Moms hold “nurse in” at Columbus Public Library
By Sara Belsole
COLUMBUS, GA – When Stefanie Cruz's four and a half month old daughter Reverie got fussy during a routine trip to the library earlier this month, Cruz says she did what most moms would, she breastfed her baby.
But what she wasn't expecting, was the response.
“We came into the Children's Section to get some books, and that's when the security guard came in and asked me three times if I could cover up,” Cruz says.
Cruz says as a new mom, she was scared and angry. “I was flabbergasted at first, because I have never had anybody come up to me and say anything and I have nursed her everywhere.”
The Georgia Breastfeeding Law states a mother can breastfeed her baby anywhere she is allowed to bring her baby.
The Columbus Public Library says they are aware of the law and the security guard is contracted through a third party firm.
“Her response was that she was not being insensitive, she was just, honestly, comes from a different generation, she's an older woman, and she just felt like this is such a public place and she was really trying to be kind to the lady,” Linda Hyles, Marketing Coordinator for the library, says.
The library issued an apology to Cruz, but Cruz's friends took to Facebook to organize a “nurse in” Friday at the library.
“I was really nervous about coming back to the library, but if it weren't for these ladies, I probably wouldn't be coming back,” Cruz says.
Cruz says she accepts the library's apology and will be visiting again. Library officials say they will make sure all security officers and employees are aware of the law.
“We are very open to parents, we love children, we have an endowed parent collection hear, we support mothers and families and this is what we are about. But also the library is a public forum, we are here to have these discussions,” Hyles says.