Tulsa City Council to vote on resolution encouraging breastfeeding

New ordinance introduced to support breastfeeding

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa city councilors are prepared to pass a resolution encouraging nursing mothers not to be afraid to breastfeed in public places throughout the city.

Wednesday, Tulsa City Councilor Kara Joy McKee introduced a resolution that not only reminds people that breastfeeding in public has been officially legal in Oklahoma since 2004, but that the City of Tulsa stands by a mother's right to nurse when her child is hungry.

McKee is currently a nursing mother to a young baby herself.

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The resolution comes on the heels of two things that happened this year in Tulsa. Earlier this year, a woman breastfeeding her child during a Tulsa Municipal Court hearing was told by a bailiff to feed her child in the bathroom and not out in the open. Also, the City of Tulsa is also actively placing nursing rooms in all its facilities to encourage employees who nurse and work to feel free to feed their young child.

"This is something that has sustained human life for at least a millennium," McKee said. "And yet we have a stigma and some people even feel shame to simply provide vital nutrients to a young human being."

McKee said not only does she hope the resolution clears up the city's official position on the matter to prevent further mishaps between nursing mothers and city employees, but it encourages nursing mothers to do what they need to do when and wherever they need to do it.

Though this is the first time Tulsa City Council consists of majority women, the men on the council also support the resolution, as did a recent survey of city employees.

During the official vote on Aug. 28, nursing mothers from across the Tulsa area are asked to come to city hall for a nurse-in to show support for the resolution and those who are nursing but have previously been ashamed or embarrassed to feed in public.

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