Update in Ronald McDonald House Breastfeeding Issue - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am still updating the original thread but someone suggested I also post a new one so that it will be easier to find the new information.

I just spoke to Naomi Scott, the Executive Director of the RMH Houston, and we(Me, Jessica, Arlene and Naomi) have a meeting this afternoon (tentatively) at 4pm. She came back from her vacation early to handle the situation. Naomi needs to speak to some people before the meeting she said.

Unlike Arlene, Naomi was very pleasant on the phone but she told me that although they are not kicking us out right now that it is a guideline(an oral one) to ask all breastfeeding mothers to go to their rooms to nurse. This is the first I have heard of any oral guideline from anyone. It was never mentioned before. She told me this was because they had multicultural residents here and that they need to protects all the residents from feeling uncomfortable. Because of this they are not changing their stance on us breastfeeding downstairs.

She also said that she has received calls from corporate but that each RMH is run independently. They have also received calls from national donors and she said that was uncomfortable and that all of our emails crashed their server(although they have fixed it now) which was costing them money.

This is all I know for now but I will be contacting the LLL about representaion of some sort at the meeting and I am going to try and get ahold of corporate myself right now. Thank you all for your continued support..and please keep the pressure coming, we will need it now MORE THAN EVER to make sure all moms have the right to breastfeed at the RMH.

Please call or email Naomi Scott at 713.795.3560 or nscott@rmhhouston.org
and call or fax corporate if you feel you can as well.

Corporate RMH
Phone: 630-623-7048
Fax: 630-623-7488

Please let them know that their apparent "oral guideline" as Naomi put it, of directing employees and volunteers to ask mothers to nurse only in their rooms is not acceptable and that we should be able to nurse anywhere we are allowed to be at RMH. Especially since bottle-feeding is perfectly acceptable in these same communal areas(there was a woman in the common area feeding a bottle last night).
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#2 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:03 PM
 
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I am trying to write a letter for you but omg my brain is just having trouble wrapping around this. xposting my response from the other thread:
Quote:
So it's ok for bfing moms to feel uncomfortable and all, but not for some supposed "multicultural" mom? What culture exactly are they protecting? And what about the law? Are you welcome in the lounge or not?
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#3 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:07 PM
 
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definetly NOT acceptable
She is beeing more pleasant but still making threats
they should be apologizing
even muslim women that are way more modest breastfeed ( and in public also)until at least 2 years old if possible according to their religion
Take a laywer with you
Alex
Sorry typing while nursing dd
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#4 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:12 PM
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In what way is it friendly or pleasant for an official with a charity that provides services to families with ill children to imply that you are responsible for crashing their email server?

The fact that the organization's "oral policy" has angered people who responded by sending email is THEIR problem not yours. It shouldn't even come up in discussions.
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#5 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:13 PM
 
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Is that oral guideline even legal?

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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#6 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:14 PM
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Oh for crimeny sake what a load of hooey. I would hazard a guess that in most other cultures BFing is seen as perfectly normal and acceptable. What a rotten excuse. Best of luck to you with the meeting and I hope you're able to have a representative there with you. You all are in my thoughts and I will be working on an e-mail to send. Wish I could do more!!
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#7 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeanine123 View Post


Oh for crimeny sake what a load of hooey. I would hazard a guess that in most other cultures BFing is seen as perfectly normal and acceptable. ]
:

someone should get in touch with Ted Greiner in Sweden and he could educate them about how he sees kids in Africa breastfeeding while wearing their school uniforms and nobody bats an eye.

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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#8 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:18 PM
 
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I called Naomi and she said that they have 50 families from "all cultures" and that some cultures may view breastfeeding as offensive, and that's why they ask breastfeeding moms to go to their rooms. When asked if they would ask the same of bottlefeeding moms, she laughed and asked why would they do that? I said that there are some people out there that are offended when they see a bottle being used, and she gave the guideline of "all cultures" need to be accomodated.

She said they wouldn't allow people to smoke in common areas, which I told her wasn't the same as nursing because that's a public health risk, and she said some people don't view it that way (could SHE be a smoker giving THAT stupid of a line?) They don't care about the law.

She says that she's gotten soooooo many emails that it crashed the system, they had to pay an IT guy to come up and fix it, and it's taking "donation dollars away from the families." Yeah, not getting any sympathy from me, this is a self imposed "problem" as far as I'm concerned.
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#9 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:18 PM
 
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Bluegreenturtle, I hope you don't mind, but I put your original post and this update in my blog. I find their attitudes demeaning.

I hope that the LLL is able to give you and your sister representation at this meeting and that this can be resolved quickly, and justly for your family.

Stephanie-Hitched up Mom of 2 DD and 2 DS. I miss my
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#10 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:18 PM
 
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I looked up the Texas Department of Health info for you so you wouldn't have to go digging for it:
Department of State Health Services
Texas Breastfeeding Promotion
1100 West 49th Street
Austin, Texas 78756-3199

Phone: (512) 458-7444 or toll free 1-800-942-3678
fax: (512) 458-7446

If you have time, you could call and ask them to also send a representative. This is ridiculous.

ETA: I also found additional contact info here
Linda Vochatzer, BSN, RN, LCCE
Nurse Consultant
Perinatal Health Program
Bureau of Women's Health
Texas Department of Health
1100 W. 49th Street
Austin, TX 78756

Telephone: (512) 458-7111 ext. 6233

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#11 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:22 PM
 
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She made the health nuissance of smoking in public spaces akin to NIP?

:
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#12 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Shonahsmom View Post
She made the health nuissance of smoking in public spaces akin to NIP?

:
:

Smoking causes cancer. Human milk can destroy cancer cells.

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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#13 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:24 PM
 
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subbing here too. It's just silly to compare smoking to nursing.
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#14 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:25 PM
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I forwarded this to my mom (an attorney) and she told me to call Naomi. I just did and left her a voice mail informing her that if they do not shape up and treat this family right and allow them to stay until they no longer need RMH that we will be pulling our donation from RMH (about 2,400 a year) and giving it to a more breastfeeding friendly organization.
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#15 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:26 PM
 
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I don't believe the "it crashed out system" claim. What a convenient way to make you feel guilty AND to ignore all the emails.
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#16 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by meowee View Post
I don't believe the "it crashed out system" claim. What a convenient way to make you feel guilty AND to ignore all the emails.
I'm thinking that too, how can a surplus of emails crash a system? (Then again, I know next to nothing about computers, so maybe an IT person can explain?)
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#17 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:27 PM
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I don't believe the "it crashed out system" claim. What a convenient way to make you feel guilty AND to ignore all the emails.
They can't ignore funding dollars being withdrawn.
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#18 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:28 PM
 
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That is so ridiculous, other countries and cultures are way more easygoing about breastfeeding than the US...what a lame cop-out. She shouldn't have said anything about the emails, that was uncalled for. I will be happy to email any other higher ups if that gets posted!!!

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#19 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:29 PM
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I have worked in IT. Here is the deal.

It can't crash out a system. That is BS.

An IT person is not necessary.

All it can do is make an inbox full and bounce back the emails. The person just has to sift through thousands of emails. It does not cost donation dollars.

She is just deleting them.
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#20 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:29 PM
 
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I've sent emails and forwaded a request for support to other organizations I'm involved in that are pro-BF.

fambedsingle2.gif Heather, 25, single mom to Corbin, 5, and Orin, 3  uc.jpg  delayedvax.gif  nocirc.gif
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#21 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:30 PM
 
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Unfortunately this attitude is not all that uncommon in Texas. Especially among medical professionals.

I am going to keep this vague on purpose:

I worked at a major medical facility in Texas. I was exclusively breastfeeding my then 11 month old son. I pumped while at work.

It started with someone pouring my EBM that was stored in a zipped cooler in a staff refrigerator down the drain during my shift.

I was then called into a supervisor's office and warned that if I continued to be so pro-breastfeeding and so open about the fact that I breastfed my son that things could become very uncomfortable for me. I was also given the guideline that I was not allowed to mention nursing while at work and that if I needed to go and pump I was only allowed to say that I "had an issue I needed to go and tend to".

I was eventually written up several times for "making others uncomfortable"

I quit shortly thereafter because I was in such a hostile environment.

Our pediatrician also said at my DS's twelve month check up that he needed to no longer be on a bottle...I told him he was breastfed...he then said "Well if you feel that you must persist in doing so that is fine but the majority of his nutrition now needs to come from solids."

Maybe I have just met with some really backwards thinking people here in my home state. I have the impression though that these sort of things happen here very regularly.
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#22 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:32 PM
 
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She is operating under the misconception that people have the right to not be offended. They don't. You have the right to nurse. Your rights trump their sensibilities.

And in most of the world... breast feeding is done much more freely than here in the US.

Heading outside to call her and leave my brainstorm on her voice mail... and to call my car insurance company.
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#23 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firstkid4me View Post
I'm thinking that too, how can a surplus of emails crash a system? (Then again, I know next to nothing about computers, so maybe an IT person can explain?)
Yes it can crash a system. The state of Utah got spamed and email was down for several days.
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#24 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:36 PM
 
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This is consistant with how corporate McDonald's viewed their management harassing me for bfing. Didn't care a whit. I wish things had been more proactive here back in the day, I would've liked to have turned my harassment into something positive (beyond whining here). Bless you for fighting it, you are doing a mitzvah for all women & children.
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#25 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:36 PM
 
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What a bunch of lousy, ill-conceived excuses for her to justify being cruel, unfair, and arrogant to boot!

Please tell me there is someone involved in this organization with at least a drop of common sense? Somewhere? ANYONE?

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#26 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:37 PM
 
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But if "multicultural people" are offended, it is up to THEM to go to another area, not up to the breastfeeding mother to go elsewhere. The law protects the breastfeeding mother for exactly this reason.
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#27 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:39 PM
 
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In case the poster above is right in her suspicion that the emails are being deleted, one could follow up by snail mail and telephone.

In fact, if the system is down (for all you Strongbad fans) then the phone is a better idea!

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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#28 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:39 PM
 
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I'm so proud of myself!!!! I called her, call went to VM natch, but I spoke calmly and professionally!!! I stated my brainstorm of earlier, and that I will be stopping my automatic withdrawl to the local RMH over this, and will be calling Farm Breau insurance (my car insurance provider), My local Mc Donalds and the local Coca Cola distrubtor. Forgot to tell her about stampin' up. Dang!

Also told her I found the smoking comparision offensive!!

I was really nervous. WTG mama for sticking up!

I'm still shaking! I was so scared.
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#29 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:41 PM
 
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I sent her my email. I wonder how its going to look at coorperate when the donations drop because of this? You CAN look away from a nursing mother you dont have to stare:

What cultures ( besides the US ) look down on breast feeding? Doesnt the Koran ( I hope I spelled that correctly I dont want to offend any Muslim momma's) say something about breast feeding for 2 yrs?

For Christians Jesus was breast fed?

FYI if you Google RMH &breastfeeding the MDC thread is #1

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#30 of 183 Old 04-16-2007, 03:42 PM
 
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I just wanted to say I sent my email and I am praying things go well for the 4 oclock meeting.

So glad your sister has you for support and I hope this issue resoloves well and you and her can focus on that dear childs recovery. I also hope your work and effort will be of benfit to other mothers and children.

Please keep us posted.
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