Great Nurse-In FAQs
Get ready and get excited! Here are some planning tips and answers to common questions. If you have others, let us know – email@example.com, www.facebook.com/greatnursein, and www.twitter.com/greatnursein. Thanks!
- What is the Great Nurse-In?
- Who is invited to the Great Nurse-In?
- How do I get to Washington, DC?
- Once I’m in DC, how do I get around?
- Where should I stay?
- What is the schedule for the day?
- My friend told me about the Big Latch On. I don’t want to miss it, but I want to come to the Great Nurse-In too. Any suggestions?
- I want you to know I’m here. How can I check in? – OR – I heard you have free stuff to give me. How do I get it?
- I want to make a really big impact and take advantage of being in our nation’s Capital. How can I do that?
- I can’t make it to DC this year, but I really want to support the event and the cause.
- It’s August. In Washington, DC. And we’re going to be outside for hours?? What can we do to get some relief from the sun and heat?
- DC is also known for its summer thunderstorms. What will we do if it rains?
- What about food and water?
- Will there be bathrooms and changing stations?
- I write for XYZ News. Would it be okay for me to cover the event?
- Not everyone agrees with us. What do we do if there are people giving us a hard time or unsavory characters being creepy?
- I plan to make this trip our summer vacation as well. What else is there to do in DC?
What is the Great Nurse-In?
The Great Nurse-In is a grassroots movement committed to normalizing nursing for today’s society and future generations by promoting public breastfeeding. It centers on a flagship event in Washington, DC, during World Breastfeeding Week. The first annual Great Nurse-In will be held on Saturday, August 4, on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building. There will be activities to support and empower nursing mothers, and to engage and educate non-nursers. Stay up-to-date by following us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/greatnursein) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/greatnursein.)
ALL are welcome at the Great Nurse-In! Whether you’re at a month or a year of your breastfeeding relationship, or are still going strong into toddlerhood; whether you’re done nursing and made it a day, a week, a month, or longer; whether you exclusively pump, supplement or use donor milk; whether you haven’t breastfed yet or never breastfed at all; whether you’re a non-nursing partner, friend or community member … it’s going to take ALL of us, standing together, to normalize nursing once and for all.
In case that’s not clear enough, this is an event for EVERYONE who supports breastfeeding and those who are interested in learning more. You do NOT have to nurse to participate.
Additionally, we don’t differentiate between nursing with a cover or not because it’s ALL breastfeeding to us. You do whatever works best for you and your nursling. However, if you want to try nursing uncovered for the first time or nursing in public for the first time, you will be among friends.
How do I get to Washington, DC?
There are several options for travel to DC, including plane, train, bus and car. (Additional information available at Visitor Information.)
- There are 3 area airports – Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA), Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI.) All are connected to DC via private and public transit options, including Metro subway service at DCA.
- Amtrak serves Union Station (WAS) with trains from across the country – http://www.amtrakcom/. Regional train service is also available on weekdays via MARC and VRE – www.unionstationdc.com/info/rail. Additionally, bag storage is available at Union Station by Gate A – www.unionstationdc.com/info/bagStorage.
- There are several private bus companies offering service from New York and other East Coast locations, including BoltBus (www.boltbus.com), Greyhound (www.greyhound.com) and Peter Pan (www.peterpanbus.com/).
- Driving to DC is relatively easy. (Just avoid morning and evening rush hours, if at all possible.) Find points of interest with On the Way – http://www.onthewayapp.com/.
Once I’m in DC, how do I get around?
DC has a comprehensive public transit system known as Metro. Find bus schedules, train routes, interactive maps and more here – www.wmata.com. There is also a Trip Planner feature that allows you to enter your starting point, destination and other parameters, and gives you options for travel – www.wmata.com/tripplanner.
There are seven Metro subway stops near the Great Nurse-In location (West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, 1st St NW between Pennsylvania Ave NW and Maryland Ave NW), depending on where you’re coming from – Smithsonian, L’Enfant Plaza, Federal Center SW, Capitol South, Federal Triangle (Blue/Orange line); Union Station, Judiciary Square (Red line); and Archives (Green/Yellow line.) There are also several bus stops nearby.
Most of the Metro train stations have elevators so you can get your strollers in and out. However, they are small and slow so be prepared to wait during heavy traffic times.
DC also features a public bus option called the Circulator – http://dccirculator.com/. It runs more limited routes than Metro bus, but hits several neighborhoods and tourist highlights, including the Capitol Grounds. Plus it only costs $1!
You can also drive, but it would be beneficial to use a GPS or similar as DC was designed to confuse invading armies. Parking near the West Lawn will be tough. There are limited metered spaces, and those include time limits of 1 – 3 hours. You may be able to find unmetered spots in nearby neighborhoods, including Capitol Hill to the Southeast, but those spots generally include residential zoning restrictions and 2-hour time limits. There are fee-based parking garages within walking distance, including at Union Station to the Northeast. More information available here – http://dc.about.com/od/transportation/a/ParkingNearMall.htm. You can also park at a Metro station outside the city and take the train in – more info here: http://www.wmata.com/rail/parking/.
Where should I stay?
There are countless options for staying in and around DC. We have three hotel room blocks at nearby hotels:
- JW Marriott for $199/night (plus taxes), includes crib rental upon request:
- Located at 1311 Pennsylvania Ave NW (approximately 12 blocks from the West Lawn)
- Will honor group rate before and after the block dates of 8/3-85, but must call to make booking – 202-393-2000, group code “gnsgnsa.”
- Holiday Inn Capitol Hill for $109/night (plus taxes), includes crib rental upon request:
- Located at 550 C St SW (approximately 4 blocks from the West Lawn)
- Will honor the group rate before and after the block dates of 8/3-8/5, but must call to make booking – Stephen Balthrop at 202-378-1164, group code “N8R.”
- BLOCK RATE EXPIRES JULY 17, 2012
- Courtyard by Marriott for $109/night (plus taxes), includes crib rental upon request: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/wasem-courtyard-washington-embassy-row/?toDate=8%2F5%2F12&groupCode=GNIGNIA&fromDate=8%2F3%2F12&app=resvlink.
Of course, there are plenty of other hotel options. Check out travel sites such as www.hotels.com and www.kayak.com to find a hotel that matches your needs. If you’d like to be within walking distance of the West Lawn, neighborhoods and landmarks to search for are Capitol Hill, Union Station Penn Quarter, and L’Enfant Plaza. Please refer to a map of DC, including the Metro transit map, to be sure you know what your travel options are.
As noted above, there are several Metro subway stops near the West Lawn. Other neighborhoods to check out that are not within walking distance but are Metro-accessible are Dupont Circle, Navy Yard, Downtown and Crystal City.
There are campgrounds near DC as well. Check out KOA for your options – www.koa.com/find-a-koa/. You’ll search for Virginia and Maryland because there are no campgrounds in DC city limits. Please also note that you’ll need to make arrangements to drive to the event as public transit from area campgrounds is not likely an easy option.
What is the schedule for the day?
The Great Nurse-In will be held on Saturday, August 4, from 9 AM to 4 PM. We will have a morning program from 9 AM to noon, an hour-long break for lunch from noon to 1 PM, and an afternoon program from 1 PM to 4 PM.
We are still hammering out the exact timing of the line-up, but it will include the following and more:
- Main stage with six children’s performers, poet, doctor, breastfeeding advocates, and other speakers. We will also have a few OPEN MIC sessions where our attendees will be able to share their public nursing experiences, good or bad, and words of encouragement and support. Performers include:
- Activity tables featuring breastfeeding support, summaries of state laws on public breastfeeding, children’s activities, and a Partner’s Table where non-nursing partners can talk about how to support their nursing partners, especially when breastfeeding in public.
You can come for any or all of the activities and speakers, depending on your travel schedule, nap needs, etc. We’ll have a detailed schedule with times and locations soon! In the meantime, check out this map for a general idea.
My friend told me about the Big Latch On. I don’t want to miss it, but I want to come to the Great Nurse-In too. Any suggestions?
Good news! The Big Latch On (an event held across the world aimed at setting breastfeeding world records) will be one of our activities. We will be sure to add big numbers to the simultaneous breastfeeding record! See our event here – http://www.biglatchon.org/locations/big-latch-on-great-nurse-in-1-2, and let us know you’re coming here – https://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/events/313698845372644/.
I want you to know I’m here. How can I check in? – OR – I heard you have free stuff to give me. How do I get it?
We are having a Registration Day on Friday, August 3. It will be held 10 AM to 5 PM at Tabula Rasa, an event and meeting space on Barracks Row – 731 8th St SE. Tabula Rasa is four blocks south of the Eastern Market Metro, and also near several bus lines, including the Circulator. We’ll have gift bags packed full of goodies from our generous sponsors and yummy treats. Quantities are limited so be sure to snag yours while you can!
We will also have a check-in table at the Great Nurse-In on Saturday, August 4, but we will NOT be distributing gift bags due to Capitol Police restrictions.
I want to make a really big impact and take advantage of being in our nation’s Capital. How can I do that?
We will be having an ACTION DAY on Friday, August 3. Great Nurse-In attendees will have the opportunity to visit their members of Congress to educate them about the importance of breastfeeding and solicit their support for a federal breastfeeding law, including an enforcement provision. We will help you make the appointments and will give you information to share, including signatures from other moms and dads from your state that were unable to make it. Find more information here – https://www.facebook.com/events/318581538236339/#!/events/318581538236339/ and here.
PLEASE NOTE: Securing the needed changes to both state and federal law is a lengthy process and a serious undertaking, and it will take time to see results. That is to say, we won’t see results in a day, but by letting our Senators and Representatives know this is an important issue, we can help to make great strides for today’s society and future generations towards normalizing breastfeeding.
I can’t make it to DC this year, but I really want to support the event and the cause.
Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to show your support and get involved!
- The Great Nurse-In is a FREE event for ALL attendees, but it is not free to produce. If you are able, consider donating here – https://www.wepay.com/donations/greatnursein2012.
- Tell your friends – share the Great Nurse-In page and event link on your Facebook page (www.facebook.com/greatnursein.) Follow us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/greatnursein), tweet about us (#GreatNurseIn2012), and retweet like crazy. Write about us on your blog. Talk about us at parties, the park, your child’s school … you get the idea.
- Contribute to our You Tube project – www.youtube.com/TheGreatNurseIn. Upload your stories about nursing in public and offer encouragement for others. Be sure to use the tagline “Nurse on, Mama” and tag the videos “nurseonmama.”
- Take part in our Action Day preparations! We’ll be crafting letters to members of Congress to solicit their support of improved breastfeeding laws, including an enforcement contingency. You’ll be able to sign these letters online and we’ll pass them along to your delegates.
- Sign up to host or attend a Big Latch On event in your area – www.biglatchon.org. The Big Latch On will take a count on nursing pairs at registered events at 10:30 AM local time to set a world record for simultaneous breastfeeding. It will be one of our activities in DC, too!
- Get out and nurse wherever you are on August 4, and tell us about it on Facebook and Twitter (again, #GreatNurseIn2012.) Post stories and pictures!
- KEEP DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING! One of the most important ways we’re going to enact real change and make public breastfeeding a social norm is by nursing proudly supporting other nursing moms, and by setting an example for our children in our own communities. None of this would be possible without the tireless support of all of you – nursing mamas, partners, other family members and friends – who treat breastfeeding like the normal and natural act that it is!
It’s August. In Washington, DC. And we’re going to be outside for hours?? What can we do to get some relief from the sun and heat?
Yes, it can be pretty hot in DC in the summer, but we hope, with proper planning, that we’ll all be able to enjoy the day outside at the Great Nurse-In. Be sure to pack all the sunscreen and protective clothing you need.
Please note, per order of the Capitol Police, there are no shelters of any kind allowed on Capitol grounds (i.e., no tents, awnings, freestanding baby sunshades, etc.) You CAN, however, have strollers with shades/umbrellas. I have also seen portable, battery-powered fans that attach to stroller bars, if that’s something that might help you and your little ones.
You can also have lawn chairs and blankets to make yourself comfortable. And parasols/handheld sun umbrellas are allowed, just not anything that stakes into the ground.
We’ll have water available for drinking and keeping cool. Consider bringing a washcloth or burp cloth to soak and wipe down your children and yourself.
DC is also known for its summer thunderstorms. What will we do if it rains?
We plan to hold the event, rain or shine, but we’re really hoping for shine. If it’s threatening to rain or a light rain, please come on down, weather gear in hand. If the weather is bad enough for us to have to postpone or cancel (gosh, I hope that doesn’t happen!), we’ll post an announcement on our website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed.
What about food and water?
We will be providing water for reusable containers. We’ll have two tables set up with dispensers for 5-gallon water bottles. We will do our best to keep it from getting too hot. PLEASE NOTE: YOU MUST PROVIDE YOUR OWN BOTTLE/CUP. We will have ONLY the water, not the drinking receptacle.
Please plan to pack the snacks and meals you think you will want, and any cooling supplies you need. As an added bonus, one of our sponsors, Happy Family Organic Superfoods (www.happybabyfood.com) will generously be providing a limited number of snacks at the Great Nurse-In. There are several neighborhoods within walking distance of the West Lawn that offer a variety of family-friendly dining options. We’ll get a list started for you – please check back shortly.
As mentioned above, we’ll be breaking for an hour from noon to 1 PM so you can take a stroll and get some lunch. You are welcome to rejoin us after you refuel.
Will there be bathrooms and changing stations?
Of course! We’ll have a bank of porto-potties, including one that is wheelchair/stroller accessible. Each is equipped with a hand sanitizer dispenser. We also plan to have two hand-washing stations.
We will have diaper changing tables and trash receptacles as well. Please plan to bring all the diapers and wipes you need as we will not provide those.
I write for XYZ News. Would it be okay for me to cover the event?
Absolutely! We really appreciate you giving us a voice in the media. You will need to arrange press credentials on your own if you do not already have them, and you must adhere to all Capitol Police rules and regulations. If you’d like to cover the Great Nurse-In in advance or chat ahead of time, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not everyone agrees with us. What do we do if there are people giving us a hard time or unsavory characters being creepy?
That is not acceptable. We welcome those who are interested in learning more about why public breastfeeding is an important issue, but we do NOT welcome those who are antagonistic, hateful or lecherous. If you feel threatened in any way, do NOT engage. Find an event volunteer OR a Capitol Police officer and let them handle it.
This is not meant to scare you. We expect the day to go off without a hitch in a positive and peaceful way, but we want you to know we have it covered in the off chance there are any issues.
I plan to make this trip our summer vacation as well. What else is there to do in DC?
You couldn’t have picked a better spot for a summer vacation! We have so many fun things to do for visitors of all ages.
The Great Nurse-In will be held on the West Lawn of the Capitol. That’s also where we inaugurate our Presidents. You can also walk the Mall and see the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and so much more – http://www.nps.gov/nacc/index.htm. The National Park Service even has an app with some incredible features to guide your tour – http://www.nps.gov/nama/photosmultimedia/app-page.htm.
ALL Smithsonian museums (www.si.edu) in Washington, DC, are FREE! That includes both Air and Space museums (with the Space Shuttle), Natural History (with the Hope Diamond), and National Zoo (with the pandas).
Check out KidFriendlyDC – www.kidfriendlydc.com – for “everyday play” options and seasonal/special events. KFDC will be posting a special list for Great Nurse-In attendees as well – stay tuned for that. Also see Our-Kids at http://www.our-kids.com for lists of inside and outdoor offerings and events in and around DC.