I subscribe to a list for individuals associated with lactation (professionals, usually) and the message below was recently posted. I just wanted to share it with you as well:
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Ronald McDonald House asks our family to leave for breastfeeding!
My sister and I are staying in the Ronald McDonald House in Houston because
one of her 17 month old twins had to have brain surgery to remove a tumor
last week. The RMH has been great and we have felt so blessed to find such a
safe and homey place to take care of her other two children and my daughter
while we are here for Tobin's recovery.
However yesterday my sister, who is nursing the twins, was asked to stop
nursing in the communal area of the Ronald McDonald House and to take it up
to her room. She was shocked! After his surgery her son will basically only
drink breastmilk and it is the only thing that eases the constant pain and
anxiety he feels. She told them that it was illegal, according the Texas
state law, to ask a breastfeeding mother to stop nursing in any public or
private place. She also tried to explain to them how inconvenient it would
be for her to take all her children up 3 floors to their room every time her
sick child needs to nurse.
Unfortunately after 30 minutes of arguing, and being threatened with being
kicked out, she was in tears and they weren't backing down. So I headed down
there to talk to the administrator because I am also nursing my three year
old daughter. I even pulled up the state law on my laptop and after a
lengthy discussion the administrator acted as if she was going to examine
the law so she understood it and move on. I thought that was the end of it.
Today I find out they may be kicking us out of the RMH because we refused to
comply with what they call their "interpretation of the law". Their
interpretation is that if they provide somewhere else for us to nurse they
don't have to let us nurse in public places. Since when do laws get to be
personally tailored to an organizations needs?
This is a ridiculous and terrible situation for all of us, I am not sure
what else we will do if we can't stay here but we can't just not nurse our
children. The Ronald McDonald is such a great resource, why do they have to
discriminate against nursing moms?
If you would like to send a letter we would appreciate it. Arlene Whatley is
The Executive director of The Holcombe location of the RMH where we are
staying and one of the people who Jessica spoke to about this. It is Arlene
that seems to be making the decision here. Her email is
firstname.lastname@example.org and her phone is (713) 795-3570.
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If you are so inclined, please take action on these women's and children's behalf. Many thanks!