Breast-feeding in spotlight after nursing mom told to get off bus

Odds that you will get listeriosis is small even if you eat a food that has been recalled for listeria contamination. If you have no symptoms, don't worry. People who develop suspicious symptoms within two months of eating a recalled product should alert a doctor if they're in a high-risk group. istockphoto

istockphoto

(CBS) Is breast-feeding in public okay? America can't seem to make up its mind.

Doctors say breast is best, pointing to studies showing that breast-fed babies are protected against sudden infant death syndrome and various infections and are less likely to develop asthma or become obese.

But self-appointed champions of propriety sometimes get between babies and their mothers' breasts.

PICTURES: 9 places "they" say not to breast-feed

Case in point: In suburban Detroit last Friday, the driver of a bus told a 32-year-old mother she had to get off the bus unless she covered up while nursing her infant son, the Detroit Free Press reported.

"I had him in a football wrap," Afrykayn Moon of Taylor, Mich. told the paper. "She wasn't seeing much."

Even if Moon's breast had been exposed, the law in Michigan may have had her covered. A passage in the state's Home Rule City Act of 1909 reads, "A mother's breastfeeding of her baby does not under any circumstances constitute nudity irrespective of whether or not the nipple is covered during or incidental to the feeding."

And Michigan isn't alone. Twenty-seven other states, as well as the District of Columbia, exempt breast-feeding from public indecency laws - and D.C. and 44 states have laws that specifically allow women to breast-feed in any public or private location, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures website.

The bus company issued a statement saying its drivers would be reminded that riders are allowed to breast-feed, abc2news.com reported.

And Moon? She told the Free Press she was planning to get together with other moms at the bus company's facilities to stage a rally to raise awareness about the benefits of breast-feeding.

They're calling the event a "nurse-in."

Womenshealth.gov has more on the health benefits of breast-feeding.

  • David W Freeman

Comments