Have you seen this? It’s called The Milk Truck (A Mobile Breastfeeding Unit) and is “part guerilla theatre, activism and a little slapstick humour”. It was created in September 2011, but I only learned about it when it was scheduled fairly recently to make a stop at a maternity shop where I got fitted for a nursing bra (an aside: knowing how your boobs are supposed to look in a nursing (or other?) bra and getting them to look that way is absolutely, positively, not common knowledge).
The Milk Truck’s raison d’etre is to provide a mobile breastfeeding unit for mothers to nurse their babies in places where they have been discouraged to breastfeed. No doubt also to raise awareness and eyebrows.
I don’t think I’ve ever been made to feel uncomfortable breastfeeding in public, and I do it all the time. But I suppose that just means I’ve been lucky or sheltered from breastfeeding bullies, who obviously exist. Generally I like to be thoughtful of other people’s comfort, so if I’m in company that I think might feel a little self-conscious by an exposed breast, like maybe an older man, I might use a nursing cover or slip somewhere a little more private.
But that’s always been my own initiative; I think if someone were to come down on me for breastfeeding, I would be mighty provoked. Maybe I’d strip to my undies and nurse lying on the floor while singing the anthem. Or maybe I’d call The Milk Truck, and find myself in the following scenario:
A woman in a restaurant is nursing her baby at a dining table. Restaurant management ask her to stop creating a spectacle and use the bathroom for nursing, or leave the restaurant. The mother is in a dilemma – she simply wants to feed her baby in the same space where she is eating her food. Who wants to eat lunch in a bathroom? Not her baby! And she shouldn’t have to. The woman tweets to The Milk Truck her location and situational information. The Milk Truck posts the information to Facebook, Twitter, and The Milk Truck’s website. The Milk Truck (and supporters) arrive to the restaurant location, park in front of the establishment, and set up the mobile breastfeeding unit. The woman feeds her baby in the comfort of the truck’s cozy chairs and shaded canopy, and the restaurant owner is left to ponder the sense of making a woman feel uncomfortable for doing something as simple as feeding her baby. Thought the nursing mother created a spectacle? Meet the Milk Truck!
As soon as I learned about The Milk Truck, I knew I had to tell you about it. What do you think? Do you love it, as I do (see the nipple/siren as its crowning glory!)? Or do you find it all a little much? In hopes of persuading you to love it, here’s The Milk Truck’s answer to concerns about offending people with that “obnoxious boob on the top of the truck”:
I’m concerned that we offend hungry babies every day by not letting them eat when they need to.