Mum live-streams herself breastfeeding after being told she wasn't allowed
A trip to see the Easter Bunny didn't go as planned.
By Livia Gamble
April 18 2017
When US mum Ashley Cooper was told she couldn’t breastfeed at inside a shopping centre, she took out her camera and live-streamed the reactions of others.
In the video, shared on Facebook, Ashley explains that a security guard told her she wasn’t allowed to breastfeed her child in public at the centre.
“Thanks Short Pump Town Center for trying to shame a nursing mum and try to scare me out of feeding my baby. Know your rights nursing mamas," she wrote alongside the video.
Ashley says she was visiting the mall with her husband and three children to see the Easter Bunny. While waiting in line, her 8-month-old baby started to cry because she was hungry. The mum ducked out of the line and sat on a bench in a corner to breastfeed her baby.
Security informed her that she is only allowed to feed to her baby in the nursing room; however, it was already occupied.
Ashley informed said in the video that “in the state of Virginia breast feeding mothers can nurse anywhere they are legally allowed to be and they are trying to tell me that I cannot feed my baby on a bench in the corner."
In the video she can be heard saying to other shoppers: "I'm furious right now".
"Now there's two security guards up here, but I'm just going to keep breastfeeding my baby."
In a later update on Facebook, the mum said she informed centre management and was happy with their response.
“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, mums are allowed to feed their children anywhere and in any way,” she said.
“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 apologised and has pledged that they are going to incorporate the laws regarding rights of breastfeeding mothers to their security training.”