Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mom told to stop breastfeeding in NYS Museum

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ALBANY -- In New York, the law states you can breastfeed in any public place. But an Albany woman says a State Museum employee must not know that. Kristin Kelly is a young mother of three including a 4 month old she breast feeds.
Tuesday she says she was insulted and humiliated for feeding her baby in public even though she knew she was well within the law.
"I absolutely felt like I was doing something wrong," said Kristin Kelly with tears in her eyes.
Kelly and her three children ages 5, 3 and little four month old Zachary were enjoying an afternoon at the New York State Museum. Near the end of their visit Zachary got hungry and Kristin says she found a bench up against a wall and began to breast feed her baby.
"I sat down and made sure I was covered, three blankets over him actually, and I began to nurse, while my other two children sat beside me," she said.
Suddenly, according to Kristin all this was interrupted.
"A lady that said she was an employee of the museum they had another person report me and so I had to go to the bathroom where they had a chair set up where you could nurse or I would have to leave the museum," she said.
Kristin says was speechless when the woman with the museum ID tag came back a second time, stared at her and asked her to move again.
Zachary was finished by then but when Kristin told her husband Shaun he was so outraged he contacted the museum. Shaun says a spokesperson told him the museum allows nursing anywhere but he was not surprised Kristin was told to stop.
When Newschannel 13 contacted the museum, the museum director, Cliff Siegfried said, "the museum has no such policy prohibiting breast feeding anywhere."
As for Kristin she believes there's a lesson here for all breast feeding mothers and those who would stop them.
"I have a right to feed my child where ever I want to feed him," she said.
The museum director also told Newschannel 13 that he was still looking into identifying the museum employee who Kristin says told her to stop breast feeding. He did not however say what action, if any would be taken if the employee is identified.

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