About two dozen women and their children gathered on the front steps of Napa’s Social Security office Monday morning for a “nurse-in” to raise awareness of their right to breast-feed in public.
Participants were upset that last Tuesday a security officer had told a breast-feeding mom to step outside to feed her baby, said Cherissa Lowgren, a mother who said she witnessed this event.
“I wasn’t even aware of what she was doing,” Lowgren said of the woman named Maria, who had started feeding one of her two children after the girl became fussy.
“The guard tapped her on the shoulder and said, ‘You can’t do that here,’” Lowgren said. “She didn’t speak English, so she looked confused and at the same time, humiliated.” ...
A spokesman for the Social Security Administration, Deogracias Santos, said the security officer was likely unaware of the law protecting breast-feeding. Guards are not employed by the administration, but are contracted through the Department of Homeland Security.
Santos said the administration is using the “unfortunate event” as an opportunity to educate all employees about the law that allows public breast-feeding. He said no one at the administration was notified of the incident when it happened and the woman would have been allowed to nurse inside had it been mentioned.