Nursing moms just can’t catch a break. Or at least that’s how it seems when week after week yet another story emerges about a breastfeeding mother being shamed or asked to cover up. Let’s get this straight: Public breastfeeding is legal. Babies need to eat, and if they happen to get hungry when a mother is (God forbid) outside the privacy of her home, she can feed that baby without a cover anywhere she is legally allowed to be.
Now, let’s get to the latest incident of someone breaking the law by asking a nursing mom to move, shall we? Utah mom Ana Davis was shopping at Nordstrom when her baby daughter started crying because she was hungry. Although Ms. Davis would have been legally allowed to breastfeed right in the middle of the store, she decided that she would be more comfortable in the common area of the restroom. That’s when a Nordstrom employee approached Ms. Davis and her already nursing infant and told her that a customer had complained because she felt uncomfortable with the situation. The employee suggested that the mom pick up all of her stuff, unlatch her child, and relocate to a dressing room because 1) that would be totally easy 2) the baby would be totally cool with that scenario and 3) that’s totally within the rights of the employee to request that.
Scary Mommy has more:
That’s not just illegal, it’s flat out stupid.
“It was a little embarrassing at first,” said Davis. “I didn’t feel like I was doing anything wrong by nursing.” Her husband, Joel Davis didn’t get it either. “It provokes the question, why did it make sense to ask a nursing mother to leave the privacy of a bathroom?” he said. Upset over the incident, the couple reached out the store manager. The manager apologized and said Nordstrom employees would be brought up to speed on public breastfeeding laws.
While the couple is glad that Nordstrom employees will be better informed going forward, they want to spread awareness about breastfeeding laws to everyone, such as the customer who complained about Davis feeding her daughter in the first place. “We as a society are OK with, you know, low-cut shirts or advertisements of underwear models. But a nursing mother, to a lot of people, is just very offensive,” Davis said.
Whether a nursing mom is at Target, Nordstrom, or on a park bench, she is allowed to feed her child. People who feel “uncomfortable” with that have a great option: Don’t look!