A church that decided to discriminate a mother for breastfeeding her child has finally apologized for its pathetic behavior.
It all started after a member of the Naz Church in Brighton reportedly sent a private Facebook message to Amy Marchant asking her to “cover up” while breastfeeding her child.
The mother of three was spotted breastfeeding her 1-year-old child while waiting for her 4-year-old twins to finish school. At this time, she was spotted by another woman who decided to shame the 29-year-old for nursing her child.
“She said a few people were uncomfortable with my breastfeeding and she gave me three options: to either cover up or nurse in two private rooms in the church,” Marchant explained.
Marchant, who happens to be a mental health therapist, said she was shocked to get this message as she had been feeding her children at the church before and no one had a problem.
The woman was bashed by the society because she was being a responsible mother.
Marchant recorded an emotional video on Facebook explaining how humiliating she felt, and that how this kind of judgmental behavior actually had a negative impact on several mother’s mental health.
“I see women all the time who shut down and stop trying to nurse because of this discrimination,” she said.
“I chose to stand up for this issue for every future woman who walks through those church doors that she will never have to go through that,” she continued.
However, Marchant explained she wasn’t the kind who would want to get in an altercation. So she went to the pastor to get a clarification of her rights under Michigan law. The law clearly allows women to breastfeed in public.
But when Marchant started the topic, the pastor was anything but understanding. If anything, he was “argumentative” she recalled. At one point he told the mother, her actions could “cause men to lust and stumble.”
So according to the pastor, all it takes for men to falter is a mother nursing her child.
However, after Marchant’s video went viral and people expressed dissatisfaction at the church’s conduct, this is what Pastor Ben Walls said, “That is what we want to say — we have nothing against breastfeeding and we are in favor. It’s very hard because we understand that she was very hurt and we apologize to her. We’re very sorry for the embarrassment and hurt caused when she was asked to cover or use one of those rooms. We apologize for her hurt and embarrassment; that wasn’t the intention.”
“We are not against anyone breastfeeding anywhere in the church,” he added. “That is not what the problem was. Both breasts were totally exposed. From their perspective, it’s natural, we know, but we felt it inappropriate for boys and men, and we weren’t trying to shame, we were trying to deal with others who were uncomfortable and how they felt. Hurt, embarrassment, and shame was not intended.”
Marchant said both her breasts were not exposed.
She met the pastor for the second time along with her attorney Bill Amadeo and Barbara Robertson of the Breastfeeding Center of Ann Arbor in hopes of getting some positive response from the church.
Marchant thought she would get a public apology and a commitment on the church’s part of educating mothers of their breastfeeding rights – but none of that happened.
According to the mother, the meeting was unproductive. Nevertheless, she hoped that women don’t get silenced or discriminated by the society or such people while nursing their children.
Note to all the breastfeeding mothers: Nursing your child is your responsibility, but not getting discriminated by the judgmental society is also your responsibility. Don’t let anyone bully you for feeding your children. Breastfeeding your child in public is not a stigma.
Thumbnail/Banner Image: REUTERS/Marco Bello