A mom who was accosted by a mall security guard for breastfeeding wants the hysteria over public nursing to end in 2018.
On Wednesday while shopping with her family, Sarah Brugger chose a secluded bench at the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska to nurse her one-week-old baby. “I was fully covered with no skin showing and no one was nearby,” Brugger tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “A mall security guard came up to me and said, ‘There are nursing rooms available if you’d like to use them.'”
Brugger appreciated the man’s concern for her comfort, thanked him for the tip, and said she was almost finished. “He threw up his hands in defense and said, ‘I have no problem with it but we’ve had complaints, so I wanted to let you know,” she says.
“I was like, wait — what?” says Brugger. “Nothing like this had happened to me before and it blows my mind that breastfeeding is an issue in 2018.”
Brugger reassured the guard that she was “fine right here” and he walked away.
She and her family left the mall and Brugger felt angry: “I was fired up so I wrote a post on the Facebook page of my local mom group and it blew up.”
“Probably not going back to Westroads Mall for a very long time,” she wrote. “Was approached and asked to go to the family bathroom to breastfeed my 5-day-old child by mall security because someone complained. We were completely covered with a nursing wrap and down by an exit that wasn’t very busy. Would you like to eat in a public restroom?”
Yahoo Lifestyle could not reach a representative of the Westroads Mall for comment. Senior General Manager Jim Sadler told KETV that his “heart sank” when he heard Brugger’s story.
“We love mothers, we encourage breastfeeding. It is absolutely natural. We have breastfeeding rooms which the security guard was informing her of,” he told KETV. “But, yeah, if she wants to sit on a bench and feels comfortable she is more than welcome to do that.”
“If somebody else has a problem with it, then that’s on them,” Sadler said. “It’s on us to make sure that the mother is protected and the mother has every right to feed her child.”
Sadler also said the security guard was “devastated” to learn how Brugger felt and that he only wanted her to have options.
Brugger says no one from the mall has offered her a personal apology. “I probably won’t go back to the mall for a while but I won’t stop feeding my child,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “People need to get over it.”
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