Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
By Kavita Varma-White

You would think that a doctor’s office would be a safe place to breast-feed your child. But one Texas mom found out differently while in the waiting room of her obstetrician/gynecologist.

Erin Pena of Lubbock, Texas, says she was asked to stop nursing in public after waiting for about an hour for her 4-month-old son’s vaccination appointment.

Pena told NBC affiliate KCBD that one of the female employees in the office repeatedly told her she needed to find another place to breast-feed. “She told me very sternly, Erin, You need to go to the bathroom or go to another room,” says Pena.

Pena says she continued to do so because she knows the law permits women to breast-feed anywhere. The same office worker eventually told Pena she was cancelling the baby’s vaccination appointment.

Eric Finley, a representative of UMC Health System, told KCBD: “Our staff asked that woman to either cover herself up or leave the building, which is absolutely wrong. We certainly apologize to that woman.”

Pena says she went to find her doctor to inform her of the situation and during that team she was escorted out of the building by security. Finley told KCBD that happened because Pena had gone into a “place in the clinic she was not allowed to be in.” But, he added, “Had we acted more appropriately, this never would have happened.”

Pena says she was emotional and upset. “This was really heart-breaking for me because this was [the office of] the woman who delivered my baby. I had a lot of respect for her and had always been treated well in the office,” Pena says. 

Follow Kavita Varma-White on Twitter.