Nursing in public: Nursing moms welcome again at YMCA

4:00 PM, Jul 25, 2012   |    comments
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WCNC -- A nurse-in to support a mother of four who was asked to stop nursing at a Charlotte, North Carolina YMCA daycare center prompted change at the facility.

About a dozen moms crowded into the lobby at uptown Charlotte's Dowd YMCA.

"I think a lot of people were expecting some pushback," said mother Laura Sieckmann. "I think we were really worried that it was going to be pushed in the corner. You want to feed your baby, there's a dark room."

They got the opposite, practically a red carpet.

There were parking spots set aside for them, food and drinks, and YMCA leaders ready and waiting to hear what they had to say.

"We're welcoming some mothers from the community for a nurse-in and we are opening our doors to them and really just engaging in conversation and figuring out how we can better support them as nursing moms here at the Y," said YMCA spokeswoman Jen Wendt.

The moms started planning the nurse-in after a YMCA staffer asked Jenn Youakim to stop breastfeeding her 8-month-old in the YMCA's daycare center.

"I was just about to sign up for the Y next month and when I heard about the issue I was like, there's no way. How could they treat a woman like that and after the way that they've handled it, I'm definitely going to be signing up,"Sieckmann said.

"We're thankful the nursing mothers were able to bring this to our attention. We realize we had some inconsistencies in some of our nursing policies. It's really helped us to look at all those in branches across Charlotte and figure out how we truly can better support them," Wendt added.

"This is an important issue," Sieckmann said. "Hopefully this will be the start of something really great for breastfeeding women."


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