Universal Orlando apologizes for breast feeding encounter

Posted Friday, November 2, 2007 10:38 AM | Contributed by Jeff

A Florida theme park is apologizing to a St. John's woman who was told to cover up while she breastfed her daughter or leave the premises. She was approached by park security officers and asked to stop. A park spokesperson apologized and said they have no policy against breast feeding.

Read more from The CBC.

Friday, November 2, 2007 10:39 AM
I'll never understand how a repressed yet sex crazed culture is OK with tiny bathing suits that cover nipples but the moment a mother wants to breast feed it's offensive. You're damn right it's a "family affair..." she's feeding her family!

Lactivists unite! :)

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Friday, November 2, 2007 10:49 AM
I'm all for breast feeding (we BF our son for 15 months), but there is still an appropriate time and place for it. I am perplexed that Universal has been in the business so long and has "no policy" on it. The majority of parks I've been to welcome nursing mothers but politely ask that they go into restrooms to do so. I know Holiday World even has a dedicated facility for women who want to nurse.

Though calling security was definitely overkill, I don't think it was over the line to ask the lady to be a bit more modest for the sake of the other guests. But then again, the bare bones swimsuit policy makes this argument barely worth fighting...

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Friday, November 2, 2007 11:30 AM
I don't think a bathroom is a very nice place to feed your baby. Would you eat your lunch in a bathroom?
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Friday, November 2, 2007 12:28 PM
Hey it's personal preference. I'm not offended by breast feeding, however if you're going to breast feed in a public place and not cover yourself, it's fair game, I'm going to stare! I mean... they are boobs! How can you not look at boobs? Boobs make both boys and girls happy.

My wife breastfed our son and she had to do this a few times while at Cedar Point. However, we would go back to the car and would feed our son, meanwhile I could get food from the park and bring it out or have a cooler in the car so that we can eat too. It's discrete and while she doesn't have a problem showing off her boobs after many drinks, she does have a problem showing them off in public when she's trying to feed her son.

One thing that Kings Island has (Emiroo mentioned this as well) is a "family center" that provides a place to take care of things like this as well as changing. I wish I knew that since I was looking up and down all the men's rooms in the park and couldn't find a baby changing station. So I found a hidden spot covered by bushes to change him. Not 30 seconds after I got him dressed did a security guard let me know of the "family center." Doh!

Hopefully other parks will start offering facilities like this.

~Rob Willi

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Friday, November 2, 2007 12:40 PM
Do you eat in the crapper, Emiroo? If not, then why would you expect someone to feed their child there?

"Modesty" has nothing to do with it. Mammals have fed their children this way for all of time and it's something to celebrate, not something to hide out of embarrassment. What is wrong with people?

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Friday, November 2, 2007 12:50 PM
Disney has had an issue with this too as of late, but it is acceptable for mothers to breast feed their children within the Disney parks.
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Friday, November 2, 2007 2:59 PM
Point taken about eating in the crapper everybody. :-) That's not my personal policy...just what I've seen suggested in parks.

The real problem is the perception of breast feeding of all the non-parents out there. Most adults will understand and be respectful of what's going on, but the average 13 year old is going to snicker and could potentially stare and cause a scene. That would cause a problem for everybody involved.

I think "family centers" are the way to go at each park. Then again, a ride full of topless Mothers breastfeeding could provide some interesting promotional material...*** This post was edited by Emiroo 11/2/2007 3:03:36 PM ***

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Friday, November 2, 2007 3:13 PM
So you think it's a mother's responsibility to parent someone else's child too? That's what it amounts too.

I'm not that religious, but I firmly believe that giving life and feeding it in this way is a miracle.

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Friday, November 2, 2007 3:39 PM
Gosh Jeff, this topic has you stirred up! Let me first be clear that I am 100% in favor of breast feeding and a Mother's right to breastfeed in public if needed.

With that out of the way, I must say that it is society that is dictating a certain modesty level while breastfeeding in public. And yes there is a terrible double standard in play. Go to a waterpark and it's all smiles if a woman walks by in a skimpy bikini. But if a Mother opens a few shirt buttons and exposes her breast to feed her child, people get uncomfortable. Maybe that's the problem; people don't have a problem with the breast, it's what's the breast is doing that freaks them out. I don't know.

I have no problem here, but I know from personal experince with my wife and son that for whatever reason, there are a lot of people out there that just don't want to see a woman breastfeeding. This puts park operators in a corner. You legally cannot tell a Mother that she cannot breastfeed her baby, but you don't want to alienate the your patrons who might be offended by this. Again, I believe 'family centers" are the way to go for all parties involved.

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Friday, November 2, 2007 3:44 PM
That's when you stand up against society and tell it to kiss your ass. Someone has to take a stand, and if I were in charge, that's what I'd do. Fortunately, it appears that Universal will be doing just that going forward, and that's the right decision.

Anyone who feels "alienated" by this has their own problems.

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Friday, November 2, 2007 4:31 PM
I grew up in a place where women would breastfeed when their baby was hungry, and people didn't care. Restaurants, on the sidewalk, and just anywhere the baby decided it needed food. It wouldn't be such a taboo if most women did it. It's just a nipple after all, not a sexual act.
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Friday, November 2, 2007 4:32 PM
Saying that breast feeding has something to do with modesty still implies that it is sexual in nature. My wife has as much need to modestly breast feed as I do to modestly give my son some Cheerios.
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Friday, November 2, 2007 5:32 PM
When I worked for Cedar Point and for Disney, the policy was always very clear. If a mother asks you where they can go for privacy to breastfeed you tell them First Aid.

If they choose to breastfeed anywhere else, that is completely acceptable too.

Under no circumstances were we to approach anyone breastfeeding, tell them to move, or ask them to stop; at any time, in any place, ever. Simply provide suggestions if they asked.

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Friday, November 2, 2007 7:38 PM
Wow, this is like the SFGAm incident a couple years back.

If you can't handle the sight of a woman breastfeeding their kid, turn the other way and don't look.

Simple as that.

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Friday, November 2, 2007 8:21 PM
The day that it is legal to go topless on our beaches, is the day that I'll accept breast feeding in public. For the record, in California it is illegal to wear a thong bathing suit on most public beaches.This lady was being tactless. She should have sought a place that was more secluded, out of public view, and made an attempt to cover herself. No one would've said something had she done that. I'd like to see her try the same at a dinner table inside a restaurant like Nobu, Morton's, Flemings or any other first class establishment. Let's see what kind of reaction she'd get there. Having we gotten to the point where manners and being considerate of others has completely gone out the door?What if you were sitting right next to her on plane? Watch out you might get wet and if they were too big one might end up in your lap.
*** This post was edited by egieszl 11/2/2007 8:27:47 PM ***
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Friday, November 2, 2007 8:26 PM
Wow. That gets the post of the day award.
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Friday, November 2, 2007 9:21 PM
egieszl.

If you click here, you will see that California is a state that has laws in place that allow mothers to breastfeed in any public or private place. So that includes these first class restaurants that you mentioned.

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Friday, November 2, 2007 11:10 PM
There's nothing wrong with breast feeding, but why can't mother's use some discretion? Cover up with a blanket or towel or something. I really don't want to see your breast hanging out in public. That's just tacky.
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Friday, November 2, 2007 11:21 PM
How about you cover your eyes if you think it's tacky?
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