A breastfeeding mum has claimed she was left ‘humiliated’ after reportedly being asked to cover up while feeding her daughter at a dentist’s office.
Mum-of-four, Suzie Ramirez, says staff at the practice in the US state of Georgia, asked her to cover herself up when feeding four-month-old, Dianerys Oliva, because teenage boys were sitting in the waiting room at the time.
She claims she was handed a blanket to cover herself and told she could move to another room, which Suzie believes was an attempt to stop her breastfeeding in the office.
In a video taken by Suzie during the incident (which can be viewed above), a member of staff appeared to suggest she was making the teenage boys feel awkward.
The woman then said ‘perhaps next time you’ll be more comfortable in there’, referring to another room, while 24-year-old Suzie protested at being handed a blanket.
“My little one, who is four months old, started crying because she was hungry, so I took her out of the car seat and started breastfeeding her, which is completely normal.
“A minute later this lady came and put a blanket on me. All I heard her say was, ‘I have teenagers’.
“I thought she had put it on me in case the baby was cold, but the blanket was really heavy and Dianerys started fussing.
“I put the blanket to the side and I saw the woman from the desk look up. She started waving her finger at me.
“She repeated again ‘there’s teenagers here.’
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“I said to her that I was just feeding my baby and even asked the teenage boys if they were bothered by it. They said no.
“She came and stood in front of me and said, ‘It’s a private office’. She suggested teenagers don’t see it as just breastfeeding.
“She said if I didn’t want to use the blanket I could go into a different room.
“I wasn’t doing anything wrong at all. I wasn’t showing my boobs to anyone.”
“I felt humiliated, embarrassed, angry – a lot of feelings at once.”
A spokesperson for the dentist’s office denied they were trying to ‘control’ Suzie and said breastfeeding in the office is permitted, including for staff.
They said there was a ‘miscommunication’ when they offered Suzie a private room if she wanted one and have been in touch with her to apologise.
“We in no way prevented Ms. Ramirez from breastfeeding. Rather, we offered her the use of a clean private room and afghan to continue nursing, as we have found women visiting our office seem to prefer breastfeeding in private,” the statement said.
“We offer a private room and/or afghan as an act of hospitality and no way a method of control.
“We have space for this purpose because multiple staff members and patients have needed to nurse in the office – including myself!
“As a breastfeeding mother, I valued the option of nursing comfortably with a little bit of peace.
“This is the first time someone was offended by our offerings and I wish the situation had been handled differently – but we must take this and learn from it.”
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