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No longer allowed to nurse son at daycare during pick-up (in front of other children)

post #1 of 175
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by smirlynwittles
My daycare provider came up to me this afternoon to inform me that several other parents do not want me nursing Gabe in front of their children when I pick him up. They won't even accept me covering up (Daycare lady asked them). So I can go in a different room, the car, etc. Leave (if Montessori will take him a couple months earlier than planned). Fight these ignorant fools!!! It is an in-home daycare that Gabe has been at since he was 8 weeks old. She called the state lisensing folks and they said I am in no way protected. She can either upset me or upset the other parents. Ugh!! What next?!?! I've already been through being harrased at work for breastfeeding and being a mother (now at a different position which is fine with it)
I'm in Michigan, so I'm not totally sure I have any rights. We asked the Montessori and they don't have a full time slot until Jan. Could I end up getting arrested if there was a nurse-in in front of the day care after I get Gabe out (and my SIL is the news editor for the AP here)? What about this Healthy Child Care Initiative that the AAP had going? What can I do, even if I have to wait a few months. I don't really want to hurt my daycare provider, as she think the other parents are stupid as well. She was very caring for my son, especially back in his colicky days... I guess she defended me at first, but more and more parents have complained.

I already e-mailed all 8 LLL leaders for the group I was sporadically attending. I still haven't gotten a response. I just haven't had any bfing issues for a long time except for being harassed at work and just about kicked out of day care now.

I sooo want to do something as long as I won't/can't get arrested for it....
post #2 of 175
No advice but I'm very sorry and will be watching this thead and rooting for you.

That is so wrong what is being done to you.
post #3 of 175
Sorry Amy, no advice

But name the time and place and I will gladly come to the nurse-in!!
Did you post this in FYT too?
post #4 of 175
OH MY GOODNESS! That is SO sad! How pathetic of those parents!

Can you print off the stats on how formula contributes to illness after illness, maybe helping make your point of doing the best for your child?

Wow, what ignorance.

I see your point in being confused on what to do, you are in a tough situation.

Personally, I would fight like mad, but that's just me .
post #5 of 175
Oh yeah, regarding being arrested for a nurse-in, I think you can't if you are on public property(sidewalk?), but I would check with the city offices to see if you need some kind of permission for a peacefull demonstration. Also if you are on good terms with the daycare lady, maybe you could talk to her about it kind of warn her?
post #6 of 175
wouldn't it be great if you could get the local news/newspaper to cover the story. if they were sympathetic w/ you then it could embarass the other moms enough for them to think about thier actions. But how can we do this and how can we make sure the story is in favor of you???

can we write the local paper/news station?

I wish I had contact info for those moms I would write them each a little note but I think that would be harassment wouldn't it?

This whole thing s crazy, I am about to go off on a tangent and I don't really have time so I'll stop here.
post #7 of 175
You might want to write your legislature and describe to them the discrimination you are facing, and offer them as an example of what needs to be done, Louisiana's legislation that prevents daycare establishments from discriminating against breastfed children; you might also consider drafting an article with this info included since you have access to the media thru family members. here's what it says at the LLL site -

"Louisiana in 2003 enacted that first law that prohibits child care facilities from discriminating against breastfed babies. Louisiana enacted a breastfeeding in public law in 2001, which initially sets forth the importance of breastfeeding, and then goes on to state that it is discrimination to prohibit a mother from breastfeeding her baby in public. This law also states that it is segregation to ask her to go to a different place to breastfeed. "

The Louisiana law sets a strong precedent you can encourage Michigan to follow, they go so far as to say that there needs to be an end to "the vicious cycle of embarrassment and ignorance that constricts women and men alike on the subject of breastfeeding".
post #8 of 175
smirlynwittles, I'm in Royal Oak, too. Our Michigan House Rep, Marie Donigan seems like she'd be very sympathetic to your problem, and though she may not be able to immediately do anything, bringing it to her attention can't hurt and might be helpful in the long run.
post #9 of 175
i'm in chandler, arizona and through a lot of moms' dedication our city has now passed an ordinance that a mom is allowed to breastfeed her baby any place public OR PRIVATE where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be. it took months and a lot of women writing council members, local papers, lots and lots of moms with babies and children in tow coming to the city council meetings, etc. it might now help you directly if you are leaving that provider, but starting some buzz about it around town can lead to incredible freedoms for other moms. we hope in arizona we will have state breastfeeding rights soon through the city-by-city approach

i am sorry for such a ridiculous mandate
post #10 of 175
Thread Starter 
Well, I just sent an e-mail to my sister in law at the AP here in Detroit and copied the Louisiana legislation and link to the legal stuff on LLL.

I could start Montessori in Dec 4 days a week. But the toddler teacher had to inform me that she doesn't want feeding Gabe to disrupt the kids since they are trying to foster independance. I can feed him, but not if the kids are engaged in an activity nearby. WTF?!?! She's hardly there anyhow, but I'd hate to look for another Montessori now... Plus hardly any kids are there in the afternoon when I pick up.

I originally posted in the Indiana/Ohio/MIchigan area, but only got one response....

Oh I'm so mad!!!!!!
post #11 of 175
Wow, I can't believe they are doing that to you. And especially, that you don't have any legal protection.

mama!! I hope the situation can be changed!
post #12 of 175
I'm in Livonia. PM me if I can help. Nurse in, Nurse Out, write a politician, I'm in.

I had to leave my first daycare because she just couldn't handle a BF'd baby. She wanted me to schedule my weekend feedings so she wouldn't have to feed my baby so often. Many care providers treat formula as easier, it is for them. Formula kids are sick more, and most places you have to pay for sick days. What could be better, you pay, and we don't have to watch the kids.

The parents really have no right to choose how you feed your baby. Can't really inform them, because that would be seen as a guilt trip. They already made the choice to have sick kids, too late to help them.

Here in Michigan, people are so backward. Formula is treated like the norm, and we are asked to conform to that standard. Nursing in front of children is a big part of having the next generation see BF as the norm.

If it were me, I would keep nursing, and hope the hoohoo blows away. The kids will soon think it's normal, unless their parents are asking them to sky for them.

As for not nursing when picking up, I can't even imagine. Every child has wanted a taste as soon as I come back from work. Doesn't matter how full, still need a taste.

Too bad you can't get a special place where the other kids would want to be, but can't because their mommy doesn't nurse. That may illustrate how ludricrous this request is.

I had to leave my church www.northridgechurch.com because they push formula. Breastfed babies should have equal rights. They only feed babies formula while in the nursery. They could not use my breastmilk, and offered me free formula. I wrote, and they won't budge. They claim it is safer in case a bottle gets switched. I pointed out that some babies with severe allegies could die from a wrong bottle of formula, and it should not be a possibilty.

Michigan needs help. Where do we start? Your provider doesn't seems like a good target, she wants to help. I do what I can by nursing everywhere I go, and trying to help pregnant moms get a support group. Nursing is still considered a private activity here in the (fill in an adjective) Motor City. Exposure is what we need.

Things are much different elsewhere.
post #13 of 175
First, what is the feeling you are getting from the director? Do you think, in actuality, she agrees with the other parents? Or do you think, instead, that she agrees with you but is afraid of loosing business.

Because if it is the second, I would enlist her in my support. While you don't have a stated right to bfeed anywhere in Michigan, there are no laws barring you from doing so. The only protection you do have is, "Michigan exempts breastfeeding from its public nudity statute." If you feel the director is really on your "side" and do not mind burning any bridges with the other parents involved, she could simply tell them that there have been numerous legal actions nationwide where women sued asking for bfeeding to be treated as a civil right and she *does not feel like she has the financial capabilities to risk a lawsuit.* Do you know how adament these parents are?

Realistically, though, I would probably go in another room and try to move to as soon as possible. Is there some reason you cannot do this for a short term solution? (and I do understand that this is demeaning and stupid and ... I am just assuming that you really like the care and don't have the opportunity of stalking out).
post #14 of 175
Thread Starter 
The daycare provider hugged me and said she had been dreading telling me all day. At first she told the other parents that it was my right to feed my son, but more and more complained. She called the Oakland County Child Care rep and he said she could either upset me or upset the other parents, but I had no legal right. I am only 1 person and my son is leaving at the end of December anyhow to start Montessori.

I can abide by the new "rule" temporarily, but this isn't fair to the next nursing mom who comes along especially since I doubt she'll tell them up front. I know there is another one coming in a few months as it will be the sibling of a boy that just "graduated" and went off to kindergarten. His mom told me that she bfed her son for a year as well.

The Montessori director is only there a few hours a day.

I wonder if there is a national definition of discrimination or segregation???
post #15 of 175
You have a right to breastfeed anywhere that you and your baby have a legal right to be.
post #16 of 175
As I was reading this I thought, this child must be at least 3 years old for people to say that, and I looked at your sig and he is ONE! That is unbelievable.
post #17 of 175
Thread Starter 

Letter to Congresswoman Maloney

Washington Office
Congresswoman Maloney
2331 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515-3214
202-225-7944 phone
202-225-4709 fax

Congresswoman Maloney,

I am writing in regards to a recent situation at my son's in-home day care. I am currently working full-time. My son has been at his in-home day care since he was 8 weeks old and he is now 15 months. Everyday I have nursed him as soon as I arrive to pick him up in the evening.

Last night I was informed by my day care provider that several other parents have indicated that they do not wish to have me feed my son in the presence of their children. She said that she explained to them that is my right at first and now more parents have complained. She asked if covering up with a blanket would be acceptable, but they declined. She contacted the County day care licensing agency to see if I have any rights and they told her that I have no legal protections. I have only a couple months before my son is scheduled to start at a new school, so I understand her decision to upset just one parent who is leaving anyways rather than several parents. However, I feel it is necessary to fight for the rights of the next breastfeeding mother who comes along. I have contacted my local La Leche League and have contacts at the local bureau of the Associated Press.

I am wondering what other step I can take to protect a mother's right to breastfeed and a working breastfeeding mother's right to quality day care for her child.

post #18 of 175
I really like your letter!
post #19 of 175
Thread Starter 
I just sent one to Marie Donigan, our State Representative for the area I live in.
post #20 of 175
Originally Posted by MommytoTwo
As I was reading this I thought, this child must be at least 3 years old for people to say that, and I looked at your sig and he is ONE! That is unbelievable.
That was what I thought as well. Of course, I see nothing wrong with a nursing 3 year old either, but I know most people would. I hope you can make something happen so this doesn't happen to more nursing mommas.
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