Photo credit: Virginia Star/ Moment Open/ Getty Images
Any mom who has nursed her children knows how difficult it can be to feed Baby in public. You've got to keep a squirmy little one hidden away under a blanket or cover. You will probably get nasty looks if you're out in the view of the public. You have to fiddle with your shirt/bra without exposing yourself or dropping the baby.
In stores, restaurants and establishments of all types, mothers have been harassed and bullied into nursing their babies in restrooms: about the least comfortable, least sanitary place they could be. Sitting on a toilet. This is where moms are having to feed their babies. This is where babies are having to eat. Yuck.
Junior graphic arts majors Johnathan Wenske and Kris Haro at the University of North Texas have put together an ad campaign to support pro-public breastfeeding legislation in Texas. The images are shocking people into acknowledging the lengths mothers have to go in order to breastfeed when away from home.
The posters feature young mothers perched on toilets looking very uncomfortable as they nurse their babies in dimly-lit public bathroom stalls.
The fine print at the bottom says, "Would you eat here? By law, breastfeeding mothers are not protected from harassment and refusal of service in public, often forcing them to feed in secluded spaces such as public bathrooms. To help take a stand, visit whennurturecalls.com, because a baby should never be nurtured where nature calls."
At the top, in bold letters reminiscent of the "Got Milk?" campaign, there are printed phrases such as, "Bon Appétit," and, "Table for Two."
Photo credit: Johnathan Ross Wenske via Behance, CC BY-NC 3.0
I can understand how people are finding these images to be jarring. They do strike the viewer as indecent, and they should… that's the point.
It's indecent to have to worry someone might see you feeding your child. It's indecent that our society refuses to accept that the breast is first and foremost a source of nutrition for our offspring, and not just a sexual object. It's indecent that a mom should have to sit on a germy toilet seat in a filthy bathroom stall just because the baby got hungry.
So get a good look at these ads, and be appalled that this is the reality for a lot of moms. Then, head over to the Texas Breastfeeding Legislation blog, or check out the breastfeeding laws in your state.