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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's an update on Tuesday's nurse in at the Anchorage airport. I wrote this update for the Anchorage AP yahoo group, where I've gotten the most response, so that's why specific people are named. It's all very last minute, and I've had a kid attached to my boob while I've been putting the details together, so forgive the harriedness of it all. Let me know if you plan on coming! I'l post another update tonight to iron out the sketchy details.

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Airport Nurse In Update, as of Monday Nov. 20. at noon

Thank you everyone for your interest in this last minute nurse-in! I've been sorting through all the details and logistics and will outline the plans in the bullet points below. There are some issues (most importantly the specific airport location of our nurse-in) that are still tentative, so please check your email tonight or tomorrow morning for a final update before you head to the airport. I'm doing my best to make sure none of us find ourselves lost and wandering around the airport with our babies.

Current Nursing Mother Head Count: 3 definite (including myself), and 5 maybe. Of course, all others are welcome!
-- Time of Nurse-In: 10AM-11AM, or as long as you feel comfortable or can stay
-- Airport Location: This is currently undecided. Mindy brings up a good point - the Delta counter may be dark, and/or may be in part of the airport that's empty this time of year. I have emailed the national organizers of this nurse-in for advice about this, and will update tonight (including a specific terminal). Ideally I'd go scout out the airport in advance, but I doubt I'll have time today. One thing's for sure - we'll be either near ticket counters or the baggage claim (so not past security). If anyone has ideas or insight on this issue, let me know.
-- Signs: The national organizers are advising against bringing signs. They don't want us to be detained or kicked out in the current climate of heightened airport security. However, one of the nurse-in objectives is to bring press to the new international breastfeeding symbol (check out www.mothering.com if you haven't seen it) so I will bring a bunch of print outs of the symbol that we can pin to ourselves if we feel comfortable doing so.
-- What to wear: I like the idea of us wearing the same thing, but I think with the cold weather it's most important that we're comfortable, so wear what you want. If you have breastfeeding advocacy t-shirts or pins, by all means wear them!
-- Press Contacted: Anchorage Daily News, Anchorage Press, and KTUU. If anyone knows press anywhere else that they can contact, please do, and let me know! I will include the press release at the bottom of this message. Also, we will need to update the press about our location once it's settled.
-- Media Kits and Literature: I will bring six of the official media kits, as well as a copy of the Alaska statute on the legality of public breastfeeding. We will refer anyone to LLL for more information, but we'll make it clear that this event is independently organized.
-- Spokesperson: If anyone is good at speaking to the press, let me know. Otherwise, I'll be the default spokesperson.
-- General Attitude: The aim is for this to be a rally, not a protest, especially since (as far as I know) we have no significant complaints for our local airlines and facilities. Let's be positive, and use this to bring attention to the importance, complexity, and joy of breastfeeding
-- Your Experiences Nursing In Public Locally: I've only been nursing for a few months, but I haven't had any problems doing it in public in Anchorage. We have word from Mindy that Alaska Airlines is quite nursing-friendly. If you have any significant negative experiences nursing locally, let me know, so we can give an accurate statement to the press.
-- Legality: If anyone has any knowledge about the legality of doing something like this at an airport, let me know. I think it should be fine, but it's good to be prepared.

By all means, get in touch if you're interested in attending, or if you think of a detail I've missed! Looking forward to meeting everyone,
Andrea

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Breastfeeding Rally To Take Place At Airports Nationwide

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.

Emily Gillette was flying with her husband and 22 month-old daughter, on October 13, 2006 out of Burlington, Vermont on a Delta/Freedom Air flight when a flight attendant asked her to cover up with a blanket. Ms. Gillette declined and informed the flight attendant of her legal right to nurse her daughter. The flight attendant then told Ms. Gillette that Ms. Gillette was offending her and subsequently a gate agent removed the family from the flight. Ms. Gillette and her family complied. They were rescheduled on a different flight the following day.

Ms. Gillette has filed a complaint with the Vermont Human Rights 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.
Although Delta has issued a public apology, the Gillette family has still not received any personal apology.

The goals of this action are:

Insist that Delta/Freedom both apologize to the Gillette family and
offer written proof that policy and training procedures have been changed.
Call for all airlines to revisit their breastfeeding and transport of pumped breastmilk policies to support traveling families.
Call for immediate passage of pending Federal legislation that offers civil rights protection for breastfeeding women in the workplace; and new legislation to protect, on the Federal level, a nursing mother and child's right to do so whenever and wherever they are legally allowed to be.
Introduce a new breastfeeding accessibility icon and call on American businesses to adopt and use it.

The issue of breastfeeding goes far beyond just a woman's right to nurse; it also encompasses a basic human right for children, the right to eat and to receive comfort and nurturing at the breast.

The Nurse-Ins have been coordinated completely by volunteers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update on Nurse-In location and details:

-- There was some hemming and hawing (mostly on my part) about which terminal we should go to. South is a better, busier terminal, but the Delta counter is in North Terminal, which doesn't have much activity this time of year. However, Channel 2 news has already reported that we will be in the North Terminal so NORTH TERMINAL, DELTA COUNTER IT IS!
-- While most have said Alaska Airlines is nursing-friendly, a friend told me she knew about someone who had a run-in with a flight attendant. I don't know any details about this, but it made me think that when we speak to the press, we should only speak of our personal experiences, not make generalizations about the breastfeeding climate in Anchorage or on Alaska Air.
-- We'll refer anyone to Alaska Breastfeeding Coalition instead of LLL for more information.
-- There's a video of the first nurse-in over this incident in Vermont. Good to check out if you want to see what a nurse-in looks like: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/a...VIDEO/61115015.

See you there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi everyone,
The Anchorage nurse-in was small but sweet. We had 4 moms and 4 babies, plus a grandma (unrelated to us). ABC, NBC, and CBS affiliates all showed up and filmed/interviewed us, mostly me. Hopefully I didn't say anything too dippy!
They also interviewed a nice Delta employee. Otherwise, it was like a play date in a mostly empty terminal. South Terminal would have been a little more spectacular, but hey, we made the news anyway!
Thanks for everyone's support and interest, even if you couldn't make it.
Andrea
 

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Good job Andrea! We got the AP story in our Fairbanks paper. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...I&SECTION=HOME

Oh funny! This is the story that is available online through the News Miner but it is NOT the story that is printed in the paper. The story that was printed in the paper today is making me write a Letter to the Editor. It was an AP story from the Boston Globe. This story, link above, is much better.
 

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THIS is the story that was actually printed in the News Miner, Fairbanks' paper.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/ver...protest_grows/
Nursing mother's protest grows
Organizers target Delta today

By Raja Mishra, Globe Staff | November 21, 2006

After waiting five hours at the Burlington, Vt., airport, Emily Gillette finally boarded a Delta commuter flight and discreetly began breast-feeding her exhausted toddler. And that's when the trouble started.

"The flight attendant said, 'You are offending me,' " Gillette recalled yesterday in a telephone interview from her home in New Mexico. "I've always breast-fed my daughter when she wants, where she wants."

After she, her husband, and 22-month-old daughter were kicked off the plane last month, Gillette, 27, filed a discrimination complaint with the Vermont Human Rights Commission. As word of the case spread on online mothering forums, outrage boiled.

Today, with the frantic Thanksgiving travel week underway, dozens of self-proclaimed "lactivists" plan to suckle their infants in front of Delta ticketing counters around the nation, including at Logan International Airport.

The goals of the protest are to force airlines to review their breast-feeding policies and to pressure Congress to pass protections for breast-feeding women in the workplace, said Elizabeth A. Boepple of Manchester, Vt., Gillette's lawyer and one of the protest organizers.

Delta has reprimanded the flight attendant in the Gillette case, and a spokesman has said that women can breast-feed on any Delta plane. But Gillette said she will push her case until the airline issues that policy in writing, and a spokesman said yesterday that Delta has no plans to do so.

The case is another chapter in the debate pitting nursing mothers' rights against notions of propriety. Public nudity remains largely forbidden: Janet Jackson's bared breast during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show sparked national outrage.

Quote:
They are still associating public nudity with breastfeeding. It's two different things folks!
At the same time, researchers have established that breast-feeding delivers considerable long-term health benefits for infants and mothers.

To date, 38 states have passed laws protecting a woman's right to breast-feed at restaurants, malls, and other public places. The states include Vermont, but not Massachusetts, where state lawmakers are considering such a bill.

Quote:
Perhaps because it is already Federally protected...
"It's prudishness. People here confuse a simple act which is so useful with being flagrant," said state Senator Susan C. Fargo, the Lincoln Democrat sponsoring the bill. "Society's going to have to get used to it."

Fargo said she was unsure if the proposal will pass in the current legislative session, which ends in January. It remains in a Senate committee, where several earlier versions died in recent years.

"Most of the committee members have been men, and they just weren't interested," she said. "But it's not a women's issue. It's a health issue."

Repeated studies have shown that breast milk gives infants lasting protection against colds, flu, infections, and pneumonia, while possibly reducing the likelihood of obesity, which can lead to heart disease and diabetes. Nursing also helps mothers lose pregnancy weight quickly.

Quote:
Possibly? How many studies do you need to prove it?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that new mothers give only breast milk for the first six months of a child's life, and says there is no evidence of harm if breastfeeding continues into a child's third year.


Quote:
And this is the crowning glory to this article. Why would they not quote the more informative AAP statement that recommends breastmilk for a MINIMUM of one year? UGH.
Nonetheless, every few months, a breast-feeding controversy seems to erupt somewhere in the United States. In July, activists protested after Victoria's Secret stores in Massachusetts and Wisconsin kicked out women for breast-feeding. Last year, Barbara Walters said on ABC's "The View" that a breast-feeding woman on a flight she had taken made her feel awkward. Activists, with babies in tow, showed up in force outside ABC News headquarters in New York City days later.

Gillette, who lives in Espanola, N.M., said she had taken at least two-dozen flights during which she breast-fed her daughter, River. On Oct. 13, she was flying from Burlington to New York on Freedom Airlines, a Delta commuter affiliate required to follow Delta's policies.

When Gillette started breast-feeding as the plane sat at the gate, the female flight attendant, who has not been named by Delta, demanded that Gillette cover up with a blanket. Gillette said that she was in the rear of the plane at a window seat, with her shirt covering most of her breast.

"I said I would not put a blanket over my child's head," Gillette said. "The next thing we know, there was a Delta ticket agent standing over us. I was just shocked."

Delta provided her family with a hotel room that night and another flight to New York the next day. "Delta called back a few days later and said it does not take responsibility for this," Gillette said.

Delta has until Nov. 27 to respond to her complaint to the human rights commission. If the case is not settled, the commission must consider whether to file a civil lawsuit against the airline.

"Delta as an airline fully supports mothers' rights to breast-feed babies on the aircraft," airline spokesman Anthony Black said yesterday. "We regret the decision that had the passenger removed from that flight, as it was not in keeping with our high service standards."

The company that owns Freedom Airlines, Mesa Air Group Inc., issued a statement saying it supported the right to breast-feed on flights.

Quote:
...but refuses to put it in writing or ensure their employess are aware of it...
Raja Mishra can be reached at [email protected].
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by CKinAK View Post
You rock! Congrats on doing such a great job representing the breastfeeding community in Alaska!

:


Great Job Andrea!
 

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Originally Posted by phoebemommy View Post
The Anchorage CBS, ABC, and NBC affiliates all did nice little stories. On this one you can watch the video (look in the right hand corner).
Yeah, I saw channel 2 and thought it was very positive. You did wonderfully Andrea. Not one bit dippy!
 
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