Mom referred to bathroom to breastfeed at Discovery Place
A Charlotte-area mom took to social media to vent after she said an employee at Discovery Place in uptown Charlotte referred to a bathroom to breastfeed her baby.
Later that day the mother posted a picture on Facebook with a caption that read:
"Hey Discovery Place, this is where I was told I needed to go to feed my baby today. Take a page from your own book. Breastfeeding is natural and the majority of your support comes from families."
The mom told Channel 9 she was referred there by an employee after she was told that she could not move to a bench to breastfeed her daughter facing a wall.
Channel 9 reached out to Discovery Place.
In a statement, CEO Catherine Wilson Horne said:
"Nursing mothers have always been welcome to breastfeed anywhere at Discovery Place. From time to time, mothers ask for spaces that provide more privacy. They are usually directed to a family restroom suite that has a chair separate from the toilet stall on Level 2 or another small room also available in the Museum. There also are various spaces around the Museum that offer seating and more privacy. Many mothers enjoy a peaceful atmosphere in our Aquarium. Providing a family-friendly environment for all guests is of our utmost concern. After investigating our guest's experience yesterday we discovered that a team member had provided incorrect information, and we are truly sorry. We are taking steps to ensure all our team, from staff to volunteers to teen apprentices, are informed of all the options for nursing mothers and communicate that to guests."
The mom told Channel 9 she was never made aware of those options.
Discovery Place reached out to the mom to apologize and said it's now making sure its entire team of employees, interns and volunteers are aware of the options for nursing mothers and are able to communicate that to guests.
Gretta Blythe is a lactation specialist with more than 30 years’ experience. She works to support nursing moms and also helps companies take steps to accommodate nursing mothers.
"We all should our culture in general should start trying to make it easier for moms to exclusively breastfeed their babies because there are long term benefits for it,” Blythe said.
Melody Aylestock said she's never had an issue feeding her babies at the museum, but hopes this incident will serve as a learning experience for everyone.
"I think if we continue to normalize it, companies continue to train employees educate them on what proper protocol is I think it will be a non-issue hopefully in the next five to 10 years," said Aylestock.
North Carolina law states a woman is allowed to breastfeed in any public or private location without being in violation of indecent exposure laws.