Should Breastfeeding Country Fan Have Skipped California Concert?

Last week, there was an incident at a Brad Paisley show in California. It was about breastfeeding. And then it wasn’t.

Now that I’ve got the story straight, I’d like to add yet another side — my own.

I am probably one of the strongest advocates for breastfeeding you’ll ever meet. Because I was that mother.

I breastfed all of my babies until they were 2 years old. So for those six years, I nursed them at home, but I also nursed them in restaurants, parks, airplanes, churches, beaches, stores, restrooms and even the occasional parked car.

When you are nursing on demand, as it’s called, you take your baby everywhere. But as much as I loved country music, I never once took my infants to a concert. I missed a lot of shows between 1995 and 2000, but that was a sacrifice I was more than happy to make.

According to a Los Angeles Times report from Paisley’s Thursday (July 10) concert at the Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, California, police officers asked Megan Christopherson to move away from the stage because they were concerned for the safety of her 4-month-old baby. She was standing in a crowded area very close to the stage and the speakers. But Christopherson said in an online video (which has since been deleted) that a security guard from the venue told her to stop breastfeeding.

Whether or not that is true, I think the bigger picture is that a mother brought a very small baby to a concert. I get that the baby needs to be breastfed. But the mother does not need to be entertained.

If I could offer Christopherson any advice, mother to mother, I would tell her to just sit these next few concerts out. There will always be other shows. But there will never be another chance to nurture your baby safely and securely. Or as my La Leche League group used to remind me, “The days are long, but the years are short.”