MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Some Memphis women brought their babies to the Social Security office and held a breast feeding sit-in Friday. One mother was told earlier in the week she could not feed her baby in the waiting area, and called it a violation of her rights.
It was five mothers and their babies doing what is a natural part of life in public.
Ashley Brown was waiting in The Social Security office Monday when she began breast feeding her son, Gavyn. A security guard told her to stop or finish in the bathroom.
“I felt harassed, I was just trying to feed my kid,” she said. “I told her I wasn’t going to do that, I told her we were fine. And we went back and forth and I told her I had a right to breast feed and she went to get the manager. I thought that was going to be the end of it, because the manager should obviously know the law.”
But that wasn’t the end of it. Brown says the manager told her the Social Security office followed federal law, which did not protect a mother’s right to breast feed. FOX13 was told the same thing by security guards who told us our cameras were not allowed on the property to record the sit-in.
Moments later we were told we were allowed to be outside the federal facility. Brown was also told she was given the wrong information.
Social Security officials declined an on-camera interview, but issued the following statement to brown:
I want to apologize for the treatment you received when nursing your eight month old son in our reception area. The state and federal law does not prohibit breast feeding in our offices. We will ensure our employees and security guards are aware and abide by the federal law.
“I think more women should breast feed and breast feed in public because it needs to be normalized,” Brown said. “It’s not something sexual, I don’t want to show you my breast, I just want to feed my baby.”