Posted in: Parenting

‘The Milk Truck’ Provides Safe Haven For Nursing Mothers [Video]

The Milk Truck provides a safe haven for breastfeeding moms, and a bit of embarrassment for those opposed to nursing in public.

Commentary | While public breastfeeding is legal in most states, mothers who try to do it are often harassed. But when babies get hungry, what’s a nursing mother to do other than pop it out and feed her kid? Not long ago, my family and I were enjoying a pleasant evening on the patio of our favorite fro-yo shop. When my 8-month-old got hungry, I complied. Not three minutes into my little one’s snack-time did I hear sneers from the table near us.

“Oh my gosh, that woman is breastfeeding!” “No way!” “In public? I’m trying to eat!” “That’s disgusting.” Surprisingly, the snickers came from a table or women. To be honest, I kind of wish I was still nursing my near-three-year-old. That really would have freaked them out.

If only I lived in Pittsburgh. If I lived in Pittsburgh, I could have called on The Milk Truck to come and save the day. I would love to see the look on the faces of those rudely staring women when the pink and blue truck pulled up, complete with gigantic boob affixed to the top, to offer my baby and me a judgement-free zone in which to breastfeed.

Apparently I’m not the only mother who has been judged for — gasp! — feeding her baby in public. Artist and mom Jill Miller had heard so many stories of women being asked to cover up, nurse in the restroom, or leave public places that she decided that enough was enough. Someone had to teach the public a lesson.

Enter the Milk Truck.

Here’s how it works. When a nursing mother finds herself being harassed for breastfeeding, she tweets her location. The Milk Truck, armed with angry Mamas out for justice, pulls up in front of the offending establishment. The back of the truck opens, and The Milk Truck staff set up a street-side nursing room, complete with area rug and papasan chairs. The harassed mother is free to breastfeed, surrounded by other supportive moms while staff of the establishment look on in embarrassment.

In the words of founder Jill Miller, she’s out for vengeance.

“When a woman finds herself in a situation where she is discouraged, harassed, or unwelcome to breastfeed her baby in public, she summons The Milk Truck. The truck arrives to the location of the woman in need and provides her with a shelter for feeding her baby. The woman feeds her child, the shopkeeper who harassed her feels like a dweeb, and the truck does what it does best – creates a spectacle. (Which is, incidentally, the very thing that the shopkeeper thought he was trying to avoid. Alas, some people have to learn the hard way.)”

While the medical profession touts breastfeeding as the best possible means of infant nutrition, moms are still often made to feel unwelcome when they need to feed their babies. But babies get hungry. Even in public. And nursing in a public restroom is disgusting. Personally, I don’t want to nurse my baby anywhere that I wouldn’t want to eat.

Miller, an artist and faculty member in the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, created The Milk Truck last year “as a way to help hungry babies eat by providing a supportive environment for women to nurse their babies.” Her hope is that her truck will inspire more like it in other cities.

Not everyone finds the idea appealing.

After the Milk Truck made its debut last year, she got an email from a man who thought the whole idea was ridiculous. “What an insane cause you chose to rally behind. … Pointless!” he wrote, according to NBC News.

What do you think of Miller’s idea for a public breastfeeding space?

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19 Responses to “‘The Milk Truck’ Provides Safe Haven For Nursing Mothers [Video]”

  1. Cindy Ketchum

    Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world! There are alot of women who do it but they cover themselves so as to not expose themselves to others. Why is breastfeeding in public so wrong when a man can go into the bushes & expose himself to pee? Huh?

  2. Cheryl Clark

    A mother should NEVER have to hide in feeding her child. It is funny the same people that get grossed out with breastfeeding in public most likely have no issues with someone posing in a skimpy outfit or go to a movie with half nude people. If I had been the mom in the article I would said oh gross people with no manners. Or better yet oh look over privilege harpies that don't get that frozen yogurt is not a need but my baby's breast milk is get a life.

  3. Catryna White

    I think Miller's idea is terrific and definitely fills a nitch. For those who have a hard time with breastfeeding in public, try going without when you get hungry. Or better yet…."Don't look!" How hypocritical to relegate someone somewhere else when they only need to eat. When you're at the mall and you eat at the food court, how disturbing is that to everyone else. Not really! Get a grip. Only in the the USA where freedom's are continuously squashed would this be an issue. Grow up people or get your noses out of the air.

  4. Ed Cooper

    Hot flash. Tits were not created to make money for porn stars or be sexual play things. Breasts are actually created to feed babies. Homosexuals can swap spit in puplic but its disgusting to feed a baby in public? Grow up.

  5. Bev Smith

    Yes breastfeed the ones who are grosses out are probably secretly jealeous or uneducated & thoughtless. What are breasted truely for? Their comments prove their ignorance
    God bless breastfeeding mothers

  6. Shirley Latz

    I may be old, but that was something that was private. I did it and did not feed my child so the whole world could watch me. But what would anyone expect when nothing else in our lives are private or special? Special is the operative word here.

  7. Catherine Santore Meyrat

    I'm a nursing mother and I've never received a single nasty comment or look because I use a nursing cover. I don't want to see anyone else's body exposed, why should I force them to view mine? Yes it's natural, but the world could use a little more modesty and discretion.

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