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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With permission, I am re-posting this from Lactnet. The writer, Jodine Chase, is a IRL friend of mine, a breastfeeding advocate, and a professional Public Relations specialist. I think her opinion is worthy of note.<br>
There has been a lot of discussion about milk banking and concerns have been<br>
expressed that raising issues about the possible research use of human milk<br>
is damaging to the cause of breastfeeding promotion. In the process some<br>
have equated nurse-ins at establishments that don't welcome breastfeeding in<br>
public with a boycott of milk banks. I don't support the latter as I think<br>
it is counter to the goal of promoting breastfeeding. Milk banks - access to<br>
human milk - is key to our goal of giving babies and mothers every<br>
opportunity to ensure exclusive breastfeeding for six months as recommended<br>
by our health professionals.<br><br>
I believe a change in attitudes towards nursing in public is also important<br>
to meeting this goal.<br><br>
This list has talked about the pros and cons of nurse-ins before, and I've<br>
posted before on the positive aspects. Please know my intent is simply to<br>
say that nurse-ins can be an effective tool to raising awareness, which is<br>
one of the first steps towards changing attitudes and opinion. I don't agree<br>
that they are de facto damaging to the cause of promoting breastfeeding.<br><br>
With regard to nurse-ins, I would like to respectfully point out that<br>
without research, we can't *know* if a nurse-in creates a positive or<br>
negative impact with the general public. Or if any negative impact is offset<br>
or even outweighed by increased awareness, or better, a shift in attitudes.<br><br>
Event-specific research would normally include tracking media coverage to<br>
see if messages carried in coverage match the messaging goals of the event,<br>
establishing the size of the audience and perhaps the demographics of the<br>
audience exposed to the messages, and perhaps attitudinal polling to<br>
determine the "pickup" or resonance of that messaging.<br><br>
This is the sort of research that would accompany a large public<br>
communications effort but most volunteer groups - the ones most likely to<br>
choose this awareness tactic - wouldn't have access to the funding needed to<br>
execute this evaluation of their efforts.<br><br>
Groups who choose nurse-ins and other forms of public attention-getting<br>
activities are in good company. There are numerous examples of successful<br>
grassroots protests campaigns - from the lunch-counter sit-ins of the US<br>
civil rights movement in the Sixties to the hundreds of thousands of<br>
demonstrators in Kiev in the last few weeks.<br><br>
These kinds of actions are rarely without controversy, of course. In fact,<br>
the controversy is part of what drives media coverage, which is what allows<br>
event organizers to place their messages. There's little doubt that protests<br>
of various sorts have changed public opinion and prompted legislators to<br>
take action. They can be a powerful tool for raising awareness and changing<br>
attitudes. They are but one tool - working from inside organizations to push<br>
for change is another tool. Modeling behaviour, support groups, educating<br>
one person at a time - these are all important tools.<br><br>
If the protest tool is ineffective or counterproductive, big pr firms<br>
wouldn't have come up with the technique of "astroturfing" - the term given<br>
to the practice of manufacturing a grassroots campaign. Here's an article<br>
that exposes astroturf/protest techniques for those who are interested.<br><br><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br><br>
-- Jodine Chase

5,986 Posts
Very interesting. When #2 comes I'll gladly join any nurse in in my area.
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