Nursing Moms Alert: Make Way for the Milk Truck! (VIDEO)


A new milk truck could be coming to town.

Performance artist Jill Miller is proposing to create The Milk Truck by buying an ice cream truck and putting a giant breast on the roof to create a mobile breastfeeding vehicle. Nursing mothers in Pittsburgh (where Miller is a faculty member at the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University) who get looks of displeasure and unease when they do what mothers have been doing for, oh, eons — nursing their baby — could call the milk truck, which would hasten right over and provide them with a private space to feed a hungry little one.

Says Miller on Kickstarter, where she’s seeking $10,000 in funding by the end of the month to make the Milk Truck a reality:

We’re tired of hearing stories about women being asked to leave restaurants or “cover up” with a blanket while doing something as simple as feeding a baby. But we’re not the type to complain; we’re the type to take action. Which leads us to…The Milk Truck.

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. (Which is, incidently, the very thing that the shopkeeper thought he was trying to avoid. Alas, some people have to learn the hard way.)

Not only is the truck meant to serve a most practical service to mothers; it’s also part of the Pittsburgh Biennial at the Andy Warhol Museum. After the exhibition (which runs from September 17 – December 10, 2011), Miller hopes to take the truck on the road to other cities.

At BoingBoing, one mother who says she’s breastfed two children points out that she “ain’t gonna wait for a truck to show up to feed [her] screaming child.” Certainly true — from personal experience, screaming children are a constituency whose demands must be met with exceeding speed — but Miller’s Milk Truck makes the point that, in today’s society, feeding a baby in the way that women have done since time immemorial is too often considered “socially unacceptable” or even simply “gross.”

I breastfed my now-strapping son for 13 months. I still remember the extra blanket I carried around “to give him a little privacy” when nursing him in public and having to make sure my wardrobe had “breast-feeding friendly” shirts. Looking back, those were halcyon days when feeding our boy didn’t require frequent runs to the grocery store to keep the refrigerator and cupboards stocked to accommodate a teenager’s appetite.

Here’s a video about Miller’s Milk Truck:

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Photo by Grahambones.

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Tammy R.
Tammy R.4 years ago

It looks like my comment didn't stick so I only have half of my original comment. I've mostly stayed at home since the birth of my daughter (now 2 years and almost 9 months old) so I've yet to breast feed in public. When my daughter was 4 months old we went to the park with an old friend of mine we supplemented with formula (she was bottle fed breast milk partly at this time) for appearance sake. These days I wouldn't be able to do that because she likes it right from the source and not only that she likes me to go "all out" so I would have to be in the bathroom in order to breastfed her. I think the idea of a milk truck would be great but too bad it's not happening here in Texas. And yes, I'm still breast feeding my ALMOST 3 year old and will continue to do so whenever she's ready to stop on her own.

Jane L.
Jane L.4 years ago

*sigh* only in america...

Teresa H.
Teresa Haller4 years ago

My kids are 35 and 34 and I used to always have a little blanket to cover up with. Breast feeding it the most natural and healthy way to feed babies. You don't exactly have to whip it out for everyone to see, you can be pretty discrete. If some old poot or a prude have a problem with a lady feeding a baby then they are a pretty sad case & maybe they should be asked to leave the premises instead of mama and baby. I applaude women who take the time and realize the health benefitss to the baby and the mother. Mamas feed those babies and to HECK with the old poots and prudes. DEAL WITH IT !!!!

Bobbie T.
Bobbie T.4 years ago

GOOD GRIEF!!!! What has happened since '72? I fed both my girls anytime , anywhere, they were hungry. (72 & 74) and NO ONE bitched. In fact, a friend's husband was surprised to learn I had been sitting in front of him feeding my baby while we were playing cards. The only time I had to find somewhere private was when my clothes didn't cooperate with easy access. I do NOT remember any of this brew ha ha about breast feeding in my day. Has everyone forgotten what breast are for??? EVERY MAMMAL on earth has breasts TO FEED THEIR YOUNG. PERIOD. ! That is the ONLY reason females have breasts. And anyone with a perverted response should be locked up or run to the nearest shrink for help. If you have a problem with a woman breast feeding her child, youi are one VERY sick pervert. GET HELP NOW.

Tracey D.
Tracey D.4 years ago

Kudos to the milk truck.

Linda Tonner
Linda Tonner4 years ago

Oh and..................... Women go topless on the beaches in Belgium, Greece, (Cyprus and Rhodes) and Thailand, especially Germans on vacation. As someone else said, if you don't want to see female beauty, or the joys of motherhood, it should be you who stay home!

Linda Tonner
Linda Tonner4 years ago

@ Elgrit B.
YES! You most certainly are a prude! I hope you never go somewhere where the women are naturally topless, i.e. Indonesians who are not Muslim. Those in Malaysia and Borneo too.
I have only been to a few places in Africa, where the natives in the North are, again, Muslim and in the South were made to cover up by the prudish, uptight Boers, and have carried on the tradition, though I heard of one tribe in the 50s, who, when they were given tank tops (vests to the Brits) to make them modest, cut holes in them for their breasts so they could attract possible husbands or nurse their babies! HA! Lovely story!

Amber K.
Amber K.4 years ago

Ok, so like the article said, this is a fantastic idea (that would lead to some hilarious situations-I'm sure).
But realistically, I can't see how it's going to be efficient, effective and work. Let's say it takes you 5min to txt for the truck, another 5mins for it to be progressed through the multiple appropriate channels and then another 10-20mins for the truck to arrive. Assuming that the driver is on red alert and only one women is in need of it's services at a time, that's approximately 20-30mins of waiting with a hungry and now probably crying baby.

But kudos for the effort!
I'd like to see you prove me wrong :)

Elgrit B.

I am probably an old prude but to me breastfeeding in public is the same as going to the bathroom. Everyone knows these things but some things in my opinion should be done in private. I for one would never, ever do this in public and if I was forced to go out in public, I would find a very caring, trained babysitter. Modern women will think this is nuts but Iam sorry, this is how I feel. Some things are very normal but should be done privately - ceertainly never in mixed company. I'd die of embarrassment. Many men would look at this from a sexual standpoint and that would make it even worse.

Linda Tonner
Linda Tonner4 years ago

At private parties, I would ask for permission to use a bedroom, but sometimes that was the room which people used for access to the pool, or the garden. Many people coming and going and the ONLY ones who looked shocked and would apologize and retreat, were American! All others, especially Iranians, took it to be perfectly natural and OK and in fact, some of the women would sit on the bed with me and chat, to keep me company, while I sat there.