Target employees in Ontario store bully breastfeeding mom & child

Staff at the new Target Canada store in Barrie, ON told a breastfeeding mother that nursing was only allowed in the fitting room and no where else in the store. News of the mistreatment was reported on Target Canada’s twitter page yesterday.

What is the breastfeeding law in Ontario?

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects a mother’s right to breastfeed breastfeed anywhere, anytime. Why? Because our babies have the right to eat, same as everyone else, and they do not eat on schedules, only in private rooms, and don’t need to eat under blankets. Considering this Target location has only been open since July, everyone should be current on training on how to properly handle breastfeeding families.

How can you help?

You’re welcome to contact the store to let them know, respectfully, that you would appreciate a sincere apology to the mother and training for their current staff members to address this serious incident and again during new employee training to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

Target
30 North Village Way
Barrie, ON L4N 6P3
Canada
705-733-2030

Contact Corporate
Write on their main facebook page
Tweet @TargetCanada
Contact Corporate Guest Relations 1-800-440-06800
Send them a message online: https://www-secure.target.ca/en/contact/
Email Guest.Relations@Target.com

How do you think Target should respond to one of their employees breaking the law and harassing a mom & child? Have you ever breastfed in Target?

Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter, or comment below.

**Update 11.23.2014**

Target replied on twitter to the friend of the mother that reported the incident.

 

Have you been harassed for breastfeeding in Canada? Report the incident to the Human Rights Commission in your province.

 

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Happy 5th Birthday to my big girl!

My eldest child turned 5 years old yesterday. I am still in shock, even though I’ve had plenty of time to warm up to the fact that she’d be 5 one day. It seems like she was just born.

She has been looking forward to her birthday for months. Maybe since her last birthday. We planned a casual park party with her friends during the middle of the day on her actual birthday but since it was rainy and completely wet outside, we hosted at our house.

My thoughts on the party

I was a little worried about having 21 or more people in our house, especially on a rainy day because I couldn’t really send all the children outside to play, but it was mostly pretty a smooth event. I didn’t plan anything big, just had the kids hang out while the parents chatted and some of us chopped veggies for the soup and my aunt decorated the cakes that I didn’t have time to do earlier. My husband took most of the children outside in their rainboots at one point and everyone played with sparklers. At one point I saw over a half dozen kids in our chicken’s area watching the chickens. I had a tub of Legos for the kids to build with and a friend brought a pop up tent that the kids crawled in. They were entertained.

I asked that no one bring presents because I didn’t want it to be about that, just about enjoying the day and the company. I did ask that everyone bring a dish of food to share with everyone instead, if they had time. I always enjoy seeing and eating what others brought. Apple and pumpkin butter. Cranberry bread. Mint basil rice noodle salad. Toasted spiced coconut. Blueberry muffins. I made hot veggie soup and two kinds of cake.

Recipes for this flourless chocolate honey cake and an almond/coconut flour vanilla honey cake with whipped cream frosting have been added at the bottom.

The most I decorated was putting tablecloths on my island and table. I made it a point to refuse to look at pinterest before hand to make myself feel bad about not doing decorations. I did feel a little bad that I didn’t have anything that said happy birthday on it but oh well. No one cared. Nor did anyone mention party favor bags so I completely forgot they were a thing until someone brought it up later – that they were happy I didn’t have any. Everyone left with hugs and waves.

My thoughts on my daughter

On her birthday, I wish I had spent a little more time talking to her about the importance of her as a person and in my life, a member of the family, how she’s changed over the years, and how much I love her just as she is right now. We spent the day getting ready for the party, baking cakes and cleaning. And with so many people over, it was just about being there in the moment. But I’ll do that this weekend when we get some quiet time together. I guess we did have some quiet time together at the party when she was feeling overwhelmed at one point but we just snuggled and I listened to her tell me her woes. And she nursed. I cannot believe I have a five year old that still breastfeeds. When I first started out, I thought I’d go until her first birthday. Now I’m years past that because I decided to let her wean when she’s ready. I’ve learned that giving a child my milk is not just about me. It’s about her and her needs too and that’s okay. If I need to put some limits, I do. She’s been night weaned for years. She’s been cutting back on asking, slowly for the last couple of years, maybe nursing once every couple weeks. I know she’ll stop when she’s ready. I just have to remind myself occasionally that in other cultures, breastfeeding to five or more is perfectly natural and accepted and the value of breast milk is revered for it’s health benefits for people of all ages. I also just remembered that she said she’d be done with mama-milk when she was five. I guess we both forgot!

I really could write pages and pages about how much I appreciate my daughter but I’ll just say she’s thoughtful, kind, helpful, adventurous, funny. She’s stubborn when she wants to be but on the flip side, she’s the family motivator when she wants to help get something accomplished. She loves climbing with a passion, is enthusiastic about building with scraps from outside or Legos, proud of her drawings and writing her name. She is now trying to read the words books, still enjoys playing in the sand and mud like it’s going out of style, riding her bike, swinging on a swing all by herself (a new skill), and twirling in fancy dresses. Here she is right before her guests arrived yesterday.

She’s also the best big sister, 99% of the time. Sometimes she needs a little space or squabbles, but who doesn’t? She gets her stubborn little sister to help when she’s refusing, gives her baby brother and little sister kisses and hugs, feeds them, watches over them, keeps them from danger or lets me know if they’re doing something questionable. She feels like the glue to holds us all together sometimes. She can be so calming sometimes.

My thoughts on being a mom for 5 years

My daughter’s birthday seemed like a big milestone for me. Her turning 5 makes me think about where I was, mentally, before I had children, during my first pregnancy, her birth, and all the days in between then and now. I can’t believe I’ve been a mother for five years and I have three kids. It seems like a long time but I know it is just the beginning. Then I also think about what I’m doing, my place in the world, being unemployed for 5 years already. But I suppose I follow other passions. They just pay in hugs and kisses. And this blog and my often ignored art.

I like this Mother Teresa quote: “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”

I know I am doing just that. As many days and years as I am lucky enough to be here.

Well, that’s enough for tonight!

How do your children’s birthdays make you feel? How do you celebrate the day? Do you have an older nursling? Or when did your child wean? Share your story!

Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter, or comment below.

Updated to add recipes:

Paleo Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting

Cake Ingredients:

8 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
6 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cup honey
1 1/4 cup coconut flour
1 1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degree. Grease two 8″ round pans. Put all wet ingredients and sugar in your mixer (or let the kids stir) and whisk until completely smooth. (You’re welcome to use honey instead of coconut palm sugar and it turns out great as well.) Stir flours, salt, and soda together until mixed and add to wet. Combine. Spoon into greased pan, smooth top, and put in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes, or until cake pulls away from the side a bit and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for one hour at least and frost.

Whipped Topping Ingredients:

16 oz heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons of vanilla
2 strawberries
Top with fresh cut strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, & toasted coconut (optional)

Whip heavy whipping cream in a stand mixer or by hand for a few minutes. Add honey, vanilla, and strawberries (I’ve used beets or beet juice in the past if you want pink frosting), and continue until stiff. Spread over completely cooled cake, the middle layer first, then stack and to the top and sides. Decorate with fruit as you wish!

Flourless Honey Chocolate Cake

5 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
½ cup coconut oil
¾ cup honey
¼ cup cocoa powder
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping

  • fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 8” springform pan with coconut oil. Melt chocolate & coconut oil in double boiler over boiling water. Let cool slightly, then whisk in honey, cocoa powder, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Pour batter into pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake 25 – 30 minutes until the center is firm. Allow to cool completely until serving. Top with raspberries.

 

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Kentucky YMCA director unlawfully discriminated against breastfeeding mother & child, told to cover up or nurse in the bathroom: Apologized

Staff members at the YMCA in Lexington, Kentucky broke state law last week when they told a mother and child they needed to cover up and only breastfeed in the bathroom or locker room. Katherine Warfield Graves Ordonez shared the incident with me:

What is Kentucky’s breastfeeding law?

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 211-755 (2006) permits a mother to breastfeed her baby or express breast milk in any public or private location. Requires that breastfeeding may not be considered an act of public indecency, indecent exposure, sexual conduct, lewd touching or obscenity. Prohibits a municipality from enacting an ordinance that prohibits or restricts breastfeeding in a public or private place. (2006 SB 106)

The full version of the law:

211.755 Breast-feeding permitted — Municipal ordinances not to prohibit or
restrict — Interference prohibited.
(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, a mother may breast-feed her
baby or express breast milk in any location, public or private, where the mother
is otherwise authorized to be. Breast-feeding a child or expressing breast milk
as part of breast-feeding shall not be considered an act of public indecency
and shall not be considered indecent exposure, sexual conduct, lewd touching,
or obscenity.
(2) A municipality may not enact an ordinance that prohibits or restricts a mother
breast-feeding a child or expressing breast milk in a public or private location
where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be. In a municipal
ordinance, indecent exposure, sexual conduct, lewd touching, obscenity, and
similar terms do not include the act of a mother breast-feeding a child in a
public or private location where the mother and child are otherwise authorized
to be.
(3) No person shall interfere with a mother breast-feeding her child in any location,
public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be.

Clearly, these YMCA employees directly broke the law and interfered with Katherine and her baby’s basic human and legal right to breastfeed. Why are there laws to protect breastfeeding families? Because breastfeeding, the biological norm, has been recognized as critically important for our species by all of the major health organizations. When mothers are shamed for doing what is recommended, it hurts their chances of meeting their own breastfeeding goals, results in unnecessary expenses and health concerns, and considering Kentucky has the second lowest breastfeeding rate in the entire United States according to the CDC’s 2014 Breastfeeding Report Card, this YMCA in Lexington needs to stand up and support moms instead of denigrating them.

**Update**

The executive director apologized to Katherine and promised to train staff. However, continued mistreatment and unlawful action against mothers and children by a major organization is unacceptable. Why can’t YMCA train staff nationwide?

How can you help?

Contact the offending YMCA location and let them know how their appropriate response is appreciated. Contact corporate and respectfully inform them of your disapproval of these repeated offenses nationwide. Feel free to suggest that they send out a nationwide memo to inform all staff of the law, promise to update their employee handbook to include proper breastfeeding handling, employee training upon hire, and put up the international breastfeeding logo in all gym front doors, just like Barnes & Noble did. These are simple, honest, easy steps to try to prevent this from happening at any of their facilities again.

YMCA Beaumont

3251 Beaumont Centre Cir, Lexington, KY 40513
(859) 219-9622
Contact information online.
Email Diane Nicely District, Executive Director: dnicely@ymcaofcentralky.org
Dominique Beard, Youth & Family Director: dbeard@ymcaofcentralky.org
Facebook - Twitter

Or contact corporate headquarters:
Email: Fulfillment@ymca.net
800-872-9622 Domestic | 312-977-0031 International
Feedback site: http://apps.ymca.net/contact-us/site-feedback.html

I personally would love to see the international breastfeeding logo in all YMCA locations nationwide, just as Barnes & Noble did earlier this year, and this poster. I am certain mothers would appreciate the support, in turn helping raise the breastfeeding rates, and others would be reminded to follow the law.

[Poster by Family Friendly Business]

What do you think of this mistreatment of Katherine and her infant? How do you think the YMCA should respond to this incident?

Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, or comment below.

If you experienced discrimination while breastfeeding at a pool or YMCA, please fill out this survey at Survey Monkey.

 

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American Airline’s breastfeeding policy still puts breastfeeding mothers in the hot seat

Breastfeeding on the plane. It seems like it shouldn’t be a big deal, right? But why is it causing new moms stress, wondering if they’re going to be harassed for merely meeting their children’s needs?

Jessica Rozier‎ shared this note with me this week about American Airline’s breastfeeding policy.

“I emailed AA about their breastfeeding policy because we were flying this weekend for vacation with our 2 month old. I wanted to have something in writing in case an inexperienced flight attendant asked me not to nurse on the flight. Here is the “policy” they have. Notice how it’s more to “protect” other passengers more than the mother.

“We appreciate your inquiry about breastfeeding during flight. Our inflight procedures advise our crew to ensure that mothers breastfeeding their children have the privacy they need and that other customers are not subjected to an uncomfortable situation. Our inflight personnel are trained to handle such situations with professionalism and discretion.”

This response is pretty consistent to what they said last fall when a flight attendant told a breastfeeding mother to cover up. There was a nurse-in and American never really fixed the wording on their policy.

What do you think of American Airlines breastfeeding policy? Sounds good or needs some work? Let them know!

Write on their Facebook page wall: American Airlines
Tweet @AmericanAir

Have you ever breastfed on an airplane? How about on American? Do you think AA should revise their breastfeeding policy?

Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter, or comment below.

 

Related:

Villasport Gym in Texas discriminated against breastfeeding mother & child

An athletic club and spa in Texas, Villasport Woodlands, discriminated against a mother and child this week, telling the mother breastfeeding wasn’t allowed in the locker room, only in private locker rooms. Villasport claims the mother moved happily but the mother actually felt humiliated, moving in the middle of a nursing session due to harassment. All for what? Feeding her baby? Doing something that is recommended, healthy, supported by law? This is not okay.

Villasport responded to the public outcry against them on Twitter this afternoon, claiming they were justified in their actions because children under 13 were not allowed in the locker room and they have specific family rooms where breastfeeding is allowed. To me, it doesn’t make sense. Why the segregation? What is wrong with a child being nourished and comforted by their mother, when and where their needs should be met? Why does this business think they don’t need to follow the law?

Let this business know that mistreatment of families is not acceptable, especially when Texas backs breastfeeding. Texas Health Code Ann. § 165.002 (1995) authorizes a woman to breastfeed her child in any location. Clearly, their policy needs a little revision to comply with state law.

Villasport The Woodlands
4141 Technology Forest Blvd, Spring, TX 77381
Phone:(832) 585-0822
Write on their Facebook page wall: Villasport The Woodlands
Tweet @VillaSportTW

Have you ever breastfed at the gym or in the locker room? How should Villasport respond?

Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter, or comment below.

 

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Happy 9 Months, Quint!

It’s official. Time is going at warp speed. Seriously. Are you feeling it, too? All of October just blew by. I feel like I hardly posted at all this last month but I sure ate a lot of pumpkin and goofed off outside with my kids a ton. Did anyone miss me? I’ve been very active on Facebook but posts, eh, not so much. They do take a long time, really. Anyway, we were busy soaking up the beautiful weather this month and then my family got hit with germs at the end of the month, one by one. I’m consoling my little Quint right now as I type this. I’m still hoping it’ll skip me though. November is going to be a big month as well. My eldest is turning 5 (what?!) in less than 3 weeks, Quint is now a solid 9 months old, and of course, there is Thanksgiving.

On to my update for Quint. Happy 9 months, baby boy! Here’s a photo of my drooling, sleepy son on the couch today.

I couldn’t figure out what his deal was all morning, why he was drooling a ton, feverish, and biting my nipple repeatedly for the first time. He was pretty inconsolable this morning from waking until after noon, requiring constant skin to skin, but he didn’t want to breastfeed. That was a big red flag for me. He fell asleep while I was wearing him in my Ergo or sitting like this with him every half hour it seemed.

Finally, I felt his gums and sure enough, he cut his very first tooth! I’d share a photo but he was crying in all of the ones where you can see it so I’ll spare you the heart break. But he was still able to play through the pain most of the time when he was awake.

He continues to bring such joy to everyone in our family. My girls do whatever they can to help him, keep him from harm, and play with with him. They crawl around next to him on their hands and knees and everyone giggles up a storm.

He’s still all about standing, cruising, and letting go, standing unassisted. I think this might be the month he’ll start taking a step. But if he wants to wait another month or two, that’s fine by me.

Well, it’s bedtime now so I’ll write more later when I have time.

What was your little one up to at 9 months? When did your baby pop their first tooth? When did they start walking?

Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter, or comment below!

 

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10-minute Chocolate Macadamia Coconut Brownie Balls

As I was putting my baby to sleep, I started craving chocolate brownies. But I wasn’t in the mood to bake anything or spend more than 10 minutes standing, really. So as soon as I slipped downstairs, I opened my pantry, poured some ingredients I had handy into my mini food processor, balled it up, and voila!

Chocolate Macadamia Coconut Brownie Balls

Ingredients

Directions

Put all of the ingredients except the coconut into your food processor and pulse until creamy but not too smooth, so the are nuts still visible, crunchy when you eat the balls. Spoon out and roll in a little bowl with the coconut. I made 10 small balls.

Again, if you know me, you know I don’t really measure as I make so repeat at your own risk. But I don’t know how you can mess these up. Add more if you want to make more. You can make them all raw or vegan with maple syrup or coconut palm sugar if you’d like, but I just used what I had. I know my girls will love these and I won’t feel bad at all giving them one in the morning. Protein, right?

What’s your favorite fast chocolate recipe?

Join the conversation on TwitterFacebook, or comment below!

 

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