Local mother verbally attacked for breastfeeding in public

Local mother verbally attacked for breastfeeding in public
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - One Amarillo mother is speaking out after she says she was verbally attacked for breastfeeding her child.

Kayla Martinez is a mother of two and is no stranger to breastfeeding.

She says in the past she has received glares and heard comments as people passed her while feeding her daughters, but Monday afternoon was the first time someone walked up to her and verbally disrespected her for nursing.

"To breastfeed is the most natural thing a woman can do," Martinez said. "To have another women tell you that you are trash and you are nasty and you are being sexual, and you are just feeding your child, it made me feel very dirty and low and worthless. "After she left, I just started crying and then realized this is what God intended my body to do."

The incident happened inside AirU. Martinez says an AirU manager approached her and told her a few mothers were uncomfortable with her breastfeeding mainly because she was not covered up.

The manager told her she could continue to breastfeed where she was at and offered her a private room if she wanted to move.

Martinez denied the private room but moved to another location, which is when one customer verbally attacked her while she was sitting on the floor feeding her baby.

AirU released a statement saying "We simply handled this situation in the best way possible to ensure we did not offend anyone and make everyone as comfortable as possible. Our goal at AirU is to ensure the happiness and satisfaction of our customers and we do our best to accommodate any needs."

Martinez says the staff at AirU handled this situation with grace and is thankful for their support.

Local nurses say situations like the one Martinez encountered is a barrier many nursing mothers face while trying to breastfeed.

"At some point they're going to be out somewhere and baby is going to want to eat, and they are really afraid of the repercussions of how people in the community will react if they breastfeed their infant while they are out at the grocery store or at parks, pools, virtually any place,"  Angela Hartfelder a lactation consultant for TTUHSC said.

Hartfelder says there are local support groups for mothers who are breastfeeding, one being Baby Café.

"It helps so much not just to have a nurse but to have another mom whose walked this battle," Kirsta Savage a lactation nurse at Northwest Texas Hospital said. "A mom whose walked right along or has struggled, and it just helps support those moms to know other moms have been there, they have done it, there is support, there is help, there is people to talk to, so Baby Café is an awesome place for moms to come."

For information on Baby Café you can click here.

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