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Entries in Nurse-In (3)

Friday
Jul132012

Moms' 'Nurse In' Protests Breastfeeding Order

George Doyle/Thinkstock(ENGLEWOOD, Colo.) -- A group of Colorado mothers banded together in protest Friday after an employee at a water park asked a fellow mom to cover up while breastfeeding her son.

Charlotte Dirkes, 30, of Alamosa, Colo., was breastfeeding her 10-month-old son, Cillian, while watching her other children play in the kiddie pool at Pirates Cove, a city-owned water park in Englewood, Colo., on July 8, officials said.

She was approached by the park's customer relations representative, who told her she had received complaints from other customers and asked her to stop breastfeeding in public, according to a Facebook group of moms outraged by the incident.

"It's not sexual in any way," Dirkes told ABC News' Denver affiliate, KMGH. "You can ask any breastfeeding mother, and it's very unsexual."

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While it is legal in Colorado for women to breastfeed in any public or private location, Mike Flaherty, deputy city manager and public information officer for the city of Englewood, conceded that the park employee asked Dirkes to cover up.

In reaction, the group of mothers arranged via Facebook a "nurse in" demonstration at Pirates Cove, where they planned to nurse their children publicly to protest the park's disregard for Colorado breastfeeding laws, scheduled at 10 a.m. Friday morning.

Approximately 12 mothers showed up for the protest, the manager of the city's parks and recreation department told Flaherty.

The protest apparently did not include Dirkes, who told the forum she lives three hours from Englewood and could not make it to the park.

Flaherty said that the water park did not comply with Colorado's laws and, in the future, training would be implemented to ensure that all employees were informed of the state laws they are to obey.

"We made a mistake and, clearly, the woman was within her legal rights to do what she did," he said.

Flaherty emailed a personal apology to Dirkes on Thursday on behalf of the city of Englewood, saying, "We recognize that your situation was not handled property [sic] and it has provided us with a valuable training lesson for our staff."

Sara Dale-Bley, the Colorado-Wyoming liaison for La Leche League International, a breast feeding support group, said that Dirkes' experience at Pirates Cove is indicative of an employee training problem for the city.

"They should make sure that employees are aware of mothers' and babies' rights," she said. "It's a matter of management to ensure that new employees are aware of the law."

Pirates Cove manager Brad Anderson did not return ABC News' calls.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb082012

Breastfeeding Advocates Protest Outside Facebook Offices 

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A group of moms protested outside Facebook offices around the world on Monday, charging that the social network has repeatedly taken down photos that show mothers breastfeeding their babies.

The site even disabled the accounts of some moms who had uploaded the nursing pictures, the group claimed.

"A woman is protected to breastfeed her child wherever she is legally allowed," said Emma Kwasnica, a mid-wife and breastfeeding advocate who helped spearhead the nurse-in. "Health experts are always pushing women to breastfeed, but we're constantly seeing road blocks like this."

Kwasnica implored Facebook to train their staff to better decipher what is and what isn't appropriate content. She also asked that the social networking giant build stronger ties to their clients, so that there is a point of contact for clients in case errors such as these continue to arise.

Breastfeeding photos are allowed to be uploaded to the social networking site, but if another Facebook user flags a photo as inappropriate it may be taken down, according to a company spokesperson.

In the course of processing more than one billion photos per day, employees are bound to make a mistake once in a while when determining what is and is not appropriate, Facebook said.

Kwasnica said dozens of her photos have been flagged since she joined Facebook in 2007.  Her personal page has been disabled four times due to breastfeeding pictures.

A spokesperson for the site said Facebook is glad that mothers and their families, including many who work at Facebook, use the site to share their parenting experiences, including breastfeeding their children.

"By uploading photos, joining groups, and engaging with different organizations, these families are able to share and connect on a very important topic, and we are thrilled they are using Facebook to do so," a Facebook spokesperson said. "When it comes to uploaded photos on Facebook, the vast majority of breastfeeding photos comply with our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, which closely mirrors the policy that governs broadcast television."

"Facebook receives hundreds of thousands of reports every week, and as you might expect, occasionally we make a mistake and remove a piece of content we shouldn't," the company said.

When this happens, employees at the social network quickly work to address an error by apologizing to those affected and making any necessary changes to the processes to ensure the same type of mistakes do not continue to be made, the company said.  The site encourages people to re-upload the photos they believe were removed in error.

But, Kwasnica said she receives messages nearly every day from other mothers who have been blocked or suspended from Facebook due to their breastfeeding photos.

"If it is truly because of employee errors, it happens so much that it seems that Facebook has lost control of its network," Kwasnica said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec282011

Breastfeeding at Target: Moms Stage National Demonstration

George Doyle/Thinkstock/Target(HOUSTON) -- A nursing mother’s upsetting experience at her local Target last month has led to what appear to be “nurse-in” demonstrations at Target stores nationwide.

Mothers from across the country have posted pictures of themselves nursing at Target stores -- from Maryland to Minnesota -- to a Facebook page used to organize the event.

A Target spokeswoman has confirmed that nursing mothers showed up at Target stores Wednesday but said the chain was still gathering information on the scale of the demonstrations.

“I never knew that sitting in a Target and doing what’s normal -- which is feeding my baby -- would result in all of this one day but I’m glad it did, ” Michelle Hickman, the woman who inspired the event, told ABC News.

Last month at a Webster, Texas, Target store, Hickman began nursing her fussy, hungry infant son in the store’s women’s clothing section. Hickman, 35, said that eight Target employees eventually surrounded her and two asked her to move to a fitting room to finish nursing. The other employees, she said, rolled their eyes at her and gave her dirty looks.

Hickman said she tried explaining that Texas law allowed her to breastfeed in public, but the employees wouldn’t listen. Hickman said she later called Target’s corporate offices but was dissatisfied with their response. She said the retailer has yet to apologize to her directly.

Target provided the following statement to ABC News Houston affiliate KTRK:

“As a family-oriented retailer, Target has a long-standing corporate policy that supports breastfeeding in our stores. We continually educate our team members in stores across the country on store policies to ensure all guests have a great experience. We worked with this guest directly to address her concerns and are sorry any inconvenience it has caused. Target is proud to support all mothers who breastfeed year-round, including today.”

Hickman, who is calling for a national law to protect women’s rights to breastfeed in public, said the nationwide demonstration was organized by fellow moms with whom she shared her experience. Her story was also publicized by the pro-breastfeeding group, Best for Babes, which later contacted Target about the incident.

Hickman participated at a nurse-in Wednesday morning at the same Target store where the November incident took place. She was joined by an estimated 50 other mothers.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio