Thursday, August 16, 2012

Breastfeeding Blog Hop: Nurse Ins

So the question posed this week was "would you participate in a nurse in?"  No.  I had to actually think about this one.  It's more like a gut reaction, the no.  So I had to search out as to why I wouldn't.

I think nurse ins are more to make a political point.  They are like rallies or protest marches.  They don't serve any other purpose.

I want to be very clear.  I think protest marches and rallies are fine.  They are for political arenas.  And they should be used for things that are political.

Someone at a business asking a mother to move or cover up etc etc, isn't a political arena (unless it's in a government building, but that's rare).  It's a business.  Often times the reason the person asks is 1) they are a disgusted patron 2) they are a disgusted patron chickening out so they talk to management so management appeals 3) management is disgusted 4) employee is disgusted or 5) owner is disgusted.

In any case, it's not's personal.  If it's against the law to ask, then it's against the law.  End of story.  The law is clearly in the mother's favor.  The business was wrong.

As a Christian, to have a nurse in is like punishing the business rather than forgiving.  If we want to change them, ask them to have a training session where the law is discussed.  Otherwise it serves no purpose to hold a nurse in other than to further embarrass and draw attention to the business's mistake (and in most cases it's an employee or an employee caving to an ignorant customer). 

If the law is not in your favor as a nursing mother, then the business isn't where you should be protesting at.  You should be lobbying your representatives to have a bill drafted and laws to be passed.  It's not the business's fault that there is nothing to protect the mother.  Again different arena.  Therefore having a nurse in because there is no law doesn't serve any purpose other than to draw a media circus and punish/embarrass the business instead of forgive. 

If the business repeatedly does not uphold the law, well that's when the police should be called and the courts should hold the business liable.  It, again, serves no purpose to hold a nurse in. 

So no, I wouldn't be a part of a nurse in.  I would, however, use the government to my advantage, but I wouldn't hold a nurse in on a business.  In my point of view, it's not Christ-like.

So what do you think?


  1. I planned too once. The one I was going to pretty much fell apart (noone else showed) and my FIL tagged along so it just ended up being an awkward family meal. I met a girl here in town through it (she'd planned on going and couldn't last minute) who ended up being a good friend so I'm glad I did.

    That being said... mixed feelings now. I can see your point here. And sometimes they get taken too far (easily). And they can bring up some harsh reactions from the other side and end up possibly doing more harm than good. At the same time the exact opposite of that last one happens just as often. *tired rambling* I'm not sure I'd go to one now though... I think it'd depend on the exact situation.

  2. I hadn't really thought about it from that perspective before, and I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts! I will say, I've struggled a lot before with nurse-ins being called for, the business apologizing, making everything right, and the nurse-in being held as planned. It's not because I see anything at all wrong with nursing in public, or even with several moms gathered together nursing in public. I think as you said it's the "protest" idea behind it, which seems kind of silly if a business has apologized and corrected it. I also agree that where the real energy should be focused is on our laws. As I found out last week with our focus on breastfeeding laws, in some areas we have a long way to go in that area! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with the Breastfeeding Blog Hop! ~Melissa

  3. Hmmm. I can see where you are coming from on the side of embarrassing the business. However, I think that a nurse-in can be a positive event to show the general public what breastfeeding in public actually looks like. Usually a nurse-in is a last resort in a situation where no other options are successful. Unfortunately, most business owners do not make abrupt changes unless their profits are threatened.

    When it comes to social & cultural issues such as NIP, media attention can be very effective in bringing to light such a taboo subject. This in turn, can help move forward legislation to protect breastfeeding Mothers.

    Overall, I think as long as the event is well planned & the focus is kept on advocating for change, it is good.

    1. Laura, thanks for commenting!

      But respectfully I still disagree. I've participated in Latch-on events in the past for the very reasons you argue for a Nurse-in 1) media attention 2) normalizing breastfeeding 3) being in public. But unlike a Nurse-in, a Latch-on event doesn't target a particular business just the issue.

      From what I understand, several of the nurse-ins that the media reported on happened after the business made amends. Sometimes this is because change isn't so quick. You can't expect a business to hold a training session the very next day. Yet nurse in typically happen within the week. It's unfair and unrealistic to expect immediate changes.

      Advocating for change is one thing. Boycotting a business and holding a nurse in is something else. Anybody can boycott a business if that's what they want to do. But a person has to decide, is it about normalizing breastfeeding? or is it about the business's practices?

      Because I don't see sitting around holding a nurse in as normalizing breastfeeding. It just serves to turn normal NIP into a tool, a tool used to protest. Like walking around without a t-shirt showing your breasts is a form of protected free speech, but it still isn't normal.


I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!