A mother who says she was lectured by a nun for breastfeeding her child at a doctor’s office is suing the practice for harassment.
On Thursday, while waiting to see her doctor at Mount St. Mary’s Neighborhood Health Center in Niagara Falls, N.Y., Nolah Carter, 24, nursed her 1-year-old daughter, Nature. Carter, a mother of two, had already asked the receptionist repeatedly if there was a private area to breastfeed, but feeling “brushed off,” and at the mercy of her hungry infant, she threw on a nursing cover and fed her child.
Thirty minutes into the feeding, Carter says an employee named Sister Nora burst into the waiting room. “She said, ‘That’s inappropriate — you can’t do that in here,'” Carter tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “She had pure hate in her eyes.”
According to Carter, the woman instructed her to nurse in either the sick area, a room where ill children wait for their appointments, or outside in the cold weather.
Embarrassed, Carter turned to leave and says Sister Nora yelled after her, “And I’m canceling your appointment!”
On Friday, Carter went to the police station and filed a harassment report against the health clinic. She’s also seeking legal representation. “This has happened before — one time I nursed my daughter in that waiting room and the receptionist kept skipping over me and delaying my appointment,” says Carter.
A representative of Mount St. Mary’s Neighborhood Health Center did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment. The practice sent a statement to Buffalo news station WKBW that read: “Mount St. Mary’s respects the right of all patients to breastfeed their children and encourages breastfeeding in its hospital and health centers. We have been recognized for our efforts to promote breastfeeding, offering special programs, services, and accommodations to support breastfeeding mothers. The hospital’s Neighborhood Health Center offers a variety of services to patients of all ages. To create a more comfortable environment for a mom who was breastfeeding in the center’s waiting room, and other patients who were waiting for their appointments, we offered the mom a private room to feed her baby. When she declined the offer, she was politely asked to cover up. At no time was she asked to leave the center.”