When Texas Mom, Kayla Martinez took her baby and toddler to AirU, an indoor trampoline park, she did not expect that their outing would end in an altercation.
“We had walked in, sat down, my three year old was playing,” Martinez said. “There’s a middle section down by a big blue pillow, and I sat down and nursed her for about 20 minutes and no one said anything.”
Some people found her nursing disturbing and an AirU employee approached her to tell her just that.
“He said you know we’ve had some complaints, and they would like you to cover up,” Martinez said. The employee then said, “you by no means have to, we can offer a room if you’d like, or you can continue the way you are.”
Martinez later moved to a secluded area to continue to nurse, only to be confronted by the customer who initiated the complaint
“She told me that she was going to call the police, that she was very upset with me, that I was being indecent with children around, and that I was being very sexual with my breasts,” Martinez said.
Martinez says she told the customer that she respected them, but was not going to cover herself up, nor leave.
In fact, the State of Texas says she does not have to.
“Health safety code 165.002 states that a mother is entitled to breastfeed her child anywhere that the mother is allowed,” said Amarillo Police Officer, Jeb Hilton.
The code also states that businesses have a say in their preference. AirU released a statement confirming they gave Martinez a choice:
Hello, this is Blake, the Director of Operations at AirU. I would like to explain the situation on July 3rd about the breastfeeding incident.
On Monday, July 3 my Deck Coordinator, Skylar, came to me about a customer who felt uncomfortable about a mother who was breastfeeding in our facility and the fact that she did not have a blanket over the child. The customer let us know she felt uncomfortable with the mother breastfeeding with no cover and that she felt it was inappropriate. I had my coordinator address the mother and offer her the OPTION of either using a blanket as well as offer a private room to breastfeed in and let her know that it was her OPTION to do so. She politely denied the offer and continued to breastfeed and proceeded to move to another location as to remove herself from direct sight of all others. After the mother moved to another location the upset customer decided to confront the mother about the issue and any information beyond this point was exchanged between the two customers. My coordinator did his best to treat both customers with the utmost respect and did exactly what he was asked to do to accommodate both customers. 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.
“If a business has a preference on allowing that, they can have that preference,” Officer Hilton said.
Moving forward, Martinez says that she will not change where and how she breastfeeds.
“You need to feel comfortable with your body, with your child, trust your body, and trust that as a mother you’re doing exactly what you should be for your child,” Martinez said.
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