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Old 08-28-2007, 10:02 AM   #1
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Please read

This was emailed to me, and I am passing it on for you all to see.




On June 14th (my anniversary) a few of my children (I have 8) took
me to Applebee's for lunch. For my own privacy I asked for the
corner booth. I sat facing into the corner not facing the room. My
then 7 month old baby boy needed to nurse so we did. A server
(Jessica Balswick) came to me and stated that the manager asked her
to come speak to me because she was a female. She said the manager
said if we wanted to breastfeed we had to cover the baby's head with
a blanket. I told her since it was hot out that I didn't have a
blanket. She reiterated so I stopped nursing and asked to speak
with the manager. As we waited the baby cried so I passed him
across the table to my oldest son (almost 18 yrs old) so he could
help comfort his as I was a bit shook up. The baby was inconsolable
so I told my son to take him to the van and I would come to nurse
him as soon as I spoke with the manager. When the manager (Justin
Arnolds) came I handed him a copy of the KRS 211.755 law that I keep
in my diaper bag. I said "I would like you to educate yourself and
your employees of this law that protects breastfeeding mothers." He
handed it back to me after glancing over it and said "I know but
somebody complained it was indecent exposure so you have to cover
the baby with a blanket if you want to breastfeed here". I again
held out the paper saying "look at part 3 of the law, it says no
person shall interfere with a woman breastfeeding her child". He
said the same exact thing as before "I know but somebody complained
it was indecent exposure so you have to cover the baby with a
blanket if you need to breastfeed here." At that exact moment our
server came back with our meal and I said "We can not eat this
because I have to go breastfeed my baby." As I exited the hostess
asked what was wrong and I told her very briefly and said "I don't
see anyone else eating under a blanket in here."
I went to the van, nursed my baby, cried, and called my local LLL
leader Karen. She told me to get the manager and servers name. She
gave me names and addresses of people I needed to let know about
this incident.
Our lawyer wrote a letter on June 27, 2007 to Applebee's restaurant
(4009 Nicholasville Rd., Applebee's Corporate Headquarters 249 E
Main St. (Mike Scanlon) The Lexington-Fayette County Health Dept.
(Doraine Bailey), The KY Breastfeeding Promotion Coordinator (Becky
Derifield) and the LLL Karen Brown.
The letter was ignored.
Our lawyer wrote another letter on July 25, 2007.
On August 3, 2007 Thomas & King, Inc. Legal Department finally
responded. Mr Jonathan R. Weatherby, Jr. Associate General Counsel
wrote "we regret that Ms. Ryan left without being served and would
like the opportunity to personally invite her to return" .... "we
are also considering keeping blankets in the restaurants for use by
breast-feeding mothers that may not have them readily available as a
result of this incident."
My husband gasped when he read this response. They just don't get
it. It is like saying "Rosa Parks still has to sit at the back of
the bus but we will give her a pillow so she is comfortable back
there."
My midwife suggested I speak with the Senator that spearheaded
getting the KRS211.755 law. I left a message for Senator Tom Buford
and the next day he called me back. I asked him what recourse I
had. He said "If you take them to small claims court you could get
up to $1,500.00" .... "if you take them to a higher court you may
not even get enough to cover your legal fees." I told the Senator
I was not interested in money. I want things to change. I want
public attention on this cause. I have daughters that will someday
breastfeed. I want action not money. I told Senator Buford about
my nurse in/out idea and he thought it sounded great. In fact he
said "let me know the date and I will come by and support you" ....
he also said "hold a sign up saying -small children are not allowed
to eat in this restaurant." I said "can I quote you on that" and he
said "yes!" Senator Buford said "next time any one does this tell
them to call the police and get a police report written up on it."
Since August is "World Breastfeeding Awareness Month" I am having
one nurse-out at the Fayette Mall just to raise awareness. This is
not in any way to attack the mall .... it is just a place to hang
out at. I am late arranging this so it will not actually be in
August but then again what is one day. It will be September 1st.
The second event is actually to draw attention to Applebee's
restaurant. Friends and supporters will decorate posters and
display them for all to see.
I will paste a copy of the flyer for each of the two events here for
all to copy and share.

NURSE-IN
Fayette Mall Lexington KY
Childrens Play Area
Saturday, September 1, 2007
1 pm until 3 pm
Celebrate World Breastfeeding Awareness Month
Please join us for a local "awareness raising" event.
Look for this universal Breastfeeding symbol.

NURSE-OUT
SPEAK-OUT
Applebee's violated KRS 211.755
Educate Lexington that KY law protects public
breastfeeding and mothers should never be
asked to move, hide, cover up, or leave.
Decorate posters and display them
at a peaceful Nurse-Out.
THEME: Breastfeeding in public is Legal
DATE: Saturday, September 8, 2007
TIME: 12 pm to 2 pm
(in case of rain date 9/22/07)
LOCATION: 4009 Nicholasville Road
Lexington KY
On the public sidewalk
in front of Applebee's
Exercise caution and do not block the right of way.
News crews will be reporting.
Do not park in Applebee's parking lot!

I hope everyone can pass this on to as many as possible.
Every "quotation" is in the exact wording.
I am also willing to share copies of the actual correspondence
between our lawyer and Applebee's.
Even if you do not live in KY please share this with everyone
because Applebee's is nation wide.
Thank you for your support,
Brooke Ryan

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Old 08-28-2007, 10:36 AM   #2
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Re: Please read

What a sad unbelievable story. I just can't believe how this happens over and over again. I have never had anything like this happen to me, but I am prepared every time I bf in public to go ahead and let someone call the police. I think I would just say "I am sorry... you are breaking the law by asking me to stop bfing and I will not stop bfing my baby here." If the police come and do anything to me... get ready because I would get a lawyer and call every freakin' news station within a 100 mile radius.

My dad is a retired police officer and I've talked to him about what I should do. He says "let the police come". Then you have a report and proof of what happened. And the police *should* enforce the laws... which will be in favor of the bfing mom.

It is actually not usually considered "indecent exposure" to show a breast. Even if you are not bfing, you can flash your boobs to your hearts content. Indecent exposure typically applies to butts and genitals. My dad said you can arrest a woman walking down the street topless for a "mental health check" or if she's drunk you can get her on that. But if we don't act totally crazy, we could carry our babies around totally topless without breaking any laws. Unbelievable, huh?

I wish I lived near there... I would totally go to the nurse-in. It's a bit to far from us. Kudos for the mama for taking some action!
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Old 08-28-2007, 10:46 AM   #3
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Re: Please read

I don't understand the point of nurse-ins.
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Old 08-28-2007, 10:47 AM   #4
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Re: Please read

Did you notice this!? Unreal!


"we are also considering keeping blankets in the restaurants for use by
breast-feeding mothers that may not have them readily available as a
result of this incident."
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Old 08-28-2007, 10:52 AM   #5
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Re: Please read

Too bad I'm not there! I would so go there to support.
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Old 08-28-2007, 11:03 AM   #6
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Re: Please read

I think I am going to make the drive to help out! It is only a few hours drive from where I live. I can't believe the nerve of some people. I am going to pass on the word to my activist group to see if I can drum up some more support. At the very least we will do a letter writing campaign.
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Old 08-28-2007, 11:19 AM   #7
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Re: Please read

Ack!
Please, please don't nurse at Applebees or anywhere for that matter under a blanket!
I had to perform CPR on a baby that suffocated while being nursed under a blanket!!

Applebees food kind of sucks anyway...

That manager was obviously bottle fed.

What a good idea, though, to keep copies of the law in a diaper bag.

Another reason I would like to have my baby early, so I can join the cause.
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Old 08-28-2007, 12:23 PM   #8
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Re: Please read

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatildasMum View Post
I don't understand the point of nurse-ins.
What do you not understand specifically? Please elaborate, and maybe some of us who have participated in the past can help.
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Old 08-28-2007, 12:47 PM   #9
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Re: Please read

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatildasMum View Post
I don't understand the point of nurse-ins.
We attended the VS Nurse - In! It was great how they changed their policy ASAP! SOmetimes Nurse-Ins are VERY MUCH NEEDED to open peoples eyes! Babies who are given bottles arent told to cover their heads with blankets babies who are BF shouldnt either
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Old 08-28-2007, 12:53 PM   #10
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Re: Please read

I have never heard of a nurse in before now and I think it is a wonderful idea and a wonderful way to get the point across. Here's what I think of Applebees.
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