Hey breastfeeding supporters! Are you interested in normalizing breastfeeding by raising awareness and showing support for this basic human rights issue by attending a nurse-in? These are the upcoming ones that I found. Please let me know if you have heard of any other ones and I will be sure to add them to the list!
The Valentine’s Day Virtual Facebook Nurse-In is all day on February 14th, 2012
Why? This is the virtual version of the nurse-ins that were held worldwide on February 6th, 2012. Read the news: Huffington Post. And yes, the main photo there is my photo. Check out my photos of my local nurse-in at Menlo Park links to international news here.
Georgia Nurse-ins: March 5th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Woodbine Courthouse on East 4th street, Woodbine, GA. More nurse-ins: State Capitol building in Atlanta, Savannah, & Augusta/Evans on the same day. More info & more locations: Join the Georgia Statewide Nurse-In Facebook Group. And don’t forget to click here to sign the Change.org petition to Establish Better Protection for Breastfeeding Mothers. (Or you can do it on the widget on the side of my home page!) Read the Press Release. News on what is prompting these nurse-ins: Breastfeeding backlash starts movement & Local Woman Kicked Out of Church for Breastfeeding Baby. More details on my post: Upcoming Georgia Statewide Nurse-In & Why it is a big deal
March 10th – Columbus, Ohio
Where: Fort Rapids Indoor Water Park, 4560 Hilton Corporate Drive Columbus, OH 43232. When: Saturday, March 10th at 11:00 AM until 2:00 PM. Join the Facebook event page. More details on what prompted this nurse-in: NBC4′s story & video here.
UK – Second Annual Big Bristol Breastfeed is planned for the 12th May – venue TBC, Bristol, UK. The Big Bristol Breastfeed is an event promoting breastfeeding awareness week. The BBB Facebook page
Million Mothers March: July 18th 2012 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Lansing, MI at the Michigan State Capitol.
Washington, D.C.: The Great Nurse-In – August 4, 2012, during World Breastfeeding Week. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gathering on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building to raise awareness about breastfeeding in public. More info on the Great Nurse-In FB event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/273309822728911/ Why? Read the news: Huffington Post
- The Great Nurse-In 2012: Photographs - Paa.la
- The Big Latch On 2012 – From San Francisco to Washington D.C. - Paa.la
Nationwide Applebee’s Nurse-in – September 29th, 2012 at 1PM local time. Why? A mother had the cops called on her for merely nursing her child and declining demands that she move to nurse in the bathroom. Read my post on it: Repeat Breastfeeding Offender: Applebee’s. Join the Facebook Event Page. Read about the Nationwide Applebee’s Nurse-In 2012.
2013 is kicking off with a nationwide nurse-in at Hollister Co., after a mother was thrown off Hollister property in a Houston, TX mall for nursing her baby. This was Hollister’s second mistreatment of nursing mothers in the last two years that made national news.
Hollister Nurse-in: 3pm across the nation Saturday, January 5th, 2013. Join the main Facebook event page for more details and to find your closest location. Link to news story. Also, read my post on it for followup details.
Why are nurse-ins a big deal?
For so many reasons. Even though it is protected by law, women are constantly being asked to cover up or remove themselves from public spaces for simply nursing their children. By getting breastfeeding in the public eye and in the news, it helps show fellow mothers and all of the public that it is perfectly acceptable to nurse in public and that women are willing and ready to stand up for their rights and the rights of their children. Nurse-ins are a peaceful gathering of like minded mothers, nurslings, and supporters. There isn’t any rude shouting or flashing of the crowd. Everyone just sits together, chats, and has a good time.
By helping take away the social stigma, those who want to breastfeed can do so without without fear social or legal repercussions. Mother’s who fear nursing in public may wean early, cost our country billions of dollars and hundreds of lives. How much? $13 billion a year and 900 lives, in fact. Many new mothers feel a sense of embarrassment when they are learning the ropes of infant care and tacking breastfeeding and all of a sudden, they are caught out in public with a crying baby.
What are the options for a new mother, feeling flushed with embarrassment at their crying baby with milk letting down? Rush off to find a bathroom, car, or fitting room to nurse? Very inconvenient. Pump at home and bring bottles with them? Anyone who has ever suggested a mother pump milk to put in a bottle for public outings has never had to do it themselves. It is no easy task to use a pump, which can be painful, clean the pump supplies and the bottles, find time to pump, and not to mention pumping unnecessarily messes up the supply-demand of the infant. And those precious bottles of milk only last a couple of hours before they go bad. Buy and use formula for public use? Being able to exclusively breastfeed a baby is hard enough without feeling temped to use formula to avoid public scorn.
What about the mothers with babies that are over the acceptable age people think is “ok” to breastfeed? Full term breastfeeding is pretty uncommon when most babies are cut off at arbitrary points, like 6 months or 9 months or 1 year. In fact, the average weaning age for American babies is 3 months. It is a lucky baby that is able to have breast milk through their six-month mark, much less longer. Are mothers supposed to hide their nurslings because seeing an older baby, one that walk and talk, makes people uncomfortable? No. But there are many closet nursers out there in our country and it is shameful that our culture has closeted these mothers.
Mothers do not need to feel pressure to stay home to avoid the embarrassment or hassle of being out with their baby. When out in public, it is the child’s right to have their needs met immediately, not be made to wait until the mother is in a “proper” place or covered “modestly.” Breastfeeding discrimination is a human rights issue.
Barbara Rojek writes about one of her experiences:
“I was on a city bus traveling downtown with my baby, about 2-3 miles distance, when she wanted to nurse. She was under a year old and naturally went for my breast. When I refused to nurse her because there were other passengers on the bus, she began to cry. She cried all the way downtown, until I got off the bus, ran into a building to use the bathroom to nurse her. Had I the nerve to ask the other passengers on the bus if they would have a problem if I discreetly fed her, I’m sure the majority would not have had a problem since my baby would not have cried quite loudly the whole way!! This was in 1981 and we still have issues with breastfeeding?!!!”
This is a very common feeling, the feeling like respecting others at the price of a child’s needs is the acceptable thing to do. The stigma that our nation places on breasts hurts not just the mothers and children, it hurts everyone.
- Studies has stipulated that if 90 percent mothers here in the US fed their babies breast milk only for the first six months of life, the lives of nearly 900 babies would be saved each year.
Breastfeeding has proven benefits that no other substitute can provide and studies show that children who nurse longer than 6 months are more intelligent than those who are not given the option. Yes, it is now 2012 and we are still having issues with breastfeeding, even though nursing in public is protected by law. Despite the protection the law provides, women are being kicked out of restaurants, pools, church, courtrooms, government buildings, museums, off buses, out of toddler gym class, gymnastics, and even out of water parks, being asked to move or stop what they are doing. They are even fired from their jobs. This is no joke.
The recent offenders, the companies and celebrities who publicly shamed and harassed nursing mothers: Target, Legoland, Facebook, Funny or Die, Old Navy, Urban Planet, Disneyland, Macy’s, Williams-Sonoma, Walmart, Chickfila (Warrenton, Virginia), H&M, the Vancouver Sun, Citizens’ Advice Bureau at Oldham council, Old Country Buffet, McDonalds, Starbucks, YMCA, Charlotte YMCA, Pirates Cove Water Park, Delta, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, The Fort Rapids Indoor Water Park, Discover Gymnastics, Kim Kardashian, Sarah Palin, Kasey Kahne, Pirates Cove Water Park in CO, Pure Fitness for Women, Target, Bay Shore NY. Logan Morrison, Denny’s (video on it), the Napa, CA DMV, Finish Line Christian Center, Applebee’s, Crossroads Coffee Cafe, Hollister, Claire’s, Concord Mall in Delaware, The Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas…and the list goes on.
What is all of the fuss about? They are just breasts. People who act like seeing a nursing mother infringes on their rights and treat breastfeeding as something taboo need to be educated. Clearly much of our population is not exposed to breastfeeding, either in everyday life or as children, and have not gained that valuable appreciation for it. Nurse-ins are about people supporting infants and children, their right to be cared for without hesitation or embarrassment, giving them what is best.
Help destigmatize the taboo of breastfeeding.
- 2013 Nurse-Ins & Events List - Paa.la
- Join the The Normalizing Nursing in Public League (The NNIPL)
- Do you know your state laws? Read Breastfeeding State Laws - NCSL
- I Was Harassed for Nursing in Public (NIP) what do I do? - Best for Babes
- Why is breastfeeding STILL such a taboo? By Miranda Levy
- Every argument against NIP debunked – Paa.la
- 50 Reasons for Breastfeeding Anytime, Anywhere – PhD in Parenting
- Breastfeeding in Public: Participating in the Target Nurse-in - Paa.la
- Read La Leche league’s What are the benefits of breastfeeding my toddler?
- Read News: Breastfeeding tied to stronger lungs, less asthma
- Breastfeeding Activism & News – Best for Babes
Video about Million Mothers March