Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Nurse-In at Victoria's Secret this Saturday - nationwide!

Apparently, there have been some recent incidents across the country where VS employees have insisted that nursing moms use the restrooms to feed their babies instead of doing it on the sales floor or in the dressing rooms. Moms have been told that it would be "unsanitary" for them to nurse in dressing rooms (never mind that breast milk is sterile and actually have anti-microbial properties - kind of the opposite of "unsanitary" in my book). Ironically, Victoria's Secret makes their living from boobs but heaven forbid they be used for their intended purpose in their stores!

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!

14 Comments:

Blogger del said...

Grrrr, this makes me wish I still nursed as I would definitely go. How hypocritical can you get??? Sorry, I'm not one of those completely militant (ex)nursers, but this is ridiculous coming from VS, the place that has made all their money from showcasing the breast!!! Hello, the original intent of the breast was to feed children, not titillate.

Sorry, things like this (obviously) get me riled.

12:53 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Oh, I can't stand it when people say that nursing moms should use the restroom! I want to ask them if THEY eat their meals in the bathroom! I nursed both of my boys and didn't care where I was while I was doing it. If people can't handle seeing a mom feeding their baby, then they have some serious issues! It is pretty ironic though that they are afraid of offending people by having mothers in the store nursing their children, but flash boobs all over the place in their catalogs and store advertisements. Shame on them.

12:56 PM  
Blogger jillian said...

This is a particularly ironic policy coming from a VS, home of the push-up boob. Now I like my VS bras, I really do, but this is a turn-off, and I'm not even a nursing mom!! Good for all of you that participate! What a great idea.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Katrina said...

Speaking of Victoria's Secret, here is a blurb from the June 26, 2006 issue of Us Magazine, on page 52, in their Hot Stuff Section:

"No changing table? No problem. On June 4, Britney Spears, 24, with 9-month-old Sean in tow, pick up pink thongs at Victoria's Secret in Mission Viejo, California. Her next order of, uh, business? Changing Sean's dirty diaper - one the floor next to the cash register! Says the source, "Britney then tried to hand it to an employee," but the salesperson wouldn't take it."

So let me get this straight: am I to assume that it's ok to change a dirty diaper on the floor of Victoria's Secret, but you can't nurse your baby in the same store??? Which is more unsanitary, I ask you?!

Insane!

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Susan said...

Dear oh dear. It's funny that breast feeding in public is a big taboo, yet we are subjected to low riders baring just about everything and tops that barely cover the breast. When I go out I would rather see a breast feeding woman than someone flashing a generous portion of buttock (with or without g-string).

6:33 PM  
Blogger CarryFairie said...

You go girl!!! I'll be there in my heart. Breastfeeding was certainly one of the best things I thought I did for my boys.

I'm sure what they're really afraid of is that if single women see nursing mothers in their store it won't be so "sexy" anymore...feh

Oh, and I got my June socks done, right up to the wire ;)

6:45 PM  
Blogger choomon said...

I wish I was still nursing so that I coudl participate in these nurse ins. Although, 5 years of nursing was enough for me ;)

8:59 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Dang, this is where I'm sorry that my youngest isn't still nursing. But the Clackamas Town Center is almost walking distance, so I'll be there to show support :-)

9:22 PM  
Anonymous ciderapple said...

Good luck, from a former exclusive breastfeeder (25 years ago!!!)

12:19 AM  
Anonymous ciderapple said...

should have added....in the UK

12:20 AM  
Blogger Knittymama said...

Well put!!! While I feel terrible for the poor moms who honestly can't nurse either because they have medical issues or can't find needed support (a huge issue in itself), it drives me nuts when I hear all of the lame excuses for formula feeding rather than nursing, such as "Oh, I just didn't feel like it" (the one I seem to hear the most).

8:01 AM  
Blogger Lavendersheep said...

Did you see? The Yarn Harlot has a whole post devoted to the importance of breast feeding.

2:31 PM  
Blogger lexa said...

You go, girls! (I did breastfeed my boys, they're too old now!)

I have two pairs of brownie points socks completed and posted on my blog!

7:45 AM  
Blogger Christy said...

I have nothing to say about breastfeeding--I adopted my kids. But, I did just finish my June socks. I won't be able to post a picture or blog about them until later this evening, though.

8:25 AM  

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