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Operation: Y

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  • maedaeapparel
    OPERATION: Y We build strong kids, strong families, strong communities, touts the YMCA of the USA. It seems that one area they have overlooked in this goal
    Message 1 of 1 , May 9, 2008
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      "We build strong kids, strong families, strong communities," touts the
      YMCA of the USA. It seems that one area they have overlooked in this
      goal is to ensure that breastfeeding children and mothers are
      welcomed, accommodated and treated with respect. In the past few
      months, there have been numerous incidents of breastfeeding
      discrimination reported at YMCA facilities in the US.

      "YMCAs are working to combat rising levels of obesity and promote
      healthy living for millions of Americans through YMCA Activate
      America®. Three-fifths of YMCAs (1,525) have committed to this bold
      approach to directly address the nation's growing health crisis by
      engaging communities across the country to support people of all ages
      in their pursuit of well-being in spirit, mind and body." This is a
      statement from www.ymca.net, the homepage for YMCA of the USA. The
      YMCA should not forget that children who are not breastfed are at
      greater risk for becoming obese, and developing diabetes and asthma.
      Supporting mothers in breastfeeding their children may be the first
      and most effective way to support well-being in individuals and

      The YMCA of the USA states "because all communities have different
      needs, all YMCAs are different; they are autonomous and separate from
      the YMCA of the USA. They are required by the national constitution to
      pay annual dues, to refrain from discrimination and to support the
      YMCA mission. All other decisions are local choices, including
      programs offered, staffing and style of operation." It is clear that
      YMCA of the USA needs to be educated about what constitutes
      discrimination against a breastfeeding child and mother and be made
      aware that there is a problem within their organization.

      Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is this:
      Please call your local YMCA (find the nearest facility at
      http://www.ymca.net/maps/ ) to inquire whether they have a policy
      about women breastfeeding their children in their facility. If you
      feel comfortable, ask what the procedure is if a patron should
      complain about a mother breastfeeding.

      If possible, please obtain the name of the person you spoke with and
      the name of the membership director or manager.

      Please e-mail the following information to operationy@...:
      The state, location name (with address if possible), and phone number
      of the YMCA you contacted, the name of the person you spoke with and
      the membership director or manager of the facility, the response you
      received, the date and approximate time that you called, your name and
      email (and phone number, if you feel comfortable. We will never share
      or sell your information.)

      This is strictly an information-gathering mission. Do not feel you
      need to engage the YMCA representative in a debate about breastfeeding
      rights… we simply want to know how widespread the problem is.

      At FirstRight we feel strongly that wherever there is an absence of a
      breastfeeding-friendly policy and employee education, there is a
      potential for an incident of discrimination. We hope to help the YMCA
      achieve their goal of building strong kids, families, and communities
      by becoming supporters of breastfeeding children and mothers. Please
      call your local Y today!

      Also, if you have ever experienced discrimination for breastfeeding at
      a YMCA facility, please submit an incident report by filling out
      FirstRight's online discrimination form at
      www.firstright.org/reportdiscrimination. Even if you do not wish to
      take action regarding the incident, we would like to gain an
      understanding of how many moms have faced problems at YMCA facilities.
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