by Michelle Hickman | April 18, 2012 1:05 am
Congratulations on nursing, Babe! Hopefully you’re coming to this page to arm yourself with knowledge, and not because you’ve had a bad experience.
Nursing on demand is an important part of breastfeeding, and many moms celebrate the freedom that comes with being able to not carry around feeding supplies and having perfect temperature food ready at all times. Unfortunately, not all people are supportive nor do they quite understand what it’s like to be a nursing mom. If you’ve had a run-in with an employee or manager at an establishment, there are some steps you can take to make sure things stay calm, and have the best chance of being resolved peaceably, and also, that you avoid any misunderstandings.
If you DO receive an apologetic response from the establishment:
Don’t discount or criticize their efforts to apologize. If the apology seems sarcastic or forced to you, or just isn’t worded very well, still kindly thank them for actually apologizing (some establishments never do), then politely educate them about how they can improve upon their word choice in the future. Apologies are a good thing and we want them, so we do not want to offend apologetic establishments openly or the apologies will stop.
Ask them how they plan to prevent this from happening in the future.
This is key because companies are getting in the habit of apologizing but not making lasting change that will ensure that other mothers are not harassed, humiliated or discriminated against. Again, consult with Michelle Hickman to discuss a plan of action and keep careful track of what was said, by whom, and when.
If you are happy with the apology and feel that the organization is taking adequate steps to prevent future occurrences, consider organizing a thankful demonstration (not a nurse-in protest). A thankful demonstration (similar to the Great Latch On) is where nursing moms, their children, and breastfeeding supporters gather to thank the establishment for being nursing friendly and supportive. Bake them some cookies, give them a nursing friendly establishment plaque to display, spend money shopping or frequenting the establishment, or what ever works for you and your group of moms.
Keep our Best for Babes Director of Activism, Michelle Hickman, informed by reaching out to her at michelle AT @ BestforBabes DOT org.
These guidelines were developed based on my experience as the “Target Mom”, my involvement in the Georgia demonstration, and in talking to other advocates and moms who were discriminated against. Do you have any suggestions? What have you done that worked when harassed for nursing in public?
Source URL: http://www.bestforbabes.org/i-was-harassed-for-nursing-in-public-nip-what-do-i-do
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