Woman Shamed For Breast-Feeding At Doctor's Office Without A Cover

| by Karin Sun
Baby Breast-Feeding.Baby Breast-Feeding.

An Utah woman said she was shamed for breast-feeding at her OB-GYN's office without a cover.

Bridget Brown of Park City, Utah, told KUTV she was breast-feeding her 7-week-old son, Andreas, at an OB-GYN clinic at Park City Medical Center when the receptionist asked her to move to another room because there were men present in the waiting room.

Brown said she refused to move. The receptionist then offered her a blanket to cover herself while breast-feeding, which Brown also declined.

Brown, a mother of two, said she breast-fed her now 4-year-old daughter for two years without incident. She told KUTV this was the first time someone shamed her for breast-feeding in public, and she is shocked that it happened at a clinic where doctors and nurses are usually supportive of breast-feeding.

It is legal in Utah for a mother to breast-feed a baby in public without a cover, reports KUTV.

"To be almost hustled out of the waiting room at an OB-GYN office for breast-feeding a 7-week-old baby, was surprising," said Brown.

"I'm in my doctor's office," she added. "It's supposed to be safe."

Brown said that a clinic manager called her later to apologize, and told her that the receptionist would be disciplined.

Amy Roberts, the public relations director for Park City Medical Center, released the following statement in response to the incident:

"We sincerely apologize for the actions of one employee, whose comments are not reflective of our policies and core values. Park City Medical Center supports breastfeeding efforts, and aims to help new moms nourish their baby in whatever manner they choose. We have taken appropriate action to ensure this doesn't happen again."

Brown told KUTV she was glad the shaming didn't happen to a first-time mother.

"Had this happened to a new mother and [the receptionist] planted the seed that you can't breast-feed in front of men, I think it could have been devastating," she said.

As of December 2015, 49 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands have passed legislation specifically permitting women to breast-feed in public, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of those, 27 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have also exempted breast-feeding women from being prosecuted for indecent exposure. In Utah, a woman does not have to cover while breast-feeding in public.

Sources: KUTV, National Conference of State Legislatures / Photo credit: Flickr, Beukbeuk/Wikimedia Commons