Breastfeeding in public is one of those topics that sets off all kinds of emotions. Many argue it is completely natural, and therefore should be allowed wherever and whenever the mother deems it necessary. Others argue it’s bad form to carelessly expose the naked breast in public.
One mom is going viral on social media after explaining a recent breastfeeding incident at church, of all places.
Virginia mother, Annie Peguero claims she was shamed for breastfeeding without a cover in her church sanctuary and asked to leave her seat in the middle of service last week.
In an emotional Facebook Live video, the 42-year-old mother of two described to her social media followers what happened. She first stated that, when she arrived at her Springfield church she went right for the kids room to drop off her one daughter and after that she walked over to the baby’s room. But when she attempted to drop off her 19-month-old daughter Autumn she noticed that she was fussy, so she decided to feed her daughter before heading into the service.
To breastfeed, Peguero stepped outside of the room and into the hall. Once she sat down on the floor and took out her breast, she said, immediately, “the church workers started kinda freaking out and waving their hands around…and they were like, ‘hey, let me get you a cover.'”
But Peguero said, she didn’t want one and refused.
After she did so, she said, the church workers were uncomfortable with her decision and tried to find ways to cover her up anyway. In the video, Peguero said, a woman came over to cover up her daughter with a fleece blanket, even after she told them she was fine.
She explained that the unidentified woman’s decision to do so felt uncomfortable.
As the video continues, Peguero gets emotional as she explains to the audience why she will never go back to that church again.
She was called to the baby room for a second time during service because her daughter had gotten agitated. After Peguero soothed her daughter, she went back upstairs to the sanctuary and sat towards the back so she could listen to the end of the message and nurse her daughter.
Again, she attempted to breastfeed without a cover. “Right away a woman came over to me and said we have a really nice baby room, lets go to the baby room. And I say, ‘I’m ok. It will just take a minute.'”
But the church worker in the sanctuary was adamant that the mother continue breastfeeding outside. After Peguero declined, the woman stated her concerns about Peguero breastfeeding in public without a cover. She explained that a new male member could catch a glimpse of her breastfeeding on the live video feed broadcasting the pastor’s message, or a man in service could feel uncomfortable seeing her nurse.
Towards the end of the video, Peguero also added that church workers had been asked to encourage mothers to breastfeed in the baby room. Unhappy with that response, Peguero asked to speak to the pastor’s wife, who explained that it is church policy for women to breastfeed in the baby room of with a cover in the sanctuary, so men and new church goers are not made to feel uncomfortable.
Peguero says she was floored by the church’s reaction towards her decision to breastfeed without a cover in public.
According to the Washington Post, breastfeeding has been a legally protected right in Virginia for the past two years. A law passed in 2015 says women have the right to breast-feed anywhere they have a legal right to be.
Other Must-Read Stories: