ProMoM Inc. - Promoting the awareness and acceptance of breastfeeding.

Nurse Out vs. Nurse In


by Dana Anagnostou

Characteristics of a "Nurse OUT" ?

Any nursing mother can participate in ProMoM's National Nurse OUT simply by nursing in public as much as possible during the week of August 1-7;

Local Nurse Outs being planned for the week will involve mothers, organized on a local level, who nurse in public during a specific time frame in a relatively large area (e.g. a park or a mall or a series of city blocks), essentially blanketing the area by spreading out and nursing all over;

Nurse Outs do not involve pickets, gathering together at a place of business/on the statehouse steps, protests, boycotts or slogans.

The goal: At the end of the day, Average Jenny will say "I guess I don't have to hide inside if I decide to breastfeed ? I saw mothers everywhere today, and it was no big deal!".

Another goal: At the end of the day, Average Joe will say "Hey, I saw lots of women nursing all over town today boy, breastfeeding is really popular!"

Characteristics of a "Nurse IN" ?

Generally takes place as a reaction to discriminatory treatment of a nursing mother, or in order to influence legislation.

The goal: Average CEO/Legislator will say "Boy, those breastfeeding mothers really stick together! I better change my store policy/approve this legislation."

Nurse INs generally involve pickets, gathering together at the offensive place of business/on the statehouse steps, protests, boycotts and slogans.

What's the difference?

As you can see, the basic difference between a Nurse OUT and a Nurse IN relates to the purpose for the event. The former tries to increase the visibility of nursing in the public eye, while the latter aims to protest or change policy.

Nurse Out organizers should be careful to plan their local Nurse Out in such away as to ensure that it will not be confused with a nurse-in.

Here are some tips:

  • Choose a wide area to blanket with nursing mothers, rather than a specific spot to meet and nurse together. Perfect examples are throughout the park, throughout the mall, and from "50th to 74th Street". Imagine seeing a mother on every bench!
  • Choose a relatively wide timeframe, so that working mothers and mothers with prior engagements can make it ? or choose an entire day to target the area!
  • After the appointed timeframe, suggest a spot ? a picnic area, ice cream parlor, playground ? where mothers can meet and socialize if they want.
  • In your flyers and press releases, be sure to encourage mothers to get out and nurse throughout the week of August 1-7, even if they can't make it to the planned Nurse Out.