This statement was provided to TODAY by Larson Scott, the public relations manager at Candler Hospital in Savannah, Georgia, where a breastfeeding mom says she was told to cover up by an employee:
First and foremost, we want to sincerely apologize to Ms. Snyder for the insensitive incident that occurred while she was visiting our hospital. The action by the individual involved is not indicative of our health system's overall commitment to breastfeeding.
Our health system is unconditionally supportive of breastfeeding wherever and whenever a mother needs to feed her child and we have no policies against public breastfeeding. This has been a longstanding commitment to mothers in our community.
The individual involved, a retiree who works only a few hours a week, has been re-educated on our views regarding breastfeeding and we have used this as an opportunity to reiterate our strong support for breastfeeding mothers with our other co-workers. She did ask Ms. Snyder to cover up, which was not correct. We have no policy requiring breastfeeding mothers to cover up.
Our co-worker did ask Ms. Snyder if she would like a towel and she accepted. When our co-worker came back with the towel, she gently laid it over the baby. It was not thrown, as was alleged.
We have made several attempts to reach Ms. Snyder and have apologized via email, but we have not yet heard back from her by phone. The nurse manager who originally received the complaint from Ms. Snyder apologized at that time, knowing as a mother who breastfed her own children, how upsetting this must have been. It is our hope that she will contact us so that we can speak to her personally.
We remain committed to making sure that all breastfeeding mothers are able to freely feed their children throughout all our facilities and hope that our system is not judged by the actions of one individual.