Childcare etiquette in question for public areas
POSTED: Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 1:38pm
UPDATED: Friday, August 15, 2014 - 11:24am
Arp, Texas (KETK) — Child care etiquette has been a gray area for mothers for a long time. Breast feeding and changing diapers in public areas has sparked controversy, with many deeming it inappropriate.
Pamela Mitchell, a nutritionist at the women infants and children's program says that legally, breast feeding in public is not an issue.
"Anywhere it is legal for her to be, it is legal for her to breast feed," said Mitchell.
She says that perhaps it is a skewed perception society has developed.
"If i show my breast on the beach, you have no problem with it. if i show my breast in a $5,000 evening dress, you have no problem with it. if i show my breast in a spaghetti strap little summer outfit, you have no problem with it. but if i show my breast and feed a baby, it's an issue," she added.
Breast milk delivers a high quantity of nutrients to the child that cannot be supplied by your average baby formula. Mitchell says breast feeding should be encouraged, even in public areas.
"It is the best source of nutrients for your baby. now why do you do it in public? for the same reason the rest of us eat in public," said Mitchell.
Changing diapers on restaurant tables is another common occurrence that has sparked sanitary concerns. Environmentalists say it can be a source of infection, and that parents should avoid it.
"Put a chair in the bathroom, they can change the baby in their lap, if it's cool they might go out to their car. There are different alternatives," said Brenda Elrod, Environmental Health Director of Tyler.
Mitchell says that people should not be concerned with public acts of child care.
"Maybe as society we need to rethink how we're looking at that."