Contact: Rachel Papantonakis FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tel: (617) 529-1426
May 1, 2012
BREASTFEEDING ADVOCATES TO HOLD ‘GREAT NURSE-IN’ OF 2012
Thousands of nursing mothers to gather on Capitol Hill during World Breastfeeding Week in a landmark event to raise awareness about breastfeeding.
WASHINGTON, D.C.,—Nursing mothers, their children, and breastfeeding supporters from around the world will gather on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol Building on August 4, 2012, for the first-ever “Great Nurse-In.”
This event will empower and support nursing women as well as educate those uncomfortable or unfamiliar with breastfeeding.
The Surgeon General recently released a statement stating “One of the most highly effective preventive measures a mother can take to protect the health of her infant and herself is to breastfeed. It protects babies from many infections and illnesses, such as diarrhea and pneumonia. Children who have been breastfed have lower rates of childhood obesity. Mothers who breastfeed have a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers.”
Within the past year, numerous mothers across the country have been harassed for nursing in public. From Target’s recent case to Facebook flagging breastfeeding mothers as inappropriate, nursing mothers have been made to feel ashamed.
Most U.S. states have enacted laws that allow breastfeeding in public. Sadly, those laws have not led to widespread acceptance of public breastfeeding. Stories abound of women who are barred from breastfeeding in places where they are legally allowed to do so, prompting fear among lactating mothers who must feed their babies in public and causing some to not do it at all.
Rachel Papantonakis, a breastfeeding mother, was inspired to hold this public nurse-in after reading news stories about harassment of nursing mothers. She wanted to find a way to remove the social stigma of public breastfeeding so that all mothers could nurse their babies when and where they needed food. Nursing mothers, she says, should not be forced to hide in bathrooms or stay behind closed doors.
“By coming together as a group, we are sending a collective message that breastfeeding is a valid — and healthy – way to feed our children anywhere and everywhere. Not all families opt to or can breastfeed, but those that do should be able to do so without fear of public reprisal.”
“Without broader acceptance of public nursing, we risk shortening breastfeeding relationships or preventing them entirely,” Papantonakis added.
The Great Nurse-In welcomes all supporters: current, former and future breastfeeders, bottle-feeders, men, women and children of all ages.
The program will include a main stage with keynote speakers and entertainers, centers with breastfeeding support activities, opportunities to share stories and experiences, and other family activities for all attendees.Program events and activities are scheduled from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM EDT on Saturday, August 4, 2012.
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The mission of the Great Nurse-In is to normalize breastfeeding for today’s society and future generations by promoting public breastfeeding. To sign up to receive updates about this event or to enquire about volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, please e-mail the Great Nurse-In at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional event details are available at www.greatnursein.org. Follow us at www.facebook.com/greatnursein and www.twitter.com/greatnursein.