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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Grande breastmilk latte

Yesterday while reading my favorite mom-centric websites I came across a story about a woman in Maryland who was asked to either stop breastfeeding or cover her baby while trying to enjoy a coffee at her local Starbucks. This story struck a chord in me since I am currently breastfeeding Thomas and I often do so in public restaurants, parks, stores, malls, or wherever we are when he feels like eating.

Apparently Starbucks had picked a fight with the wrong Mama, since this woman wasn't about to cover herself and slink away to the bathroom to breastfeed her kid in shame. Oh no. This woman staged a Nurse-In and got hundreds of nursing moms and their supporters to demonstrate at various Starbucks. Cool! She got tons of press coverage. Go here to read all about it.

Even though I caught this story a year too late to participate in a Nurse-In, I figured it was not too late to be an armchair lactivist (lactating activist) and to write a letter to Starbucks telling them how I feel. The wording of this letter was suggested on the website.

Letter emailed to Starbucks on June 28, 2005.

Dear Starbucks,
I am writing this in response to the horrible treatment of Lorig Charkoudian, the woman in Maryland who was asked not to breastfeed in a Starbucks store by a Starbucks employee.

Please be advised that breastfeeding mothers are protected under national policy and that they have a right to breastfeed in any Starbucks they chose without being asked to move, hide, cover up, or leave.

Please train your employees that breastfeeding is different from other behaviors that customers might complain about (such as loud music, offensive language, etc.), and that employees are never to ask a breastfeeding mother to move, hide, cover up, or leave. Instead employees can advise the complaining customer to avert their eyes or move to a different part of the store.

Yours truly,
Mary Tsao
A breastfeeding mother and Starbucks customer