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Thursday, March 01, 2007Robin Neorr's incident with a downtown Columbus day care center has made the front page of the Columbus Dispatch this morning. The article includes the first public statement that I've seen or heard anywhere from City Kids about the matter.
"Breast milk is very different than other foods. It is a bodily fluid which cannot and must not be interchanged between infants. This takes rigorous individual attention. Parents pay for this specialized service."
Hmm...call me crazy, but I never really thought of giving kids the proper bottle to be "specialized service." In fact, I kind of count that as an absolute baseline ability for someone that I would entrust my children to. In fact, Chris Smith, a lactation consultant interviewed for the story points out that this is also an issue for formula fed children, citing the fact that some children are on specialized formulas due to allergies.
The full article is quite interesting, lots of quotes from Robin, the center, a lactation consultant, LLL, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, etc...
The center, City Kids Daycare, told her it doesn't store breast milk on site, she said. And she would have to bring a bottle in every time her daughter, Ceili, got hungry.
"I didn’t really think it was fair, but at that point I was so pregnant and miserable," said Neorr, of Clintonville, noting that she learned about the policy a couple of weeks before her daughter was born on Nov. 5.
Later, the center agreed to accept her bottled breast milk if she paid an extra $10 a day. She paid the fee for eight weeks until she found an opening at a center that doesn’t charge.
At City Kids, her breast milk was kept in a different refrigerator from the bottles of infant formula. A sign on the refrigerator read "biohazard," and once she saw an employee’s cream cheese in the same refrigerator, she said.
"What I didn't think to ask was, 'Do they accept breast milk or not?' because I didn't think it was something you have to ask," Neorr said this week. "It seems pretty obvious."
Unfortunately, City Kids statement looks to me like rather than realizing that they may have made a mistake, they're instead planning on digging in their heels in the hopes of outlasting the publicity.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't plan on dropping this story until it's resolved in a way that includes no longer discriminating against breastfed children and in training their staff well enough that they don't have to worry about children getting the wrong bottles.
UPDATE: They also just put the question of whether or not day care centers should treat milk as a biohazard up as their "Hot Topic" vote. Please go vote and help spread that link far and wide!