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kalisis 11-17-2006 08:03 PM

Ok, here's the first one ladies.

Please feel free to edit location and press contact for your area. Specifics are good - reporters don't like to have to do too much digging.

Rally Scheduled at Delta Counters to Protest Treatment of Nursing Mother

Nursing mothers and their supporters will be gathering on Tuesday, November 21, 2006 at 10 AM, local time, at Delta airport counters across the country to protest the treatment a nursing mother endured at the hands of a Freedom Airlines flight attendant. Freedom Airlines is owned and operated by Mesa Airlines who is a contractor for Delta in some regional markets.

Emily Gillette was flying with her husband and 22 month-old daughter on October 13, 2006 out of Burlington, Vermont. Their flight had been delayed by several hours and when it appeared they were ready to take off, Ms. Gillette began to nurse her daughter. It was then that a flight attendant approached her and asked her to cover up with a blanket. Ms. Gillette declined and told the flight attendant that she was within her legal rights to nurse where she was without any covering. Ms. Gillette was sitting near the rear of the plane in a window seat with her husband next to her, nearest the aisle when she began nursing.

After Ms. Gillette refused to cover up, the flight attendant then allegedly told Ms. Gillette that Ms. Gillette was offending her. The family was then approached by a Delta gate agent and told that they were being removed by the flight attendant from the flight. Ms. Gillette and her family complied and although a conversation with a co-pilot did take place off the plane and the family requested to be re-boarded, they were not and instead were rescheduled on a different flight the following day.

Ms. Gillette has filed a complaint with the Vermont Human Right Commission regarding the incident. A woman’s right to breastfeed wherever she is legally allowed to be is protected in Vermont under the Public Accommodations Act.

Freedom Airlines has issued several statements, although they give contradictory information. In one statement, Paul Skellon, a spokesperson for Phoenix-based Freedom Airlines, said that they were aware of the incident and that Freedom expects mothers to nurse in a “discreet” manner (which is assumed under a blanket). In a second statement, he recanted and said that Freedom welcomes all nursing mothers and would not expect them to use a blanket in the future.

As well, the second statement issued by Mr. Skellon is full of inaccuracies, including the statement that the family refused to re-board, when they were in fact asking to re-board and were denied that request. Ms. Gillette and her supporters are very upset that Mr. Skellon and Freedom Airlines are both trying to minimize a very grave situation where a woman’s basic civil rights were violated and are attempting to shift the blame from themselves to Ms. Gillette, who did nothing wrong and was perfectly within her rights.

Toddlers and babies are especially susceptible to the cabin pressure changes during take-off and landing and nursing them is a natural and convenient way to help them continually equalize that pressure in their ears. Nursing is also a soothing and calming activity for both mother and child and a good way to calm travel jitters.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that “pediatricians and parents should be aware that exclusive breastfeeding is sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months of life and provides continuing protection against diarrhea and respiratory tract infection. 30,34,128,178–184 Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child.185“ The World Health Organization recommends nursing for at least the first two years of a child’s life.

The Nurse-Ins have been coordinated completely by volunteers.

For more information about this event or topic or to schedule interviews with participants, please contact Ashley Clark by email at

Janice in Canada 11-17-2006 09:22 PM


Please use this press release, there is a lot of experience behind the writing of this one (experience from Starbucks, NYC The View, and Toys-R-Us Nurse-Ins)

Also Emily was kept aware of this press release as it was being written.


mama in the forest 11-17-2006 09:30 PM

Any mamas in Kalamazoo......? I'm free that day!

Janice in Canada 11-17-2006 10:37 PM

We've started a yahoo group to hold all the pertinent documents.

We'll put the press releases there and also have a media kit available over the weekend. I would encourage all local organizers to join to have access to those documents - they'll be a good jumping off point for you.

at this point, anyone can join.

mamamagnolia 11-17-2006 11:40 PM

Sweeeeeet! I'm rallying the Sacramento troops!

Janice in Canada 11-18-2006 02:11 AM

Bumping again.

Please use this press release, and please join the Yahoo group for assistance in organizing, and to register your site.

Group name: lactivism
> Group home page:
> Group email:

mommyto3girls 11-18-2006 02:42 AM

Anyone know why this time was chosen? There are tons of us working moms who would like to be involved. Choosing midmorning on a weekday totally excludes us.

At the Victoria's Secret Nurse-in I got the new to come even though there were only 3 of us there, now this I can't even participate in

kalisis 11-18-2006 02:57 AM

I'm not sure why that time was chosen - it was already set in the other thread when I came on board to write the PR.

There is always this debate about nurse-ins and I'm not sure of the right answer. Weekdays are impossible for working moms, weekends are not during 'business hours' and getting older kids to and from a nurse-in is sometimes daunting and makes weekends look less desirable.

I'm sorry that you cannot participate. Maybe you can help with some level of organizing in your area though, behind the scenes?

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