Thank you everyone who came and spread the word about the nurse-in! We had FORTY moms and their nurslings, plus one grandma at Portland International Airport today. Channels 2, 6, 8, and 12 came to interview participants (that's ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX). A reporter from Oregon Public Broadcasting, a reporter from the Camas-Washougal Post Record, and a photographer from the AP were there as well. I spoke with two AP reporters (one local and one national) by phone in the morning. I also talked with Oregnonian columnist Renee Mitchell (former breastfeeding mom of twins) in the afternoon. I haven't seen the final tally yet, but there were at least 773 people at 35 airports across the country today and I think ours was one of the largest gatherings. And not that there's any competition or anything, but I love getting further comfirmation that Portland's the "breastfeedingist" city in the US.
We got a warm reception from travellers who happened by and from the Delta employees we spoke with (I made a point of urging them to speak with their bosses about getting a written breastfeeding policy in place, which Delta is currently refusing to do). One woman...I'm guessing a former breastfeeding mom...walk by us chanting, "Yay! Breastfeeding!" I saw a number of people stop and give moms kudos to their advocacy. The director of the Port of Portland approached us about our plans and was quite positive. I had stickers with the breastfeeding icon on them which I was handing out to participants and the press...I offered him some, explaining the purpose of the icon, and he asked for multiple copies. Perhaps PDX will be one of the first airports to adopt the icon!
This was a fantastic, positive action, mamas. Thank you to Amelia Psmythe of the Nursing Mothers Counsel and Marnie Glickman for helping with publicity...we had an amazing press turn-out today thanks to your efforts. Thank you to all who came for being "ambassadors of breastfeeding" and demonstrating, as you do everyday, the beauty and decency of nursing a child. Thank you for sitting in solidarity with Emily Gillette and moms across the country, advocating for yourselves, your children, and mothers and children you've never met.
Now, please write to your Congressional delegates and urge them to pass the Breastfeeding Promotion Act. Write to your Oregon state representative and press them to improve our currently mandateless legislation protecting breastfeeding moms who work outside the home and to clarify our nursing in public law so there's no question that moms and children may breastfeed anywhere they are legally authorized to be. If you don't live in Oregon, find out if your state's laws are up to snuff and get "lactive" if they're not. Write to your local paper and get this issue on the editorial pages. Talk with your family and friends during your holiday celebrations about the rally and the importance of supporting and protecting breastfeeding. This is such an important moment--I think it's safe to say that today's was the largest action of its kind so far and Emily's story highlights better than almost any we heard before the need for improved state and national legislation and greater cultural acceptance and support of breastfeeding.