Friday, February 29, 2008

Q: What do you do if someone tells you to nurse in a bathroom?

A: Contact FirstRight, a new advocacy group that "aspires to ensure freedom from discrimination for breastfeeding mothers and their children."

FirstRight says they work collaboratively with other organizations to protect, promote and support breastfeeding as the cultural norm.

So, if you need help latching your baby on or dealing with sore nipples call La Leche League. If someone tries to kick you out of Applebees for breastfeeding, call FirstRight.

The FirstRight website links to their committees - a discrimination task force, Education committee and legislative committee. There are also links to their advisory counsel (each member is pictured breastfeeding their child(ren) and a form where you can report breastfeeding discrimination. However, they are not lawyers. My guess is they will help and support you are if planning a nurse-in or trying to write or encourage legislation to protect or promote breastfeeding in your state.

Good to see mamas coming together to make a difference in the world!


FreshAir said...

I breastfed both of my daughters and did so in bathrooms, but because it was my choice. I was not someone who felt it was appropriate to feed anywhere. I did feel that privacy was needed. I have never been asked to go to a bathroom, but if I was I believe I would probably just stay where I was. Does this happen more if you are African-American or caucasian?

Praise4D said...

The whole public/private issue with nursing is a tough one. I personally thought of it as an honor to be able to nurse my two; however, I can't say that I'm as comfortable as some might be to have done it in a public area. The times when I have had to nurse my children outside of the home, I made sure that I was appropriately covered. And, if I was in a situation wherein I was nursing my children and was covered but was still asked to go to a restroom, I probably would have declined and stuck to my guns to be able to feed my children AS NEEDED. I think for many Black women, it is a very uncomfortable act to do outside of the home because it's not a regular topic of conversation - at least it wasn't in my home. I do see way more White women doing it than Black women.

Sarah said...

I don't have any kids myself, but I would not leave the room to nurse in a bathroom. Breast feeding is a natural, normal, and healthy start for any child to have in life.

I could not say which race this happens more with..... breast feeding in general is becoming a thing of the past!

Wellness Girl said...

As an African American woman that breast fed all three of her children, I would not in anyway be offended by the request to nurse in the bathroom opposed to out in the open. I feel it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with race or ethnicity, but with an individual’s values, norms, and personality. Personally, all three would play a part in my choice to use the bathroom on my own to nurse, without being asked. However, I am aware that many people may not feel as I do and would go down fighting for what they believe are their rights. But for me, I would choose the private, selfish route in spending quality time with my child without interruptions.

freshair said...

As a caucasian female I have noticed, as did praise4d, that more white women seem to breastfeed in public than black women. I think part of it goes back to the original women's lib thing. More white women were vocal then and even now are vocal in public about many issues. Regardless of race though I feel you should be able to choose where you would like to breastfeed and not be asked to go elsewhere. It is a definite bonding experience, which many women find very private. This has been very seems women, regardless of race, view this the same way-personal bonding. I agree with Sarah that it appears breastfeeding is becoming a thing of the past-what a shame, there is nothing like it! Thanks.

FreshAir said...

Although this topic was primarily for African-Americans I believe it is a topic that all women must discuss. I found it interesting that Sarah thought Breastfeeding was on its way out. I hear women all the time talking about how they plan to breastfeed. I hope that is not the case since BF is such a bonding experience. I do agree with praise4D that BF is more common among whites. That appears to be of a cultural issue, maybe not discussed as often or not strongly pushed. Thank for the input.