A breastfeeding mom from Georgia left a dentist’s waiting room embarrassed and angry after she was told to cover-up or leave.
Suzie Ramirez of Moultrie, Georgia, recently visited A Confident Smile dentist’s office in Thomasville, where she claimed the receptionist reprimanded her for breastfeeding in a public space, reports Daily Mail.
Ramirez, her husband, and their four children were sitting in a waiting area when her 4-month-old daughter Dianerys became fussy.
The baby was hungry, so the 24-year-old mother began nursing the infant.
Soon after Ramirez placed the baby on her lap and pulled up her shirt to feed, a staff member approached the mother and draped a blanket over the child.
Confused, the mom placed the blanket to the side, but claimed the receptionist waved her finger at the mother and told her, “there’s teenagers here.”
She also said:
“This is not your home. This is an office, okay?”
According to Ramirez, she was given the choice to either cover the baby’s head with a blanket, or move into a private waiting area so other patients would feel more comfortable. Ramirez said:
“She suggested teenagers don’t see it as just breastfeeding. She said if I didn’t want to use the blanket I could go into a different room.
I wasn’t doing anything wrong at all. I wasn’t showing my boobs to anyone.”
Outraged, the mother shared her experience on Facebook.
She said the staff member’s response left her humiliated:
I feed my baby in large public places and never have a problem.
She added, “I couldn’t believe this was happening, especially in a dentist’s office. I felt humiliated, embarrassed, angry. A lot of feelings at once.”
In an official statement released by the company, a spokesperson said:
Management offered her a private room and/or a clean afghan [blanket] for her family’s comfort and convenience. There was a miscommunication along the way, as management misunderstood and thought Ms. Ramirez did want to use the afghan and tried to be of help as Ms. Ramirez’s hands were full.
This initial conversation was not captured on Ms. Ramirez’s video.
As it turns out, Ms. Ramirez declined these offerings and the fallout is what is on these videos.
We sincerely apologize to Ms. Ramirez and those who have been offended by our response.
We immediately reached out to her and personally offered our deepest regrets for her unpleasant experience in our office.
As WTXL reports, Dr. Sharon Patrick apologized to Ramirez for the miscommunication.
According to Patrick, her office has received backlash since the video was posted. The dentist said her employees have been harassed:
“I’ve had people cry all day, and are scared to stay at work.”
Patrick, however, hopes the confusion will turn the incident into a teachable moment.
She said, this situation happened during National Breastfeeding month, and “we want to take this time as an office to educate our staff.”