A small group of Michigan mothers were told that they were not allowed to breastfeed during a planned nursing flash mob at a local mall. What are the rules at the mall, and who was in the right? Read on and decide!
Somerset Collection, a mall in the city of Troy, Michigan, became the center of controversy when it prohibited a group of a dozen women from gathering for a peaceful breastfeeding demonstration.
A security guard approached local mother Mary Napoli, the event’s organizer, shortly after she sat down to nurse her little boy. The security guard asked her to stop, and when she questioned his reasoning, she was told that the mall doesn’t allow flash mobs. Additionally, the guard also stated that the mall doesn’t even allow nursing in public.
This is in sharp contrast to the mall’s official policy, which states that the mall does indeed allow breastfeeding. They do prohibit flash mobs, demonstrations and protests, but nursing in public is fine, according to Edward Nakfoor, spokesperson for The Somerset Collection.
Michigan, while not having a law specifically protecting the rights of those wishing to breastfeed in public, does state that a nursing mom is exempt from public nudity or indecent exposure citations when feeding her child. Forty-five states in America do have specific laws stating that mothers have a right to breastfeed in any place they have a legal right to be, whether it be a public or private place.
This is another case of employees of a company not following published breastfeeding protocol and it begs the question: are employees not being trained specifically on how to handle breastfeeding mothers, or are the employees acting on their own agendas and putting their own feelings ahead of company policy?
What do you think of the mall security guard’s decision to ask the breastfeeding moms to stop? Share in the comments.
More on breastfeeding
The breastfeeding diet for nursing moms
Drinking alcohol and breastfeeding: What is safe?
5 breastfeeding tips for new moms