Yesterday, we posted about an incidence at a Houston area Target where a mother was humiliated and harassed for breastfeeding in the store, despite Target’s corporate policy, and despite the legal right Texas mothers have to breastfeed in public. Then we learned via @Nayasaurus that actress Alyssa Milano (whom we just interviewed!) had tweeted about another public breastfeeding incident, this time in Washington, DC:
This mother was told by two security guards to stop nursing her baby outside a courtroom in Washington, DC because it was “indecent”.
The fact that mothers are being harassed, humiliated and discriminated against for feeding their babies while going on about their daily lives (a.k.a. nursing in public, or “NIP”) makes clear that we need to do more to protect moms. Here’s how it works: Breastfeeding and breastmilk-donating moms protect babies; the leaders, entrepreneurs, inventors and workforce of the future, saving the U.S. billions in healthcare and associated costs, saving employers time and money, boosting our global competitiveness, and protecting the planet. We, in turn, need to protect moms.
Here’s what we need:
1. A national law that protects moms breastfeeding rights, wherever they are. What will it take to get the Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2011, and any others, passed? It will take action from all of us (click here) but it will also take celebrity leadership. Michael J. Fox, Julia Roberts, Bono, Christopher Reeve, Don Cheadle and Kerry Washington are just a few of the celebrities who have testified before Congress on behalf of disease research, education, the environment, human rights and the arts. Celebrities can raise awareness and motivate funding like few others can, and that is why Best for Babes is leading the charge to build the first ever celebrity cabinet for breastfeeding, our Celebrity Champions for Moms. Your support of us makes this possible–donate now to help us help the whole breastfeeding community!
2. An employee training toolkit for companies big and small that makes it easy for them to implement a corporate policy protecting customers that are breastfeeding mothers and to train their employees to embrace and uphold this policy. (Note: companies already have a lot of tools to support breastfeeding employees, this is for customers).
Here’s where you come in. As a tiny non-profit, we want to make this a team effort! We need your help to create a Employee Training Toolkit. Please leave any suggestions and/or useful links in the comments, and e-mail bettina AT bestforbabes.org if you want to lead or help with this project. If you have a background in employment law, corporate policy, marketing and communications, breastfeeding research, or are just savvy about what has been done and what works, then we need you! The toolkit needs to be positive and constructive and be “universal”. To get the ball rolling, we are looking for components that companies can:
- download easily from our website
- customize with their own corporate brand and logos
- display proudly (aesthetic, visually appealing, mainstream) where customers and employees can see it
- use to educate employees about the rights of breastfeeding mothers
- use to educate employees how breastfeeding benefits all of us (and maybe more employees will breastfeed for longer themselves!)
- use to change the perception of breastfeeding among employees (positive, encouraging, appealing, mainstream)
- use to further Best for Babes’ Credo and to protect ALL parents from judgment, pressure or guilt, whether they breastfeed for 2 days, 2 months, or 2 years or NOT AT ALL.
- use to apply for recognition for exemplary implementation of a “Babe-friendly”–i.e. mother and baby friendly–policy.
Thank you in advance for all your help! Together we can build a breastfeeding-friendly culture free of Booby Traps!