Oklahoma mom, Jacquelyn Daugherty is making headlines after she was kicked out of Lawton Central Mall for breastfeeding her child back in November—and she is not standing for it. While spending the afternoon shopping with her 9-month-old son she noticed that he was hungry and decided to sit down at a table to feed him. (Because what else are you supposed to do?) Unfortunately, it didn't take long for one security guard to come over and ask her to leave—and we praise this momma for what happens next.
According to KSWO, Daugherty stayed calm and held her ground as she handed the security guard her Oklahoma breastfeeding law card.
“He told me that it was indecent exposure, and that I needed to go to my car or the restroom. And I handed him my Oklahoma breastfeeding law card, and he said that it doesn’t matter, that I’m on the mall’s property, and that I need to leave,” Daugherty told KSWO. “So I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it at the time. I just decided that I was going to pack up and leave; I’ll just go home and nurse him.”
Even though Daugherty followed the security guards instructions, she is clapping back at the Oklahoma mall in the most epic way ever—by organizing a nurse-in. Daugherty and breastfeeding rights group, La Leche Leauge are staging the peaceful protest at the mall today to make it known that they won't stand for this behavior.
"We're going to meet up and we're all going to nurse our babies together so none of us feel like we're being singled out,” Dougherty said. “We're all together, we're all going to be confident in this. We're going to let it be known we're OK with this and it's OK to do this and we legally can."
Amidst the controversy, Lawton Central Mall said in a statement to KSWO, “At Central Mall Lawton, we are committed to providing our customers and employees with an enjoyable shopping environment. As part of this commitment, we provide many offerings designed for families including family bathrooms, nursing areas and play areas. We also have a private nursing area in our ladies restroom. As a family-friendly destination, we do allow women to breastfeed in the center and are addressing the recent situation involving a nursing mother.”
Among the breastfeeding activists is Michaelene Young with the La Leche League who told the news site, "Any Oklahoma mother may breastfeed anywhere she is allowed to be.” She continued, “If she is allowed to be at the library, if she is allowed to be at the mall, she may absolutely breastfeed her baby there. Anyone who is to try to stop her or remove her in a sense would be in violation of the laws protecting her and her baby."
Daugherty is using this peaceful demonstration to shed light on an issue that needs to be addressed. Mothers should not feel ashamed for taking care of their children—it is obvious that more people need to be informed about breastfeeding laws put in place for this exact reason.
No mom should be told they can't feed their child, and Daugherty is setting the perfect example of how to properly handle common situations such as this one. We applaud all the moms for standing up for what's right because no one should ever get between a mother providing for her own.