Feeding-time Follies

August 1-7 was the official World Breastfeeding Week for 2011.

I wasn’t expecting to celebrate in any particular way.  I certainly never thought I would be a part of a flash mob of any kind, let alone one that involved a dance simulating giving birth, but at my local Saturday morning farmer’s market I found myself dancing with my baby to the beat of steel drums and doing a cute bouncey dance that served as my morning workout as well as to educate the strolling market-goers about breastfeeding law.

The night before I was still uncertain about the flash mob idea.  I could feel the lukewarm “are you going to do it?” attitude among my weekly breastfeeding momma support group.  Plus, I had an east coast guest visiting for only one day.  At the beginning of the week there were only twenty or so mommas signed up.  Hardly a mob, and the last thing on my busy baby-mind was learning dance moves to not be the worst dancer among such a small group.

My guest arrived and we went out to dinner.  I fed baby first, but by the time we drove, parked, and made it to a restaurant, Nika was already getting a little anxious.  The restaurant was tiny with only one main room and a small single bathroom.  Normally, I would take her to a nursing-friendly baby store right downtown where we could pop in, sit in a rocking chair and change her in comfort and ease, but the store, Mother Nurture, was long closed for the night.  I thought to take her to the car to nurse instead.  It was Friday night and we had parked in front of a bar, so of course there were half a dozen smokers crowded right in front of my car.  No, thanks.

I drove to a car lot across the street from the restaurant, and by this time Nika had fallen asleep.  Whew!

Back in the restaurant, she immediately woke up again and she was HUNGRY!  So, back to the car, but by now I was boxed in tight by SUVs and the garage was dark and humid.  I bemoaned my situation, squeezed the carseat back in place and took off for home, leaving my husband and friend to cab it (after a leisurely baby-less meal and a bottle of wine, so I didn’t feel too sorry for them!)

In the comfort of the nursery, with a happy, sleepy baby, I thought about how grateful I was to have Mother Nurture to go to when I was downtown during the day.  It was a great resource that I knew I had to support, not just by patronizing the store but by dancing.  Publicly dancing.  So, flash mob it was!

The California breastfeeding law is as follows:

California Civil Code § 43-53.
1997 Section 43.3 of the Civil Code

43.3.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, except the private home or residence of another, where the mother and the child are otherwise authorized to be present. 


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