Warning: this post may be a little jumbled. I wanted to get my thoughts down ASAP
Today was the nurse-in in response to Fort Worth TX Magazine’s March 2013 advice column. We had an amazing turnout – between 130 and 140 moms, dads, babies, older siblings, toddlers, and breastfeeding supporters alike. We were in front of the magazine’s offices and held our signs proudly while speaking to news crews and talking about the whole incident.
The magazine’s associate publisher, Diane Stow, came down to see us with a news crew next to her. She told us she had nursed all 4 of her children. She told us a story where she breastfed her child in public under a blanket. So let me get this straight: as a former nursing mom, she thought it was acceptable to publish an advice column encouraging readers to bully breastfeeding moms? Mrs. Stow told a local news station in a separate interview that the magazine never set out to offend anyone.
I was able to ask Mrs. Stow if the magazine planned on publishing a counter to Molly Forthright’s piece or any other pro-breastfeeding piece. She told me she couldn’t make editorial decisions because of something with advertising (it was loud, I couldn’t hear her very well). I gave her my contact information and told her I’d be happy to help if they changed their minds.
Overall, the nurse-in went well (see photo album here). We had several magazine employees come out and speak with the nurse-in participants. The magazine’s food editor had baked us cookies, which were delicious. The magazine’s owner could not be there because he was at a conference. No apology for encouraging antagonistic behavior towards a breastfeeding mom at church was made by Mrs. Stow or her employees. Frankly, I don’t think they will ever apologize. They should be thankful for the publicity. I wonder if their advertisers know that the magazine advocates for bullying…
So now what?
Between the magazine article and the comments coming from most of the general public, it’s obvious that breastfeeding needs to be normalized right here in my own backyard. There are two breastfeeding bills that are making their way through the Texas House of Representatives that need lots of support. HB 741 would extend current pump-at-work laws to all public employees (including teachers) and HB 1706 would provide enforcement to current nursing in public laws.
To anyone outraged over the magazine article or the lack of breastfeeding support from society, I urge you to channel those frustrations into positivity – help HB 741 and HB 1706 become laws! Visit TXBFLeg.com for examples of emails you can send to your representative and other ways to get normalize breastfeeding in Texas!!
Keep nursing in public! Don’t confine yourself to a bathroom or side room, unless you want to. If you do see a nursing mom, praise her. I have a bunch of thanks for nursing in public cards and handed out more today at the nurse-in.
Even if “nothing” came of this nurse-in, it has gotten the topic of breastfeeding back on the radar. For every “don’t want to see your saggy boobs” comment, there’s a positive conversation going on. Maybe this will inspire a new mom to nurse in public without fear! This shouldn’t be an issue, certainly not one we want our children to have to deal with. Do your part to help normalize breastfeeding!