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Breastfeeding mom told: 'If you want to stay, cover up'

6:41 PM, Mar 4, 2013   |    comments
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Rachel Valley

ORANGEVALE, CA - A mother is a little upset, claiming she was told to fully cover herself while breastfeeding or get kicked out of her daughter's music fair.

It happened Saturday at the Orangevale Community Center.

"She said, 'I'm going to need you to cover up if you're going to do that here.' So it was a requirement," said Rachel Valley of Rocklin.

Valley was at her daughter's music event inside of the Orangevale Community Center. She said she was discreetly breastfeeding her 2-year-old twins when the Orangevale Recreation and Parks superintendant approached her.

"I was a little taken aback. I felt that I was discreet, not that it's required in this state," said Valley.

April Munroe, another mother who hadn't met Valley until that day, said, "A woman comes over and says, 'if you're going to do that here, I'm going to need you to cover up.'"

"The woman said the same thing a couple of more times and then eventually walked off. And that's all that happened," Munroe said.

News10 was not identifying the district employee at this time because News10 has not had the opportunity to talk to her directly for comment.

California law empowers breast-feeding mothers. The statue reads: "A mother may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private ... where the mother and the child are otherwise authorized to be present."

The two moms say the Orangevale supervisor crossed the line and of not knowing the law.

"I don't anyone to lose their job," said Munroe. "I would like more education, and I would love to see her apologize to Rachel."

Which, in a way, has happened.

Greg Foell, an administrator with Parks and Recreation, offered the following statement:

The District understands that a mother has a right to breastfeed in a public place and certainly respects that right. Ms. Valley was not asked to leave or to stop breastfeeding but rather just to be a little more discrete at this family event. Ms. Valley complied and continued to breastfeed her twins. The District apologizes if staff offended Ms. Valley and did not mean to do so. The incident will be investigated and steps taken to insure this does not happen in the future."

"I feel that the people that were complaining, they should have been told that I was within the law, and maybe they should leave," said Valley.

Valley also said it was another debate on whether or not her twins are too old to be breastfed. But she says that argument is entirely separate from this one.

by Nick Monacelli, Nick@news10.net

News10/KXTV

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