Breastfeeding mom Lucy Eades experienced a common if horrible situation lately when a local rec center attempted to force her to “cover up or leave” as she fed her small baby — but Eades fought back by recording the interaction and posting it to YouTube.
In the clip, Eades discreetly but openly nurses the baby, and a dark-haired woman approaches her and repeatedly harasses her for “indecency” as she feeds the child.
Smugly, the unidentified Burleson Recreation Center ignores laws across all 50 states allowing a mother to nurse a child with or without a cover in any place she is legally entitled to be, saying:
“It’s not you. I can tell anybody walking in through the door wearing a sports bra or a bathing suit top that you need to cover up.”
It appears later in the interaction that Eades tells the woman to call the police or quit harassing her, and that the woman states that police have already been alerted to the perfectly legal act of breastfeeding at the Burleson Recreation Center.
It wasn’t just Eades who may have been harassed that day at the Center. A local news source reports another mother, Ashley Kubacki, was approached in the same manner by the same employee despite high temperatures and apparently with some sort of anti-breastfeeding bias:
“I walked up, and was nursing him, just because it’s 100 degrees outside, and trying to cover his face and entire body, trying to nurse for such a short period of time — it’s way too hot to do that. It’s not fair or realistic.”
The City of Burleson, apparently immune to laws protecting breastfeeding, stood by the employee’s actions, saying in a statement that punishing nursing moms protects “everyone’s rights,” and arguing that a children’s camp in the center necessitated ignoring breastfeeding laws:
“The City of Burleson supports breastfeeding and appreciates recognition of National Breastfeeding Week. The city also supports the law, which states, ‘A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be.’ Today, two women were breastfeeding in or near a public entrance to the city’s recreation center where we were hosting a camp for youth ages 5 – 13 in addition to other recreation center patrons. To be respectful of everyone’s rights we asked the women to cover up. There is nothing in the law that prohibits the city from requiring a mother to cover up. We also offered a room in an attempt to be more accommodative. The city did not attempt to prohibit breastfeeding and we fully support the freedom of mothers to breastfeed as long as it doesn’t infringe on someone else’s freedom.”
You can watch Lucy Eades breastfeeding argument in the clip above, and Eades contends that had the employee not become combative, her nursing would have gone unnoticed. She also maintains that many other rec center guests displayed far more “skin” than she had.
A nurse in at the Burleson Recreation Center is planned for Saturday.