Last night, I took my 4 year old son to the emergency room at Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo, NY. I was breastfeeding my 2 week old newborn while registering my son, when the woman at the desk in the ER asked me if she could get me a blanket to cover up. I told her no thanks, I am comfortable and I have a blanket for my baby already and she's comfortable. She continued on, saying (and I'm paraphrasing), no, I mean to cover up while you're doing that. I said no, I am not uncomfortable nursing in public. She continued on, being quite pushy, saying that "it is a children's hospital, and there are children around" and they shouldn't see what I am doing. She repeated this statement a few times, getting very pushy. She continued to strongly insinuate that I was going to do the other children harm in the waiting room if I nursed my infant there and they happened to look.
I told her that she had no legal claim, and that in NYS I have every right to nurse my baby wherever I am, and I do not have to cover up. She actually said to me that I could nurse my baby, but the law says that I have to cover up, and she would get me a blanket.
I couldn't believe it! At a hopsital that says they support breastfeeding in the ER!
I told her that she was wrong, that the law in NYS does not say that, and that I will not cover the baby's head up while she is nursing. I told her that I could not believe that she was giving me grief for feeding my baby, and here I was trying to bring my son into the hospital for a head injury, and that I was not going to continue to have this conversation with her.
I walked away disgusted into the waiting room. What should I do to be sure that this NEVER happens to another mom and baby there? Can you be of some help?
Thanks, Jessamine Daly-Griffen
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