This week on our show Good Day Chicago, the team shared a story about a mom who got into an argument with someone over breastfeeding in public.
Sun-Times Splash Editor Susanna Negovan started a firestorm on our Facebook page by saying this on-air: "I mean, yes, it's not illegal to pick your nose in public, but I don't wanna watch you do it. I think people should exercise discretion when they are in a public space and they should be conscious of the fact that there may be people around them that might not want to see that and I think it's simple enough to cover up."
For the record, this part of Good Day Chicago is called the "Chat Room" -- a time when people are encouraged to share their own opinions.
FOX 32 anchor Dawn Hasbrouck shared a different perspective.
"I breastfeed both of my children for a year each and I remember being in a restaurant thinking he's really hungry I really need to do this and I had the cover up, but then it started to fall off and get worried, so I went to the bathroom and there was no chair and no place to breastfeed," she explained. "I had to sit on the bathroom floor to breastfeed my child. So, I know how difficult it is to do it in public and there was another mother in the bathroom who saw me and she said ‘don't worry, it gets better.'"
On Friday, Negovan was back on our air, trying to clarify.
"I think the point that I was trying to make, it's not about breastfeeding because we can all acknowledge that's best for the children," Susanna said. "And that if you can breastfeed that's what you should be able to do and breastfeeding in public is perfectly fine. I think the question is of exposure and what is the right amount of exposure in public?"
A blogger from California heard what Negovan said and started plans for a protest outside our studios.
She noted that breastfeeding rates in Illinois are not that good--25 percent of new moms here don't even try. She says that things like the "nose picking" comment make things worse.
"I just think that when people compare breastfeeding to picking your nose or defecating or urinating, they're not seeing it for what it is," Paala Anderson Secor told FOX 32 News in an interview. "Hearing negative comments about breastfeeding before you start breastfeeding gives the new mother the completely wrong impression about what it is to care for your child."
"Breastfeeding should be seen," she adds. "You shouldn't feel embarrassed to breastfeed. In no way is breastfeeding your child and meeting their needs something to be embarrassed about."
Illinois law says that mothers are allowed to breastfeed their babies anywhere.
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