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Breastfeeding discrimination turned "helpful refuge"

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have seen a trend lately in breastfeeding discrimination stories, where businesses and establishments caught discriminating against nursing mothers twist the story so that it seems that the mother was being offered a more private place, for her own comfort, and the mother just misunderstood their helpfulness. I am sure this is a tactic pushed by their lawyers, but still it makes me wonder ...

How can we prevent this cop-out from occurring? What can we do, in the moment of the discrimination, to make it absolutely clear that we do NOT need a more private space to nurse, for our own comfort? What sort of phrases can we use to prevent this "misunderstanding?

Maybe something along the lines of "No, thank you, I am very comfortable nursing right here," or "I don't require a private space to feed my baby." Should these kind of stock phrases become automatic, just as our knowledge of protective breastfeeding legislation? Should we ask, in the moment, for clarification as to the motive behind being asked to nurse in a different location, or to cover up, or whatever? "No thank you, my baby and I are comfortable nursing right here, and our right to do so is protected by state law. Are you asking us to leave because we are nursing?"

What is the best way to interact with the person trying to prohibit the nursing session (other than politely, of course)?
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirogi View Post
Maybe something along the lines of "No, thank you, I am very comfortable nursing right here," or "I don't require a private space to feed my baby." Should these kind of stock phrases become automatic, just as our knowledge of protective breastfeeding legislation? Should we ask, in the moment, for clarification as to the motive behind being asked to nurse in a different location, or to cover up, or whatever? "No thank you, my baby and I are comfortable nursing right here, and our right to do so is protected by state law. Are you asking us to leave because we are nursing?"
Unfortunately, those probably will need to be stock phrases for responses. I do think that clarification should be asked for, but I think it you should get out your cell phone and say "I'd like to record this to avoid confusion later. Please repeat your request and clarify your reasons for this request." Be sure to record that they know they are being recorded or ask them to put the request and reason in writing.

If they actualy put the request in writing, you can sweetly say "Thanks, I'm sure the media and your corporate office will enjoy reading this."
post #3 of 10
I also think that in any situation where it is likely to become a "he said. she said" type of thing it's helpful to repeat what is being said to you.

for example:

employee: You can't do that here.
BF-ing mom: Are you saying I can't breastfeed here?
employee: You have to go to the bathroom/nursing room/somewhere else.
BF-ing mom: No thank you. We're fine here. Thanks for offering though.
employee: other people are complaining. You have to move.
Bf-ing mom: To clarify, you are telling me that I am not permitted to nurse my child here correct?
employee: yeah
BF-ing mom: Actually state law says that anywhere my child and I are allowed to be we are also allowed to nurse. (or whatever the case may be in your state)
post #4 of 10
Seems like recording the conversation would just escalate the encounter.

I do like the idea of repeating what is said to you, just to clarify.
post #5 of 10
sorry
post #6 of 10
All good suggestions. I don't think there has been an increase in that excuse. I have been hearing it for years.

The suggestion to record what is said to you with a cell phone is one I never thought of and is very good. You need to be sure to ask for permission. The act of asking could make someone back down. Something like "Just so there is no confusion about what you are asking me to do, may I record your position now?" is not confrontational and refusing to be recorded can later make the owner (or whoever) look like they were trying to hide something. Excellent idea since so many of there situations do turn into "he said, she said" later on. Kicking myself for not thinking of it before.
post #7 of 10
Kinda off topic, but not totally, then when a mom *chooses* to use the lounge, due to reasons of her own comfort/keeping the older sibling contained...the salesclerk comes in and makes a stink about how this room is for mom/baby dyads and feeding the baby and someone might be uncomfortable because my older preschool or school age child is also in there with me because I don't want to leave them unattended while I nurse the baby!
post #8 of 10
i think the standard response should be

"am I clear that you are asking me to move to another location because I am nursing? because I am VERY comfortable here."

then go from there. I would absolutely ask them to clarify that their intent is to get you to move regardless of your comfort.

i always joke that if it happens to me I am going to request that they submit the request in writing.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2lilsweetfoxes View Post
Kinda off topic, but not totally, then when a mom *chooses* to use the lounge, due to reasons of her own comfort/keeping the older sibling contained...the salesclerk comes in and makes a stink about how this room is for mom/baby dyads and feeding the baby and someone might be uncomfortable because my older preschool or school age child is also in there with me because I don't want to leave them unattended while I nurse the baby!
did that happen to you?
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirogi View Post
I have seen a trend lately in breastfeeding discrimination stories, where businesses and establishments caught discriminating against nursing mothers twist the story so that it seems that the mother was being offered a more private place, for her own comfort, and the mother just misunderstood their helpfulness. I am sure this is a tactic pushed by their lawyers, but still it makes me wonder ... (...)
Well, that's a time-proven method, isn't it? There have been women locked away in closed psychiatric wards "for their own safety" because they e. g. promoted "votes for women". Go figure.
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