It seems a local mom was asked by a staff member of Currents to breastfeed her child in the bathroom this week. The mom protested, but the staff insisted that she stop breastfeeding in public.

Knowing her rights, the mom complained to Missoula Parks and Rec, which issued a prompt apology and pledged to correct the problem by running staff through training.

The three e-mails copied below should serve as an important reminder to parents to know the laws about breastfeeding in Montana. I know there was a time when I, as a new mom, felt rather meek about stuff like this. Time was, I would have obeyed the lifeguard at Current unquestioningly, and slunk off to the bathroom to nurse my baby. I am so thankful was have moms like Kris Laroche to stand up for all of us.

I also hope the conversation will serve as a reminder to businesses, agencies and organizations – both public and private – to brush up on Montana’s breastfeeding laws as well. It’s not enough just to post a sign in the window declaring your support of breastfeeding. You have to make sure you – and your employees – understand what that means. And that includes making it clear that moms have the right to breastfeed their babies in public places.

- MM

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