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$1,133
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23
backers
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Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, November 14 2015 5:39 AM UTC +00:00
Robin KaplanBy Robin Kaplan
First created
Robin KaplanBy Robin Kaplan
First created
$1,133
pledged of $10,500pledged of $10,500 goal
23
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, November 14 2015 5:39 AM UTC +00:00

About

Image by Candid Perspective Photography
Image by Candid Perspective Photography

Imagine this scenario

You are a new mom. You are at your favorite restaurant. Your baby starts to cry and you realize it’s time for him to eat. You discreetly pull your shirt up, latch on your baby, and go back to eating your meal. Suddenly, a waitress approaches your table and asks if you can please move into the restroom because a customer at another table feels uncomfortable seeing you breastfeed your child. You explain to the waitress that there is a state law that protects your right to breastfeed your baby in a public space. She says that you can continue to breastfeed, just as long as you move to the bathroom because the other customer was complaining. You decide to leave the restaurant, feeling vulnerable, embarrassed, and ashamed.

As a mother, can you imagine how it must feel to be is shamed for breastfeeding your baby? As a father, how would you feel if your wife was harassed for breastfeeding your baby in public and you couldn’t defend her or your child?

No mother should ever feel this way for feeding her child when her child is hungry. That is why we have state laws that protect a woman’s right to breastfeed in public. Yet despite these laws, women are frequently being discriminated against for breastfeeding their children in public.

These are situations that we would like to prevent.

Image by Candid Perspective Photography
Image by Candid Perspective Photography

History of this project

In January, 2013, I was contacted by a local woman who witnessed another woman being harassed by a bailiff in a local courthouse for breastfeeding in public. According to the harassed mother, the bailiff stated loudly, in front of the entire courtroom, “You should be ashamed of yourself! That’s inappropriate! You need to leave and go outside and do that somewhere else private! It’s illegal to breastfeed in court!” After leaving the courtroom, the bailiff continued to degrade the mother by yelling at her outside of the courtroom, until the mother was in tears.

Once I was contacted by the witness, I sent letters to the county court system, trying to resolve the situation. I was eventually directed to a person in command at the sheriff’s department who was very sympathetic for the mother’s case. He not only collaborated on a mandatory training bulletin for all law enforcement staff in San Diego, but he also opened an investigation to further review the bailiff’s behavior.

This incident sparked the creation of the San Diego Nursing in Public Task Force, which is the pilot program for this new Nursing in Public Task Force Website. Since January 2013, we have helped to resolve over a dozen nursing in public harassment incidents and have provided resources for breastfeeding moms and businesses to ensure that these situations do not occur again.  Check out our Google Hangout for more information about our resources and protocols.

Image by Candid Perspective Photography
Image by Candid Perspective Photography

Details of the project 

We feel it is now time to expand our resources so that local communities beyond San Diego can support breastfeeding moms, as well as the businesses they frequent.

Our Nursing in Public Task Force website will have three main components:

First and most importantly, we’ll provide moms with resources that will make them feel comfortable breastfeeding in public, including links to the laws that protect their rights, videos on effective ways to breastfeed in public, and blog articles describing positive NIP experiences.

Second, we’ll provide resources for moms AND businesses to effectively resolve any nursing in public incidents without gaining negative media attention. Too often after an incident, the media becomes involved, which can open the floodgates for others to jump in and start shaming the breastfeeding mother. This is something we want to avoid! For our moms, we’ll include templates of letters and protocols that have allowed us to reach positive resolutions in the past. As for businesses, we’ll provide resources for them to help educate their employees in the best ways to handle NIP situations and stay compliant with their state laws.

Finally, we’ll provide tips for creating your own nursing in public task force in your local community so that more and more moms will get the local support they need and deserve.

Image by Candid Perspective Photography
Image by Candid Perspective Photography

Basically, it all comes down to education and compassion, which is something we think this website will help foster.

The money we are raising for this project will help to pay for: one web designer, three content creators to develop all of the website’s materials and resources, one commercial photographer to take photos for the website, and one videographer to record and edit videos that demonstrate examples of women breastfeeding in public

Image by Candid Perspective Photography
Image by Candid Perspective Photography

Risks and challenges

There really are no risks or challenges to create this website, as long as we get the funding. We already have a web designer and content creators in place, ready to start working as soon as we have money.

The biggest challenges I see are twofold:
One, there is a chance that community members might not see this website as a necessary resource. They might feel that these harassment incidents don’t occur in their communities or they don’t understand the effect these incidents have on breastfeeding mothers.

Here is a quote from a mother we worked with last year after she was asked to leave LA Fitness when she was breastfeeding her baby.

“I left L.A Fitness that day in tears, not sure of what to do, where to go or who to talk to. I felt so alone, angered and frustrated, but at the same time lost and hopeless. I could not have gained my self confidence and personal stature back so quickly without the assistance and support of the San Diego Nursing in Public Task Force. With such a powerful organization backing me, I felt nothing could get me down. I was no longer a defeated person. I believe that the SD NIP Task Force is an extremely honorable organization and works intensely everyday to work toward social change.” - Monique Golueke

Another challenge we might face is that community members are uncomfortable with moms breastfeeding in public and feel like a woman should breastfeed somewhere privately, like a restroom, her car, or just stay at home.

Our response is that no matter what your opinion is about breastfeeding in public, almost every state has a law that provides: “A mother may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, without respect to whether the mother’s
breast or any part of it is covered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.” This means that a mother may not be asked to cover up or to leave her location, whether a person is uncomfortable seeing her breast or not. This is the law.

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Funding period

- (30 days)