A concerned motorist noticed that a woman was holding her child as she drove down a Washington highway, and dialed 911.
When the police officer caught up to her and pulled her over, he was completely surprised to find out she was breastfeeding her son — while driving.
The 44-year-old mom told the officer that her 1-year-old son was distraught and screaming nonstop, and she made the decision to pop the boy out of his car seat and nurse him as she drove. Even more astounding, she admitted this wasn’t the first time she had been pulled over for the same insane thing.
I WISH I WAS KIDDING: 911 caller reports baby riding on mom's lap. When Trooper stops car, he realizes mom is breast feeding the child 😮
— Trooper H. Axtman (@wspd7pio) August 27, 2015
The officer buckled the boy back into his car seat and sent the mother on her way with a $165 ticket, but can we say how ridiculously dangerous this was? There are reasons kids are required, by law, to be secured in proper restraints while in a vehicle, especially while the vehicle is moving. According to the Centers for Disease Control, children who are properly restrained are 54-71 percent less likely to die in the event of an accident.
And we all understand how awful it is to drive anywhere with an unhappy child. It makes your journey extremely stressful, and while it may be tempting (to some) to put your child to breast as you drive away, please don’t.
Even though there isn’t any way to predict every and all meltdowns, there are a few strategies you can employ as a breastfeeding mom that may ward off at least some of them:
Take breaks. If you’re traveling and are on the road for hours at a time, take regularly timed breaks. Find a stopping point every hour or so, so you can get out and stretch yourself and let your baby loose for a bit. End your outing with a nursing session, which will hopefully hold her over until your next stop.
Nurse when you can. If you’re not traveling a long distance by car but will be out and about running errands, take a moment to sit down and nurse before hopping back into your car. Planning ahead if possible and giving yourself those extra minutes to top your baby off may work wonders for your baby’s mood and patience.
Play that music. Have a playlist of calm music ready that you can play well before your kid hits freak-out mode. If you have to try to calm him down from the driver’s seat, that can be a danger in and of itself, but if you have a plan in place before that critical point is reached, you may not have to worry about it at all.
Pull over, or forge ahead. If you can, pull over to a safe spot to try to get your little one’s kinks worked out, but if you can’t locate a safe spot, don’t even think about taking her out of her seat to comfort her at your breast while you drive a ton of metal down a highway.
While this story didn’t result in tragedy, we have to wonder how many times she’s done this if she’s been pulled over twice. Hopefully her lesson has finally been learned, and she will stop taking her child out of the car seat and breastfeeding him behind the wheel.