Nursing mom Jess Lanham was waiting patiently at the military housing office on the Fort Bragg army base, which is more than one could say for her 8-month-old daughter. During the trip to the office, which lasted several hours, the girl got hungry like babies do.
While filling out paperwork in a private office, Lanham covered herself, unbuttoned her top and let the girl latch on. The housing representative with whom she was meeting told her to stop.
Lanham knew she and her daughter had every right to nurse anywhere they wanted to on the base (and off!), so she declined. The office workers responded by packing up Lanham’s paperwork and asking her to come back “at a more appropriate time,” Lanham told ABC Eyewitness News.
According to ABC News, Lanham asked why she couldn’t nurse in the office, and she was told that they needed to maintain a business-like atmosphere. (By ignoring federal law? Interesting strategy.)
Lanham is clear that she’s not blaming the Army or Fort Bragg for having her rights violated (and having a long day made even longer). Instead, her beef is with Picerne Housing, a group that contracts with the Army to build and maintain housing at the North Carolina Army Base.
In an unrelated issue with Picerne Housing, some families at the base are concerned that something about its newly constructed homes is making people sick and responsible for a dozen baby deaths at Fort Bragg since 2007.
A company spokesperson issued an apology to Lanham and the public and said the company will remind its workers of the rights of mothers and babies to nurse openly.
Photo: Rabble via flickr