Monday, April 16, 2007

Ronald McDonald House updates

Here is an update...
**Update**..please read Update posts for a more info but as of Saturday Afternoon(4/14) we are still being asked not to nurse anywhere but our rooms and Arlene, who I spoke to today by phone, has informed me that she will be contacting the Executive Director and their attorneys on Monday about the situation before any other decisions will be made. I have been told by Arlene that she will do what she needs to do and that I am to "be very careful" about what I decide to do. We are being told that we are not being asked to leave right now and that they never meant that we should have to...despite the fact that Arlene told my sister in front of another RMH employee on speaker phone that families who could not acclimate to the environment at RMH should find somewhere else to stay. She admitted this to me on the phone today, that yes she did tell Jessica that...but that did not mean we actually had to leave. Also the day after she was asked to stop nursing(yesterday) Jessica's social worker was contacted by RMH and was apparently told that she may need to help us make other accommodations. The RMH actually contacted my sister's social worker who handles Tobin's case while he is in the hospital and got her involved...because Jessica was nursing and they are not ok with that? I guess nursing means not acclimating to their environment and she was just trying to intimidate Jessica into stopping the nursing of her sick son.I do want to say that aside from Arlene, and the original employee who asked my sister to stop nursing, we have been treated very well here and want to say that the RMH has great employees as well as the ones bullying us.

And here is another update...
I am still updating the original thread but someone suggested I also post a new one so that it will be easier to find the new information.I just spoke to Naomi Scott, the Executive Director of the RMH Houston, and we(Me, Jessica, Arlene and Naomi) have a meeting this afternoon (tentatively) at 4pm. She came back from her vacation early to handle the situation. Naomi needs to speak to some people before the meeting she said.Unlike Arlene, Naomi was very pleasant on the phone but she told me that although they are not kicking us out right now that it is a guideline(an oral one) to ask all breastfeeding mothers to go to their rooms to nurse. This is the first I have heard of any oral guideline from anyone. It was never mentioned before. She told me this was because they had multicultural residents here and that they need to protects all the residents from feeling uncomfortable. Because of this they are not changing their stance on us breastfeeding downstairs.She also said that she has received calls from corporate but that each RMH is run independently. They have also received calls from national donors and she said that was uncomfortable and that all of our emails crashed their server(although they have fixed it now) which was costing them money.This is all I know for now but I will be contacting the LLL about representaion of some sort at the meeting and I am going to try and get ahold of corporate myself right now. Thank you all for your continued support..and please keep the pressure coming, we will need it now MORE THAN EVER to make sure all moms have the right to breastfeed at the RMH.Please call or email Naomi Scott at 713.795.3560 or nscott @ rmhhouston.organd call or fax corporate if you feel you can as well.Corporate RMHPhone: 630-623-7048Fax: 630-623-7488Please let them know that their apparent "oral guideline" as Naomi put it, of directing employees and volunteers to ask mothers to nurse only in their rooms is not acceptable and that we should be able to nurse anywhere we are allowed to be at RMH. Especially since bottle-feeding is perfectly acceptable in these same communal areas(there was a woman in the common area feeding a bottle last night).and this...
I called Naomi and she said that they have 50 families from "all cultures" and that some cultures may view breastfeeding as offensive, and that's why they ask breastfeeding moms to go to their rooms. When asked if they would ask the same of bottlefeeding moms, she laughed and asked why would they do that? I said that there are some people out there that are offended when they see a bottle being used, and she gave the guideline of "all cultures" need to be accomodated.She said they wouldn't allow people to smoke in common areas, which I told her wasn't the same as nursing because that's a public health risk, and she said some people don't view it that way (could SHE be a smoker giving THAT stupid of a line?) They don't care about the law.She says that she's gotten soooooo many emails that it crashed the system, they had to pay an IT guy to come up and fix it, and it's taking "donation dollars away from the families." Yeah, not getting any sympathy from me, this is a self imposed "problem" as far as I'm concerned.


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