Mora nurse-in to defend right of mothers to feed their kids

Two women fed their babies at a public swimming pool in Mora, Minn., this week and that’s the sort of thing that people call the cops on in Mora.

Sit tight, Mora. You’re about to get a pool full of nursing women.

The Kanabec County Sheriff’s Office tells Fox 9 that things got heated on Wednesday when a woman, and then a staff member, told the nursing mothers to “cover up.”

“Our staff politely asked them to be more discrete or relocate to another area at the MAC. When they did not, it created an untenable situation and our public safety team was brought in to assist the MAC staff,” a statement from the city said.

Untenable? Meet Minnesota Statute 145.905, Mora:

“A mother may breast-feed in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breast-feeding.”

“I was so taken aback I didn’t even have the opportunity to react,” Stephanie Buchanan tells the Kanabec County Times.

As she was leaving, she was met by a police sergeant who, fortunately, had a clue and knew it’s not against the law to breastfeed a baby in public.

“I was so humiliated,” Buchanan said. “Everyone was staring at us at the pool. I went home and cried to my husband. I have never, ever, had this happen before. It was just unbelievable. I couldn’t believe what was happening. It just kept getting worse.”

A nurse-in on Saturday at the pool is intended to reinforce the rights of mothers to feed their children, according to a Facebook event listing.

This Nurse-In is a PEACEFUL demonstration that us Mamas can and will nurse when we want and where we want. (Do not knock people for formula feeding and steer away from breast is best). This is about our legal right to nurse in public as a result of our decision to breastfeed (not about a debate of formula vs breastmilk).

Us Mama Bears gotta stick together and in unity there is strength! We can nurse anywhere, and in any way we choose under the Minnesota State Law. The biological purpose for woman’s breast is to feed and nourish our babies and I am so sick of being shamed for what I feel is best for my child! If anyone is interested we are going to have a Nurse in outside the Mora Pool this Saturday at Noon. If you are not a currently nursing mother but what to show your support feel free to come and join in on the fun. Us Mamas can nurse, let the kiddos play, make signs, and just show our support for one another!

** This is not a personal attack on the pool, it’s staff, or the police. This incident was created by a woman’s issue about another woman breast feeding her child. We just want to normalize breastfeeding and bring some awareness to this. Our breasts were created for this sole purpose so why do we get bashed when using them appropriately… ***

  • Jeff C.

    I hope the woman and the staff member who told the nursing mothers to cover up told the men with exposed nipples to cover up, too.

    If you Photoshop a man’s nipple over a woman’s nipple in a photo, does that then make it “decent”?

  • AL287

    I find it rather ironic that women will wear a bikini that leaves little to the imagination and post the pictures all over the Internet but will tar and feather a mother doing what nature intended—feeding her child.

    The false modesty is more irritating than a mother feeding her baby in public.

    • RBHolb

      I suspect a lot of the complainers are men.

      • JonasGrumby

        Yet many of them visit the Lamplighter

  • Gordon near Two Harbors

    Almost certainly, and I’d bet money on it, the original complainer was some sort of weird, right-wing Bible-banger, beyond child-bearing age, and jealous of the woman feeding her baby as God intended.

  • merry_rose

    There’s a guy on Facebook and YouTube who did an experiment with two women-one was cleavage all over in a tight T with a plunging neckline and the other was a woman nursing her infant. He had them sit on a public bench on a downtown street. Not one person said negative anything to the cleavage gal and, not surprising, many men hit on her. Of all the people that passed by the mother, only one, a young man, complimented and congratulated her on her lovely baby. Every other person, from older women to men of varying ages scolded her for being “indecent” in public.

    When they did, they YouTuber came out and pointed out to them that a) the breast’s purpose is to feed babies, and b) she was protected by law. Period. They still doubled down and said she was disgusting. One women even said that the mother was corrupting men. Sheesh!

  • Al

    Once more for the folks in the back: BREASTS. FEED. BABIES. Grow up. Leave the mothers alone.

    • Jack

      If my kid was still of nursing age, I would be joining them. Unfortunately I’m 21+ years past lactation.

      You go Mora mothers!

  • tarry_on

    Go, nursing moms! Also, discreet is closer to secretive, and discrete is closer to separate. So how to parse that one I donut know. ~Yoda

  • JakeDOlson

    Here’s a little context from a young woman who has taught both of my kids swimming lessons at this community facility that the internet apparently wants to see burnt to the ground.

    “The Mora Aquatic Center has taught me a lot. As a child, it taught me how to splash and swim, play well with friends and wait my turn. As a fourteen-year-old concession stand worker, I learned what it means to have a job and co-workers, how to count change and say “have a great day!” As a swimming lesson instructor, I have learned about parenting styles and all different kinds of tips and tricks for kids. As a lifeguard, I have learned an incredible amount of responsibility. I do not take lightly being trusted with the lives you value the most.

    I have learned lessons more valuable at the Mora Aquatic Center than what a job description could hold. I’ve learned how to work hard, be part of a team, and navigate difficult conversations. This week, I have learned a lot about conflict- the ways it can be handled, the complexity of it all. I do not know what will come next, I do not know every detail of a story with so many sides.

    But I do know what it’s like to be human, and therefore to make mistakes. I am very aware of the ability of each and every one of us to handle a situation far from perfectly. Just like us all, community swimming pools are not immune to the consequences and “gray areas” of humanness.

    But humanness is why I come back every single summer.

    Humanness is also joy. It is what makes your children so easy to watch. They are undeniably my favorite part of the job. Each and every one of us spend our breaks telling stories, laughing hard at the wit and innocence your children never fail to display. They are adventurous and silly and kind, they imagine things I couldn’t even dream of, remind me what it’s like to have fun. I never stop cheering them on from four feet above.

    Humanness is also brave. It’s why I spend my mornings and evenings teaching in the water, whether it’s sunny or cloudy or pouring rain. Gosh, I adore your kids. I have spent hours of my life coaxing preschoolers to put their whole head in the water on purpose, even more hours comforting preschoolers who put their whole head in the water on accident. They are so brave. They are so proud of themselves. I love to watch them learn, I love to laugh and grow alongside of them.

    Humanness is also connection. I work alongside an incredibly passionate team of people. They are generous and kind, they laugh easy and work hard, they care about each other and care about their job. I could go on forever about the hours they spend researching, recertifying, and perfecting strokes and saves. I speak for so many others when I attempt to communicate the desire I have to be my best for you, the desire to serve you and your family well.

    Twenty years loving this facility, seven years working for it. I have witnessed first-hand the opportunities available for children at the pool. For some it is recreation and for some it is a haven. Regardless, it is place that is founded in safety, joy, and a desire to cultivate each and every side of humanness we adore.

    I am sad. I wish I was working today, I wish all the children who hoped to were swimming today. More than anything, I am hopeful. Mora, you have gone above and beyond this week. You have sandbagged, you have sacrificed your time, you have done far more than what could ever be asked or expected from you. I am so proud to live in this town. I am so confident in our community to advocate and better ourselves. I am hopeful I will continue to watch so many children have the opportunity to play, grow, and experience the same things I did growing up in our sweet town.”

    • Eschew

      What was the point of that novel?

  • FreeJeffDubay

    Everybody has an agenda. They weren’t asked to stop or leave but to be more discrete. A reasonable request. Sometimes if you look, by accident, you get a dirty look from the mom. Can’t have it both ways but you demand it. Don’t look at me as breast feed. I’ll dang well breastfeed when and where I want! Oh brother.

    • X.A. Smith

      “A mother may breast-feed in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breast-feeding.” It is not a reasonable request. It is a request which marginalizes people feeding their children in the way God intended.

      Surprise surprise that “FreeJeffDubay” would say something misogynist. Jeff plead guilty to beating a woman. And he’s not in jail. Everybody has an agenda, though.

  • Eschew

    Let Mora know what you think.

    m.yoder@cityofmora.com