World’s Worst Hospital Calls Security On Breastfeeding Mom

By  | 

mom-thrown-out-of-hospital-for-breastfeedingThere have been plenty of stories about breastfeeding moms thrown out of restaurants and shamed for daring to feed their kids anywhere but the privacy of their own homes. I can confidently say I never thought I’d be writing one about a breastfeeding mom ejected from a pediatrician’s office. A pediatrician’s office. You know, that place that is practically wallpapered with posters encouraging you to breastfeed you baby? We’ve reached a new level of absurdity.

Erin Dianne Peña was in the waiting room of her pediatrician’s office at University Medical Center in Lubbock Texas, when she was told to leave the waiting room and find somewhere more private to breastfeed her baby. Here is her Facebook post about the incident:


So let me get this straight — the same doctor who is probably encouraging women to breastfeed is also sending the message that it’s an inappropriate thing to do in public? I’m assuming the walls of the pediatrician’s office are peppered in breastfeeding posters, because I have never been in one that wasn’t. But even if they aren’t, one would assume a doctor’s office would be a safe space for a woman to breastfeed her child. I guess we just can’t assume anything when it comes to breastfeeding in public. No matter how much the law protects us or how “safe” we may feel our surroundings are — you just can’t guarantee that there won’t be a total idiot waiting to “school” you on propriety. This doctor delivered her child, by the way. The doctor also essentially turned a four-month-old away from a vaccination appointment.

According to a news story about the incident, there were other mothers breastfeeding in the waiting area, but Peña was the only one not using a cover. Cue all the people screaming, “Why can’t you just cover up! This never would have happened!” Many people find it really hard to wrap their brains around the fact that some children refuse to eat under a cover. But that’s really here nor there. Breastfeeding is legal. There is nothing shameful about it. A woman shouldn’t have to carry all manner of cover-ups and feed her baby in a way she finds uncomfortable because you have an issue seeing a small glimpse of a boob. Not her problem.

Unfortunately, it became Peña’s problem that day, as she was met by a security guard and escorted out of the building when she refused to cover up or hide. The hospital has apologized and says it is working to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again in the future.

If you’re wondering why there is a big deal made when a breastfeeding mother is shamed — allow me to break it down for you. Breastfeeding is difficult. Being a new mom is difficult. You are judged for the decisions you make at every turn. There is a constant barrage of pro-breastfeeding messages during pregnancy, and as soon as you opt to do it you realize there is not a lot of support and still a lot of shame and stigma attached to it. It’s bullshit. No, a breastfeeding woman does not have to cover up or hide. And anyone who implies she does is on the wrong side of the law. Period.