When mum Kymmie Snyder took her daughter to the hospital for a quick outpatient procedure recently, what happened in the waiting room when she began nursing her infant son left her livid.
“I have NEVER been so mad in my entire life,” Snyder, of Georgia, said in a Facebook post. She said her son has cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening genetic disease that damages the lungs and digestive system.
“His pancreatic and digestive system are not the same as a normal, healthy baby, resulting in him being hungry very often due to the malabsorption of nutrients. So we nurse, and we nurse A LOT,” she said.
“There is NO skin showing, no nipple out, you honestly can’t even tell that I am breastfeeding if you were to look straight on,” she says regarding their time at Candler Hospital, in Savannah. “A woman who is EMPLOYED at Candler, walks right up to me and had the audacity to cover my child’s head with a towel!”
When Snyder removed the towel, she says the woman tried to tell her that she “had to cover his head,” and herself, if she wanted to remain in the hospital.
“I asked her if she knew what she was doing was illegal? She then tries to tell me it is ‘hospital rules.’ WHAT THE HELL KIND OF HOSPITAL HAS EVER HAD THAT RULE!? LOL. So, Mrs. WILLIAMS of Candler Hospital, I don’t know who you thought you were approaching this morning but I am certainly the wrong one,” she wrote, next to a slew of middle-finger emoji.
“Cover your own damn head if you have a problem with my son eating.”
The post was shared on the Breastfeeding Mama Talk Facebook page and quickly went viral, with many urging Snyder to file a formal complaint and shared their concerns about the baby’s welfare.
“Please call the hospital administration and complain,” Tina commented. “Any type of healthcare setting should promote that breastfeeding is healthy for the mother and baby. This employee needs to be reprimanded and the hospital needs to ensure all their employees are aware of the legal rights of a mother to breastfeed her child. I’m a nurse and this makes me very sad.”
“Funny how she claimed it as ‘hospital rules’ when the hospitals are generally the first ones to tell you that you should breastfeed,” Inola stated. “You go girl for feeding that gorgeous little baby.”
“So is it against their rules to show your vagina while giving birth?” Stephanie said. “It’s a hospital! A lot of unwanted things are seen and she’s worried about a breast she can’t even see?”
“That’s really angered me!” Jasmine stated. “How dare she try to cover your child’s head! It’s a good thing you are so calm because she would have had me losing my cool in there! Good on you for throwing it off of him, mama bear!”
“My son has cystic fibrosis as well,” Karen added. “So this is close to my heart. A hospital is a place where you learn to breastfeed so it is mind boggling that they would promote the opposite. If they don’t like it they don’t have to stare. So rude.”
Some mums took it an extra step and left negative reviews on the hospital’s Facebook page, while others asked for more information on the matter.
Ashley asked: “Is it common practice for your employees to try and force a nursing mother to cover up? Which is against the law to do that to a nursing mother, in case your lawyers were unaware of that, maybe training should be done by employees.”
To which the hospital duly responded: “We are aware of a previous complaint and we’d like to know more detailed information so we can investigate. We fully support breastfeeding.”
Candler spokesman Scott Larson responded to a few Facebook comments, assuring the public that a full investigation will be conducted.
“It’s important that y’all know that we unconditionally support breastfeeding and have no policies against it. We urge it in all of our new mothers. We have 16 trained lactation consultants on staff. Personally, my wife still breast feeds our two-year-old. We have heard from the mother in this situation and we have heard from all of you. We take this very seriously. Breastfeeding is important and there should be no barriers at all to feeding our children.”