When I sat down to plan my goals for 2013, in all honesty I slimmed down my obligations and commitments. With The Boob Group podcast going strong and my new office allowing me to see more moms and babies, I felt like I had reached my perfect balance between work and home life. Then, this little thing called NURSING IN PUBLIC DISCRIMINATION entered my horizon. With all I try to do to support and empower breastfeeding moms, how could I stand aside and not say anything when they were harassed for breastfeeding in public? Unknowingly, as I tempered down my responsibilities for 2013, I was just making room for this new passion: Breastfeeding in Public Advocacy!
Today, I am thrilled to announce the birth of the San Diego Nursing in Public Task Force!
The purpose of this task force is to educate our community about the laws that protect a mother's right to breastfeed in public and to provide support and guidance to mothers who have faced harassment or discrimination for breastfeeding in public.
I’m honored to introduce our founding task force members who have been instrumental in its creation.
Robin Kaplan, M.Ed., IBCLC, Owner of the San Diego Breastfeeding Center and mom
Amy Watson, IBCLC and San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition board member and mom
Katie Jo Keppinger, JD and mom
Shanna LeCount, CLE and mom
We will also be recruiting local breastfeeding mothers to assist with our efforts.
Our first goal for the Nursing in Public Task Force is to create an online resource.
This resource will live on the SDCBC and SDBFC websites. Here is what we plan to include:
- Template letters that a mother can send to businesses where a NIP harassment indicent has occurred
- Downloadable business-size cards that display the California NIP law
- List of ways mothers can handle a NIP harassment incident (proactive and after the incident, immediately and follow-up)
- Materials for lactation educators and support group leaders about these resources/law that they can integrate into breastfeeding class curriculum and support group conversations
- List of local businesses that are ‘Breastfeeding Friendly’
- Link to Best for Babes NIP hotline
- Link to San Diego Bar Association Attorney Referral line
- Email address where mothers can report nursing in public harassment incidents: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our second goal is to create an offline resource.
Here is what we plan to include:
- Protocol on how the task force will deal with a local NIP harassment incident
- Template letters to send to businesses where a NIP harassment incident has occurred, on behalf of the task force
- List of media contacts (press and TV)
- Internal list of civil rights attorneys in the area who are interested and willing to take NIP harassment/discrimination cases
Our third goal is to connect with our California legislators to sponsor a bill to create an enforcement provision for the California law that protects a mother’s right to breastfeed in public.
Here is a description of an enforcement provision. Connecticut has one, and so should we!
Our fourth goals is to develop materials for pro-NIP training and model policies to promote to local businesses, other public accommodations, and government agencies.
Your Call to Action:
Here is where we need your help!
- Promote this article on social media, as well as the announcement when the resources are collected and online
- Join our NIP Task Force – we would LOVE the extra help! Email me (email@example.com) to let us know if you are interested in volunteering!
- Let us know if you have any media contacts whom you can connect us with
This is such an exciting time for Breastfeeding in Public Advocacy! We hope you will join us!
Which additional resources should we include in our Nursing in Public Task Force online resource guide?