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When you antagonize a breast feeding mom, be prepared for the consequences. The Orlando county government learned that quickly when 20 mothers organized a “nurse-in” protest in support of a breast feeding mother.

 Celena Chavez, along with three other mothers was forced to stop breast feeding in a public park. As they sat in a circle and fed their children, a lifeguard blew his whistle and told them to stop because they were exposing themselves illegally. The mothers protested with moral indignation, stating they were not breaking the law. The lifeguard couldn’t be persuased and advised them to speak to the park’s manager who was unavailable.  Upon discovering what had happened, a visceral reaction occurred and breastfeeding moms in Central Florida organized a “nurse-in” protest as a call to action.

Breastfeeding babies has occurred since the beginning of time and here are some of the benefits:

  • An improved immune system because of antibodies that are passed from mother to baby which means fewer colds and infections by the time the child goes to school
  • A reduction of Sudden Infant Syndrome (SIDS) by 50 percent
  • Higher intelligence later in life. Breast milk has a high concentration of fat and so does the human brain
  • A reduction of Type 2 Diabetes

 Barring having an HIV infection, why would someone not want to breastfeed a child? The reasons for asking the breast feeding mothers to stop are frivolous. The human breast is not offensive when there is a baby latched onto it. However, my neighbor who wears a flesh-colored bikini that requires me to cover my 8 and 9 year old sons’ eyes as she mows her lawn is quite a different story.

Perhaps the lifeguard was unaware of Florida Statute 383.015, a law that allows breast feeding in public places and there are similar laws in other states as well.

The “nurse in” protest gave the county government a reality check. When it comes to nurturing children, women WILL rise to the occasion.