If you read my last post about my unwelcome experience while breastfeeding at the Brookfield Zoo’s Restaurant and you were as upset as I was – I am happy to report a ray of light in the situation. Today while I was teaching my husband was contacted by the CEO of Brookfield Zoo, Stuart Strahl. Mr. Strahl assured my husband that the Brookfield Zoo is pro-breastfeeding and all employees are educated on the Brookfield Zoo’s policy. He relayed that even the Zoo’s board members breastfeed their own children during meetings. I was so happy to hear this I sat right down to type this post when I arrived home.
It appears to be that one ignorant staff member was the cause of my unfortunate experience, and not a poor policy. Rest assured that they have taken steps to make sure all employees understand that breastfeeding is both allowed and encouraged within the park. I have to admit that an experience such as this really does make you feel unwelcome, even if you are a seasoned nursing mother. I know that I will continue to nurse my son in public, but I have to admit I was living in a bubble up until this point, not aware of the anti-breastfeeding sentiment that lurks in the strangest places. My hope is that everyone will stand up against anti-breastfeeding sentiments, report harassment when it occurs and instead of looking away ashamed, angry or embarrassed by a mother nursing her child in public recognize that this is the natural function of a woman’s breasts, to feed our young.
Thank you to the Brookfield Zoo for their apology and their vigilance in supporting a woman’s right to nurse in public.