Town Official Called The Police To Report A Mom Breastfeeding Her Child At A Public Beach

Town Official Called The Police To Report A Mom Breastfeeding Her Child At A Public BeachNBC New York

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed for at least the first year of their life. A newborn baby eats anywhere from 8-10 times a day, and as the months go on, they may drop a few feeds, but are likely still drinking breast milk for formula 4-6 times a day until they turn one.

That means, if a mother is breastfeeding, she feeds her child for roughly 1,800 hours in the first year. To put that into perspective, that’s almost as much as a full-time job (a 40-hour work week with three weeks of vacation comes in at 1,960 hours of work a year).

With all that said, here’s a question: Is a breastfeeding mother expected to stay far away from everyone else as she feeds her baby all those times? Or is she allowed to venture out and actually get to spend time with her baby (and give herself some self-care)?

One New Jersey mom named Michelle Ayala decided to bring her daughter, Daisy, to hang out with some friends at a pond. Of course, Daisy needed to eat at some point, and as a breastfeeding mother, Michelle felt comfortable feeding her on the public beach.

When a Franklin Borough Recreation official went up to her and asked her to find another spot to feed Daisy, she was appalled. “She said, ‘I see what you’re doing there. Do you think you can do that somewhere else?’” Ayala explained of the incident. “And before she finished, I said ‘I’m allowed to nurse wherever I am.”

That’s the truth—the New Jersey law states that mothers can breastfeed wherever and whenever they want to. However, this recreation official called the police on her to get her to move somewhere else.

Thankfully, the officer was respectful and let Michelle continue to feed her daughter, as she was not breaking any laws. “He said, ‘I support you completely, thank you for your time, your patience,’” Ayala said.

But the saga didn’t end there. Even after she was okayed, a borough administrator approached her and asked her to cover up.

Michelle is sharing her story to help make people aware that it’s not okay to ask a breastfeeding mother to go elsewhere to feed her baby. After all, no one would ask someone feeding their baby with a bottle to do the same, would they?

“There are nursing mothers out there who are brand new, and if somebody that important came up in a suit, nice wedges and confronted that mom, she would never nurse again. Or she would just stay in the house with the kids,” Michelle said.

To hear more on the story, check out the video below!

What do you think of public breastfeeding? What would you have done in Michelle’s situation?