“You’re free to breastfeed anywhere…at any time,” security said.
These are golden words to a breastfeeding moms ears - and moms should hear them more often.
This week at Canobie Lake Park in New Hampshire, 34-year-old Karen Galbraith was feeding her daughter when two other people approached and asked her to cover up. Galbraith refused multiple times and someone asked a park employee to intervene. The park employee told Galbraith she could not breastfeed in public in the park. When Galbraith again refused, the employee called security.
Ironically, Galbraith was in the park as part of a nurse-in protest to help raise awareness of a mothers’ right to nurse in public. Earlier this month, park visitor Rayne Smith of Rhode Island, was also approached by park employees and told she could not breastfeed in the park. Because she was unaware of New Hampshire law, she followed the direction of the park employees and did not know she could refuse their requests to stop nursing or cover up.
Galbraith and other nursing mothers participated in the nurse-in to educate and enlighten both park patrons and park employees. Spokesman for Canobie Lake State Park, Chris Nicoli, shared that the park’s policy does not require nursing mothers to cover up or to nurse in specifically designated locations in the park. The officials at the park are attributing these two incidents as cases of miscommunication and they would like the public to know that the park welcomes nursing mothers.
With Galbraith’s incident, the security guard spoke briefly with the two park patrons who complained, then approached Galbraith and said “You’re free to breastfeed anywhere…at any time.”
Let’s hope the education and enlightenment continue.