The Great Breastfeeding Debate Heats Up in Hoboken

“Once or twice a meeting, Hoboken Board of Education member Theresa Minutillo discreetly drapes a pink receiving blanket over her shoulder and breastfeeds her 3-month old daughter, Gabriela Italia Gross.” So begins the Ken Thorbourne (Jersey Journal) in this morning’s Newark Star Ledger.

Apparently, this type of “behavior” (and it really is behavior in the purest, most animalistic sense of the word) went on for several weeks without objection. I mean, how do you even object to that? “Umm, Theresa, yeah, we were talking the other day and we were kind of wondering if you could, umm, not do that anymore. Yeah, that’d be great because it’s just, umm, awkward.” How do you bring up something like that?

Well, you go on the internet and you vent about it. Thank God for message boards, without them life would be so normal and sane. On NJ.COM, a massive forum for all types of great Jersey crap (check it out), a women who allegedly goes by the name of Monica Cardella started a thread solely devoted to Ms. Minutillo’s breasts. (I say “allegedly” because the article was very vague about this person’s existence.) Apparently, Monica (I picture her looking something like Courtney Cox from Friends, feel free to do the same) is a Hoboken resident who is not down with public breastfeeding.

Here is a sample of Monica’s thoughtsâÂ?¦

“What is wrong with Hoboken Board of Education trustee Theresa Minutillo? I thought she had some class? She has shocked the sensibilities of other trustees and the public by nursing her infant during the meetings in front of everyone. Hasn’t she ever heard of a bathroom?”

The great breastfeeding debate is not an isolated Hoboken thing. It is a quandary of international importance. Is it offensive? Is it natural? Who’s to say? Theresa Minutillo had this to sayâÂ?¦

“I’m extremely conscious of what’s going on at the board meetings. I have a blanket covering myself. It’s not as if I’m exposing myself. We all know the benefits of breastfeeding. It is recommended that we breastfeed our children throughout their first year of life, which I what I plan to do.”

Okay, we didn’t need health advice; I hardly think that was the point of this dude’s article. The bottom line is this: Is breastfeeding a child in public appropriate? Is it too much to ask for mothers to go to a public bathroom if they absolutely must? Did you know that Boston Red Sox star Manny Ramirez was breastfed until he was four? I realize that has nothing to do with this storyâÂ?¦I just read that though and felt like sharing; isn’t that strange?

Seriously, here’s my take on the great breastfeeding debate (I just like the sound of that). I don’t know much about babies, science, appropriate public displays and especially breastfeeding, but it does strike me as odd that she has to do this at the meetings. Is there really NO other time for this to happen? Is anyone ever THAT busy? It makes you wonder. Perhaps, this lady has some sort of weird fetish and she bated the rest of the board members into going along with it. Probably not.

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