HOUSTON (Reuters) - Chanting "Got milk," 50 mothers staged a protest "nurse-in" at a Houston shopping mall after one of them said security guards asked her to cover herself or move on while breast-feeding her 4-month-old son.
The women peacefully held their infants to their breasts in the middle of the upscale Galleria mall on Thursday, then continued their protest on a busy street outside, the Houston Chronicle reported on Friday.
Instigator of the action was Julie Doyle-Madrid, who said that a few days before a female security guard admonished her to cover up while she was feeding son Will and another said the mall preferred that nursing be done in more private places like the rest room.
She left, but angrily told a friend and word spread through e-mails, play groups and parents' meetings, which led to the 50 mothers gathering at the Galleria.
Galleria spokeswoman Connie Hascher told Reuters on Friday the female guard approached Doyle-Madrid because she noticed several men watching the breast-feeding.
The mall has no policy against public breast-feeding and would not tell women to cover up or change location, she said.
"We want people to have a comfortable experience while they're here."
If people do not want to see women nursing their children, "Don't look," Doyle-Madrid told the Chronicle.
"Breast-feeding is a child eating. I'm very comfortable," she said.