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Breastfeeding Mother

It concerns me that the manager of The Garfield Park Conservatory is still trying to justify their behavior by blaming the mother for not being discreet (enough). The guards do not need to be discreet about approaching nursing mothers-they need to NOT APPROACH NURSING MOTHERS.

The mother in question was sitting on a bench in a hallway off of the front lobby. Breastfeeding in Illinois is NOT considered indecent, by law, and is protected, even if some of the breast is exposed.

I think they still dont "get it" over there at the GPC.

Lawyer Mama

Oh for god's sakes. I'm always enraged when I read stuff like this. You have to really WORK at it to see anything while a woman is nursing. You see more exposed breast at most public beaches.

Heck, I'm a pretty modest person, but even I couldn't breastfeed with a blanket on. My son would rip it off no matter what I did. If I covered him with one of those nursing tents he would just cry and fuss. You do what you've got to do. I don't think any nursing mother is trying to be an exhibitionist. It sounds like the guard has a problem.

I hope the manager who responded to the email understands that neither she nor the guard have any right to ask any nursing mother to cover up & that we're not buying the excuse. She should have just said "We're so sorry. It won't happen again." End of story. Making excuses only makes it worse.


It should be noted that IL's law does not state anything about proper or improper positioning with regard to breast exposure or covering up while nursing. Most likely because, that would be entirely too subjective to enforce.


I had always had positive experiences breastfeeding in public even with exposed breast and I don't think we should let incidents like this slide so I sent a e-mail to the president. Here is my e-mail and her response. I really hope it is just an isolated incident.

Subject: RE: Breastfeeding
Date: Tue, 27 May 2008 11:11:45 -0600
From: "Eunita Rushing"
To: "Lori
Thank you for sending this article. I am the manager that spoke with the woman and of course has reviewed and shared with staff here at the conservatory the Illinois state laws on breastfeeding. The nursing mom was sitting in a main thoroughfare that led to the ladies room, the gift shop and the classroom in which people were arriving for a meeting. Her full breast was exposed and that is why she was asked to cover up not to stop breastfeeding. The other woman that accompanied her was nursing as well with no exposure because of the way she chose to position the nursing child.

Our goal is to accommodate everyone and certainly we do not want to infringe upon anyone’s legal rights! I did ask the security guard in the future to exercise discretion in approaching nursing moms. This was an unfortunate, isolated incident and one that hopefully will not occur again! Thank you for your comments. I hope that you will forward your remarks to the publication that circulated the article.

Tue, 27 May 2008 09:57:39 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Lori

Subject: Breastfeeding
To: erushing@garfieldpark.org
I just read the story below online. As a breastfeeding mother who has frequently visited and breastfeed at the conservatory , and have had positive experiences doing so, I really hope it is not true. That none of your employees are violating the law in such a manor. If it is true, I hope you immediately talk to all you employees about a woman's legal right to breastfeed in public without harassment and in general provide some sensitivity training.

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