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The truck with a nipple on top: Mobile breastfeeding unit to the rescue

Posted by admin on Oct 19, 2011 in news, opinion, Yum

Yes, that is a nipple on top of the truck, and no, it DOES need to be there. The nipple truck- also known as The Milk Truck is a brand new feature in Pittsburgh, where it’s part feminist protest, part art installation. The premise is shockingly simple- it’s a rescue van for women in a breastfeeding crisis. Though it’s not something I’ve experienced firsthand, I imagine that breastfeeding can be pretty awkward out and about. Do you want to get your jubblies out in front of everyone- or should you use the sketchy bathroom to feed your babe? Add to that, a general lack of understanding of compassion about why a woman breastfeeds (E.g. ‘can’t she wait till she’s at home? Answer:NO) and it’s clear we need to re-educate people.

This is the modus operandi behind the Milk Truck- sick of getting stares in restaurants or ordered to the bathroom by the managers, the Milk Truck makes an in your face statement (hence the giant nipple) about breastfeeding, as well as give women a sheltered area to for their business.

To contact the truck, you simply summon the Milk Truck (you can call them by Twitter if you wish), they rock up with the neon nipple flashing, you get in and have your baby time and then you wave goodbye. During this time the restaurant owner will become very aware of the scene they have helped create by asking you to go to the bathroom/ cover up and will no doubt be less inclined to ask somebody to do so next time due to the scene.

Carnegie Mellon University art professor Jill Miller (the brains behind the project) says, ‘We are using The Milk Truck to start a conversation in our community about a basic human right: feeding a baby.When a woman finds herself in a situation where she is discouraged, harassed, or unwelcome to breastfeed her baby in public, she summons The Milk Truck. The truck arrives to the location of the woman in need and provides her with a shelter for feeding her baby. The woman feeds her child, the shopkeeper who harassed her feels like a dweeb, and the truck does what it does best – creates a spectacle.’ Read more…

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