Mother told off for breastfeeding 'because no food and drink' allowed

Mother is ‘stunned’ to be told off for breastfeeding her three-month-old son in museum ‘because no food and drink are allowed’

  • Fae Church said she wanted to find a quiet area to breast feed her son
  • The 35-year-old said she was ‘utterly humiliated’ by the female member of staff 
  • A spokesperson from the museum apologised ‘wholeheartedly’ for the incident

A mother was left ‘stunned’ after being told off for breastfeeding her three-month-old son in a museum ‘because no food and drink are allowed’. 

Fae Church from Haverhill, Suffolk, said one of the members of staff told her ‘it’s not ok because no food and drink are allowed’ in the museum.

The 35-year-old visited the University Museum of Zoology in Cambridge on Saturday with her husband and two children. 

Ms Church said she wanted to find a quiet area to breast feed her son before she breast fed him.  

Ms Church (pictured) said she wanted to find a quiet area to breast feed her son before she breast fed him

The mother-of-two said she sat there ‘quite happily’ breastfeeding Reuben to give him a ‘little feed’ for five minutes. 

She said a few people walked past her without paying much attention but a staff member said her actions were ‘not ok because no food and drink are allowed to be consumed in the museum’. 

Ms Church added: ‘I felt utterly humiliated like a little girl at school, just getting told off, I didn’t know what to say.

‘I was absolutely shaken by it, I just couldn’t believe it. She was making me feel humiliated by it. I did just feel about three inches high in that moment, it wasn’t nice.

‘It was the way she said it, there wasn’t any kindness from her comments. Most people would have helped me, because I had a big buggy with me and you have your baby in your arms, it’s difficult finding places to breastfeed.

‘And I’ve never been to the café upstairs, I didn’t know if it was open or how to get to it. With a baby crying you just go and find an area as quick as you possibly can to settle them.

‘If she had come over and said ‘there’s a nice area here or I can help you go there’, that would have been perfectly normal and a kind thing to do.

‘She seemed disgruntled with me. It was just bizarre and it left me really shaken up.

Ms Church said she has breastfed both her children and this was the first time she received anything negative towards her in public. 

Ms Church said she has breastfed both her children and this was the first time she received anything negative towards her in public. (Pictured: File image: Dinosaur skeletons displayed at the first floor of Nagoya City Science Museum)

She said her and husband Aaron wanted to confront the staff member but could not find her in the museum. 

The University Museum of Zoology states on its website under the ‘visiting with families’ section ‘Breastfeeding and bottle feeding is welcomed in all Museum spaces’.

A spokesperson for The University Museum of Zoology said: ‘On behalf of all the staff and volunteers at the Museum of Zoology we can only apologise wholeheartedly for what happened to Fae and the way she was made to feel. 

‘We absolutely allow and welcome breastfeeding and bottle-feeding in all our public spaces. 

The 35-year-old mother visited the University Museum of Zoology in Cambridge on Saturday with her husband and two children (File image: Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology)

‘We pride ourselves on being a family-friendly museum and it’s terrible that a visitor was treated in this manner. 

‘The volunteer she spoke to made an unfortunate mistake, one which is not reflective of our culture or policy.

‘As soon as we were made aware of what had happened, we shared it with the whole volunteer and staff team. 

‘We’ve ensured that they know how important it is that visitors should feel comfortable breastfeeding and bottle-feeding in the Museum, to avoid visitors being left feeling the way she has been, with some specific pointers about how they can support parents who ask about quieter spots they can use.

‘We will also be more specific about this in inductions for new volunteers working in the galleries. 

‘Our visitor engagement volunteers are typically an incredibly supportive team, helping people get the most out of their visits – it’s so unusual that things go wrong in the way they have here. 

‘We are hopeful that with these extra communications, events like this won’t happen again.’

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