A word of advice: If you ever plan a wedding, don't make your guests who are breastfeeding feed their children in the bathroom. Actually, don't have a "breastfeeding policy" at all because it's 2017 and parents should be able to do so in public if they want. For crying out loud, a photo of a bride breastfeeding while getting her makeup done at her own wedding went viral earlier this year. An Australian senator breastfed on the floor of Parliament. We're making strides in this arena — but also, apparently, taking steps back.
Unfortunately, one couple has become the internet's example of what not to do when it comes to accommodating nursing parents at your wedding. According to a recent post made by a mom on the Facebook group Breastfeeding Mama Talk, they attached a note to their wedding invitation that read:
"To all our mommies who are breastfeeding, we are thinking of you; we are sensitive to the fact that you may need to breastfeed during our event, therefore we have designated an appropriate place for you to feed your baby so that you do not have to do so in public in front of our Family and Friends. For your convenience, we are accommodating you with a comfortable and private area with chairs and baby blankets in the ladies' room. We request that you use this area when you are breastfeeding. Thank you."
Um, yep, they italicised "our Family and Friends." And, yes, they asked people to breastfeed in the bathroom. The mom who posted the note on Facebook, who said she was invited to this wedding (her husband's best friend's) when she was nursing both a 3-month-old and a 2-year-old, at first said she didn't know what to do — leave her kids with a friend or stand her ground.
"This is disgusting, but unfortunately this is not surprising," she wrote on Facebook. "It's never okay to expect or demand that a mom breastfeed in a private area." She added: "I don't eat in the bathroom — I'm not feeding my child in there!" She also mentioned that she and the couple have had several arguments about her public breastfeeding, and that she felt the note was targeted at her.
The Facebook group's administrator said that the mom ended up leaving both of her children with a friend and a grandparent.
But even though she found someone to watch her kids, she still says the breastfeeding-shaming is unacceptable — and that there's nothing inappropriate about a mother feeding her child.
"I still can't see why a nursing mom is 'banished' to bathrooms or other areas unless she chooses to go there for her and baby's comfort," she told Babble. "If I as a nursing mom have to go to a bathroom or other room to nurse, then I think moms who bottle-feed should have to go, too."