Mamas of SF: Jazmin Morelos of the Urban Lactation Project

Editors Note: For all the talk of people leaving SF after the kids arrive, I am constantly spotting mamas and papas and babies all over the place! Perhaps its because I am a parent that I am now more aware of them, so to do my part in dispelling the child-free SF myth I'm adding a new section to the site, Mamas of SF. It's simply moms (and dads) of all types and stripes sharing their stories of raising kids in San Francisco. If you'd like to be included, drop me a line. Enjoy!  ~Lesly 

Name (and age if you choose to share)

My name is Jazmin Morelos and I am 29 years old and entering my third decade in August. 

Neighborhood and where you are from originally 

I'm originally from San Diego, CA, my partner is from El Salvador and our daughter is a native San Franciscan. 

Tell me about yourself.

I have a bachelors degree in Communication Studies from San Francisco State University and I currently working on my Masters degree from the same school and in the same department. I hope I can successfully finish my program by the end of this summer. I am a student and a full-time mommy and enjoying it very much. I love photography and once in a while I shoot videos with my partner Xaul. I love writing articles about artistic and cultural events that happen in our beautiful city and another hobby we are into is traveling to nearby places and explore what is there. Our baby is our first child and are still deciding whether we want a second child sooner than later. 

Tell me about your kids.

We had our first child on April 9th, 2013 and we named her Axul Margarita. Her interests include loving her parents and cats, as well as exploring her surroundings and putting things in her mouth. 

Mom Jazmin, baby Axul and dad Xaul

Mom Jazmin, baby Axul and dad Xaul

What is the Urban Lactation Project?

The Urban Lactation Project (ULP ) was founded in order to promote the rights of women who choose to breastfeed in public. The first stage focuses on conveying information about breastfeeding through an art exhibit that includes various aesthetic genres such as poetry, graphic design, printing, music, photography, sculpture and painting. The event will be held from August 16-22, 2014 in San Francisco, California. We have an open call-out to artists and the deadline is June 30th.

The inspiration for this project comes from a unpleasant experience I had this year with an employee of the Department of Motor Vehicles of San Francisco who not only said "That 's Nasty," but also asked me to go to the bathroom or car (on a very hot day), or anywhere but the bench that is located outside of the building. According to her, I was “exposing myself” (her words) and she just wanted to protect the public from that. I then realized I live in a city with amazing resources (latching, peer support, biting, etc.), but I couldn’t find anyone doing public advocacy work. Based on this experience I decided to expand the project into a second stage that focuses on informing business owners about how important it is to generate comfortable and welcoming environments that encourage mothers to leave their homes with the assurance that they can breastfeed on demand and as they return back to their daily routines. Participating businesses will be given a sticker for their window so families can easily identify these places. We believe that positive experiences helps increase the number of months a mother chooses to nurse. We are also currently designing a website, where people can find business profiles and review their experience with breastfeeding in public places.

How can people get involved?

People can become involved in many ways. They can participate in the art exhibit with a piece of their own, volunteer their time to tend the gallery the week that it will be open or the day of the event. Another great way to get involved is by taking to different business owners about the ULP and convince them to place a sticker on their website and submit their reviews of places they have visited. We are also launching a campaign to raise funds to pay for the gallery space, sticker printing and website building. 

What is your favorite child friendly restaurant in SF?

I have two favorite restaurants, the first one is Sunrise Restaurant in the Mission District because I have always felt incredibly comfortable feeding my child in there. It is also stroller friendly and the food is amazing. The second restaurant is Espetus on Market. I love this place because they provide you with a car-seat stand so you can place your child at a comfortable height and no one has ever made me feel weird about my boob being out while everyone else eats. 

In one word, how would you describe raising children in San Francisco