Ohio mom faces criticism for breastfeeding twins in a public space near school-aged kids
A mother of 4 was told to "cover up" when breastfeeding her twin babies.
Jennifer Mancuso, 38, was breastfeeding her twins at their nursery school when she was asked to remove herself to a private area.
The director of the facility informed her that she was "offending" other parents by breastfeeding her daughters Aria and Asher, 18-months-old.
"One morning I began nursing Asher on a chair before I left and the director said she needed me to nurse in the back, in the staff room, which is no bigger than a wardrobe."
NURSERY DEEMS BREASTFEEDING "INAPPROPRIATE"
Mancuso who is a passionate advocate for breastfeeding was told that she had to nurse her daughters "privately."
The reason for her removal "out of sight" was that the parents might be offended since some of the children were of school age. Seeing a mother breastfeeding, they explained, could be seen as "inappropriate."
Babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months suffer from fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and colic.
FIGHTING FOR MOTHER'S RIGHTS
Mancuso pointed out that the Ohio Revised Code states that breastfeeding in places of public accommodation is allowed.
“A mother is entitled to breastfeed her baby in any location of a place of public accommodation wherein the mother otherwise is permitted.”
Mancuso, who breastfed her two older daughters, refused to back down.
THE BENEFITS OF BREASTFEEDING
Babies who are breastfed have hardier constitutions, doctors explain. Breast milk contains antibodies that help the infant fight off viruses and bacteria and lowers the baby's susceptibility to allergies.
Statistically, babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months suffer from fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and colic.
AN APOLOGY AND A CHANGE IN POLICY
Mancuso stood her ground and demanded an apology from the nursery's directors - and she got it.
"By the end of September, I spoke with the director who accepted that she'd misunderstood the company policy regarding privacy. I told her that a misunderstanding like that is not acceptable."
The nursery apologized to Mancuso, and has reformed their policy to comply with the State's Law and allows breastfeeding in their premises in public.
"I'm also very passionate about normalizing it because I want to help other mothers have the strength to see it through and not be afraid to breastfeed in public."
MOTHER SUES TEXAS ROADHOUSE OVER BREASTFEEDING INCIDENT
Like Jennifer Mancuso, Sadie Durbin had a run in with bigotry when breastfeeding her newborn daughter at a Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Louisville Kentucky.
The first-time mother was eating at the restaurant with her family when the restaurant manager tried to cover her with a napkin, placing it over the baby's face.
"She was nursing for maybe five minutes when I saw the manager coming around the corner, walking fast and shaking his head at me with a napkin in his hands.”
The manager told Durbin that he had had "a lot of complaints" and asked her to cover up or desist.
Eventually, Durbin and her family left the restaurant, but she is now suing Texas Roadhouse over the incident.
Breastfeeding in public is legal across the United States, and has been legal in Kentucky, with or without a cover, since 2006.
Like the Ohio Code, Kentucky state law forbids any city or person from restricting a mother from breastfeeding in a location where she is otherwise allowed to be.
In a related story, a mother attacked for breastfeeding her 7-year-old son fights back.