Tuesday, January 21, 2020
News 12 at 11 o'clock
EVANS, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Dozens of moms showed support to normalize public breastfeeding at a nurse-in at Chick-fil-A in Evans Tuesday.
The whole thing started with a Facebook post, when Samantha McIntosh said she was breastfeeding her baby when a manager said someone complained and asked her to cover up. McIntosh couldn't believe the support she got following the post.
"It's honestly amazing," she said. "I've cried a couple times today about it."
She got encouraging messages from all over the world, and she had a strong group of women right beside her at the nurse-in.
"This means a lot to all of us," said Jessica Gaugush, one of the organizers of the nurse-in.
She barely knows McIntosh, but wanted to help send a message to anyone who has a problem with public breastfeeding.
"It doesn't matter when or where or how we feed our children," she said. "It's always okay."
News 12 called the Chick-fil-A Public Relations Hotline and reached out to them on Twitter for comment, but didn't hear back. They did eventually send an email saying the owner personally reached out to McIntosh to apologize. He said his goal is to provide a warm and welcoming environment for all guests.
"It's legal to breastfeed anywhere you want," said Jessica Pierre, a military wife and mother who lives on Fort Gordon. "Anywhere you're allowed to be you're allowed to nurse, covered or uncovered."
Some moms drove more than an hour to be there because they said it's an important issue, and one they can relate to.
"I've actually had people look at me funny," said Cassandra Robins of Dearing. "Even with a pump that's covered in my shirt."
"All you want to do is feed your baby. That's it," said Genevieve Cavanaugh of Aiken. "It's just such a natural thing."
The moms said they just want to raise awareness and end the stigma about public breastfeeding.
"The only goal here is to encourage education for [the store's] staff, [and their] management team," McIntosh said. "I don't want anything else but for them to be educated and probably have a better way to handle this in the future."
McIntosh said when the owner reached out, she suggested the store bring in a lactation specialist to educate the staff. She said the owner was receptive to the idea, so they're hoping to turn this negative into a positive.
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