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Breastfeeding Mom Sues New York City Chocolate Shop

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A Manhattan mom is suing a New York restaurant, saying she was kicked out for breastfeeding her five month old baby.

According to the New York Post, Julia Acevedo-Taylor is suing Lily O’Brien’s Chocolate Cafe, saying the manager asked her to stop nursing.  And when she wouldn’t stop, the manager allegedly asked her to leave.  The Post writes:

In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Taylor says she and pal Latasha Augustoplos had stopped off at the Bryant Park cafe for a bite to eat last August when their kids started demanding food as well.

“Taylor and Augustoplos began nursing their hungry and tired toddlers,” the suit says, and “positioned [them] with their heads toward their respective bodies.”

“[N]o part of either the plaintiff’s nor Augustoplos’s nipples were exposed” – and there would have been nothing legally wrong with that had they been while feeding their kids – but that didn’t stop the chiding chocolate shop manager from coming over and telling the women to “stop doing that,” the suit says…

Manager Cathal Queally denied it happened the first time – he said the “since removed” female general manager had simply asked Taylor to cover-up some.

“Certainly no one was ever thrown out of our cafe for breastfeeding,” he said, noting the shop is “a mother-daughter business.”

And here’s some further perspective from the The Wall Street Journal:

…(O)ne thing is clear: public breastfeeding is a mother’s legal right in New York.

The relevant statute in the state’s civil rights law, passed in 1994, states that “a mother may breast feed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be.”…

Hospitals in New York are legally required to post and distribute the state’s “Breastfeeding Mothers Bill of Rights” in maternity facilities, which also include protections for those who need to pump breast milk while at work.

Interviews with The Editor and the Owner of The Yummy Mummy Store

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I recently wrote about the public service announcement has to promote breastfeeding.  Now, here’s an interview with Carla Roney, editor of TheBump.  She talks about the benefits of breastfeeding.  Also, for the latest on nursing fashion (bras, tops and dresses) as well as pumps, there’s an interview with Amanda Cole, owner of The Yummy Mummy store in Manhattan.

Amazing Breastfeeding Public Service Announcement on The

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Oh my god, I LOVE THIS!!! The has put together a breastfeeding public service announcement in recognition of Breastfeeding Awareness Month.  The ad features some celebs you may recognize. So ladies, “whip ‘em out!”

Heading to BlogHer

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I’m off to BlogHer. It’s my first time. It should be really interesting. Sort of like bringing the internet to life.

Gisele Bundchen Responds to Criticism of her Comments About Breastfeeding

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A bit of an internet brouhaha has erupted over Gisele Bundchen’s comments about breastfeeding. In the September issue of the UK version of Harper’s Bazaar, Bundchen said there should be an international law requiring moms to breastfeed.

To me, it seems that common sense says Bundchen was speaking in hyperbole.  There’s absolutely no way there would ever be a law, national or international, mandating breastfeeding.  So I think any criticism of her comments is unfair.

Nevertheless, Bundchen felt the need to respond to her critics, writing this on her blog today:

My intention in making a comment about the importance of breastfeeding has nothing to do with the law. It comes from my passion and beliefs about children. Becoming a new mom has brought a lot of questions, I feel like I am in a constant search for answers on what might be the best for my child. It’s unfortunate that in an interview sometimes things can seem so black and white. I am sure if I would just be sitting talking about my experiences with other mothers, we would just be sharing opinions. I understand that everyone has their own experience and opinions and I am not here to judge. I believe that bringing a life into this world is the single most important thing a person can undertake and it can also be the most challenging. I think as mothers we are all just trying our best.

Melissa Whitworth, the author of the Harper’s story, also jumped into the fray, defending Bundchen.  She had this to say, writing in the Telegraph:

Gisele has always been extremely passionate about a variety of issues – environmental preservation, mental and physical health and motherhood. And now it seems we can add breastfeeding to that list.

The bit that outraged the mummy brigade was where she said it should be “a law” for mothers to breastfeed for at least six months. “How dare someone so beautiful and rich make us feel bad about ourselves?”, they shrieked.

I can understand why. Gisele has bounced back to her pre-motherhood weight, but that surely is just a freak of genetics. She finds breastfeeding to be easy. But we all know mothers who don’t, despite their best efforts, and thus have to rely on formula. In America, where maternity leave lasts all of five minutes and employers think they are being incredibly kind to provide office “lactation rooms”, six months is an impossible length of time. Which is exactly what Gisele is trying to highlight. Gisele knows only too well that not every mother can enjoy the freedoms she does. And she is not a politician. So hold on a sec: the Gisele Breastfeeding Rule is not waiting to be signed into law. She is just a passionate new mother with an opinion.

I found her to be warm, maternal, energetic, nurturing and passionate – quite the opposite to the steely glamour queen we see swaggering down the runway and gracing the world’s press today…

The resulting outcry shows just how passionately women feel about the issues Gisele has raised. So let’s celebrate the fact that she’s made us talk about the pros and cons of breastfeeding, and not hang the supermodel out to dry.

Tell People Why You Chose to Breastfeed on New Ameda Website

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And one more post before I crash… Breast pump manufacturer Ameda has launched a new campaign in honor of World Breastfeeding Week.  It’s called “I Breastfeed because…”  You can go to a special Ameda site,, and watch videos of moms sharing their breastfeeding stories.  If you upload a video of your own, there’s a chance to win a $2,500 nursery makeover.  And Bethenny Frankel of the Bravo show Bethenny Getting Married has a video there.   But most importantly, for every video uploaded to the site, Ameda will make a donation to the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, a non-profit association of donor human milk banks… $5 for every video, $1.00 for every tweet or comment.

How Breast Milk Protects Babies From Harmful Bacteria

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The New York Times has a fascinating story today about a study focusing on the composition of breast milk.  Researchers have found that breast milk contains complex sugars that protect babies from harmful bacteria.  Put on your science hats for a minute now… here’s a link to the actual study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  And boiled down into plain english, is the story from the New York Times:

A large part of human milk cannot be digested by babies and seems to have a purpose quite different from infant nutrition — that of influencing the composition of the bacteria in the infant’s gut…

The details of this three-way relationship between mother, child and gut microbes are being worked out by three researchers at the University of California, Davis — Bruce German, Carlito Lebrilla and David Mills. They and colleagues have found that a particular strain of bacterium, a subspecies of Bifidobacterium longum, possesses a special suite of genes that enable it to thrive on the indigestible component of milk.

This subspecies is commonly found in the feces of breast-fed infants. It coats the lining of the infant’s intestine, protecting it from noxious bacteria…

The indigestible substance that favors the bifido bacterium is a slew of complex sugars derived from lactose, the principal component of milk. The complex sugars consist of a lactose molecule on to which chains of other sugar units have been added. The human genome does not contain the necessary genes to break down the complex sugars, but the bifido subspecies does, the researchers say in a review of their progress in today’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The complex sugars were long thought to have no biological significance, even though they constitute up to 21 percent of milk. Besides promoting growth of the bifido strain, they also serve as decoys for noxious bacteria that might attack the infant’s intestines. The sugars are very similar to those found on the surface of human cells, and are constructed in the breast by the same enzymes. Many toxic bacteria and viruses bind to human cells by docking with the surface sugars. But they will bind to the complex sugars in milk instead. “We think mothers have evolved to let this stuff flush through the infant,” Dr. Mills said…

“We were astonished that milk had so much material that the infant couldn’t digest,” Dr. German said. “Finding that it selectively stimulates the growth of specific bacteria, which are in turn protective of the infant, let us see the genius of the strategy — mothers are recruiting another life-form to baby-sit their baby.”…

The story goes on to say that the researchers are investigating how their findings could be used to help premature infants and the elderly.

Gisele Bundchen and Breastfeeding

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Updated: Today (August 4th) Gisele wrote a blog post about her comments in Harper’s Bazaar.  Click here to read it.

I’ve written here before about supermodel Gisele Bundchen’s comments that breastfeeding helped her lose weight post-partum.  And now, well timed to World Breastfeeding Week, the wife of NFL football star Tom Brady has spoken out again about breastfeeding.

In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK (excerpted in the Daily Mail), Bundchen had this to say:

“Some people here think they don’t have to breastfeed, and I think ‘Are you going to give chemical food to your child when they are so little?’ I think there should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months.” (via US Magazine).