No longer allowed to nurse son at daycare during pick-up (in front of other children) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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....
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#2 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 10:57 AM
 
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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.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#3 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 11:07 AM
 
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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?

Sandy, proud mama and henna artist. :
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#4 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 11:13 AM
 
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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 .
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#5 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 11:27 AM
 
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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?

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#6 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 12:03 PM
 
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Hi,
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.

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#7 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 12:04 PM
 
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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".
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#8 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 12:11 PM
 
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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.
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#9 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 01:07 PM
 
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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
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#10 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!!!!!!
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#11 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 01:19 PM
 
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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!
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#12 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 01:24 PM
 
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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.
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#13 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 01:53 PM
 
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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).

 

 

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#14 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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???
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#15 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 03:52 PM
 
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You have a right to breastfeed anywhere that you and your baby have a legal right to be.
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#16 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 04:28 PM
 
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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.
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#17 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

http://www.house.gov/maloney/issues/...ing/index.html
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#18 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 05:36 PM
 
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I really like your letter!
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#19 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just sent one to Marie Donigan, our State Representative for the area I live in.
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#20 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 06:00 PM
 
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Quote:
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.

Jessica, wife of Marc and Momma to Nikolai (10) and Nathaniel (9) and Olivia (3).
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#21 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 06:05 PM
 
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Great letter!

I really hope something can be done, that's just rediculous :
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#22 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 06:09 PM
 
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Amy - your letter is great! Well written & to the point.

I was wondering more about the person-to-person adpect of it though. It's an in-home daycare, how many other parents are we talking about? Do you know them? Have they ever said anything to you directly? Could you address your situation to them somehow, sort of explaining, Hey, this is why it's so important for him to nurse when he first sees his mom if he wants to, this is why its hard to sit in the car, or whatever... And asking why its hard for their kids? (Like, are they concerned about modesty, about their kids trying to pull up their own shirts, about ... uh, I can't even come up with reasons someone might have, it's so unfathomable to me, but you get the picture).

Maybe its naive to think it would help to see each others point of view and "resolve this peacefully" as they say. My dd went to daycare that was just 6 kids, and I knew the other families so well, maybe this is why I'm having a hard time imagining anyone going to the provider and complaining about you behind your back (also I live in a crunchy part of my city and have never been given a hard time w/NIP). Are they mean people? Just very prudish? Do they trip over you in the doorway or something? Are they defenseive because they all used formula? Can you imagine being able to talk with one or several of them, or write a memo...?

Anyway, I totally agree obviously with every person who has said you are 100% blameless here, just trying to see if there was a way to smooth things over for just two months (and as you said help establish some enlightenment for them for a future nursing mom).

Good luck!

Mama to my sweet girls: (2/02) and (2/08) and 3/11 and new baby (5/14)
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#23 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 06:13 PM
 
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This is my first time on this board b/c a friend sent me the link b/c I just had a similar issue.

You live in Michigan? here is the law:http://www.lalecheleague.org/Law/Bills22.html

SUMMARY OF ENACTED BREASTFEEDING LEGISLATION
MICHIGAN
Michigan exempts breastfeeding from its public nudity statute. It also has a law that requires courts to consider whether a child is nursing in determining parenting time in family law cases

MCLS § 41.181, § 67.1, § 117.4i, § 117.5h,
1994 Mi. ALS 313 - 315; 1994 Mi. P.A. 313 - 315; 1994 Mi. SB 107 – 109

Amends various sections of the Michigan criminal code to expressly state that public nudity does not include a woman's breastfeeding of a baby whether or not the nipple or areola is exposed during or incidental to the feeding.

MCLS § 722.27a, Child Custody Act of 1970

§ 722.27a. Parenting time.
(6) The court may consider the following factors when determining the frequency, duration, and type of parenting time to be granted: ...
(b) Whether the child is a nursing child less than 6 months of age, or less than 1 year of age if the child receives substantial nutrition through nursing.

Basically, you have the right to BF, I believe. Here is the general overview:
http://www.lalecheleague.org/Law/Bills2.html

My decision at my daycare has been to keep doing what I'm doing (bfing on demand) and provide informational documents from Kellymom.com on extended bfing to teachers and interested parents.

If it gets worse, I'm calling for a nurse-in on the daycare's church's sidewalk. Do you have the ability to mobilize local nursing moms for a nurse-in?

Anita
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#24 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 07:07 PM
 
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Does the daycare get any federal money? i.e. food programs etc.
If so, they may have to comply with the federal law protecing a woman's right to bf her child anywhere they have a right to be.

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#25 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 09:13 PM
 
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OK. Deep breath. I was in the middle of teaching class when I found this thread and was so worked up, I had to post.

Nurse ins are perfectly legal if the women/children are in a place they can legally be (e.g., the church sidewalk).

I honestly cannot believe that you do not have more legal rights. That's horrible. Moreover, what will happen if you just say "Too bad, So sad? My child needs to eat." If you keep bfing, what are they going to do? Can they kick you out? Arrest you?? Do you have any lawyer friends who are willing to take this case on pro bono??? The LLL might know some folks.

if you're leaving in january, SURELY they can wait for 2 more months. And then, after you leave, schedule a humongous nurse-in when you know everyone is going to be there.

I am stunned. When my son's teacher told me to that people were uncomfortable, I had the law on my side.

Anita
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#26 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's an in-home daycare, how many other parents are we talking about?

As far as I know 5 sets out of around 11.

Do you know them?

Basically, no. I don't even know which parents we are talking about and my daycare provider doesn't feel comfortable telling me. I've talked to 2 sets of parents at the daycare a moderate amount. One father at daycare and when we run into him at a local restaurant. My daycare lady said he wasn't one of them, but who really knows. Another mom and her daughter happen to belong to the same temple and we have seen them a couple times. Gabe always steals her daughter's half-eaten cookies. That is about it.

Have they ever said anything to you directly?

No one has ever said anything directly. After I was told I couldn't feed my son yesterday, I told the father mentioned above why I was upset and that I was going to try to leave. His comments were "I guess we'll just have to see you at Christine's (the restaurant)."

Could you address your situation to them somehow, sort of explaining, Hey, this is why it's so important for him to nurse when he first sees his mom if he wants to, this is why its hard to sit in the car, or whatever... And asking why its hard for their kids? (Like, are they concerned about modesty, about their kids trying to pull up their own shirts, about ... uh, I can't even come up with reasons someone might have, it's so unfathomable to me, but you get the picture).

As far as I know, they just don't want their kids to see me feeding my son.

I gave a copy of the letters I wrote to daycare, along with a copy of Louisiana's laws and a copy of some federal guidelines for state breastfeeding legislation.

I think we are going start Montessori 4 days a week in December.
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#27 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 10:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Jessica*
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.
I have to admit that I was surprised as well. Mostly because that proves, IMO, it was all about the parents (it's not like they are getting uncomforable questions from their young toddlers, kwim).

The letter looks great! You might want to post in your tribal area for support.

 

 

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#28 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 11:23 PM
 
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The letter looks great! You might want to post in your tribal area for support.
This is a very good idea! I know that there are a lot of very active Mich. moms out there.
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#29 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, it looks like I won't be getting support from my SIL at the Associated Press. She is breastfeeding, but thinks people have a right to not want to see it.

It looks like John Conyers and Dale Kildee of Michigan were also supporters of breastfeeding legislation...So more letters...

There are also the healthy childcare AAP representatives.
http://www.healthychildcare.org/chapters.cfm

Michigan Reps...
HCCA Rep :
Sheri Falvay
Mental Health Services to Children and Families, Department of Community Health
Lewis Cass Building, 5th Floor, 320 S Walnut
Lansing, MI 48913
Phone: 517/241-5762
Fax: 517/241-5778 or
E-mail: [email protected]


HCCA Rep :
Deborah Marciniak
MPHI Systems Reform Program
2364 Woodlake Drive, Suite 180
Okemos, MI 48864
Phone: 517/381-8247, E
Fax: 517/347-6189
E-mail: [email protected]
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#30 of 175 Old 11-03-2005, 11:57 PM
 
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i dont' know if this helps you or not...
this summer, an employee at the pool told me that i couldn't nurse my son, cuz other patrons were complaining to HER.
i made it clear to her that those patrons' hangups were NOT her problem, and that she should send them to me directly if they had issue with my reality.
lucky me, i had half a dozen mama friends nearby, so it was not too big a battle. we all had each others backs (boobs? ).
can you just tell your provider that you are sorry that these other parents are giving her a hard time, and encourage her to tell them that it is not in her power to stop you from nursing? in other words, they're barking up the wrong tree, and get off her back already?
it'd be interesting to see how none of them choose to harrass you directly. cowards.
Unoppressed MAMA Q is offline  
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