Gym Phones Mom To Tell Her To Cover Up Next Time She Breastfeeds

by Valerie Williams
Image via Shutterstock

A gym called a mom at home to tell her to cover up the next time she breastfeeds her children and her complaint about it went viral.

Hey everyone! Great news. We went a whole two days into 2016 before hearing a horrible account of someone harassing a mom for breastfeeding in public! Honestly, it’s unreal that this is still happening but thanks to women like Jordi Williams speaking out about their awful experiences, at least we can let these businesses know how unacceptable (and illegal) it is to ask a mom to stop or cover up while nursing her child.

Jordi Williams was picking up her children at KidZone, the daycare at her gym, when she decided they should be fed. According to her Facebook post, both kids were hysterical when she arrived so she breastfed them to calm them down before leaving.

So, she nursed her kids and got home only to receive a humiliating phone call from a gym employee letting her know she can’t be feeding her child without a cover-up or retreating to some hidden location. Are they kidding? Do they really not understand that legally, Williams is allowed to breastfeed wherever she’s legally allowed to be? Luckily, she provided them an education.

When I informed her that she could not legally require me to cover up or leave, expressed my concerns about how upset my children were when I arrived, explained how devastating such a call might be to a less experienced breastfeeding mother, and asked to speak to her supervisor I was given the run around. Through several phone calls during the course of the day I was repeatedly lied to in a clear attempt to avoid involving said supervisor (the general manager of ACAC Midlothian) in the dispute. When I finally reached the general manager I did not receive an apology but was instead shamed for breastfeeding in public.

As Williams points out, an instance like this could prove totally devastating for a less confident breastfeeding mom who was maybe trying out nursing in public for the first time only to be shut down. It’s experiences like this that could cause a mother to stop nursing altogether or to feel that she should do it sitting on a toilet seat. In 2016, can businesses kindly pull their heads out of their asses and leave breastfeeding moms alone?

After her complaint went viral, ACAC Midlothion posted an unbelievably lame “apology” on their Facebook page.

“In regards to this particular event, at no point was the mother interrupted or asked to refrain from breastfeeding her children.” Right. Instead, they insulted her over the phone after the fact like cowards to try to be sure such a horrifying incident would never occur again. Pardon me while my eyes roll all the way into the back of my head.

Thankfully, there are several comments on the gym’s post letting them know exactly how wrong they were in shaming Williams for not using a cover or ducking to hide when her babies needed to eat. And of all places, a gym? How many of us see plenty of cleavage and other exposed body parts while people are working out in skimpy exercise gear? Of course, that’s perfectly fine too, but so is nursing in public with a sliver (or even a large part) of boob exposed.

According to WTVR 6 News, William’s husband, Edwin Wallace, is in contact with the attorney who helped create the law in the state of Virginia protecting breastfeeding mothers and their legal right to nurse wherever they damn well please. Wallace is working with them in hopes of getting the gym compliant with the current laws in place.

This brand of mom-shaming needs to stop, if for no other reason than the law is on the side of nursing mothers and it’s about time ALL businesses and public places recognized that. After all, we doubt the gym would stop a person from eating a sandwich if they were hungry. A baby and their mother deserve that same courtesy.