Moms Breastfeed in Target to Show Nursing Normalcy

Lansing-area women visited a local Target store to try to make a point: there is nothing strange about breastfeeding in public.

"Breastfeeding in public is important because no mom wants to sit at home all the time," said Lindsey LaForte, as she held her infant son Henry. "You have to go out and about, you have to go grocery shopping."

But moms who demonstrated at Target Sunday say sometimes they're afraid or ashamed of breastfeeding in public. Some say they get funny looks from other people in stores. Those that gathered want to end those glances.

"Breastfeeding is the biological normal for feeding a baby and a mother should feel welcome to feed their baby wherever and whenever," said Jessica Thomas, who breastfeeds her infant. "This is the normal way to feed a baby, that it's not something that should be hidden."

Forty-five states have laws that expressly permit women to nurse in public and private places. Michigan is not one of them, though a similar bill is in committee in the state house. However, by a separate state law, nursing women cannot be cited for indecent exposure.

Participants said Sunday the demonstration -- which was organized via Facebook and was not affiliated with a particular group -- wasn't just to make a point to passersby. It was also to show strength and support in numbers.

"It was important to support moms who were doing this for the first time," said Lisa King, a nursing mother, "and show there's plenty of other women out there to support them."

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