Help us Create a Company Policy & Employee Training Toolkit for Target & Other Stores, Restaurants, etc.

Written by Bettina Forbes, CLC

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 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!

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15 Comments | Last revised on 12/15/2011

This entry was posted in Advocacy, Main Content and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Help us Create a Company Policy & Employee Training Toolkit for Target & Other Stores, Restaurants, etc.

  1. Why reinvent a wheel? The feds have done it already. Adapt the incredible Business Case for Breastfeeding Kit (your tax dollars at work!) from protecting BF rights of employees to protecting BF rights of customers/patrons. Downloadable and free for all.

  2. Maybe LactCorp could help by giving you some suggestions for the Toolkit.

  3. The City of Toronto “Breastfeeding Friendly” initiative encourages businesses in the city to be breastfeeding friendly and has information sheets, employee guides and policies for different types of businesses (e.g. restaurants, movie theaters, malls, other businesses) to use as templates/models in their own business.

  4. My daughter is 16 months old, and still breastfed. I am an internationally renowned copywriter who founded a creative agency. How on EARTH could I not volunteer my time, effort, and knowledge to this project?!?!

    Tell Bettina to check her email. I have an idea for a poster that will knock your socks (and shirts!) off. 🙂

    Thank you for everything you do, B4B. I <3 you.

  5. Tom Nugent says:

    As a retired car salesmen I can’t count the number of of nursing Moms I had in my office. I can’t understand why anyone is upset about a nipple and a baby. I was single during my selling years so I did not have a dad’s experience. How can I help as man with a woman plight?

    • Bettina Forbes, CLC says:

      Your voice is extremely important! It is not just a woman’s plight, it is a plight for all of us when women are afraid to nurse their babies for fear of embarrassment–more sick babies and mothers affects all of us. Thank you.

  6. Dharma blue says:

    I’d love it if you’d sign my petition to get Target to stop their discrimination of breastfeeding mothers in their stores! ♥ The latest incident by Target is a few too many, and I’d like to let them know mothers are paying attention. Pass it along! 🙂

  7. Renee says:

    I don’t know how much help I can give, however as a peer helper for WIC I can tell you first hand that a lot of moms will not breastfeed because they are afraid getting embarrassed in public. I don’t blame them when things like this happen! The best thing to do is to educate the employees of the stores and businesses. If they are giving a women a hard time about breastfeeding in public, they should have some sort of corrective action. We can’t really do much about people in general saying things to mothers, but maybe if people in the business world would be more supportive, maybe that would make people a little more supportive. How interesting that a mother feeding her child would be considered criminal.

    • Bettina Forbes, CLC says:

      We would love your help! Thank you so much for sharing your experience–ours has shown the same, that fear of public embarrassment or humiliation keeps some mothers from even trying to breastfeed.

  8. Thank you for your amazing leadership to create a more breastfeeding-friendly world! I couldn’t agree more with your ideas (and the great suggestions by others here too). After I experienced breastfeeding harassment at a Pottery Barn store years ago, I worked with their President to promote development of breastfeeding-friendly employee policies. I emailed you directly with some ideas and look forward to seeing B4B’s Toolkit unfold!

  9. Lori Nester says:

    HI – I see info. from several years ago about a toolkit for companies for training employees about NIP — has this come into being? We are looking for some resources to use in Ohio and wanted to see what already might exist.

    • Bettina Forbes, CLC says:

      We are looking for a sponsor to fund the development of this toolkit. Please let us know if you have any ideas.

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