Morgan Riley was at the skating rink with her 7-month-old baby and her older child when her little one got hungry. She settled into a corner to nurse her infant but she says that a manager soon strode over and told her to cover up or retire to a private room if she wanted to nurse without a cover. She couldn't leave the room because there was no one else to watch her older kid, and she says that the experience left her embarrassed and upset.
The law says that you can breastfeed your baby. It doesn't require you to use a cover, and it doesn't require you to leave the room if you don't like to use them. As with many moms, Riley reports that once her baby got older, she tolerated breastfeeding covers less and less to the point where the cover was more of a hindrance than a help.
The media reports that the skating rink didn't want to discuss the situation with them, which is too bad because this is the time when they can really make strides in correcting the error on the part of the manager and apologizing to Riley. What this manager did, and by extension the business, was against the law:
"A mother is entitled to breastfeed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be."
Basically, when someone notices that a woman is breastfeeding, she must be left alone. If there are other customers in the same area who are complaining about it, they should be informed that the mother is within her rights to feed her child, covered or uncovered. Breastfeeding is not dirty, shameful, immoral, immodest or akin to public urination or defecation.
Harassing moms who are doing nothing more than feeding their kids is not only illegal, but it embarrasses them and can hurt their confidence. As a society, we need to do much less of this so people can deal with seeing a woman nursing her baby, and if someone cannot handle it, they can always look away.
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