We've all heard stories of moms getting shamed for breastfeeding their babies in public, but hospitals are pretty much the last place on earth we'd expect that to happen. After all, these are institutions that should be touting the benefits of and striving to normalize breastfeeding more than any place else, right? Apparently not. A Georgia mom claims that when trying to nurse her baby at one hospital, she was told to cover up—or leave, POPSUGAR Moms reports.
The mom, who shared her story on the Breastfeeding Mamas Facebook page, says that while in the waiting room of Candler Hospital in Savannah, GA, for a quick outpatient procedure for her daughter, her son, who has cystic fibrosis, wanted to nurse. She writes, "His pancreatic and digestive system are not the same as a normal, healthy baby, resulting in him being hungry very often, due to the malabsorption of nutrients. So we nurse, and we nurse A LOT."
As she proceeded to nurse—she clarified there was no skin showing—a woman, who the mom says is employed at the hospital, covered her baby's head with a towel. "When I snatched it off she tried to tell me that I 'had to cover his head' and myself if I wanted to remain in the hospital," she says.
When the mom asked the woman if she knew what she had done was illegal, the woman told her it's "hospital rules." The mom writes, "WHAT THE HELL KIND OF HOSPITAL HAS EVER HAD THAT RULE!? LOL. So, Mrs. WILLIAMS of Candler Hospital—I don't know who you thought you were approaching this morning but I am certainly the wrong one! Cover your own damn head if you have a problem with my son eating."
Since being posted to Facebook, the story has gotten 500 shares, and over 1,000 people liking a comment urging the mom to call the hospital and complain. The author of the top comment wrote, "Any type of healthcare setting should promote health and breastfeeding is healthy for mother and baby. This employee needs to be reprimanded and the hospital needs to ensure all their employees are aware of the legal rights of a mother to breastfeed her child. I'm a nurse and this makes me very sad."
According to Kristy, who helps run the Facebook page, the mom did reach out to the hospital to complain. "They were not helpful. Maybe they will be a little more helpful now."