It's no secret that Lactivism, or breastfeeding activism, gets on the nerves of some people, but it's such an important message to get out there. Breastfeeding is normal, it's what we're made for, and really, breastfeeding moms would just like to be left alone. It warms my heart, though, whenever the community comes together to show that there are lots of us, and we won't stand to be harassed. And yesterday, hundreds (maybe even thousands) of women did just that when they attended the national Target Nurse-In at over 250 Target stores across the country yesterday to say, "Hey, we ain't gonna take it!"
Last month, after Michelle Hickman, a breastfeeding mom, was harassed by multiple Target employees, then ridiculed by an employee and supervisor at the corporate office when she called to complain, Best for Babes Organization's Bettina Forbes tried to talk to Target's corporate spokesperson to see if the company would apologize. Target's official policy on in-store breastfeeding is a good one (it's permitted), so it shouldn't have been that hard to get the company to say, "Our employees broke the rules, we're sorry," in apology to the nice woman who, by the way, is also protected by state law. Sadly, it didn't go down like that.
So in defense of not only Michelle Hickman, but moms who have been harassed in the past, Forbes and all these wonderful nursing mommies and their supportive friends and family went out to Target to just ... breastfeed. To say, "We're doing what we're told repeatedly to do, what we're told over and over is best for us and our babies, so don't harass us for it!" They got out there to demand the respect all breastfeeding mothers deserve. The results were amazing.
Check out the footage assembled by Annie of PhDinParenting of the photos taken by women at the Nurse-Ins:
How cool is it that women are willing to stand up for their rights, for their baby's rights, like this? All breastfeeding moms really want is to be left alone to nurse our babies. This grassroots movement of defending our rights since the existing laws are not enforced is our way of enforcing them ourselves, peacefully, with love, but also loudly and proudly. Sooner, rather than later, people will see nursing moms and just like anything else, they'll ignore it and keep walking.
Meanwhile, I'll offer a smile, a thumbs up or a "Good job!" to my fellow breastfeeding mommies, because I know sometimes it can be really hard, lonely, and frustrating. But all they have to do is take a look at those smiling faces at Target yesterday to know they're not alone.
I wish I'd been out there yesterday with you all. We're proud of you all! Keep nursing, keep smiling. Your babies will thank you.
Do you think a sense of community support is important for breastfeeding success?
Image via YouTube