15 Times Women Were Arrested For Public Breastfeeding

With Beyoncé being publicly slammed right now for drinking while breastfeeding, it's pretty clear to see that a lot of people have opinions about women's chests and their proper usage, especially as a mom. These 15 stories go even further than the public shaming of moms about their breastfeeding; these particular cases escalated to the point where these moms were either arrested or threatened with arrest for feeding their babies while out in public!

It’s crazy to think that the modern world we live in can still frown so heavily upon mothers just trying to feed their children, and it’s not as if those moms are pulling their breasts out to offend, they’re doing it because a hungry baby is a crabby one and sometimes there isn’t time to find a mommy room, or head back to your car or your home; that baby wants nourishment and now!

Why should mothers refrain from feeding their children in public just because it makes someone uncomfortable? Didn’t most of these adults shaming these moms get breastfed at one point or another? It’s just one aspect of life, and I think moms that are trying to normalize this image of breastfeeding on social media should be applauded, because there’s nothing gross about it, there’s nothing unnatural about it, and there’s certainly nothing criminal about it!

15 Almost Lost Their Lives To Starvation

The argument of what to ingest while pregnant and while breastfeeding is always up for debate. You have the one extreme of eating total garbage the entire time and the other extreme of eating so clean it barely feels like food. I think it's safe to say that somewhere in the middle is best, and that balance is key. A Sydney mother was arrested after breastfeeding while on a raw food diet. The 33 year old mom went on the specialized diet recommended by a naturopath in order to treat her 6 month old son’s severe eczema. As a result of this highly restricted diet her son nearly died of starvation and dehydration. The naturopath who recommended the odd diet that eventually would be solely water, was also under investigation.

14 It's "Offensive"

Close your eyes and imagine a moment that you’re a mom at a fairly busy grocery store and you have a newborn. It’s terrifying to take that baby anywhere, mostly because their emotional status is unpredictable, but you do it because, hey, you gotta eat! So you head into the store and before you can even really begin shopping for your food, baby begins to stir, you know what will come next, the screams for sustenance. Now you’re stuck wondering whether to bolt or feed the baby here and get that shopping done! This was the dilemma that Savannah Shukla had when she was grocery shopping at the local Piggly Wiggly.

She chose the latter and really wasn’t expecting a deputy to approach her. He asked her to cover up, but when she refused saying she had every right to feed there, the officer threatened to arrest her for being “offensive” if a nipple just so happened to become exposed!

13 Police Rip Child Off Mother's Chest

Erica had her 14 month old, Levi, ripped straight off her breast by police. You can see the absolute terror in her face as they take her son away. Her son screamed as they dragged his mother away, one breast still exposed as they pulled her to the ground and arrested her. It seems so inhumane and the why will shock you even further.

The Rengos family had been reported to the CPS for child endangerment, which means someone called about them not giving their children proper care and that their children should be taken away. The reason they had been reported was that the family had refused to vaccinate any of their children, a topic still debated by many, but certainly far from abusive. After capturing the family police didn’t see any signs of abuse, yet their children were taken from them anyway.

12 "How Dare You Drink And Breastfeed"

While out for a well-deserved meal with her family at a local restaurant, mother of 3, Tasha Adams would never have imagined what would eventually derail the entire evening and become a sore spot for quite some time! 28 year old Tasha admits to having beer with her meal. She didn’t see that having a drink was inappropriate at all, but when waitress Jackie Conners saw a woman breastfeeding and drinking in front of her, she began to feel uncomfortable with the mother drinking while breastfeeding. She believed that momma had downed all those drinks herself!

Conners took it upon herself to call the police. Police soon showed up and asked Adams if she had been drinking. She said yes, stating that it wasn’t anything illegal, she was still arrested for endangering the welfare of a child.

11 Breastfeeding And A Show

This mother is smiling simply because being carried away by police in this manner seems absolutely ludicrous and she’s not wrong. Melbourne momma, Jill, was filmed being dragged away from a peaceful protest along with her 20 month old son. The event was hosted by the FFFAD (Friends, Families and Feminists Against Detention) and this protest was mainly filled with moms and it was to bring awareness to a Somali refugee who needed help. Nothing about that seems threatening, yet here Jill is being arrested and dragged away while still trying to feed her son. Why her? Of all the protestors, was she the most offensive?

Radio host Neil Mitchell thought she was, he was most offended by her lack of regard for her son and her ill decision to take him to events that would be in his eyes “terrifying.” Jill didn’t back down, she knew there was never any danger and she wants her son to grow up knowing that fighting for the rights of others is important!

10 They 'Obviously' Knew Better

Two Maryland deputies accused a woman of breastfeeding in her car while at a gas station. Boyfriend Juley Harris had only been gone a moment when he returned to find two deputies questioning his girlfriend. When he asked what all this was about the deputies stated that the baby had not been restrained in the car seat and that his girlfriend had been feeding the baby in the front seat, which was a no no for them. But certainly not illegal in Maryland.

Girlfriend Shanita Simms had not taken the baby out of the car seat while it was in motion and didn’t see an issue with taking the baby from a parked car to feed in the front seat before heading out again. This was simply convenient, not dangerous or obscene. The situation escalated when Juley accused them of violating her rights, that’s when the officers took Shanita’s camera and arrested her boyfriend.

9 Doped Up On Tylenol

Scottish model Jo Minto was charged with endangering her child while breastfeeding. What exactly was she accused of? Well, authorities believed she had made her baby ill due to ingesting a variety of drugs and then breastfeeding her child, essentially sharing those drugs with the baby. Jo Minto had previously survived glass shards being embedded into her face after a drunken man at a pub had mistakenly thrown a glass in her direction, the incident had left her nearly blind in one eye and with multiple scars across her face.

The model took pain medication from time to time, definitely nothing as dangerous as she had been accused of taking. Minto had admitted to taking controlled substances, which could be something as typical as Tylenol. The charges against her were later dropped.

8 "You Can't Pump Here"

If you know what it’s like to suffer from engorged breasts, then you will certainly feel Lillian Desjarlais’ pain. Lillian spent 3 days without access to a breast pump and was unable to feed her son and relieve her pain. While being held in a detention facility, Lillian complained that she was being mistreated because she wasn’t able to express milk and avoid mastitis. Lillian had been arrested for a domestic dispute and unable to feed her 4 month old son.

She had been leaking milk, forced to continue wearing her wet clothes. Her milk even began to turn greenish in hue, but even after bringing this to the attention of the officers, no one came to her aid. When Lillian returned home, her milk supply had dwindled and the breastfeeding connection faded, leaving this a strange case of not being allowed to breastfeed.

7 Double Standards

Kristen Fleming had been arrested for a domestic dispute with her husband where she admits to shoving him, but that it was not malicious or as violent as he had portrayed. The event landed her in jail. Although breastfeeding didn’t land her in jail, it certainly helped her avoid jail time in this rare case where the tables have turned. Having twin girls and no actual criminal record made the judge a bit more lenient with the sentencing and Kristen escaped 14 days in jail for 4 months of house arrest. She told the judge that her 6 month old twins did not yet take bottles and that she was breastfeeding them exclusively, something she would not be able to do from jail. The judge was lenient, but this had some people calling the case out on double standards.

6 "Don't Breastfeed In The Courtroom"

The GIF above just makes me laugh, there isn't a more appropriate image for this story and let me tell you why. A woman in a courtroom was forced to put those boobs away by a judge because clearing those breastfeeding boobs are far more distracting than the scene above. Willow Brooks was just starting to breastfeed her 4 month old son Angelo when Judge Gregory Lenehan looked down upon the mom, sneering at her and telling her “don’t breastfeed in the courtroom.”

No other explanation was given, but the damage was certainly done, he had made Brooks feel ashamed for breastfeeding in public. She left the courtroom for fear of getting scolded further or getting into trouble with the judge. After the story got out, many moms felt that Willow had had her rights violated and she later received an apology from the judge.

5 Indecent Exposure

Breastfeeding is hardly public nudity, it’s not about getting naked and showing off the goods, it’s about feeding the baby important nutrients when baby needs it! It’s a shame we still live in a world where breastfeeding is seen as offensive or even crude. D.C mom Simone dos Santos was simply breastfeeding her infant, but she just so happened to do so in a government building in Washington, who knew that would rub some people the wrong way.

Once spotted she was asked to stop, and even threatened with being told that she was committing an indecent act in public! Simone continues that she felt as though she was being treated like a “criminal” for simply providing sustenance for her son. Simone had even used her jacket to cover up, so the security guards truly must have been looking too hard.

4 "You Have The Right To Remain Silent"

What happens when the officer becomes the mom? Well there doesn’t seem to be a lot of respect, that’s for sure. Former officer from Albuquerque, Jennifer Lund, claims she was forced to lactate while in her patrol car as no appropriate options were given. She had received harassment and hostility over her need to breastfeed and express milk after returning to work. Once she returned to work, she voiced the fact that she would need breaks to pump breast milk for her baby, but instead she was sent out on patrol and calls where she couldn’t do so, and there was no sympathy for the fact that she needed to.

Basically it was suck it up and shut it! Without flexible scheduling and a clean sanitary place to express milk, Jennifer felt forced out of work and decided to sue her former employer for the physical pain she endured and emotional distress.

3 No One Wants To See That...

A Toronto mom was told in not so many words to put her boobs away while dinning at a golf club. I guess they would prefer her boobs to explode! Alexandra Shimo was happily enjoying a meal with her partner and their 2 month old son, when little Jacob became fussy, mom knew it was time for a feed. She didn’t even feed Jacob right there and then at the table; instead she headed into a quiet hallway in the clubhouse and began to discreetly breastfeed her son.

A man soon approached with a large table cloth, trying to cover up the pair and shooing them away, stating that diners were complaining that they didn’t want to see that while they were eating. The employee practically shooed her towards the basement, where Shimo hid to finish breastfeeding without further incident.

2 Walmart Feed Leads To Stalking And Arrest

Oh Walmart, why is there always a new scandal? This time it’s targeting moms! In a Virginia Walmart a mother was breastfeeding her newborn daughter when an employee called the police, stating that they had witnessed some “lewd behaviour” in store. Mary Lambert had only hoped to do some shopping while at her local Walmart, but when her 5 month old baby girl began to fuss, she knew that she wouldn’t be getting much done until she fed her.

The feeding had only taken a couple of moments and Mary hadn’t thought anyone had even seen her and she continued her shopping and left the store. A security guard had seen her “disgusting” act on one of the cameras and immediately called police to have her removed from the store. Since she had already left, police trailed her home, where Mary was shocked to find out she was being arrested, and since no one was home to watch the baby, they took her into custody for the night as well!

1 "You Should Be Ashamed Of Yourself"

A Utah woman was asked to cover up after trying to breastfeed her child at a public pool. Trinite Harrison was at the Aquatic Center with her 4 month old son when a lifeguard told her she couldn’t breastfeed there. The lifeguard went further to state that she was violating laws by doing so and she could even be charged with public nudity if she continued! Embarrassed and terrified of being reported for such a silly thing, Harrison fled to the changing rooms to finish feeding her son.

The incident sparked outrage in the community and the pool’s management team did eventually apologize for the entire ordeal, stating that their staff would gain further training on awareness of the rights of moms at the pool, they would make certain that no one would be shamed for something completely legal ever again!

Sources: Today.com, ABCNews.go.com, SomeECards.com, MedicalKidnap.com, PhotographyIsNotACrime.com, YouTube.com, ABC.net.au, CBC.ca, TheSun.co.uk, TheChronicleHerald.ca, KRGE.com, CTVNews.ca, Good4Utah.com, DailyMail.co.uk, EmpireNews.ca

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