Rarely do both sides of a public demonstration agree on the issue, but breastfeeding caused just that yesterday.
Breastfeeding advocates staged a nurse-in at the IWK children’s hospital yesterday after a woman was told to cover up. And the IWK was all for it.
The whole thing started when Shannon Hardy was breastfeeding her son Griffin at the IWK last week. A female staff member came up and tried to give Hardy a blanket to block the sight.
“I said ‘no thank you, did somebody complain?’ and she said ‘it would be best,’” said Hardy.
Hardy, a professional doula, or birthing coach, was shocked and angered that she would be told to cover up at a children’s hospital. About a dozen women showed up at the IWK with her yesterday morning to breastfeed and raise awareness of the cause.
However, the IWK itself has policies supporting breastfeeding. Spokeswoman Jocelyn Vine said the hospital does not require women to cover up while breastfeeding. Instead they advocate the practice.
“Our position is breastfeeding is the very best way to feed an infant,” said Vine.
“Breastfeeding anywhere, any time is our philosophy.”
No one knows who the employee was that tried to give Hardy the blanket, but Vines said she hoped it was an isolated incident.
She said she hadn’t heard of any other such cases, but the hospital is always striving to reach a higher level of education on breastfeeding among its staff. She said yesterday’s nurse-in helped do just that.
“It was a really positive event. My thinking is that anything that brings attention to the public and to all of us in the community that breastfeeding is the very best way to feed an infant and a newborn, is excellent,” said Vine.