“I’m so furious,” a mom’s Facebook post begins. And she has every right to be, because she got booted from a pediatrician’s waiting room because she was nursing her baby.
If this didn’t happen time and time again, I would be surprised to read that a breastfeeding mother was kicked out of her son’s pediatrician’s office because she was nursing him. But I’m not surprised, because people continue to defy the law (yes, the law) and ask nursing moms to cover up, head to the toilets or leave. This is exactly what happened to Erin Peña when she was trying to get her 4-month-old son his vaccinations.
The irony here is that it was at a pediatrician’s office in a hospital, a place where breastfeeding should not only be allowed but encouraged.
Despite the fact that breastfeeding is legal (whether a mom is covered or uncovered), Peña was ultimately removed from the physician’s office because she was nursing her baby. Her partner was called up to the window, where a receptionist told him she needed to leave to breastfeed, and when she refused, she was told to cover up. Again she refused, because she knew the law was on her side. She went back to the doctor to plead her case (and therefore wasn’t where she was supposed to be), security was called, and she was escorted out.
The situation should never have escalated to the point where she felt she needed backup. Peña reports the receptionist threatened to cancel her appointment if she didn’t comply, and she says that’s what happened. A hospital representative says she was asked to leave because she went to plead her case to the doctor without permission, but the worker was out of line to begin with.
This is complete garbage. I fail to understand why the law is not ultimately understood across the board — moms can nurse their babies in public with or without a cover. How other people feel about it has nothing to do with what a mother is allowed to do. Until breastfeeding in public is again not a big deal (and it never used to be before bottle-feeding became popular), people are just going to have to deal with it. If you’re worried about what to tell your kids, it’s really easy — just tell them the mother is feeding the baby. Then they will grow up thinking that breastfeeding isn’t something that needs to be hidden away, because it’s normal.
The hospital has reached out and apologized, but it’s too little, too late for a mom who was harassed, bullied and embarrassed because she was doing nothing more than feeding her child.