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Put those away. Teacher breastfeeds baby in her classroom.

Is breastfeeding while you’re teaching a class taking things a step too far?

I’m all for breastfeeding.

I breastfed three kids over nearly six years. And, in that period of endless time, I had to feed them in some pretty bizarre places. On a jumping castle (while jumping); on a bus, a plane and a ferry; walking, feeding and pushing a pram with a screaming toddler in it; and even once in a church.

But while I’m all whip-em-out-and-feed whenever your hungry little sucker starts to holler, there are a few scenarios where I’m strongly on team put-them-away.

And one such scenario is when you’re in a classroom. Teaching teenagers.

An American teacher recently chose her classroom as a breastfeeding location, and left many people confused.

The teacher, who is unnamed, had been bringing her baby to school after her maternity leave ended. The school’s policy of allowing mums to bring bubs to the workplace sounds great in principle, and is one we would usually applaud.

Said teacher's students didn't agree, however. One student, Sally, complained to the local TV station, saying that she found the baby in her classroom distracting.

Sally told Arkansas Matters that the baby crying was bad enough, but watching her teacher breastfeed was the real clincher.

She said, "It's a distraction, especially since we have a bunch of teenage boys in there."

Other students were not as concerned. Tyler Rhodes, one of the teenager boys, told Arkansas Matters, "The baby just lays back there and plays with its toys. Every now and then it may cry, but she goes back there and takes care of it."

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The reaction on social media was mixed, with many saying they were all for breastfeeding, but a classroom was not the place for a baby.

“I don't have a problem with the breastfeeding...more concerned with the idea of an infant in a classroom. Tending to an infant is a full time job. How can someone take care of a baby's needs and still perform their job," questioned one commentator.

Others felt that it was no big deal: “I say the students need to grow up. The idea that it is inappropriate to breastfeed due to having males in the classroom is ridiculous. I am sure the girls where (sic) inappropriate clothing that are just as distracting if not more since they don't have a baby attached.”

From my personal, though limited, experience of teenage boys, most couldn’t give two hoots about a breastfeeding mother. In fact, many would be at pains to even notice.

What I do find hard to move past though, is the baby. Surely there is a better way for this mother to care for her little one?

Many of us mums feel that anyone should be able to feed their baby in any damn place they can find… but a classroom is a workplace. And, just as a teacher wouldn't whip out her cheese sandwich and apple in the middle of a physics lesson, there are other things she probably shouldn’t whip out.

Let’s hope that with all the publicity surrounding the story, the school authorities take it upon themselves to invest in a crèche, or extend their maternity leave plan and find a genuine way to help this mother out.

What are your thoughts on breastfeeding in the classroom? Is this going too far?

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