I'm hoping to attend MACHE this year. MACHE is a conference held every year in Minnesota and it stands for Minnesota Association for Home Educators.
I was reading over their brochure for this years conference and came across some lines that really ruffled my feathers.
An area will be provided for mothers with nursing infants up to age 18 monthsOk, then what? There's no area for mom's nursing a two or three year old? Too bad so sad, you no longer meet our age requirements so you can choose the restroom or your car? Hmmm...
Husbands and other children are not allowed in this area.I can respect that there are women who feel a bit akward having a man come into an area where you are nursing. I totally get that. But if he needs to come in to grab the car keys, or give her the cell phone because her mom's on theline, or something ridiculously simple as such, then what's the big deal? If you are uncomfortable nursing in public, then use a blanket or nursing cover to cover up. Be discreet. If you have your boob hanging out for every Jim and Joe to see, then surely you don't mind the gal next you tossing a set of keys up to the hubby who wants to grab an Aquafina from the trunk. Just sayin...
If there are kids in the area with the nursing moms, then these are kids who, I'm pretty confident in saying, have lived in an enviroment with another nursing mom. I doubt three year old Janie is going to go searching under my Hooter Hider wondering what I'm doing to the baby. Ethan doesn't go up to my nursing friends asking "What's that? Can I see? What are you doing? How does that work?" The kids are used to it. Actually, my kids don't understand what bottles are for!
And for the big finale:
For the comfort of all attendees, we request that you do not nurse your infants in any public areas.
Oh no you didn't! Listen here, whoever wrote this brochure, if I can push a cart, nurse a baby, and get my grocery shopping done at Walmart, then I can nurse at this big'ol confrerence of yours.
Check it, I've got laws on my side:
Minn. Stat. § 145.905 provides that a mother may breastfeed in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother's breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.
This is my favorite stat:
Minn. Stat. Ann. § 617.23 specifies that breastfeeding does not constitute indecent exposure.
I think they are going to step on some pretty big toes by stating these requests. There's nothing wrong with nursing in public. Nothing. I always carry a blanket or my beloved Hooter Hider (oh yes, there is such a thing) because I am uncomfortable exposing my boob to the world. That's just me. If there's a mom in the world who let's it all out without a care in the world, then amen sister you've got the guts to go for it. I applaud you.
In the mean time, I'm going to write MACHE a note requesting these lines be removed from next years brochure.
No bueno, MACHE. No bueno.