Mom Booted After Breastfeeding at Minneapolis Library

Hadley Barrows didn’t take kindly to being kicked out of the Minneapolis Central Library. Especially because she wasn’t doing anything wrong.

Barrows was asked to leave the library for breastfeeding her son, despite Minnesota laws making it permissible to breastfeed in public.

A library security guard asked Barrows to move to a private location, and a librarian also told Barrows that she could not breastfeed in the library’s atrium. In an interview with WCCO-TV, Barrows said she was told that she ”was either going to have to take it outside or go in the bathroom. [The guard] said, you’re not even covered up, you’re just showing everyone: indecent exposure.”

On her blog, Barrows described her frustration at the incident:

This shouldn’t have happened because nursing in public is legal in Minnesota. But regardless, it happened.

I am trying not to be too dramatic about this. Being harassed for nursing in public is something most moms experience at least once. But I feel like being dramatic because I’ve never been so mad before in my life. I’ve never felt so much heat behind my ears or known with such certainty that my entire neck and head were the color of fire.

According t0 the library, the guard did check with a Hennepin County law enforcement official, who explained that Barrows wasn’t doing anything wrong. But the guard never told Barrows that she could stay.

According to WCCO-TV, the library said they would use the incident as a “teachable moment.”

“We basically sent the memo out to all of our staff, just reminding them of what the details of the law involve so that we don’t run into that kind of a situation again,” said Kirk Simmons, the Hennepin County Library security manager.

Barrows wrote that she saw the affair as a blessing in disguise.

“I knew it happened to me because I would do something about it,” she wrote. “I knew I would try hard to raise awareness about the law and make a difference for babies and moms who specialize in breastfeeding in public.”

Related Stories

Breastfeeding Soldiers Photo Stirs Up Debate

Why Don’t Moms Meet Their Own Breastfeeding Goals?

Uproar Over Oreo Ad With Breastfeeding Baby


Image Credit: Aurimas Mikalauskas


Charles D.
Charles D5 years ago

Survey says, breast feed babies learn faster and smarter.

Charles D.
Charles D5 years ago

It is a natural thing, as long as it is done in a covered and natural way. What is the big deal?

Christopher M.
Christopher M.5 years ago

I'd agree with the breast as feeding apparatus if we hadn't invented the bottle. But noooooo, my baby deserves better than a bottle, even some of the time.

They can pump breast milk into bottles for a reason.... sometimes it is socially acceptable to use a bottle.

Christopher M.
Christopher M.5 years ago

And changing her son on a library table???

There ought to be a breastfeeding room to do that out of sight.

Mark M.
Mark M5 years ago

Absolutely right Sheila C.! The prevailing attitude to breasts and breast feeding is utterly stupid.

Shelia Comer
Shelia Comer5 years ago

Breastfeeding is the natural way to feed your infant/child. American people (men especially) need to stop thinking of breasts as "their" play toys and let babies do what mother nature intended!

Sarah M.
Sarah M5 years ago

I am so sick of the war on breastfeeding! There is nothing indecent or wrong about it.

Susan Duncan
Susan Duncan5 years ago

I don't think most of us have any problem with mothers breastfeeding in public when it's done discreetly and with good manners. A flopping breast with a baby attached is never attractive nor is brazenly displaying the process ever considered proper behavior. There is such a thing as propriety. Thoughtfulness for the sensibilities of others should be considered by the minority, in this case, breastfeeding mothers. There is no harm to the mother or baby by covering up with a light, pretty blanket or small quilt. Sometimes babies make noises when feeding that can be distracting and disturbing when others are eating so breastfeeding at a public eatery is not really a good thing, covered or exposed.

Mothers who "specialize" in "public breastfeeding" should probably examine their motives. There is nothing new about babies, thousands are born every day, and while breastfeeding is a natural process, it is nothing that entitles a mother to disregard all public rules and mores. Going to the bathroom is a natural process, too, but we only do that in private, designated places.

If done with discretion and concern for others, breastfeeding does not have to be a public spectacle but the quiet, private process nature intended for most all species.

Crystal Sellers
Crystal Sellers5 years ago

One we stop viewing the breast as a SEXUAL TOY 1st and an INFANT FOOD SUPPLY 2nd, the attitude will change.

We do not make an ape, dog, cat, horse etc cover up when their teat is hanging out.

Jane Barton
Jane Barton5 years ago

America was settled by extremely sexually repressed people. I don't care what anybody says, religion is the root cause of it. Catholic/Christians are only slightly less sexually hung up than Muslims. In the last decade Neo-Nazis have gotten into our government and this is the reason there is a push backward. The Catholic Church in America is losing money and they need to force poor women to pop out more babies so they will get more Catholics and more tithing. The American birth rate is flat. The GOP need more babies for their war machine. Both the Catholic and Muslim cults have severely sexually repressed women for
2,000 years and they are still doing it to this day. These men make everything that is totally natural into something SHAMEFUL, DIRTY and FILTHY. I realize there are billions of people
who follow these cults but religions are ALL sick and twisted and mentally they have ruined
everybody's life.