A Wisconsin mom felt humiliated after a post office employee demanded she stop nursing her child inside the building. When she refused, the postal worker asked to her leave. Sadly she had the same encounter with the female employee the following day and was asked to leave again.
With a newborn and a toddler in tow, Raven Dibble spoke to WISC-TV News 3 on the need to breastfeed her child in a way that’s most convenient to her. This reality is what prompted her to nurse her daughter on the two occasions she had to go to the post office. Raven claims the post office employee who harassed her for breastfeeding in public considered it to be “indecent.”
Wisconsin state law declares a mother can breastfeed her child in public or private — so long as they’re authorized to be at the location. “No person may prohibit a mother from breast-feeding her child, direct a mother to move to a different location to breast-feed her child, direct a mother to cover her child or breast while breast-feeding, or otherwise restrict a mother from breast-feeding her child as provided in this section.”
Recognizing this, the post office took action. “We have apologized to the customer for the incident and any inconvenience this may have caused her,” Sean Hargadon, a spokesperson for the United States Postal Service wrote in a statement. “We have talked to our employees about the situation and have taken this opportunity to educate our employees regarding the law.”
Raven hopes her recent experience at a local post office will help change society’s perception about breastfeeding. In response to her incident, Raven plans to host a peaceful nurse-in at the post office location on July 22.
As a mom of a toddler and newborn myself, I too understand the need to nurse your child on demand. I never breastfed my firstborn in public without a cover, as I thought it was taboo and possibly illegal. Heck, there were times when I felt ashamed — even with a nursing cover. As much as I’d like to think of myself as a “bold” person, I must admit it’s very easy to crack under public scrutiny. Thankfully I’ve never been on the receiving end of a nasty comment, but I can only imagine how those who have must feel.
Breastfeeding is extremely natural and a wonderful way to bond with your child. It’s good to know certain states have legislation in place that hopefully empower more mothers to feed their babies — regardless if they choose to use a cover or not. After all, who wants to duck and dive all the time?