Breast feeding protest in food court

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ALBANY, GA – There were several mothers breast-feeding at one mall food court in Georgia Friday.

Jim Wallace reports on the incident that sparked the breast-feeding demonstration.

About a dozen members of the Albany/Lee county breast-feeding support group feed their babies today at the Albany mall food court. They were supporting Leeann Patterson who says the security guard asked her to cover herself.

(LeeAnn Patterson/ Mother) “I was feeding Caitlin and I was approached by a security guard and told I needed to cover up. I was not trying to be overt, but it was hot and so I didn’t cover because it was hot in here.”

Patterson went on social media and the support group decided to come out and demonstrate, breast-feeding their babies to show support for Leeann and other breast feeding moms.

(Katy Hughes/ Albany/Lee Breast-Feeding Support Group) “Get to meet other moms who are nursing to make it more of a normal thing. To encourage breast feeding with all their kids.”

Mall officials met with Patterson and the support group emphasizing their policy is full support of breast-feeding moms.

(LeeAnn Patterson/ Mother) “The mall told me it’s perfectly fine, perfectly legal to breast-feed. It was a misunderstanding on the part of the security guard.”

(Katy Hughes/ Albany/Lee Breast-feeding Support Group) “It’s good that they’ll be able to talk to their staff and make sure that everyone knows that it’s ok for moms to breast feed. Whether they are covered or uncovered.”

Store owners make their own policies for their businesses… But all we talked with today said that breast-feeding mothers were welcome. Some even have private rooms ready if that would make them more comfortable.

Albany mall officials did not want to go on camera, but said they would emphasize their policy to all employees.

The support group plans to host another event at the mall on august 1st as part of a national breast-feeding event called “the big latch on.”

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