Mom, Sheriff take to Facebook to comment on Piggly Wiggly breastfeeding incident
Despite laws protecting their right to breastfeed it seems like moms across America can’t seem to catch a break. Whether they’re being kicked out of movies or shamed by their family members, moms keep being told they can’t or shouldn’t breastfeed in public. Our latest “shame a mom for feeding her kid” incident happened at a Piggly Wiggly over the weekend when a deputy allegedly told a mom she needed to “cover up” because someone might find it “offensive.”
On her way into the grocery store, Savannah Shukla said her one-month-old baby, Kumar, was hungry so she fed him while shopping. Isn’t that just like a badass mom to multitask the hell out of her Sunday night – feed the kid, hold the toddler’s hand, get the groceries. What to most of us would seem like a regular evening was apparently very threatening to a few shoppers who complained to a deputy working at the store. According to Shukla her encounter with the deputy was terrible. She details it in the Facebook post below.
Tonight while in Piggly Wiggly with my sister and both my children (the oldest 20mos and the youngest 1month old today)…
“A deputy approached me right when I was about to leave and informed that I needed to cover up because someone might find it ‘offensive,'” the mom wrote. Knowing that Georgia law protects women’s rights to breastfeed Shukla explained that fact to the deputy. ” The mom explained the encounter to reporters saying, “He was like ‘well, ma’am I already see your areola, and if he unlatches and shows nipple that is considered indecent exposure,’ so if I were to try and cover myself up, even if it’s just a second, he said that would be considered indecent exposure and that he really didn’t want me to have to be arrested.”
The encounter should’ve never happened at all. It’s the deputy’s job to know what the law is and how it applies to people. A few complaints from some shoppers that should’ve minded their own damn business doesn’t change the law.
“It was horrifying, absolutely horrifying that somebody, who like I said, is supposed to protect me, threatened to arrest me and I hadn’t even done anything wrong,” the mom told WTVM. The deputy’s boss, Sheriff John T. Darr, also took to social media to address the incident. “My wife and I have four children, each of whom were breastfed, and two of my daughters now have small children of their own. Therefore, I fully understand and appreciate the right of a woman to feed her child wherever she is most comfortable,” he wrote. His full post is below.
I have seen and am aware of a post circulating Facebook, regarding a situation between a Muscogee County…
“Our office does not condone these actions and will ensure all officers know and understand the law,” the Sheriff promised. And that’s really what this and every other breastfeeding incident is about – moms have a right to feed their kids. No one’s opinion on how or where they feed them trumps that right. It’s hard enough that parents have to deal with uncomfortable looks and rude comments from heartless strangers, they don’t need to be bothered by law enforcement on top of it. Hopefully, some additional training will ensure that all deputies in Muscogee County understand the law.