Midland Mother Claims She Was Asked to Conceal Breastfeeding in Local Dental Office

Midland Mother Claims She Was Asked to Conceal Breastfeeding in Local Dental Office

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - A Midland mother claims she was asked to cover herself while breastfeeding. It happened at a local dentist's office.

The dental office said they don't have any issues with breastfeeding but they did say there's a reason behind what happened.

Alexis Odom is a mother of two and said she's never had any issues while breastfeeding up until last week.

Odom was in the waiting room at Gray Cosmetic and Family Dentistry. Her six-month-old daughter became fussy so she began breastfeeding her using a sling.

She was surprised by what she claims happened next.

"I was approached by the office manager and asked to cover up more," Odom said. "She just repeated 'we have patients here that are uncomfortable with this, they're not used to it' and she handed me a big blanket."

Odom said they also offered her a private office but she politely declined.

"The law says you can feed anywhere, it doesn't say you have to be covered. It's a personal preference of mine," Odom said.

According to state law, a mother is entitled to breastfeed her baby in any location where she authorized to be.

Odom would know, she's a labor and delivery nurse and she's also a breastfeeding advocate.

The mother said what happened isn't right.

"I chose to take the blanket and make kind of a barrier but I felt uncomfortable doing so. I felt like it was a violation of my rights to breastfeed in public," Odom said.

Odom said she tried contacting the office after it happened and got no answer but NewsWest 9 did.

Lupe Pipes is the office manager. She said never told Odom to stop feeding her daughter but said she did offer her a blanket.

"We had some patients that were checking out. They happened to be male and we had a young male student worker up here in the front that was just uncomfortable," Pipes said.

Pipes said the 16-year-old employee ended up moving to a different part of the office.

"We're not against breastfeeding whatsoever," Pipes said. "It is very natural, like I said, we all believe in it, we're all for it. It's just the circumstances that's all it was with the young man."

"It's good for people to see it and put it out there so it is normal," Odom said. "I think if you're uncomfortable with it, avert your eyes."

The dental office said it's a learning experience.

"Next time we're aware at least and the young man you know he's gonna be aware to just go to back," Pipes said.

Odom stayed for her appointment and she said she'll be back.

She just hopes the stigma around breastfeeding is eventually lost.