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Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE

Do Nurse-Ins Help the Cause of Normalizing Breastfeeding in Public?

By January 24, 2013

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Nurse In Needs

The above photo is from the one and only nurse in that I've been involved with in my life. It was about a year ago at Target, after a mom had been asked to leave by a manager. It was a part of a larger group of nurse ins scheduled around the country. Even as I did it, I wondered, "Do nurse ins work?" Apparently, I'm not alone in my questioning, as you can tell by this article from Today's Moms.

Deena Blumenfeld, a Lamaze educator from Pennsylvania, offered this, "If somebody believes breast-feeding in public is inappropriate, you're not going to change their mind by breast-feeding in front of them," she said. "By putting it in someone's face, you're making it a confrontational issue and it shouldn't be, because it's normal."

While I hadn't thought of it that way, I can tell you that the group of moms that were with me, were all low key.  Most of us nursed at some point during the hour we sat, talked and shared stories of babies and breastfeeding. But I seriously doubt that unless you knew what we were doing specifically because you were there, you had no clue what was really up.  We looked more like a group of women, meeting at the local Starbucks within a Target store to chat.  To me, that's the best way to do it.

What's your take?


January 24, 2013 at 1:37 pm
(1) DJ says:

I think there could be various ways to approach an establishment that had discriminatory policies. A nurse in would be one – forms of public protest let the establishment know what they are doing offends someone though in most cases I think the attendance for a nurse in might be like yours, more low key and less likely to encourage action and less likely to get wide public support.

I think a call in or email campaign could also work and putting it out on the net via social media, blogs, forums, etc. would also get the attention of the establishment especially if it really caught on and hit main stream media on a local, state and national level.

January 24, 2013 at 11:01 pm
(2) @Wolf_Mommy says:

I’d like to think the nurse-in is a way of saying, Hey, this is normal. There are plenty of us doing this and you may not see us often but we are not invisible and we do have rights. And look at how totally uninteresting it is–just a normal part of life until some unfortunate person decides to make a big deal of it by telling one of us we are not allowed to feed our babies in their place of business.

January 24, 2013 at 11:48 pm
(3) pregnancy says:

Wolf_Mommy: I really like how you phrased it, seems very similar to how I feel as well.

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