Schenectady County

Breast-feeding moms stage protest at state museum

Supporters of breast-feeding gathered this morning at the New York State Museum, with some infants s
16-month-old Maytel Ehrlich of Albany, right, chooses a crayon Friday as her mother, Jeanine, breastfeeds sister Yakira in the children’s area of the New York State Museum. Jeanine Erhrlich is the mother of seven children, all of whom were breastfed
PHOTOGRAPHER:
16-month-old Maytel Ehrlich of Albany, right, chooses a crayon Friday as her mother, Jeanine, breastfeeds sister Yakira in the children’s area of the New York State Museum. Jeanine Erhrlich is the mother of seven children, all of whom were breastfed

Supporters of breast-feeding gathered this morning at the New York State Museum, with some infants suckling at the breast as their mothers showed solidarity with Kristin Kelly.

Kelly, an Albany resident who was at today’s event with her three children, also was at the museum on Tuesday. At that time, she said, a woman with a name tag identifying her as a museum employee named Michelle had directed her to stop breast-feeding in public and to do it in a rest room or not at all. Kelly said she disregarded the instruction, and the woman came back and told her again, by which time Kelly was ready to stop feeding her four-month-old son, Zackary.

However, museum officials cast doubt on the story, saying no one matching Kelly’s description of Michelle was on duty at that time.

The museum does not discourage breast-feeding, said its director, Cliff Siegfried. He noted that the rights of breast-feeding mothers are legally protected and that the museum itself has a diorama with bare-breasted Iroquois women, one of whom is breast-feeding.

Near that diorama, on the other side of an Iroquois longhouse, two women were breast-feeding infants on Friday.

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