Women worldwide continue to be harassed for nursing in public, but Beyonce was recently seen breastfeeding her newborn daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, at a table at a New York restaurant. According to reports, she was observed by several people but wasn't approached by anyone offering a quiet place to nurse, nor was she told that she couldn't nurse her baby in the restaurant.
In New York, moms have the right to nurse anywhere they are legally allowed to be, but sometimes employees of businesses aren't educated about their state laws and will ask a nursing mother to go into a bathroom, changing room or leave the facility entirely.
Just within the last few months, mothers have been:
And that's just what has made national headlines. Despite breastfeeding in public not being prohibited by any state in the U.S., and 45 states having laws specifically protecting the rights of a breastfeeding mother, personal opinion often override the laws. Another problem is that employers often don't train their employees properly on how to handle a nursing mother in their establishment -- the usual protocol is to leave the mom alone.
When you're a new mother, getting the hang of breastfeeding can take some time, and it can take a little encouragment and confidence to nurse in public. Since the advent and popularity of formula and the heightened sexualization in the media of the female breast, breastfeeding has become something women are sometimes hesitant to do around others -- despite it being the way women fed their babies since the dawn of time.
Superstars like Beyonce really do help normalize what should be a normal and natural process -- feeding a baby when she is hungry. Brooke, mother of one, said, "Maybe someone as famous as Beyonce nursing in public would make at least one new mother feel safer to do something that is natural whenever and wherever they please." Tayla from Canada agreed. "The more we see celebrities breastfeeding, particularly in public (covered or not), the more normalized breastfeeding will become," she shared, "and that is the end goal: the normalization of breastfeeding."
With Beyonce making headlines with just about anything she does, it's great to see her helping to normalize breastfeeding a child. She joins a terrific list of other celeb moms who have been noticed or photographed nursing their babies, and we hope that list continues to grow.
Were you a breastfeeding mom? Did you breastfeed in public? Do you think seeing celebs do it normalizes it more?
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