Breast Feeding: The importance of allowing mothers to nurse babies in public

Breast Feeding: The importance of allowing mothers to nurse babies in public
(Source: WTOL)

(WTOL) - Monday, a local woman who was asked to leave an area Pizza Hut after she started breastfeeding her baby.

Today, WTOL talked to lactation consultants at ProMedica about why it's so important to allow breastfeeding mothers to nurse their babies in public.

Paige Martin is a young mother who says an employee at Pizza Hut in Wauseon shamed her for breastfeeding her infant son.

"I just said no I don't have to that's my right and she said well then I'm going to have to ask you to leave," said Martin.

It turns out many young mothers like Martin are instructed by healthcare professionals to use this response in this exact situation.

Melinda Luek is a lactation consultant at ProMedica who she says Martin did the right thing.

When asked what she would say to a new mother who was asked to leave a restaurant for breast feeding, Melinda said, "The she should politely just say no it's my right to stay here it's the law."

Luek says there has been a law in place since 2005 allowing mothers to breastfeed in a public place.

"Anywhere the mom can be with her baby, she can feed her baby there," said Leuk.

She says part of the reason women should be allowed to breast feed anywhere is more than just convenience. She tells WTOL breast milk has significant health benefits for the child over alternative forms of feeding.

"Babies are protected from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), respiratory illness, gastrointestinal issues," said Leuk.

She says while our culture is still getting used to seeing women breastfeed in public, it's a feeding method that isn't going away anytime soon.

"Some people will say don't call it benefits call it normal. It's the normal way to feed babies.  And it's by far a superior food for babies," said Leuk.

The mother who was asked to leave the Pizza Hut says she would like a public apology from the company.

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