Nurse-in celebrates change after controversy at YMCA

Nurse-in celebrates change after controversy at YMCA

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on July 19, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 19 at 5:42 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A nurse-in to support a mother of four who was asked to stop nursing at a YMCA daycare center prompted change and ended up celebratory on Thursday.
 
About a dozen moms crowded into the lobby at uptown Charlotte's Dowd YMCA Thursday morning.

“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 Youakim to stop breastfeeding her 8-month-old in the YMCA's daycare center.

NewsChannel 36’s original story prompted a big outcry nationwide and in Charlotte.

“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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