Thanks Short Pump Town Center for trying to shame a nursing mom and try to scare me out of feeding my baby. Know your rights nursing mamas!
First I want to say thank you to so many people who have shared messages of support! Nursing, bottle, formula, gtube - no matter how your baby is fed, moms are allowed to feed their children anywhere and in any way!
Many people have asked what happened after I turned the camera off. I finished feeding my baby, I went back in line with my husband and toddler, and my 2 kids got their photo with the Easter bunny.
We then went down to guest services to speak with mall management. The women behind the counter were very apologetic and kind. They offered apologies and train tickets for my family to take a ride (my 3 year old loves the train). I hold no grudge toward the mall and will continue to shop and nurse there. I hold no ill-will toward the security guard - she thought she was doing her job... I am frustrated that she thought nursing women aren't allowed to feed their babies in public. I am frustrated with the lack of training and education regarding nursing mothers rights.
Short Pump Town Center has apologized and has pledged that they are going to incorporate the laws regarding rights of breastfeeding mothers to their security training.
Tonight the local CBS/NBC/ABC stations will air stories that I participated in today to highlight the rights of nursing mothers and I hope area businesses take note to ensure their staff is aware that moms can feed babies however they choose, wherever they are.
There will also be a Nurse-In at Short Pump Town Center on May 20th! Not any sort of protest, just a gathering of women to support moms feeding their babies.
Posted by Ashley Cooper on Saturday, April 8, 2017
As an experienced mom of two, Ashley Cooper knows her rights and isn't going to let anyone intimidate her or keep her from breastfeeding when her baby is hungry, even if she happens to be in public. However, security guards at her local mall tested this Virginia mom's strength when they tried to stop her from discreetly nursing her 8-month-old baby on a bench. Instead of letting them win, Ashley maintained her composure and began streaming the encounter on Facebook Live, even after shocked witnesses came over to show their support.
The incident occurred when Ashley and her husband took their two kids to the Short Pump Town Center mall in Richmond, VA. When her infant began to fuss, Ashley's husband remained in line with their 3-year-old while she found a corner with a bench to nurse her baby. According to Ashley, the security guards approached as soon as she started breastfeeding and told her that she wasn't allowed to do that there. Ashley quickly stood her ground and explained, "In the state of Virginia, I can breastfeed anywhere I'm legally allowed to be." We applaud Ashley for staying strong and for her quick thinking to document the encounter!