Saturday, September 1, 2007

on my list (09-01-07)

I've always disliked Applebee's for no other reason than I think their menu sucks and their food is always soggy and flavorless. But in recent months, my dislike turned to disdain, after reading about how a toddler was given a margarita in a sippy cup and has now turned to total boycott status after reading this story. (For an excellent commentary on this incident, go here)

I often hear about women being confronted (read: bullied) about nursing in public. I've even read stories about women being asked to leave doctors offices and hospitals for refusing to move to a "private area" to breastfeed their child. I've been approached by a Frontier Airlines flight attendant who suggested I "cover up" while I was breastfeeding a six month old W on a flight. Cover up, why? I keep "covered up" plenty! I don't want to flash people and I don't want people to see anything. You couldn't see anything if you were a sicko trying to see something. Besides that, I was sitting in a window seat and there wasn't anyone next to me. And besides that, it's nearly impossible to put a blanket over the head of a six month old and expect it to stay there. Believe me. I should have told her to put a blanket over her head because I was offended by the sight of it...

What boils my blood about this latest incident at Applebee's is the fact that the company had such an idiotic and poor response to the situation. Seriously, they think that keeping blankets on hand to give nursing mothers to use is a solution?! Um, gross! Airline blankets are nasty enough and they supposedly wash them frequently. I don't even want to think about what would be growing on the blankets they would provide (lice, small pox, STD's...) and I certainly don't trust people who mistake triple sec and tequila for apple juice to wash them after each use.

What else is infuriating is the fact that the president of the company that operates these stupid restaurants in KY accused the mother of having an "agenda" because she carries a copy of the law with her. I think it's pretty darn smart that she carries a copy of the law with her, as do others. I'd do the same thing if I had thought of it before and probably will make one of the CA laws to carry with me when we go back to CA. That's one of the reasons why having a baby in Germany is so nice. You don't have to worry about this BS and no one even blinks if they happen to see you breastfeeding in public.

I just can't believe that I could go into Applebee's, or anywhere in public, wearing a "skirt" that barely covers my bum and a "top" that barely covers my chest, while exposing my stomach, legs, shoulders and arms (goodness, that would be a SCARY sight to see...) and no one would say a word to me. But if I were to discretely feed my child at a secluded table, then I could be badgered and bullied. What is wrong with people?! The ignorance surrounding breastfeeding never ceases to amaze me.

For the record: I'm not a "breastfeeding nazi". I had to start giving W formula at 8 months and he still takes it to this day. I believe each woman has the right to choose what is best for her and her child. However, I do not agree with or tolerate people who make mothers who breastfeed feel like freaks and outcasts because of their decision. Likewise, I do not agree with or tolerate people who make mothers who formula feed feel like freaks and outcasts because of their decision.

It is my wish, though, that mothers be educated about breastfeeding and have resources available to them to make breastfeeding through those difficult first 6-8 weeks a little bit easier so they feel comfortable and confident enough to continue their breastfeeding relationship well into the future. It's also my wish that doctors and nurses (especially those on the maternity ward) not take the bribes and bait of formula companies to push formula but to be educated about breastfeeding, instead. I really wish they wouldn't tell mothers that their child is going to starve to death if they don't give them formula in the first few days and that they aren't producing enough milk, when in reality, the moms have plenty of milk to sustain the baby, but are being given horrible information and being pressured so they give up even though they don't want to. Misinformation is dangerous.

For fantastic information on breastfeeding go here: (seriously, this site is the first bookmark on my computer and has given me so much great information and saved me more times than I can count over the last 2 years. Hands down, it is one of the best and most useful sites on the net.)

For a great article about breastfeeding in the first few weeks, go here.


Anonymous said...

AGREE!!!! Anyone who has a problem with a woman nursing her child has a problem with the way God created human beings... a rather arrogant position in life, wouldn't you say? (Have they ever looked at the Madonna paintings by the "Great Masters" - and do they call those offensive, too?)

Midwest Miscellany said...

No more applebee's for me either. I only ate there once or twice before, but now I'll make it a point not to go there.

Hilary said...

My friend just had her first baby over the weekend -- it's so scary how the medical system will mislead you. I know they told her something weird about breastfeeding similar to what you said -- like that if she couldn't produce enough milk in the first couple of days that she shouldn't even try. Something like that. They were also going to induce her labor without even telling her!!! It's a good thing she asked the nurse what drug she had just brought into the room before she started administering it! Arrgh...makes me mad.