My wife, Malathi, has breastfed all three of our children, and I know how challenging it can be, especially
when you’re out in public and your baby is crying for milk. It shouldn’t be such a big deal, a mother feeding her baby, but it’s quite alarming to some people, as though you’re pushing your breasts into their faces.
A Florida theme park is apologizing to a St. John’s woman who was told
to cover up while she breastfed her daughter or leave the premises.
Cheryl Cruz said she was shaken by an encounter on Tuesday while she
was breastfeeding her 10-month-old child, Kalli, on a bench at the
Universal Studios park in Orlando.
"I’m just feeding her, minding my own business, there’s hardly
anyone at the resort, [and] suddenly this lady comes over to me and
says, ‘Listen I want you to cover up, this is a family affair,’ " Cruz
"I was so shocked. I looked at her [and thought], ‘Oh my goodness, you’ve got to be kidding.’ "
Then, Cruz said, a group of security officers surrounded her. She was eventually permitted to stay in the park. [Link]
It’s good to know that security officers at theme parks are quick to respond to dangerous situations. "Security Alert! Security Alert! All personnel, please respond. We have a breastfeeding situation in Area 4. Please approach the suspect with caution. She is holding a baby, who could throw up on you."
She described the experience as mean and humiliating and said there is no law against public breastfeeding in Florida.
Tom Schroeder, a spokesman for the theme park, said Universal
Studios has a policy that allows breastfeeding anywhere in its theme
He said the company has apologized to Cruz and that she can expect more.
"We’re going to have the specific team members involved in this
incident apologize to her, and we’re going to make sure that our team
members know how to proceed in these kinds of situations, moving
forward," Schroeder said.
Schroeder said Universal has talked to employees about the issue before. [Link]
I’m not surprised they’re apologizing, considering that they’re very familiar with Revenge of the Mummy.
But you have to wonder how many other breastfeeding women were
surrounded by security officers and reported to the Department of
Homeland Security. Cheryl Cruz spoke out about her experience and
thanks to her, Universal Studios may be a safer place for breastfeeding
women, and the security officers can focus on real dangers, such as
that heavyset French tourist who’s kissing his baby daughter in the
restaurant. "Security Alert! Security Alert! We have some heavy French
kissing in the restaurant!"