A mother in St. Petersburg, Florida, was reportedly kicked out of a doctor’s office for nursing her baby.
Nichole Moore says she waited two months to see psychiatrist Dr. Mark Simko, whom she hoped could determine if she was suffering from postpartum depression, ABC Action News reports (video interview posted below). Moore brought her 8-month-old daughter, Emma, to her appointment with Dr. Simko, and the baby slept through her 30-minute wait prior to the session. By the time she went into Simko’s office’s, Emma was awake and hungry. Moore decided to breastfeed.
“He told me I couldn't because I wouldn't be giving me his full attention,” she told ABC News.
Simko then allegedly told Moore that he needed to go get a female to sit with him during the session if she was going to feed her child. When he came back, the receptionist followed. She told Moore that the appointment was over.
“She [the receptionist] said, 'It makes him uncomfortable,'" Moore said. “I don't understand how a doctor can feel uncomfortable with this.”
Moore said she wants an apology from Simko for kicking her out of the session she paid for.
“The law in Florida says I can breastfeed my daughter anywhere I am allowed to be. I don't think any woman should be shamed if a tiny piece of her breast is exposed for a second. I definitely don't think a doctor should make a woman feel that way,” she said.
Florida law dictates that a mother “may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.”
Bayecare Health Systems, the company of which Simko is affiliated, has a policy that states appointments can be paused to accommodate nursing mothers. They are also required to given mothers privacy if nursing is necessary.
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