When it comes to breastfeeding, moms are damned if they do and damned if they don't. While some people criticize parents who don't breastfeed for supposedly endangering their kids' health, others shame those who breastfeed in public. The latter happened to Richmond, VA mom Ashley Cooper on Saturday, April 8, when she was trying to feed her daughter at an outdoor mall called the Short Pump Town Center.
She and her husband had taken their three-year-old and eight-month-old daughters there to see someone dressed up as the Easter Bunny, and as the family was in line, the baby started crying. Cooper headed to the nursing room, but it was full, so she instead breastfed her child on a bench.
The mall employee reportedly responded by saying "someone isn’t complying" and got another guard. Meanwhile, Cooper kept breastfeeding, declining other shoppers' offers to bring her husband over. "I wasn’t about to lose our place in the Easter bunny line, so I said no," she said.
She captured part of the incident over Facebook Live and complained to the mall afterward. Customer service offered her tickets to a train ride at the Short Pump Town Center to make up for the whole debacle. The mall also apologized over Facebook and in a statement to WRIC.
But Cooper hopes we take a larger lesson from this. "I am frustrated with the lack of training and education regarding nursing mothers' rights," she wrote on Facebook. "I hope area businesses take note to ensure their staff is aware that moms can feed babies however they choose, wherever they are."