An unemployed mother in Winston-Salem, N.C., was told she had to stop breastfeeding her baby while waiting to meet with a jobs counselor. After all, it was office policy that nursing moms take their nastiness to a private room, if available, or … outside.
When an office receptionist informed Elizabeth Abbott, mother of four, that the nursing baby was making others in the office — the men in the office — uncomfortable and that she needed to stop or leave.
Abbott balked. She told the receptionist she wasn’t going anywhere.
She told Fox8 [see video] that she explained to the woman she didn’t care. “My baby is hungry, I’m here to find a job and my baby wants to eat.”
Some people who overheard the receptionist were just as mad.
As spokesperson for the NC Employment Security Commission said the couldn’t prohibit the mom from breastfeeding, but that they had a policy stating where that could happen. In the open office was not one of those places.
Yet North Carolina law actually protects mothers who want to breastfeed in public, regardless of the comfort level of those present.
Stories of women being asked to cover up, or leave or simply stop feeding their kids aren’t unusual. And, for the most part, laws and policies end up coming down on the side of the nursing mom, which makes it surprising whenever this happens.
Were you ever asked to stop breastfeeding? Did you? I’ve always been ready with my laws and my attitude and comebacks but, alas, I’ve never had to use them. Which is a good thing, but kind of a letdown (ha, ha) when you’re all fired up.