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Whatcha' Think? Army Wife Ordered to Stop Breastfeeding...

FORT BRAGG (WTVD) -- A nursing mother says she went to the military housing office on Fort Bragg to fill out paperwork and had to wait for several hours.

When she went to breastfeed her daughter in a private room, she was ordered to stop nursing.

"I was made to feel like I was doing something wrong by feeding my child," Jess Lanham said.

It is a shame Lanham says no mother should feel.

"There are so many new mothers that don't breastfeed their children because they are afraid of being discriminated against," she said. "They are afraid of people looking at them funny."

Lanham, whose husband is deployed, says that's what happened to her when she went to the Soldier Support Center on Fort Bragg to sign up for on-post housing.

She was filling out paperwork in a private office when her 8-month-old daughter needed to nurse. Lanham says she covered her child's head, unbuttoned her shirt and began feeding her.

"And when I declined, she said I could come back at a more appropriate time and she started packing away my paperwork, implying we were done if I was feeding my child," Lanham explained. "And I said, 'Why can't I nurse her here?' And she told me they need to maintain a business like atmosphere."

Lanham makes it clear her beef isn't with the Army, but Picerne Housing. That's a company that contracts with the military to provide on-post housing for troops and their families.

In an e-mail statement to ABC11 Eyewitness News, a company spokesperson issued an apology saying, "We deeply regret any comments made by one of our employees that Mrs. Lanham found offensive."

The spokesperson said she talked with Lanham Thursday night and "deeply apologized for the comments." She added, "We plan to educate all of our employees to ensure sensitivity to breastfeeding mothers."

State and federal laws protect mothers nursing their children in public.

Lanham hopes her story raises public awareness that breastfeeding is a natural act, not something to be ashamed of.

Answer Question

Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 11:30 AM on Apr. 2, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • SabrinaMBowen

    Comment by SabrinaMBowen (original poster) at 11:30 AM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • fries my butt.................I think people look for reasons to make other feel like poo.

    Answer by ochsamom at 11:33 AM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • Is this true? LOL>
    Or something to get Moms at CM all riled and and self-righteous again? I breast fed but ---I usually didn't haul my kids around with me, especially to a HOUSING OFFICE! ( We were a military family for 21 years). I know fr a fact that both Ft Bragg and Pope AFB -attached to Br agg, have nice base nurseries that are really cheap and convenient. WHy didn't she bring her kid there and then go to the Housing Office. Good grief.

    Answer by minnesotanice at 11:39 AM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • This is why I think MORE people should nurse in public. The only way to get rid of this kind of bias is to let them see it more often so that it becomes normal.

    Answer by DragonRiderMD at 11:45 AM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • minnesotanice - click the link, it's real.

    Comment by SabrinaMBowen (original poster) at 11:45 AM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • Why should she have to leave her child behind just to fill out some simple paperwork? This is absolutely ridiculous AND illegal. She has a right to breastfeed in public. She isn't being obscene, it's not like she's flashing the person. She's just doing what any good mother would do in the same situation. Would the worker rather her child scream for the remainder of the meeting? I have had many many looks at me for breastfeeding my kids in public, but I just look at people right back. I have never had anyone approach me and ask me to stop, but if I did I would tell them there is nothing offensive about what I was doing and if it bothered them not to look.

    Answer by ACL2007 at 11:54 AM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • I totally agree with this mother, no mom should be ashamed of nursing their child in public places. My doctor says breastfeeding is natural and is best for your baby's growth and development. My baby is 2 1/2 months old and I have no problems with breastfeeding her in public places, even if alot of people stare in disgust! Her head and my breast is covered so they can't really see anything but I guess it's the thought of me doing it that freaks some people out! I don't care, My child needs to be fed and I will not starve her, just because someone else is uncomfortable!

    Answer by Aubreysmommy45 at 11:54 AM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • that is just aweful! sounds like the woman working there needs to grow up, it was just a woman feeding her baby!

    Answer by tiffanyv123 at 11:55 AM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • oh and sometimes post daycares are full, or the child isnt registered yet, or lots of things. my youngest wast registered till she was 8mos because she refused to take a bottle. the woman shouldnt have to leave her baby anyway! i hate when the places on post tell me i should just put my kids in hourly, i dont have $4 an hour per kid extra! (here that is how much it costs)

    Answer by tiffanyv123 at 11:57 AM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • Wow I am glad we left NC. I would tottaly go off on someone that told me I had to leave just because my child had to be fed. But bottle feeding is ok? BS!

    Answer by Baby4us09 at 12:19 PM on Apr. 2, 2011

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