Breastfeeding Incidents Cause Mothers To Speak Out

Afrykayn Moon
Afrykayn Moon in a screenshot from her Youtube video
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Afrykayn Moon in a screenshot from her Youtube video

A mother is speaking out after she was publicly reprimanded for breast-feeding her child on a bus.

Detroit resident Afrykayn Moon was asked to leave a SMART bus on June 24 after the driver saw her breastfeeding her 2-week-old son.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Moon refused to leave her seat which prompted the driver to call security officers to board the bus and question the mother.

The 32-year-old insists that she was using a wrap to feed her child and that her chest was almost fully covered telling the Detroit Free Press, “I had him in a football wrap. She (the driver) wasn’t seeing much.”

Moon created a YouTube video about her experience, saying that she was treated wrongly by the bus driver. “As a mother, I should have the right to feed my child, period. I should have the right to feed my child without being harassed by the bus driver, without the driver calling the police on me,” said Moon. “What I experienced was rude and disrespectful. Something needs to be done.”

Moon who is a member of the Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association, is planning a nurse-in at the SMART facilities in her hometown of Troy, Detroit this Friday, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Detroit mother isn’t the only woman dealing with breastfeeding legal issues. A Washington D.C. cop was recently forced to take leave without pay after requesting a desk job. According to the Washington Examiner, Officer Sashay Brown said that she was unable to patrol the streets during her shifts and wear her protective bullet proof vest because of her breastfeeding.

“Because of my condition, I am unable to wear my vest,” said Brown in her request to change positions. “Wearing my vest is extremely painful and could clog my ducts and slow down the production of my milk supply.”  According to the Washington Examiner, Brown did not have issues with breastfeeding on the job when she had her first child in 2009.

Brown, who currently has no sick leave left after just having her child, is planning on applying for government assistance because she wants to breastfeed her baby for one year. “That’s a long time to be without pay. I’m applying for short-term disability and am hoping they allow this to be a medical condition,” said Brown.

A Pittsburgh resident recently put together plans to create what is now being called “The Milk Truck,“an ice-cream truck with a giant breast on the top. Jill Miller, a member of the School of Art in Pittsburgh Carnegie Mellon University, is looking to raise $10,000 to build the truck to allow local mothers to feed their children in public, privately.

“When a woman finds herself in a situation where she is discouraged, harassed, or unwelcome to breastfeed her baby in public, she summons The Milk Truck. The trucks arrives to the locations of the woman in need and provides her with a shelter for feeding her baby,” said Miller on her website. “We’re tired of hearing stories about women being asked to leave restaurants or cover up with a blanket while doing something as simple as feeding a baby.”