Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A happy update!

In my post about ending the age limit for breastfeeding in public, I mentioned that I wrote to my State Senator asking for him to support Senate Bill 83. I had actually forgotten about sending the email, and was momentarily confused when I had an email from someone named "Randy" with the bill name in the subject line.

He answered my email!  I honestly wasn't expecting to get a reply at all, and if I did I thought it would probably be a form letter. This was a pleasant surprise.

Here is my original email:

Dear Senator McNally,

I recently learned of Senate Bill 83, proposing to eliminate the wording that limits breastfeeding in public to infants under twelve months of age. I urge you to please vote in support of this bill, and thus in support of breastfeeding mothers and babies all across our state. In our nation, mothers are pressured to wean their babies as soon as they turn one year old, when weaning is not always best. In fact, the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding along with solid foods to age two and beyond. (http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/en/) Mothers should feel comfortable in providing the best possible care for their children without fear of repercussions, simply because a date on the calendar has passed. Tennessee can be an example to the rest of the country of how to support nursing mothers and our children!

As a nursing mother whose infant is quickly approaching the one-year mark, I ask you to please publicly support this bill and vote yes when the time comes.
Thank you,

And here is the reply:

Thank you for your recent e-mail regarding SB83.  I appreciate you taking the time to contact me on this matter.

I have spoken to Sen. Faulk and he has assured me about some of the questions regarding the multiple definition in statutory law.  The definition would be consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics and with that assurance I will be glad to support this legislation.

You have my assurance that your concerns and suggestions, as well as those of my other constituents, will be reflected in my decision making process as the Senate continues its work.

I truly hope this bill passes quickly, and that other states follow.

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