Mom Plans ‘Nurse-In’ at Salon To Protest Being Shamed for Breastfeeding

Mom Plans ‘Nurse-In’ at Salon To Protest Being Shamed for Breastfeeding
Mom Plans ‘Nurse-In’ at Salon To Protest Being Shamed for Breastfeeding

A mom shamed for breastfeeding at a hair salon is fighting back by staging a ‘nurse-in.’

Lauren Chambers went with her husband Dameyan and their baby Aydriana to get a haircut at Men’s Cuts in Lakewood, Ohio, on March 1. In a Facebook post, which has been shared more than 2,300 times, Chambers says the owner of the salon allegedly gave her a hard time about breastfeeding her daughter at the salon despite doing so while covered up.

“Half way through his haircut, Aydriana needed to eat,” Chambers wrote. “I proceed to grab my cover and feed Aydriana. About 2 minutes into me feeding her owner Mae Williams says to me, ‘If a male walks in here you’re going to need to do that in the bathroom.’ I said, ‘Excuse me?’ She said, ‘Yeah you know if a male walks in here and sees you doing that I don’t want him to feel uncomfortable.’”

She continued: “I seriously couldn’t believe I was told that I would have to go sit in a dirty bathroom and feed my baby because god forbid a male walks in and sees a women feeding her baby that’s covered! I mean she was so worried about making her future clients not uncomfortable, but wasn’t too worried about making us uncomfortable.”

Chambers and her family left the hair salon right after the incident. “I probably cried for a good hour in the car because I felt so awful about myself,” she wrote. “Like I was doing something so completely wrong.”

But the law is on Chamber’s side. According to Ohio state law: “A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location of a place of public accommodation wherein the mother otherwise is permitted.” (And even the Pope approves.)

Many women came to Chambers’ defense. “Shame on them,” Facebook user Margie Spruell commented on Chambers’ post. “You should not feel bad about breastfeeding your baby. It is your right to breastfeed your child.”

Jennifer Adkins wrote: “You should’ve told him that when his lunch time rolls around that he needs to go sit in that dirty bathroom and eat his food because it might offend someone to see him chew his food when they walk in.”

Several women also took to Yelp to write negative reviews of the salon. Danielle K. wrote: “The owner humiliated a mother for breastfeeding her child while they were waiting for dad to get his hair cut. The mom was even covered! Unbelievable that in 2017 we still have to fight discrimination and mom-shaming for doing God’s most intended, natural thing: sustaining the life of our child.”

And Khloe S. commented: “Are you a fan of shaming women in public? Humiliating them? Making women feel disgusting and ashamed of their own anatomy? Telling a woman that the natural act of feeding her child via breastfeeding should be taken place in a bathroom (where people piss and s**t)? If so, Men’s Cuts is the place for you!”

But others came to the owner’s defense. “As far as the recent kerfuffle goes, the owner apologized, understands what happened and you need to move on,” Dale H. wrote. “The owner is a mother and has a family. Do you honestly want her children to 1) feel the anxiety that you’ve all heaped upon their mother and 2) have issues with their basic needs because you put the shop out of business? There are a lot of moving parts here and the vitriol needs to stop.”

After the social media backlash, Men’s Cuts issued an apology on their Facebook page on March 2: “We did not know there was a statute for women to breastfeed anywhere they wanted. We think it is great that women can feed their children wherever they feel. Ms. Tannous and Ms. Cronin were so kind to inform us. Mistakes can occur when people honestly are unaware. We apologize if this has upset all the mothers and women. We hope you have in your hearts to forgive an honest mistake. Thank you for your time.”

But the apology doesn’t seem to have deterred Chambers and other moms. Cleveland.com reports that they’re protesting the breastfeeding shaming by having ‘nurse-in’ in front of the salon on March 4. “Depending on how the event goes this weekend it may continue to go on,” organizer Elizabeth Pearson told Cleveland.com. “This started because of Lauren but will keep going because this isn’t just a fight for her anymore. It’s a fight for all women.”

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