An Ohio mom may be to blame for giving lawmakers a reminder of laws they have thus far overlooked drafting: no breastfeeding while driving. Yes, breast milk is best for babies and breastfeeding is a wonderful bonding opportunity – just not while driving a vehicle!
Breastfeeding While Driving
The Star Tribune quotes the Associated Press’ reporting that the mom in question was pulled over and charged with child endangerment. Making matters worse, the breastfeeding mom was not only holding a squirming, breast milk drinking baby while driving, but she was also allegedly talking on a cell phone. Mom’s comment to police after being stopped was that she would not allow her child to go hungry.
Not the First Breastfeeding While Driving Incident
According to the Cayman Net News, a Pittsburgh woman commenced breastfeeding her baby while driving in 2003. Once again the rationale was that hungry babies demanding breast milk cannot be left hungry. According to the Pittsburgh Channel, this breastfeeding mom would not even pull over for the cops until she happened on a toll booth.
It is interesting to note that according this 2003 mom, talking on a cell phone or changing a diaper while driving would be far more distracting than merely breastfeeding a baby. As reported by the Capital News Service, a judge threw out the charge of child endangerment, but did find mom guilty of evading police and driving without a license.
Is Breastfeeding While Driving Technically Legal and Safe?
It was surprising to learn that as of 2003, breastfeeding while driving was indeed legal in Michigan. Responses to this story have been interesting as well; although the majority of women suggest that pulling over might have been the right decision to make, one poster on the All Doulas site suggested that a screaming, upset child could stress out a mom and thus cause an accident. What is more, she felt that since breastfeeding could be done hands free, it would be a somewhat acceptable practice.
Truth be told, I periodically drive while listening to a screeching, howling baby that would make the Lernaean Hydra’s encounter with Hercules sound like a midsummer night’s breeze. (No, said youngster is not hungry, thirsty, or wet.) Yes, it is distracting, but there is no place so important to get to that it warrants jeopardizing a child’s physical safety.
http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/40472902.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUUsA; http://www.caymannetnews.com/Archive/Archive%20Articles/July%202003/Issue%20437%20Thu/437-stories.html#onews6; http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/2278904/detail.html; http://cns.jrn.msu.edu/articles/2003_0926/BREASTFEEDING.html