Mum Refuses To Back Down After Nursery Demands She Stops Breastfeeding

A mother was asked not to breastfeed her twins in the public space at their own nursery because it was deemed 'inappropriate' - but she hopes that by standing up for her rights she will help other mothers.

Professional photographer Jennifer Mancuso, 38, from Ohio, faced criticism for breastfeeding her twin daughters at their own nursery, because it 'could have been offensive to others.'

Jennifer, who has four daughters - Parker, four, Piper, three, and twins Aria and Asher, 18 months - as well as three step-children, breastfed her two older girls until they weaned off, and is still nursing the twins.

Jennifer with her twins Aria and Asher. Credit: Media Drum World
Jennifer with her twins Aria and Asher. Credit: Media Drum World

In August 2018, Jennifer was tandem breastfeeding Aria and Asher inside their nursery when an employee asked her to relocate to the staff room, a small and boxy room which couldn't be seen into, to nurse.

Jennifer was told that she had to nurse her daughters in a private space because some of the children were 'school-aged' and it could be inappropriate for them to see. The director also felt that it was best for Jennifer not to nurse in a public area of the centre in case she offended any religious beliefs of other parents.

The staff at the day-care went back and forth with Jennifer, telling her where she could and couldn't breastfeed. Jennifer was close to removing her daughters from the centre until after three weeks of dispute, she received an apology from the director of the centre.

The mother was shocked by the behaviour of staff. Credit: Media Drum World
The mother was shocked by the behaviour of staff. Credit: Media Drum World

Staff at the nursery reviewed their policies to make sure the same situation would never occur again. Jennifer has shared her experience to normalise breastfeeding so other mothers aren't afraid of it.

"It's natural and frankly I don't care if someone sees my breast, or a glimpse of my nipple doing what nature created it to do," said Jennifer.

"Because of my schedule with the older two, it works best for me to breastfeed the twins at drop-off and pick-up."

Describing the day-care incident, Jennifer said: "One morning I began nursing Asher on a chair before I left and the director said she needed me to nurse in the back, in the staff room, which is no bigger than a wardrobe.

Jennifer didn't let the incident change her mind about breastfeeding in public. Credit: Media Drum World
Jennifer didn't let the incident change her mind about breastfeeding in public. Credit: Media Drum World

"They told me that I wasn't allowed to nurse my babies in any of the public spaces because it had to be in a private space, because they have school-aged children. That implies what I'm doing is inappropriate for older children to witness.

"The manager of the location chimed in and stated that it was also to protect other parents who may find it offensive due to religion. I literally scoffed out loud at her and shared it on my Instagram in disbelief.

"We went back and forth several times, but no one was backing down. I couldn't immediately withdraw them and seek new childcare, but they needed nursing. So, I conceded and went to the break room. Later that week the manager apologised and even teared up.

"I got a call from the director who was completely apologetic. She explained how sorry she was about her comments. She saw how negatively that could make a new or insecure breastfeeding mother feel."

Jennifer added: "I am majorly pro-breastfeeding in public because that's the only way it will ever become normalised.

"Breastfeeding is important on so many different levels for me. There are benefits that my babies receive from my breastmilk and there are so many health benefits that I also receive from breastfeeding, including reduced rates of multiple different types of cancer.

"I'm also very passionate about normalising it because I want to help other mums have the strength to see it through and not be afraid to breastfeed in public."

Featured Image Credit: Media Drum World

Harvey Day

Writer for Pretty52, interested in all sorts of entertainment and lifestyle content. Previously worked at ShortList Magazine and website, the MailOnline and the Birmingham Mail. Contact: harvey.day@pretty52.com

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