Woman Calls the Cops on Breastfeeding Mom for Nursing in Public & They Come -- To Shut Her Down

Alreddy Cafe where incident occurred
WLWT/YouTube

If you're sick of hearing stories about mothers getting shamed for public breastfeeding, you're not alone. And yet, they just keep on coming -- even in 2019, despite all that's been done to normalize breastfeeding. The latest headline-making story comes out of Sharonsville, Ohio, where a cafe customer grew so irate when she saw a mother breastfeeding on Friday that she called the cops. But if the customer was hoping to shame the mother for daring to feed her child in public, she wasn't about to get the satisfaction.

  • The incident reportedly happened at Alreddy Cafe & Espresso Bar during the afternoon lunch rush.

    Cafe owner Viktoria Reddy said she was aware of the customer's irritation, because the woman was "not being quiet" about voicing her opinion to a server. Still, Reddy was pretty shocked that the situation escalated so quickly.

    "Next thing we know, the police are at door," Reddy told the Cincinnati Enquirer

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  • Sharonville police showed up minutes later but didn't exactly deliver the news the angry customer was looking for.

    It seems the woman was unaware of one pretty important fact: Breastfeeding in public is legal -- in all 50 states. So the breastfeeding mom who so offended her? She was well within her rights, and police let the complaining woman know that.

    The only good news, according to Reddy, is that there's a chance the mother had no idea she was even being complained about. Before the cops arrived, she'd finished her meal and left.

  • Still, the fact this even still happens in 2019 is pretty alarming. And the irony of all ironies is that it happened during World Breastfeeding Week.

    The annual awareness week, which runs from August 1 to 7, is spearheaded by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action -- a global network "dedicated to the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding worldwide," according to its website.

    It's just one portion of Breastfeeding Awareness Month, which aims to spread knowledge, research, and support about the many benefits of breastfeeding, as well as the resources available to new moms who may be struggling. Wrapped up in all of this is also the hope that it helps normalize breastfeeding, by removing the stigma many moms feel when trying to feed their children in public.

  • After all, the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends that mothers exclusively breastfeed their infants for at least 6 months.

    Although exclusive breastfeeding -- or even breastfeeding at all, for that matter -- doesn't work for everyone, the research is pretty clear: When it is possible, it can have incredible benefits, which is why doctors want mothers to be armed with the support and knowledge they need to succeed.

    But this can't exactly happen if moms are still routinely shamed for breastfeeding anywhere but in secret.

  • The headlines of breastfeeding-related altercations are so frequent, we can hardly keep track of them all.

    In June, a mom in Texas was asked to leave a town pool because she was breastfeeding her toddler on a lounge chair. A nurse-in was later staged by local mothers and the pool issued an apology, but still, the damage was done.

    Back in March, a mom in Australia was shamed for breastfeeding in public and accused of being "sexually explicit." She later told reporters she immediately left in tears.

    And then last August, a mother on Facebook shared an upsetting incident at Walmart, in which a fellow mom condemned her for daring to breastfeed in front of her sons -- who were 5 and 7 at the time.

    These stories are only the tip of the iceberg, though -- and are sadly not the last ones we'll hear.

    As for Reddy, she says she supports breastfeeding and hopes the message gleaned from this story is that nursing mothers everywhere deserve our understanding and acceptance.

    "I just feel like it's a natural thing and it's a good thing, and I wish more moms did it," Reddy told WLWT, adding that her only regret is not being closer to the customer to have shut down the whole thing.