKING ABOUT BREASTFEEDING!!!!

  86. of course you are a breast feeding nazi!! what you don't get is that it is not an emergent thing for an older toddler to nurse right then and there. You or whoever does it in a place where they will only be for 30 minutes is simply doing it for a shock value! NOT because the child absolutely HAD to eat at that very moment!!!! And i am not against breast feeding, i breast fed my daughter.