Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Lactating moms to host nurse-in in response to "The View"

I was happy to recently discover that many lactating mommies in the NYC area are organizing a nurse-in on June 6 to protest anti-breastfeeding remarks made by several of the co-hosts of ABC's tv show "The View." "The breastfeeding mothers are protesting the general anti-breastfeeding attitude of the co-hosts of The View and comments made concerning their opinions that breastfeeding and nursing in public is 'gross and disgusting' in nature." The nurse-in will be held outside of ABC’s studios at 67th Street and Columbus Avenue in New York City, where taping of the daytime talk show The View takes place.

Click here for details of the nurse-in

It's so frustrating to me to hear that educated women in the media spotlight, especially Barbara Walters, would say negative things about breastfeeding or nursing in public. I understand that she grew up in a different generation, but surely she should educate herself on the subject and the numerous health benefits of breastfeeding (and the fact that the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization both endorse it), rather than make statements about how mothers nursing in public make her uncomfortable.

She is a woman of great influence. How unfortunate that she cannot use her status to promote breastfeeding and make women feel good about their decision to do so, rather than talk them down and act like feeding their baby is something to be ashamed of.

I'm also frustrated with the fact that it appears she and others are not being supportive of fellow co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck who recently gave birth. She was (and I believe may still be) breastfeeding, but the cast recently made a celebratory announcement that Elisabeth's daughter received her first bottle of formula. The audience cheered. Pardon me for my ignorance, but I don't understand why that is cause for celebration. I understand that some women choose to formula feed and there are also those that have no choice but to formula feed, but is giving baby formula really a reason to cheer? I just don't get it. I know a few women who would give anything to be able to breastfeed their children (they can't due to various medical conditions), and I'll bet you money they weren't cheering when they had to give their child his or her first bottle of formula.

Anyway, if there are any NYC mommies who read my blog and want to participate in the nurse-in, please check out the link above. I'd love it if someone who went came back to my blog and told us how it went. I'm also very curious to see if the cast of "The View" will acknowledge that the nurse-in is taking place.

"My opinion is that anybody offended by breastfeeding is staring too hard" -- David Allen


At 6/01/2005 5:28 PM, Blogger Running2Ks said...

The View is full of a lot of ignorance about women's issues, sadly. As soon as I saw Barbara Walters associated with a lot of the shallowness that show promotes, I lost a lot of respect for her.

I didn't end up nursing as long as I would have wanted with either of my kids, but I never let a public place stop me. I hope a lot of women participate in the event, but even more so, I hope that a lot of women just nurse as they wish each and every day.

The more who choose to do nurse, the more acceptable and "normal" it will seem in everyday life. I feel that feeding your baby (in a modest way) is something that shouldn't be hidden in a bathroom or a car as something "dirty". Formula is fine, I used it, too, but it isn't a reason to celebrate, I agree.

At 6/03/2005 10:25 AM, Anonymous Ginger said...

Hi, Amy! I have seen you around elsewhere. I have seen many discussions on Baba Wawa and Star and thier views on NIP and even bf in general and it is extremely frustrating that they are using their status to publicly put down such a wonderful thing. I get so irate that such "educated" and "well-informed" women can just completely close thier minds to something when it does not agree with how they were raised or how they raised their kids(so it seems to me). It also frustrates me that their two loud obnoxious know it all voices seem to drown out the three voices of reason on this subject. I wish I could be at the nurse in and I hope it turns out well.

I found your blog my accident, but I am glad and I am really enjoying it. I am a little annoyed that others here, despite your contiued statements to the contrary, choose to take your entries as attacks against anything they do. I also wonder why someone who is so the other side would even read your blog. There are plenty of forums for debating if that is what they want.

At 6/03/2005 12:23 PM, Blogger amygeekgrl said...

Running2ks said: "...but even more so, I hope that a lot of women just nurse as they wish each and every day. The more who choose to do nurse, the more acceptable and "normal" it will seem in everyday life."
So very true! :)
And yes, I heard about how they had Elisabeth's doctor come on the show when she was expecting to explain what would happen when she came to the hospital to have the baby. They medicalized (is that a word?) the whole thing and really scared Elisabeth (and I'm sure other pregnant women who were watching). It's a shame that they can't use their status to show positive images of birth instead of perpetuating the myths that birth is something to be afraid of.

Ginger - I'm glad you found my blog too. Can I ask how you stubbled upon it?
Ginger said: "I get so irate that such "educated" and "well-informed" women can just completely close thier minds to something when it does not agree with how they were raised or how they raised their kids(so it seems to me)."
Here, here! It seems like they could at least acknowledge that times have changed, more information has been gathered, etc. It doesn't make them wrong for how they raised their kids. I think publicly putting down bfing just makes them look ignorant.
Even though I respect "Baba Wawa" for the pioneering she did for women in broadcast journalism, she's lost a lot of credibility due to her ignorance on bfing.

At 6/03/2005 12:58 PM, Anonymous Ginger said...

I was actually browsing one of my regular sites and found a link asking for participants for books on sleep issues and food allergies.I got the link from there. You know, I didnt find your screen name on the site I thought I knew you from, but the site I found the link at. Maybe you still are on the site I thought but under another screen name?

At 6/03/2005 1:16 PM, Anonymous Ginger said...

In fact, seeing how crunchy you are and the fact that there is a link in your favorite sites, you would about HAVE to be a member there.

At 6/03/2005 1:24 PM, Blogger amygeekgrl said...

My blog is listed on Ann Douglas's blog (The Mother of all Blogs). Is that where you saw it the link?
What site do you think I'm a member of? I use this screenname pretty much everywhere.

At 6/03/2005 1:35 PM, Anonymous Ginger said...

Mothering. I found your name on the forums member list but you had no posts under it.

At 6/03/2005 1:40 PM, Anonymous Ginger said...

Oh, yes it was on Ann Douglas's blog. I am too late for the sleep book but am thinking about participating in the food issues as I have kids with food allergies.

At 6/03/2005 1:42 PM, Blogger amygeekgrl said...

A-ha. Yes, I've done a bit of lurking on Mothering, but never have posted there *yet*. Those forums feel a little bit intimidating to me (believe it or not!). ;)

At 6/03/2005 1:47 PM, Anonymous Ginger said...

I know what you mean. I tend to stay away from the really hot topics like abortion, those women can talk circles around me. Lol. I love it there though.

At 6/08/2005 10:53 AM, Blogger amygeekgrl said...

This came across the AOL People Magazine Subscription:

"PROTESTED: Following negative comments made a few weeks ago by Barbara
Walters on her ABC daytime show The View about mothers breast-feeding
in public, about 200 picketers protested at ABC's headquarters Monday,
The New York Times reports. The gathering was called a "nurse in" with
placards by the "lactivists" reading "Shame on View" and "Babies Were
Born to be Breastfed." Walters had said that she was recently on a
plane with her hairdresser and the two of them were "uncomfortable"
with the sight of a woman breastfeeding her baby as she sat next to
them. Through a spokesperson on Monday, Walters, 75, said of the
demonstration: "It was a particular circumstance, and we are surprised
that it warrants a protest.""

Sounds like Baba Wawa still just doesn't GET IT! Arg.

At 6/10/2005 1:11 PM, Blogger Rowan said...

Just when we thought that we were gaining headway with regard to NIP, along comes the resurgence of the Extreme Christian Right. Breast shame brought to you by the same folks who banned bathing thereby nurturing the plague. You’d think maybe the AAP & WHO announcements would make a difference, but unfortunately, there seems to be continuous animosity between science and faith in this great country of ours.

BTW, I really enjoy mothering dot commune. So far I’ve not had too much trouble with feeling intimidated. I do sometimes feel a bit isolated, though, as it has it’s clicky tendencies. But what doesn’t? I actually had more problems on a gardening site when I told a guy that I didn’t want to put Sevin on my eggplants.

At 6/10/2005 4:13 PM, Blogger amygeekgrl said...

I just came out of lurk mode on MDC (mothering dot commune) on the bfing activism forum and am glad I did. There's so much energy over there right now with all the recent press coverage, etc. It's pretty exciting! :)

At 6/10/2005 5:28 PM, Blogger Rowan said...


When I went there, the username Rowan was taken. So I use flibbertigibbet. A bit different, but rarely taken.

Glad you felt comfortable enough to give them input. After all, we're all mostly just a bunch of geeky mamas sitting at the computer with a kid on her lap and a dish or two soaking in the sink.


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