Moultrie mom defends breastfeeding at Thomasville dentist's office

Posted at 5:30 PM, Aug 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-06 15:58:03-04

MOULTRIE, Ga. (WTXL) - A woman who was breastfeeding her baby last week in the waiting area of a Thomasville dentist's office says she's upset with how the business treated her.

Suselma Ramirez said she was at A Confident Smile on August 1 with her husband and children. In a Skype interview with WTXL Monday, Ramirez explained she was there for her children's dental appointment. While she was waiting, her 4-month-old child was crying, so she started to breastfeed the baby.

Ramirez said she tried to cover up as much as possible -- and that she had nursed her child at that dentist's office before.

On August 1, she said an employee approached her with a blanket. Ramirez said she initially thought the gesture was to keep the child warm, but she realized it was to cover up the breastfeeding.

Ramirez explained that the baby wasn't comfortable with the blanket covering, so she placed it to the side.

She said the employee started to tell her that she needed to either cover up or nurse her child somewhere else. Ramirez said she told her husband to start recording the interaction on a cell phone to document what was happening.

The videos were posted on Facebook and generated thousands of views, before they were taken down. Ramirez re-posted the videos later with a disclaimer, saying that the content was exclusively managed by a British company called Mercury Press.

WTXL contacted Mercury Press Monday to obtain permission to use the videos. A representative indicated a fee would be involved for access. WTXL decided not to pursue the request further.

WTXL's sister station WALB interviewed the owner of the dentist's office last week, who said a receptionist offered the mother a blanket or a more private room.

Dr. Sharon Patrick apologized to Ramirez, and the company issued a statement on its website (and disabled its Facebook page), but Ramirez said she doesn't accept the apology.

She told WTXL she would've liked an apology from the employee who confronted her about the breastfeeding -- and that the business was hiding the full story.

Ramirez said she wants other mothers to embrace and fight for their right to feed their children.

"I just want people to understand that breastfeeding is nothing sexual," she said. "Breastfeeding is something normal, something natural. The baby is hungry, and so, I got to feed my baby. I'm not going to just starve my baby. I'm not going to do that."

Ramirez said she's considered taking legal action against the business. She said she'll find another place to take her children for their dental needs.