The New York Times covered the RMH story in this morning, but missed some important points.
"They [RMH administrators] agreed that the sisters could nurse in public areas if they were sensitive to others around them. McDonald House would work on clarifying its guidelines, Ms. Scott said." Being sensitive to others, as defined by the RMH administrators, means the moms are to announce their plans to nurse, yet then nurse "discreetly." As I wrote yesterday, this is extraordinarily silly and contradictory.
"Asked if the staff might have avoided the confrontation, [RMH Houston Executive Director] Ms. Scott said: 'It happened so fast, I don’t know what else we could have done. We feel we fell down the rabbit hole with all this.'"
What else could they have done? Hmmmm. Think think think. (Yes, I'm answering her Alice in Wonderland reference with a Winnie the Pooh reference.) How 'bout acting with as much concern for this mother and her young child as they were for the complaining father? How 'bout educating the father that this is how this mom comforts her child, instead of passing along his complaints to her? How 'bout not issuing thinly veiled threats to have this family removed from their accommodations?
What's missing from the Times coverage is what's still missing in this story. RMH administrators have not apologized for adding to this family's anxiety or for how insensitively managers at Holcombe House handled the situation. It has not made any public announcements to fully support breastfeeding in all its facilities and to educate its staff on the importance of accommodating breastfeeding families. It's hard to knock an organization like Ronald McDonald House that does such marvelous, charitable work for families with desperately ill children. One has to wonder, however, how this situation got so out of control and how even with a story in the New York Times, no one at RMH has come out with unequivocal message in support of breastfeeding families.