Nurse-In at Victoria's Secret this Saturday - nationwide!
There has been a call to nursing mommies and their supporters to go to their local Victoria's Secret store on July 1st at 1 pm to protest their mom-and-baby-unfriendly policy. In Portland, there will be nursing moms at Lloyd Center, Clackamas Town Center, Washington Square and Tanasbourne Victoria's Secret stores. I will be at Clackamas with my entire family, and it's rumored that there will be press coverage at that store.
In addition, you can send Victoria's Secret and Limited Brands an e-mail demanding that they change/clarify their corporate policy to be breastfeeding-friendly. Go here to send an e-mail, provided by our friends at ProMom.org.
For more info on the specific incidents, you can visit the Reluctant Lactivist's blog.
Again, if you're a new reader and haven't yet been subjected to my pro-breastfeeding propaganda, this isn't about being able to show off our boobs in public. This is about feeding our babies whenever they need it. I strongly believe that the taboo on breastfeeding in public is the reason why more moms don't breastfeed exclusively longer. If there was no nervousness or stress about nursing anywhere (grocery store, mall, park - wherever), it would make it so much easier for moms to stick with doing what's best for their babies.
Some benefits of breastfeeding over formula? Higher IQ, less illness, fewer hospitalizations, lower incidence of SIDS, reduced childhood and adult obesity... The Oregon DHS just did an ad campaign that I thought was great that showed a pregnant woman riding a mechanical bull with the caption "You wouldn't take chances while pregnant - why start after you give birth?". However, they didn't go as far as they could've because they did focus groups and people felt that it would make formula-feeding moms feel guilty about their choice not to breastfeed.
Now, I'm a huge advocate of eliminating mommy guilt, but the benefits of breast milk are SO incredible I think that a little guilt might be healthy in this case. I can understand if a mom can't breastfeed for whatever reason (inability to produce enough milk, adoption, etc.), but I don't think it should be considered a lifestyle choice. Yes, formula-fed babies turn out fine, but plenty of our parents/grandparents smoked and drank during pregnancy and had kids that were fine. Does that mean we should do it? If you think formula feeding vs. smoking/drinking is a harsh comparison, it's not as far off as you think (for example, there is a statistic that formula feeding has the same effect on IQ as lead poisoning, although I can't vouch for it's authenticity). The final factor in my decision not to give my babies formula was going to the store, looking at a can, and seeing that the first ingredient was "corn syrup solids".
Okay, back off the soapbox. Join us at your local VS on Saturday if you support the cause. Nurse on, mommies!