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VOICES FROM CAMPUS

Breastfeeding in public portrayed by students in ad


campaign
By Lauren M. Castle June 23, 2014 4:12 pm

13k shares
When Kris Haro and Johnathan Wenske turned in their class project, they did not expect public
attention. However, the ad campaign When Nurture Calls went viral on social media.
The campaign advertises the right for mothers to nurse their children in public areas. It features three
mothers breastfeeding in restroom stalls.
When we started the concept of the campaign, we went to forums, said Wenske. We saw the
recurring theme of women feeding their children in restrooms.
The seniors at the University of North Texas received a special recognition from Adweek, a magazine
catering to the advertising industry.

That was probably one of the greatest moments of my life, said Wenske.
The duo imagines the advertisements would be on the back of restroom stall doors. They want the
viewer to wonder about eating in a restroom. At the bottom of the advertisements, Haro and Wenske
wrote: Would you eat here? By law, breastfeeding mothers are not protected from harassment and
refusal of service in public, often forcing them to feed in secluded spaces such as public bathrooms
because a baby should never be nurtured where nature calls.
The story of a Houston suburban mother inspired the campaign. In 2011, Michelle Hickman went into a
store. When entering the check-out lane, Hickmans infant son woke up wanting milk. She walked to
the womens fitting room to nurse.
Hickman noticed employees returning items from shopping carts in front of the entrance. Not wanting
items to be taken from her cart, Hickman decided to nurse her son in a corner of the womens
department. Hickman sat on the ground and covered her son with a blanket. According to Hickman,
several employees asked her to leave the store or nurse in a fitting room.

Kris Haro and Johnathan Wenske, students at the University of North Texas created When Nurture Calls to diversify their
portfolios. Photo Courtesy of Kris Haro and Johnathan Wenske

Hickman refused and recited Section 165.002 of the Texas Health and Safety
Code. The law states: A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any

location in which the mother is authorized to be.


I cant believe that this happened to me, said Hickman.
The Texas House Bill 1706 also provided inspiration. The bill states: A mothers authority to be in a
location may not be revoked for the sole reason that she begins to breastfeed. Originally, the bill did
not pass. However, the bill is up for vote in January 2015 under a different name.
The ad campaigns website encourages supporters to contact state representatives and women
organizations to inspire change across the nation. Haro and Wenske believe people from both sides of
the matter should do research to gain greater understanding of the issue.
Our ad can really do so much, it is up to society to really change their minds, said Haro.
Haro and Wenske believe breastfeeding in public is questioned due to societal beliefs.
People see breastfeeding as a sexual act, said Wenske. They have grown up in a society [in
which] breasts have been sexualized.
According to Hickman, college students should be aware of the matter.
There are college students who are having babies, said Hickman. They [young mothers] should have
the same rights.

Haro and Wenskes research found that many mothers nurse in restroom stalls to avoid disapproval. Photo Courtesy of
Kris Haro and Johnathan Wenske

Originally for a class project, the ad campaign went viral on social media. Photo Courtesy of Kris Haro and Johnathan
Wenske

Lauren Castle is a contributing writer for USA TODAY College and a student at Southern Methodist University in Dallas,
Texas. She is majoring in convergence journalism and pursuing minors in art history and international studies. Follow
her on Twitter: @lauren_castle

This article comes from The USA TODAY College Contributor network. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily
reflect the views of USA TODAY. You understand that we have no obligation to monitor any discussion forums, blogs, photoor video-sharing pages, or other areas of the Site through which users can supply information or material. However, we
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advertising , Lauren Castle , University of North Texas, VOICES FROM CAMPUS

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Angie Smith Benoit


Substitute Teacher at Calcasieu Parish School Board
Y'all all are so funny.
Like Reply Jun 26, 2014 1:50pm

Angie Smith Benoit


Substitute Teacher at Calcasieu Parish School Board
You can just cover up. It's called having respect for yourself and other around you.
Like Reply Jun 26, 2014 7:01am

Lenita D. Campbell
No is called stop staring and making faces and get some education. There is nothing
disrespectful about breast feeding and depending on the weather a baby will refuse a
cover up.
Like Reply

9 Jun 26, 2014 10:13am

Shernise Shaw Williams


Right lenita
Like Reply

2 Jun 26, 2014 12:14pm

Like Reply

2 Jun 26, 2014 12:14pm

Tna Michelle
it's called being a mother & putting your child first.
Like Reply

7 Jun 26, 2014 9:00pm

Show 1 more reply in this thread

Ni-Cole Hill
I have never breastfed in a restroom I refuse hell .I don't like to even use one for my own needs
unless ?I have no choice! Unlike most mothers I don't like to breastfed just out in the open either
because I don't want a pervert looking at me either. I prefer to bond with my child during my
nursing sessions and outside stimulation prevents this from occurring. I have had women say it
is nasty to breastfed I then respond by telling them this is what your breast were intended for by
God and not to satisfy a man in his sexual conquest of your body! I could go on but I am going to
let it go for now.
Like Reply

5 Jun 25, 2014 11:12am

Arielle Hicks
Veterinary Technician (Vet Tech) at Riverstone Veterinary Hospital
Crazy how in today's society I get dirty looks for using my breast to nurse my child. Even though
that's what's they are for, but society is not appalled by a woman parading around degrading her
self as a stripper. Because then its ok to have your boobs out.
Like Reply

5 Jun 25, 2014 9:56am

Windi Stone
Co-Owner/Office Manager at Ar Stone Heating & Cooling
It just surprises me our country is so prude. Its just a boob that is providing life.
Like Reply

2 Jun 25, 2014 9:32am

Ginny McCrum
Great job to both seniors on this PSA ad campain and spreading public awareness so well!
Good luck in your careers and in public service, should u continue on that path.
Like Reply

2 Jun 24, 2014 2:25am

Ginny McCrum
FYI: One of them, the one quoted and pull-quoted in story, is a guy - Johnathan Wenske. The
reporter should have spoken w both and in my opinion, put a quote from the woman first, as this
is a woman's issue. Wenske is also talking about how it was the best day of his life to get the ad
award, presumably because it will help his career, not because he will that much sooner enjoy
the freedoms of breastfeeding in public himself. BTW, I was asked from a woman yoga teacher
to stop breastfeeding in her postnatal class as men might feel uncomfortable joining the class
that was all moms at that point.
Like Reply Jun 24, 2014 2:18am

Stephanie Fudge
Kudos ladies, job well done!
Like Reply Jun 23, 2014 3:52pm

Ginny McCrum
FYI: One of them, the one quoted and pull-quoted in story, is a guy - Johnathan
Wenske. The reporter should have spoken w both and in my opinion, put a quote from
the woman first, as this is a woman's issue. Wenske is also talking about how it was the

the woman first, as this is a woman's issue. Wenske is also talking about how it was the
best day of his life to get the ad award, presumably because it will help his career, not
because he will that much sooner enjoy the freedoms of breastfeeding in public himself.
Like Reply
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2 Jun 24, 2014 2:19am

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