A nursing mother is already stressed about enough as it is, so imagine trying to feed your baby while dealing with another sick child in the hospital only to be confronted by a hospital staff member saying you can’t feed your newborn in public. That’s exactly what happened to a mother in Alabama who was forced to leave the waiting room.
The mother, Ariana Elders, who spoke to a local TV station in Huntsville says she was visiting the Huntsville Hospital to get her 4-year-old son checked out. While she was in the waiting room she started the breastfeed her 4-month-old baby when a security guard approached her. That’s when she says the security guard told her she could not nurse in public and took her to a private room.
The mother says while she wasn’t embarrassed to be breastfeeding her hungry baby in public, she wanted to avoid further confrontation and went along with what the security guard to the private room.
The hospital found out about the confrontation and has since stated the guard made a mistake and has apologized to Elders. Huntsville Hospital sent the following statement to WAFF 48 :
Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children allows breastfeeding in public. In Mrs. Elders’ situation, a member of our staff made a mistake. We spoke with her earlier today and apologized. We want to assure her and our community that we are reviewing our training process to ensure our staff recognize, respect and uphold the rights of breastfeeding mothers.
The mother had every right to breastfeed in the hospital waiting room. In fact, Alabama state code states, a mother may breastfeed her child in any location, private or public. All fifty states have laws protecting breastfeeding mothers and allowing them to nurse their child in public.
Elders wants to remind other mothers in her position they have every right to feed their babies in public and not to be afraid to stand up for yourself, the law is on your side.
While no mother should have to explain herself and it could be an opportunity to educate other individuals who may not know what is allowed by law.