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Burleson City Rec Center criticized for breastfeeding mom's treatment

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Nursing in public may be protected by state law, but should breast feeding moms cover up if others are offended? One mom was recently put in that situation at a city rec center. There's video of the confrontation and it's getting a lot of attention.

Last Friday, mom Lucy Eades was confronted by an employee at the Burleson city recreation center.

It's difficult to hear, but the woman asks Eades, who is breast feeding her 16-day-old infant, to cover up.

"It's not you. I can tell anybody who walks in through the door who's wearing a sports bra, or who's wearing a bathing suit top, you need to cover up," says the employee.

Eades replies by telling her it is her legal right to nurse her child in public.

"It is state law that I can breastfeed my child," Eades states.

Eades' husband records the whole thing. He steps in.

"Okay, I'm going to ask you to quit talking to my wife, that's what I'm going to ask you to do. If you want to do something about it, call the cops to do it, then otherwise leave me alone," he said.

Eades walked us through what happened over the phone.

She says the clip, which has captured the attention of more than a half a million people, was the second time the woman approached her. The first time Eades says was when she entered the building.

"I told her here's the situation. I am doing exactly what I need to do. I'm feeding my kid. I'm not doing anything wrong. I'm not breaking any law. I have every legal right there is to stand here and feed my child. She said I'm not saying you can't nurse, but you do need to cover up," Eades said.

Eades says the woman told her she could feed the baby in the bathroom instead. Eades declined.

"I'm not nursing my child on the toilet. It's not happening," she said.

After the fiery exchange that would soon follow, the Eades left.

The City of Burleson has since responded with this statement:

The City of Burleson supports breastfeeding and appreciates recognition of National Breastfeeding Week. The City also supports the law which states "A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be." On Friday, Aug. 2, two women were breastfeeding in or near a public entrance to the City's recreation center where we were hosting a camp for youth ages 5 - 13 in addition to other recreation center patrons. To be respectful of everyone's rights we asked the women to cover up. There is nothing in the law that prohibits the City from requiring a mother to cover up. We also offered a room in an attempt to be more accommodative. The City did not attempt to prohibit breastfeeding and we fully support the freedom of mothers to breastfeed as long as it doesn't infringe on someone else's freedom."

Did the city do the right thing? We asked several people to watch the video and weigh in.

"It's hard to go hide in the corner when your baby is hungry," Daniel Cobos said.

"They have every right to ask that. It's a request. It's not a demand," Leonard Ray said.

"In general I think the culture is a little too embarrassed by things that should be absolutely natural. Obviously we wouldn't be a live today if mother's were not able to feed their children," Annette said.

Eades encourages nursing moms to educate themselves on breastfeeding laws.

"If you want to nurse with a cover in private, or in the middle of a supermarket without a cover, it doesn't matter because bottom line you're feeding your child and that's okay," Eades said.

A "nurse-in" is scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m. the Burleson City Recreation Center. For more information on that, click here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1405811616298692/

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