MORA, Minn. (KMSP) - What started as an incident at the Mora aquatic center has turned into quite the showing of support.
Dozens of families from Mora and around the state showed up just outside the aquatic center doors in hopes of de-stigmatizing breastfeeding.
Sitting on blankets, in chairs and even standing, women gathered in Mora to breastfeed.
“It’s hard enough to breastfeed in public because of the negative stigma that some women have so we just don’t want to anyone else to go through that,” said Mary Davis.
On Wednesday, Davis and her sister-in-law Stephanie were at the Mora Aquatic Center when they were approached by another woman and asked to cover up while they breastfed.
“We gathered our kids and basically did a walk of shame out of the pool,” said Davis. “That’s what it felt like to us.”
Now, with dozens of other mothers and their husbands by their sides, that feeling of shame is starting to disappear.
“It was upsetting to hear that people were reacting that way, but it was even more uplifting to hear about the support that they were getting from everyone in the community and everyone around the state,” said Jon Buchanan.
“We have had so much support,” said Davis. “From men, from women, it has been absolutely overwhelming.”
The protesters had support from people like Tamara Knowles who believes in breastfeeding, but says while mothers need to be comfortable, they should also make sure those around them are comfortable too.
“It’s a beautiful thing between a mother and a child that doesn’t have to necessarily be exposed and expressed to the entire world,” said Knowles. “When you see a mother covered up with a light rag, you know.”
Be it covered or exposed, the women say they want moms breastfeeding.
The Mora City Administrator said she didn’t want to go on camera, but did say that the Mora Aquatic Center does support breastfeeding. Davis plans to hold another nurse-in on Aug. 11.