We were protesting in front of Pure Fitness, where just a couple of weeks ago, a nursing mother was asked to move to a more private location to nurse her baby. She had just picked her baby up from the gym's childcare room and sat down to nurse. She was approached by the gym's owner and was told that she needed to move- that she wasn't allowed to nurse there!!! Apparently this gym owner was not aware of Texas law, which states that a nursing mom can nurse wherever she is legally allowed to be.
The kicker? Pure Fitness is a women's only gym. No men allowed.
So as usual, the breastfeeding community banded together, and a nurse-in was organized. This is my account.
I showed up about 5 minutes late, and just as I got Tristan and all our stuff loaded into the stroller, the cops approached the group. They told us the parking lot in front of the gym was private property, and that we had been asked to leave by the owner. She said that we were all being charged with trespassing, and that if we didn't leave we'd be arrested! Arrested over breastfeeding- that'd make quite a story.
Of course we wouldn't let a little thing like trespassing stop us. There was a grassy ditch/shoulder between the parking lot and the road, and the officer said that since it was private property, we could be on the grass. We all moved our vehicles and set up shop on the grass.
There were even some men that came out to show support. So awesome to see a guy holding a sign supporting breastfeeding.
Here's me and Tristan nursing at the nurse-in. He'll be 18 months old on Sunday, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate 18 months of nursing. I'm so proud that we've made it this far, and can't imagine it any other way.
Excuse my face- it was 105 degrees out there, and super sunny. We weren't exactly comfortable.
Interestingly enough, Pure Fitness sent out their own protesters with their own signs. It's funny though, some of their signs read, "Pure Fitness is for ALL Women" and "Pure Fitness: Respect For Women". Couldn't we have used those signs too? Or are breastfeeding mothers not included in "all women" anymore? Do breastfeeding mothers not deserve respect as well?
I was so thrilled to get to protest alongside Jessica Martin-Weber. She's the founder of The Leaky B@@b- an incredible breastfeeding support group on Facebook. I've had tons of respect for her as a mother, woman, and lactivist for a while now, and it was a true honor to get to meet her.
I had such a blast- it felt good to actually get out there and DO something to stand up for injustices against breastfeeding moms. Nursing is NORMAL, and we won't stop until it's fully accepted as such.