If you have ever had a small baby and were exclusively breastfeeding, you know how isolating it can be. You cannot leave your child for any period of time, because you are his or her only source of food, especially if the baby doesn’t take bottles. Your only choice? Bring that baby along with you wherever you go.
A group of nearly 50 moms in Fort Myers, Fla., were excited about seeing the new Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell movie, “Bad Moms,” this weekend. They purchased tickets ahead of time and looked forward to a much-needed night out. Two of the moms, Brookynn Cahill and Juliana Valverde, have small babies whom they couldn’t leave at home because of breastfeeding. When they arrived at the theater, the two moms were turned away. Management said it was because children under 6 are not allowed in evening showings of R-rated movies. The moms feel they were singled out because they were breastfeeding. (They pointed out that children between the ages of 3-5 were spotted in the same showing.)
“I think that they have a right to have their rules for their theater,” she said. “But I think it needs to be a little different with the age limit. Young babies are sleeping and being perfectly fine. If our babies are going to make a noise, we know how to handle this situation.”
Florida is among states that allow women to breastfeed in any public or private place and exempts breastfeeding from public indecency laws.
Cebull and Valverde said the man they identified as the manager was unmoving, and once he realized Valverde was breast-feeding while talking to him, demanded she cover up. They said he also refused to let them talk to anyone higher in management.
Next page: Find out how the moms ended up spending their evening.
It seems that every-day moms face problems as a result of breastfeeding in public. It is incidents like this one in Fort Myers that bring attention to the issue and that can hopefully result in fewer incidents in the future.
In a show of solidarity, nearly 35 moms in the group that planned to attend the movie that night walked out with Cahill and Valverde. They all went on to enjoy the evening at the local Catina Laredo restaurant, and had the price of their tickets refunded. Way to go, mom solidarity!