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Breastfeeding Mom Protests at Silveyville Pumpkin Patch After Being Asked to Cover Up (Poll)

Sacramento News 10 cameras were in Dixon over the weekend profiling a mother who protested in front of Silveyville Pumpkin Patch after an employee asked her to cover up as she was breastfeeding

How much is too much skin when breastfeeding?

For one mother it was apparently too much as she did the deed at two Sundays ago. But last Sunday she returned to the pumpkin patch, along with several breastfeeding mothers, to breastfeed and hold signs in protest.

The woman told Sacramento News 10 cameras that an employee from the pumpkin patch told her to cover up while breastfeeding her baby after several customers complained.

When Rachel Hill, who was feeding her son Cole according to News 10, refused to cover up the employee walked away -- and that's when Hill sought out a manager.

The manager told Hill that she would need to cover up or leave, Hill said. So Hill left the patch disgruntled.

But Silveyville Pumpkin Patch owner Jeri Seifert told News 10 that Hill was not asked to leave, just to cover up because of several customers' complaints.

The pumpkin patch has since issued a written apology to the protesters, and said they agree with the law that allows mothers to breastfeed wherever they see fit.

Now Dixon, here is the question. Who was in the right here? Was it the mother who facilitated enough complaints for staff to take notice and ask her to cover up? Or was it Silveyville Pumpkin Patch for asking the mother to cover up or leave?

Kimberly November 01, 2011 at 05:29 AM
California law protects the right to breastfeed a baby anywhere a mom and her baby are allowed to be, except the private residence of another person.
Jeanette Panchula November 01, 2011 at 01:33 PM
”Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, except the private home or residence of another, where the mother and child are authorized to be present.” California Civil Code Section43.3 The law does NOT say "discreetly" - most of us don't eat our meals in bathroom stalls or under blankets - neither should a baby!
Aaron November 01, 2011 at 02:49 PM
Consistent with the law doesn't mean it's courteous to others.
t November 01, 2011 at 03:52 PM
Would you like to eat with a blanket over your head? NO! No adult would willingly eat covered, and with that most babies do not either. Babies heads cover up the nipple and as much breast as a lot of swim suits! It's okay to show that off when walking around, but not sitting and nursing. This is what the body was made to do and those who are offended should get over it and become more comfortable with their bodies so they can be comfortable seeing one being used what it is for. Bottle nipples were made to "resemble" woman's nipples...those can be waved around anywhere, and I am offended overtime I see one! With a nursing mom at least you don't see the actual nipple unless you are looking for it!
Janelle MacDonald November 01, 2011 at 04:11 PM
Amen.
Marisa Wagner November 01, 2011 at 04:15 PM
Janelle- I think you have some great points. And I breastfed my daughter, in public, without covering up, until just a few months ago. She is 2.5 years old. We still breastfeed for naps and night time, no longer in public. But stuff like this makes me want to go there and breastfeed uncovered. I liked to blow kisses or waive to people who would give me "the look". It's hilarious to see their reaction.
Janelle MacDonald November 01, 2011 at 04:27 PM
Haha! Isn't it? They GLARE. And I have two other kids so sometimes I'm standing up walking around with them, nursing the toddler on my hip and people look at me like "wait, wah?" I am stealing the blowing kisses thing. It's so perfect. You should check out my blog, it's an irreverent, totally inappropriate mothering blog called Renegade Mothering (www.renegademothering.com). I have a feeling you might like it. :) Cheers.
Shana Levine November 01, 2011 at 04:46 PM
I am baffled that a natural act of breastfeeding is considered offensive. Come on folks!! There are WAY more troublesome behaviors that need shielding from public viewing. I would much rather see someone breastfeed than smoke, or swear, fight or smack their kid. The employees and owners of the Xmas tree farm should have told the people offended by the loving, natural act of breastfeeding that if they had an issue with it they could leave.
Janelle MacDonald November 01, 2011 at 04:49 PM
The idea that women should "cover up" while breastfeeding because it "makes other people uncomfortable" is INSANE. The idea that people would stop doing something necessary, legal (and in this case, life-sustaining) IN THE WAY THEY ARE COMFORTABLE DOING IT because somebody MAY BE offended by their behavior is absolutely ridiculous. Let's take this approach to its logical end. Gay people make all kinds of people (homophobes) uncomfortable, so should they not go outside? Black people make racists uncomfortable, so they gotta stay in too. My tattoos offend the crap outta people. Disabled people make some people uncomfortable. Public displays of affection make people uncomfortable. I could go on like this all day. Hippies? Dreadlocks? Mental illness? A woman should cover up if it makes HER uncomfortable, not because she fears offending some puritanical asshat who can't tell the difference between feeding a child and exposing oneself. "Courteous to others" my ass. Does my language offend you? Oh sorry, I'll stop. And seriously Carlos, "too much skin" and "doing the deed"? Do you think you could have avoided the sexualization of this act just a little bit? BTW, I'm breastfeeding my 15-month-old, which in itself offends people, but I ramp it up by going out of my way to show as "much skin" as possible every time I breastfeed in public, just to piss people off. It's my middle finger to people who think I should be more "respectable".
Gary Erwin November 01, 2011 at 05:12 PM
In Europe and in much of the world it is a non issue. It is a shame that today in America with the economy in shambles that breast feeding is undergoing an attack. Is there a more natural and economical way to feed a young child? Is there a better way to bond? Come on folks…educate yourselves and stop these puritanical attacks on women and children. To the women who are nursing….no better way to normalize this than to keep doing what you are doing. In time it will become the new normal.
John Jefferson November 01, 2011 at 10:55 PM
I think a lot has been lost in translation. This is a direct result of Rachel Hill modifying her story after posting on Facebook and realizing most people did not agree with her, she then changed her story a number of times to ensure that she was seen in the "best" light. Her original story was such: She was simply breastfeeding her child and an employee asked her to cover up a little as some customers were uncomfortable, she told them she would NOT cover and was then told by the employee that she must cover or she would have to leave- This was then modified to read such- She was asked by an employee to cover as people were uncomfortable, before she could reply the employee left at which time she went in search of a manager, the manager told her that she would have to cover or leave. So which was it, was it the employee or the manager? Did she tell the employee she would not cover or not? Fact is, she was standing in the checkout area breastfeeding, was being very "in your face" about it, it was requested that she cover up as some other customers were uncomfortable, she told them no, threw a fit- as she did with those on facebook who took issue with her, as she began swearing at them and threatening them, stating that she wasn’t someone to be f-d with- and left on her own. --CONT
John Jefferson November 01, 2011 at 10:59 PM
Then she created this vendetta against the pumpkin patch which is a very family friendly place, including breastfeeding mother's, in an attempt to get attention. No one asked her to completely cover her child, they simply asked her to use a little discretion, basically she was asked to extend the same courtesy and level of respect that she was expecting for herself, she was unwilling to do so. She claims she couldn’t cover her child because of the “heat”, yet she saw no problem with having her child out on the side of the road for 3 hours in the sun. We live in a society, and as such we should be respectful of each other, sure the law allows you to breastfeed where you like, but is it really too much to ask that you do so with a bit of discretion and take into account the feelings of others? This went too far, had Rachel handled herself a little better, perhaps simply moving from the checkout area to a less crowded area where her and her child could relax and have a little privacy, but no, Rachel was determined that she could do anything she liked everyone else be damned. The law doesn’t prevent me from chewing with my mouth open, but I still close it out of respect for others.. My wife has breastfed all of our children, many times in public, and not ONCE have we ever had an issue with it, and that includes at Silveyville Farm, we just did so with respect for ourselves and others.
Denise Sumpter November 02, 2011 at 01:41 AM
No mother should have to be bothered with this sort of pettiness!! The whole discreet argument is utter nonsense and incredibly insulting! Thank goodness that in the UK there is not a cover- culture, and most women would not dream of half- smothering their child under a blanket or contraption!! I feed my three and a half year old out and about if she asks, as do my friends! London is quite a cool place!!! I feed my three and a half year old out and about if
Denise Sumpter November 02, 2011 at 01:42 AM
Please read Ina May Gaskin on Nipplephobia!!!
Gary Erwin November 02, 2011 at 02:02 AM
I see this issue as being much larger than the Silveyville Pumpkin Patch, Rachel and her child. It brings to light the differences between personal taste and someone else’s legal right. Her right to breast feed her child in public outweighs the feelings and emotions of others. I think everyone involved ought to take a step back and relax because really…we have much bigger problems. I am sure that the owner and their employees were only trying to do what they thought was right for their customers. Lesson learned, leave nursing mothers alone.
John Jefferson November 02, 2011 at 03:01 AM
@Gary, yeah, that's right, your "right's" outweight everyone elses.. This may be true when you are in your house,but when you are in public EVERYONE's right's are equal, and your "right's" do not trump anothers. That is part of being a part of society. No one told Rachel she couldn't breastfeed, but if you are going to enter one of the busiest places- the checkout area- and whip your breast out and not expect someone to be uncomfortable about this you have a serious ego problem. The world does not revolve around you, your wants, or your needs.
Janelle MacDonald November 02, 2011 at 03:08 AM
Gary I thought that was extremely well said. Thank you.
John Jefferson November 02, 2011 at 05:08 AM
John Jefferson Well, it seems that the children running the: The Normalizing Nursing in Public League- are unwilling to have a discussion with those who oppose them. It only took 3 posts on their group to have my posts deleted and be banned from the site. Seems they don't want to "educate" anyone, they simply wish to silence the opposition by force. As with the example of Rachel, it is either their way or no way at all!! As a father who is in favor of breastfeeding, congratulations on making me sour on your cause!! As I have said before, you all act like spoiled little brats...
Lindsey Dunn November 02, 2011 at 05:07 PM
John - I think you put it all perfectly into words. I am a mother of three and have breastfed all of my children. So I know that they have to eat no matter where you are and have had to sit down in some of the busiest places myself to feed. However, I am aware of my surroundings and those around me and either cover up for the entire feeding or find somewhere to sit where i'm not so exposed. You can cover up long enough to get your baby latched on then take the blanket off if you wish and still not expose too much boob. Personally, I think this has more to do with having respect for others and showing some class. Standing in the checkout line while breastfeeding is a bit extreme. If your child needs to eat, go feed your child. Isn't that the whole issue here? The baby needs to eat. Your pumpkins can wait.
Meghan November 02, 2011 at 11:55 PM
Covering up implies that the mother is doing something shameful or sexual that should be hidden. It is just a boob, and as a society of nipplephobic sexually repressed people...people need to just get over it. Regarding the NNIPL, they generally don't tolerate hostile or degrading comments and posts as it a place to support women and provide resources...not argue with the nipplephobic passersby.
Therase November 03, 2011 at 01:49 AM
It is important for people to SEE breastfeeding, The more it is seen the more people will become desensitized to it and the less "sexual" it will be. One reason why the US has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world (causing about 900 US babies to die every year) is because new mothers have not seen enough breastfeeding and it is not as much a part of US culture as it should be. Baby bottles, however, are seen everywhere, even as part of little girls' dolls. Those who are offended are the ones who most NEED to see breastfeeding. When I was in California I breastfeed in public often to try to undo some of the damage that formula companies have caused.
Marisa Wagner November 03, 2011 at 02:02 AM
I completely agree, Therase. I recently read an article about how important for people to see breastfeeding. One thing they mentioned that can be done is encourage your children to SEE. If the mother seems friendly walk them over to her so they can really see how it's done. I hope moms breastfeeding in public would be happy to have a curious little one look on.
John Jefferson November 03, 2011 at 02:09 AM
@Meghan- I didn't post anything "hostile or degrading" on the NNIPL group, I posted what I have posted here, that I think people should have respect for one another. Because I do not agree that a woman has to fully expose herself to the world in the middle of a crowded checkout area, I was removed from the group. Plain and simple. People would be able to see that if your group hadn't have deleted my posts, but since they have I guess you are free to type whatever BS you want about me. That is the kind of childish games that group is playing, you either fall in lock step with their opinions or your are out the door. Some support group you have there..
Jamie Zupo November 03, 2011 at 02:52 AM
If no one would have spoken to her about her uncovered bottle feeding baby, then her rights were violated. Simple. Nursing mothers are not required to be more polite or pleasant than other humans while feeding their children.
Christina November 03, 2011 at 04:35 AM
I am a mother of twins that were prematurely born at 31 weeks. I exclusivley breast fed untill they were 6 months old. (they are 9 months now) breast feeding is the only thing I could do for them that would help them live. It was my ONLY gift for them. When they were able to come home @ 2 1/2 months they still NEEDED the unsurpasable nutrients found in mothers milk. One of my twins refused to eat if I put a cover over his head but I am shy so I would sit in my car parked away from other vehicles to feed him. BUT if I were feeding him more publicly (I would not sit in a disgusting public bathroom stall) and asked to cover up or leave I would have been disgusted at the person. I would also let them know what the law is before getting to upset with them. (there was a time I did not know it is ok to breast feed your baby openly)
Kariann Rose November 03, 2011 at 04:14 PM
I too, live in California, and we are 100% protected by the law to breastfeed in public. Nowhere does it state that we are required to use a cover, "or else". I only breastfeed my baby, it is my choice that she does not get artificial nipples. I usually nurse with a cover, but on the off-chance that I do not have the diaper bag (or if she's in the Ergo carrier), I do have to feed her without a cover. I am very discreet, most people can't even tell that I'm nursing. I'm not out flashing my breasts and nipples to show everyone that I'm breastfeeding. I probably speak for most nursing moms out there that we don't put on a show. It's already humiliating enough that we are frowned upon (even WITH a cover!!!) when we, out of basic necessity, have to nurse our babies. I'd rather have a satiated baby then a screaming one because she's hungry and I have to refuse her because of some ignorant people who can't even handle the THOUGHT that a mother is feeding her baby like nature intended!
Aaron November 03, 2011 at 11:00 PM
Yeah, that's not low class at all! The world would be a better place if everyone considered other peoples feeling. I neither condone the "look" nor your blown kisses. Both show no class. I wouldn't suggest you have to cover up with a blanket, but how difficult would it be to turn away take a few steps away from spectators and feed your child with a little privacy and dignity? (Just like I would do if I had a "productive", messy sneeze. No, it shouldn't "offend" anyone, but someone might feel uncomfortable seeing it.) Like it or not, some human behaviors make some people feel uncomfortable. I, myself, don't care if you breast feed in front of me. But I do care if you don't care about others (even if you don't support their views). Just show some class.
Aaron November 03, 2011 at 11:04 PM
You said it perfectly. However, some people don't have that "respect" you speak of. Sad really.
Serina November 18, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Marisa, I breastfeed my son but I covered. Have some respect, most people do not want to see someone's breast. I go to Silveyville every year and the last thing I want my son to see is someone's exposed breast. Yes, California protects breastfeeding mother's, which is great but have respect for others. This is a family place. As for low cut shirts I agree it's disgusting and believe me I when I see it I complain.
Marisa Wagner November 18, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Ummmm, Serina, you must have missed the part where I said my child would not tolerate any covering.

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