Sunday, April 23, 2006

Story Airs on KATU News

Just watched myself nurse in a very public way on KATU News. Reporter Shellie Bailey-Shah did a great job helping me tell my story and to make the point that breastfeeding moms should be able to nurse in public without being shamed. Unfortunately, many of my more intelligent comments were left on editing room floor. I suppose I shouldn't have used big words like "assuage" or "legitimize". Oh well.

Still waiting for Fred Meyer to send me a statement about their official policy regarding nursing mothers in their stores, but at least today they made a public pronouncement on the evening news that we are welcome.

51 comments:

marisa said...

Nice Job! I, too, have a three-year-old and a three-month-old. I've nursed everywhere, including several different Fred Meyers. I cannot believe that anyone, in this city and in this day, would actually lodge a complaint. I am utterly amazed.

I also can't believe that anyone would suggest that you take a 3 year old and a newborn into a bathroom to nurse. They obviously have no idea the reality of the situation. I wouldn't want my older child playing in a bathroom while I nursed. And where am I supposed to sit? The toilet? Wow. Again, beyond amazed.

While I'm sure you didn't mean to become a news story, keep up the good fight. People need to look beyond their own scope of reality.

Cherrie said...

I didn't get to watch it. Do you know of a link where we can see it online?
Cherrie

rachelle said...

I just saw your news segment...it's great!! I'm sorry you had to deal with that, but am glad that it is being used to educate others.

Anonymous said...

Good job! I think the story was well done- and I was pleased that the network felt it was important enough to be the lead in for the 11 o'clock news.

So nice to hear that FM saw the light and is going to make their policy clearer and educate their employees.

I'm so glad to live in Oregon. I wonder how this would have played out in other states..

Anonymous said...

Wow. If you only put all this effort in to something worthwhile. There is real discrimination out there, you know. Real atrocities against mothers and children. It would be amazing to see how you could help alleviate suffering, if only you put all this self righteous anger to some good use.

Anonymous said...

I'm female, but I'm getting a little sick of the ragin' booby ladies wanting to flap them tatters everywhere.

I agree with the other poster...think of the social problems that could be solved if the ragin' booby ladies actually worked on a real issue.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

RE: Public Breastfeeding...
I'm surprised that stores want to increase the amount of human bodily fluids they want in their stores, not just the amount of E. Coli on the carts.
The news shows demonstrated that the E. Coli was linked to improper hygiene of parents with babies....so increasing the bodily fluids would increase the E. Coli amounts & massive disease liability for the company.
All it would take would be a massive outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 all centering around one grocery store.....

Transmission of E. Coli by "Drinking unpasteurized milk....
Bacteria in diarrhea stools of infected persons can be passed from one person to another if hygiene or hand washing habits are inadequate. This is particularly likely among toddlers who are not toilet trained. Family members and playmates of these children are at high risk of becoming infected.
Young children typically shed the organism in their feces for a week or two after their illness resolves. Older children rarely carry the organism without symptoms. "

Heather said...

To the anonymous who said that breastmilk would spread e-coli. You really need to do some research before making rediculous comments like that. Breastfeeding an infant is not going to cause a massive breakout of disease because its unpastuerized. Breastmilk is designed for human infants. Cows milk is not. Cows milk needs to be pastuerized before we eat it. Breastmilk is perfectly safe for the infant and it's not likely that the mom is going to go around feeding the rest of the general public of the store.

"You should try to respect other peoples right too, just like no one would deny you your right be breastfeed."

Other people have the right not to look. Just as I have the right not to look at the kids with their pants hanging down to their knees with their underwear sticking out. Not that this is a fair comparison to a mother who is just nourishing her infant.

"From the store's point of view, do you upset one mother by asking her to cover up or upset many customer who have complained?"

If we don't make breastfeeding a normal occurance we will never be able to improve our country's breastfeeding rates. That said, Oregon has the highest breastfeeding rates in the country. Portland in particular has a VERY large breastfeeding community. Would it have been better to offend the Three or so customers who complained or the several hundred Portland area mothers who are now angry at Fred Meyer?

Anonymous said...

Just like the E. Coli on the shopping carts gets spread around by improper hygiene between parent & baby---breast milk, a human excretion & unpasturized milk, will be spread around the carts & other surfaces.
Which will then be picked up by other kids or the elderly.
The DNA trail of the E. Coli will lead back to the Ground-Zero parent & kid...resulting in class-action lawsuit by all the sick people.
They can already track diseases this way, it's just a matter of time before the lawsuits.

Anonymous said...

Thats what breastpumps are made for!! You could buy one at Fred Meyer while you are there! This is not about nourishment or the baby for that matter of fact. Its all about your leaking breast a hangin' out. This is not a turn on for anyone. There is no need for it. I am a mother too but I have respect for others. Try covering up with a blanket and see how many complaints you get then!! and before you even try to say that your baby refuses to be covered up... I will respond right now by saying...Use a Breastpump at home and bring the bottle with you! This eliminates the need to take your 3 year old and newborn in the bathroom to nurse. Now what excuse will you have? You can sure tell this is the Its all about Me generation.

knittinmom said...

Wow! I leave town for four days and you're on the news! I sure hope you've got a tape...

I am laughing in scorn at those anonymous comments you're getting. What do these people think boobs are for, anyway? I can't believe, in this day and age, this is even an issue. What a bunch of losers.

And E-coli spread by breast milk? Someone's been taking stupid pills again... I can't even dignify that one with a response.

ernmeg said...

I love that all the people leaving negative comments are too cowardly to post a name or a link with their comments.

adymommy said...

http://www.katu.com/news/story.asp?ID=85295

I am awful at putting in links-but it took some digging and thought I would safe everyone else. This is the clip. Very nice job. (applause)

Hopefully the link works or someone can fix it. Sorry for my lack of computer knowledge

Heather said...

Here is a link to the news story.
http://www.katu.com/stories/85295.html

Anonymous said...

Hi,

You should be able to feed your baby anywhere. It is the best for them. The real controversy isn't feeding them in public, it is the uncovered breast- why couldn't you use a light blanket or have them under your shirt- It is really easy to do, I have nursed my kids everywhere from the middle of a Costco store to Downtown Disneyland- If you don;t have your breast hanging out no one will know what is going on... I know what my breast is for, my baby! I just don't think the rest of the community shoud be looking at it!

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you for making a stand!! I too have become somewhat of a reluctant activist and now proudly wear my "I make milk . What;s your superpower" shirt!! I am appalled at FM and I wish I would have seen the story on the news! In fact I will got to katu wed-site and let thwm know how their story was appreciated! Good job!!
Katie

technonerd professor said...

The negative comments from anonymous on the blog are ridiculous, but still hurtful. I think your point by point rebuttal is excellent. Thanks for taking a blow for the rest of us and turning it around to educate the dummies. Louise.

Chris said...

Thanks, Sister!!!

Jim said...

Did you notice that KATU was careful not to show any hint of skin in their news item? Society has this thing about bare breasts. The point is not breastfeeding (my wife did it 40 years ago without offending anyone), the problem is that some seem to find this an opportunity to expose their anatomy. If you are breastfeeding in public, fine, just be a bit discrete about it. It really does not seem like this should have made the news or been a big issue. I know we are in the "me generation" but we really don't need to be. Just consider not only yourself but others as well.

Chris said...

I know it takes some thought and effort, but could you please take a moment to read the rest of my story before assuming you know what your talking about and commenting on my blog? I tried my best to keep myself covered...truly the last thing I want to do is expose myself in public. It makes me feel quite vulnerable. But my baby was hungry and crying...making for a situation in which he was drawing attention to us at the very moment he was pulling away from me and exposing my breast. For all those who say use a blanket...would YOU like to eat under a blanket? Babies are human beings and deserve better than to be forced to wear the "nursing babies burqa" just because some people can't be bothered to avert their eyes are uncomfortable. I'm not the one who believes the world revolves around me...it's those of you who are SO hung up about breasts that you try to shame mothers who are feeding their babies as best they can.

sz said...

Chris,

I saw the news story, great job! I am laughing out loud at some of the comments you have received. I am constantly amazed at the ignorance of people.

For those of you have never breastfed,learn about it. It is very, very difficult to get a fussy baby latched on while trying to hold a blanket in place, we only have 2 arms you know! Get over yorself and look away. A mom's job is hard enough without having to fight for the right to feed your child!

Leslie said...

This whole thing made me so upset. As a Mom who breastfed, I can tell you that some babies refuse a bottle even if it has breastmilk in it! Also some women are not able to express enough milk with a pump! Some babies will not accept being covered by a blanket, they kick and scream and will not eat. My child was all three of these things. The last thing we want to do is expose our breasts to the public, we don't get off on flapping our boobies, that is totally ridiculous. Have a little sympathy for us, we are only trying to FEED our child. All you have to do is look the other way. Perhaps we should call you perverts for watching?

Lisa said...

Good for you! You're a good mommy for nursing your baby when he was hungry. What would they rather have had? a SCREAMING baby or a small strip of skin and a happy content baby? Get real?! You should stage a nurse-in in the store, that'll get their attention! Keep giving your little one the best food on the planet!

Heather said...

Good for you for sticking up for what you believe in! The people on here who disagree with you and are being ridiculous know just where they can go.

Such a shame when feeding your child becomes secondary in a society.

And by the way, breastpumps were not made initially so you don't have to feed in public, they were made to pump milk to feed preemie babies or for working mothers away from the home.

Erica said...

Congratulations. I am proud to know that I helped you.

Anonymous said...
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shaina Lovely said...

You did great, Chris!

emily said...

I am really, really sorry that so many uninformed, uneducated morons choose to spew hate on your blog.

I cannot believe that your definition of 'in a very public way' varies so much from mine...with how you were on the news, NO ONE anywhere should complain, you were 100% discreet, weather and socially appropriate even without a blanket. Most of the people that would be offended by that would also be offended if you had used a blanket.

You did a great job on the news and I am very proud of you for going through all of this, publicly and putting up with stupid people just to try to make the city a little better for the rest of us that live here.

Please don't take all the mean comments personally, I hope that you have gotten past being hurt, even though that is hard to do. You are 100% doing the right thing.

Anonymous said...

A "nursing baby burqa?" Talk about politically incorrect and respecting the rights of others. I would rather see a breastfeeding woman than a comment like that which pokes fun at someone elses attire which is worn by a culture obviously different than yours.

Chris said...

"Politically incorrect"? That's quaint. How very early 90s of you.

I do understand that some women wish to cover themselves, but my understanding is that many, if not most, women do not wear the burqa because they want to, but because it is foisted on them by religious fundamentalist. When the Taliban was overthrown in Afganistan, bolder women (some might call the "uppity feminazis") threw off their burqas. I certainly meant no offense to women who choose to cover themselves with a burqa or their babies with a blanket. I was certainly not making fun, just making the point that neither should be foisted on anyone. It's a subtle analogy and I understand subtlety is hard for people who are still hung up about political correctness and women daring to desexualize their breasts and use them as nature intended. If you don't want to read what I've written, AVERT YOUR EYES!!

Chris said...

Jim--The woman you saw nursing so discreetly is the same woman who was harassed at Fred Meyer. The only difference is my baby was calm during my interview and not when we were at Fred Meyer. If you had bothered to read my previous post, you would understand why I wasn't able to be as discreet then. Read and then get back to me, 'kay?

MomToTracyNSheri said...

Chris, it pisses me off no end that you have to explain yourself to so many ignorant low-quality human beings who don't even have the guts to use their real names when spewing their poison.

Keep fighting the good fight - SO MANY of us are behind you! I wouldn't engage in conversation anyone who is too cowardly to use their name. I'm looking forward to a dissenting view that is well-formed, well-said, and represented by a NAME. Better not hold my breath though - obviously I'll turn blue before that happens!

Anonymous said...

so you wanted to become famous and tell your story on TV?? well, becareful what you wish for...you just got it!! Everyone loves a clown.. you have the stage!
LOL!

Chris said...

Momtotracynsheri--Thanks for all your sweet supportive comments here. I love your poll, btw!

Chris said...

It's amazing how incredibly ignorant people are--and how unashamed they seem to be of their ignorance. "If you start breast feeding without covering up you might find an exposed penis or ass next to you one day. ... what's the difference?" Buddy, if you don't know the difference between a breast and a penis, well, I suggest checking out an anatomy textbook from the library. Oh, but you probably don't have a library card. And at this point, I am so worried about the potential E. coli-transmitted-via-shopping-carts lawsuits I can hardly think straight.

Please tell me there aren't two people this ignorant. You've got to be the same person.

Cherrie said...

Great Job Chris! You're our Goddess.

Ever notice the most ignorant people are often the most judgemental?
Cherrie

Chanda said...

I am so with you!! WOW to all of the strange things people come up with and then send your way!! I have a three year old and 6 month old and I nurse all the time when we are out. That is the only way that a shift in thinking will come about. People just need to see it done more. There will always be those people against it just as there are still raceist. They will just become less and less and they will only come out when their idenity can be protected!

Anyway keep on feeding your baby the "breast" way and may the milk be with you.

Anonymous said...

you are fighting a losing battle. If you don't like the heat stay out of the fire. You can't change the so called "ignorant" people's opinion. Again the world does not always agree with your opinion. Anyhow who doesn't you consider ignorant. Why can't you deal with the fact that some people have a different opinion then you without simply dismissing their opinion as ignorant. Who died and make you all wise and just? Deal with it. If you don't like the criticism in your blog, either dont look or you should have though twice about going on TV with your opinion!! There will be people who both agree and disagree with your opinion. Deal with it. Or you can start to censor your blog, like you say you are going to. Then where would you be? Hypocrit!

lms said...

I love how you're deleting all the negative comments. As if that somehow changes the fact that there are "ignorant" people who disagree with you.

Anyhow, I did read your entire story and I still think it's ridiculous. In fact, I wrote a letter to Fred Meyer supporting the manager, and received a nice response telling me that it's been forwarded up the chain. And I know several others who have done the same.

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

ditto

Lenny said...

I can speak from being a clerk in a Bon Marche and having a mother actively nursing her child in the store. She wasn't in the middle of the store, but had taken a seat out of the way. What made me uncomfortable was that her chair was facing my till. I didn't want give off the vibe that I was staring, so I politely mentioned that we had a bathroom nearby and if she wouldn't mind terribly if she finished nursing there. She said no problem and meandered over to the restroom. I spoke to our manager about the situation, and although he sympathized with me, he also mentioned that there wasn't any store policy regarding open breastfeeding and that next this should happen to move elsewhere in the store of I became uncomfortable. I understand that it is a natural process of life, but with everything that is preached at us while we are young about sex and nudity, it shouldn't really come as a surprise that people are offended and cry foul when this happens.

Timberly said...

First of all, as a nursing mother, I say "kudos" to you for standing up for a just cause! As soon as I finish posting, I'm writing a letter to Krogers. Now onto these ridiculous comments.


"you are fighting a losing battle. If you don't like the heat stay out of the fire. You can't change the so called "ignorant" people's opinion."

Yes. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But it's when people start throwing out uneducated comments that makes the COMMENT ignorant.
"Again the world does not always agree with your opinion. Anyhow who doesn't you consider ignorant."

Who DOESN'T I consider ignorant? I'm not even going to touch this one.

"Why can't you deal with the fact that some people have a different opinion then you without simply dismissing their opinion as ignorant. Who died and make you all wise and just? Deal with it."

It amazes me that you can try to make a point and yet dismiss it all in the same sentence! You want her to acknowledge other people's opinions (i.e. - yours), but you're going to tell her to "deal with it"? Apparently you made YOURSELF wise and just.

"If you don't like the criticism in your blog, either dont look or you should have though twice about going on TV with your opinion!!"

If you don't want to see a child being breastfed, then take you own advice. Don't look. Have you noticed there are SO MANY MORE people in support of what she's doing than people who are against her??? She's basically gone public and martyred (sp?) herself for thousands of women across the country while you, on the other hand, have ANONYMOUSLY bashed her on the internet. You are my HERO. >>rolling eyes HERE<<

"There will be people who both agree and disagree with your opinion. Deal with it. Or you can start to censor your blog, like you say you are going to. Then where would you be? Hypocrit!"

Every breastfeeding woman knows that SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE is going to have a problem w/ it. Whether it be an episode like she had, or a snide remark from a stranger. This happens. But for someone to sit back and do NOTHING while their constitutional rights are being RAPED, is a sad thing. Though I don't think this is nearly as big of an issue as the civil rights movement, I must say that it has to start somewhere. And if this ONE woman has made a difference in ANY way, then thank God for her. Not everyone could do what she has done for lactating women everywhere.

Soooo, before posting an ignorent COMMENT next time, why not do a little researh on breastfeeding and why it's what's BEST for you child. And while you're at it, you need to stop worrying about the ECOLI on the cart's rails and think about what could possibly be ingested by a baby in the BATHROOM that you're trying to ban all breastfeeding mothers to.

Lesa said...

Thank you for sticking up for nursing mama and baby rights! I have always felt compelled to cover my baby when I nurse him in public, but I'm sick of having to be secretive and furtive about the natural, healthy, normal act of breastfeeding. Your situation has inspired me to help normalize breastfeeding by nursing without shame (or blankets!) in public.

Kris said...

I wrote a letter to Kroger (FM)Corporate also supporting the clerk. When it makes others uncomfortable you should not only think of yourself. Your comment about "would you like to eat under a blanket" is just another example of only caring about you and yours. Hey..do a poll on here and ask how many "anonymous" people would mind you breastfeeding if you were covered. Ill think youll be surprised. Its the naked breast thats the issue...and I read the comment that breast pumps were created for preemies..wrong. The inventor was Edward Lasker and he saved many preemie lives with this invention but they were not created just for this obviously. I am a mom and breast fed mine too..just discreetly.

Chris said...

lesa--I am SO pleased for you! I hoped that nursing on the evening news would encourage moms just like you. Never be ashamed...breastfeeding your baby is a beautiful, nourishing act.

rebecca marie said...

i don't even have the time to address all of they annonymous posters... but seriously... blogger gives you the opportunity to leave your name. don't be too cowardly to actually do so.

here are some that particularly shocked me:

Anonymous said...
Wow. If you only put all this effort in to something worthwhile. There is real discrimination out there, you know. Real atrocities against mothers and children. It would be amazing to see how you could help alleviate suffering, if only you put all this self righteous anger to some good use.

11:16 PM


Anonymous said...
I'm female, but I'm getting a little sick of the ragin' booby ladies wanting to flap them tatters everywhere.

I agree with the other poster...think of the social problems that could be solved if the ragin' booby ladies actually worked on a real issue.


OH MY WORD.

this is a real issue. the right to properly feed our babies is REAL. being offended by a sagging breast? sorry, we are not all perfect looking, but we are perfect for our babies.

hey annonymous... i really like your poems.

and in regard to the gentleman in the story who said you should take your baby to the bathroom to nurse? i'd like to see him take his meal into the bathroom to eat. he wouldn't degrade himself that way, and neither should we degrade ourselves or our babies.

good for you chris... i'm on your team!

Jami from Oregon said...

Thanks for standing up for breastfeeding mothers everywhere. It is really a shame mothers have to feel like they have to hide out to feed their babies. The idea of going to the restroom to feed is unsettling (I used to go in Fred Meyer dressing rooms when I nursed my babies 11 years ago because of people's negative attitudes about breast feeding). Unfortunately, many people in our community don't understand the importance of breastfeeding babies. It is really a lack of education among our society. Sorry you had to go through such humilation, but please know mothers all over the country support you!

Lisa Heeg said...

Personally, I say "Fuck Discreet" AND them what wants it...hm, I may make a t-shirt... Peace, peace, you fools! Look away and shut your mouths about that which you obvously know nothing! GO, public nursing mamas! Get those boobs out, NURSE those babies, and - need I say it again? - fuck the rest of 'em.

Anonymous said...

I saw your news segment last week and just had to say how much I appreciate you and what you are doing! Before I had my daughter I saw someone nursing on a swing in Costco and thought "weird, just go to the car". Now that I'm a proud nursing mommy to a 8 month old I NIP at every chance. Thanks for posting this blog! I've been able to get a lot of comebacks for my arsenal should anyone ever challenge me NIP.