A Michigan judge publicly reprimanded Natalie Hegedus after she breastfed her son in his courtroom. Humiliating her and reducing her to tears. I have mixed feeling about this one. If she was not exposed and the baby was hungry, why not? But at the same time it is court and it’s not appropriate, bring a bottle! Would you do it? Click below to read more.
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32-year-old Natalie Hegedus, said she was in the back of a Van Buren County, Michigan, courtroom and began feeding 5-month-old Landon, when a bailiff noticed and passed a note to Judge Robert T. Hentchel. When Ms Hegedus’ turn in court came, Judge Hentchel questioned whether she thought it was appropriate to breastfeed in a courtroom.
“Considering the fact that my son is hungry, and he’s sick, and the fact that it’s not illegal, I don’t find it inappropriate,’ Ms Hegedus told WOODTV in Grand Rapids. And the judge said something to the effect of, “It’s my court, it’s my decision and I do find it inappropriate.”
Ms Hegedus was in court after receiving a ticket for driving a boat without taking a safety class. She said she only brought her son because he was sick with an ear infection. As she was waiting for her turn in court, Landon got hungry. Ms Hegedus said:
“Sitting all the way in the back, I decided I was just going to breastfeed him. Sitting there, he latched on. Everything’s discreet, my shirt covered everything.”
Michigan is one of only five states that doesn’t specifically allow women to breastfeed in public. The state does, however, exempt breastfeeding from public indecency laws. ‘Needless to say, I left in tears, I’ve never felt so humiliated,’ Ms Hegedus wrote on Baby Center, a community forum for mothers. She said she cried for two hours after the courtroom exchange. Her post prompted more than a hundred comments supporting her and condemning Judge Hentchel. The county’s chief judge, Paul Hamre, didn’t defend Judge Hentchel, but said he didn’t understand why the issue has gotten so much attention. Judge Hamre told WOODTV:
“This is abuse of the information age. A one-to-two sentence exchange has now turned into a national story.”
Ms Hegedus said she thinks the judges are the ones being inappropriate. ‘The fact that a judge and his court clerk thought it was so dirty they needed to reprimand me, in a sense, for doing it in their courtroom was unbelievable to me and inappropriate,’ she said.