Wedding Party's Breastfeeding Request Spurs Debate

Bride requests that new moms breastfeed in restroom during reception

Ceara LaFrance never knew a social media post would create such a storm. It's been several weeks since the post to Facebook about breastfeeding and the responses on both sides of the issue are still rolling in.

It started with a wedding invitation LaFrance and her husband received from the wedding couple Shelby and Garrett. Ceara's husband just so happens to be the groom's best man. The wedding invitation came with a request to nursing moms to breastfeed in a designated area.

"It's something that is natural that shouldn't be shamed," said LaFrance.

LaFrance Ceara felt comfortable even breastfeeding her 2-year-old during WFAA's interview.

The request of the bride and groom was that moms go to the ladies room to nurse.

The note read, "...we have designated an appropriate place for you to feed your baby so that you do not have to do so in public in front of our family and friends. For your convenience we are accommodating you with a comfortable and private area with chairs."

Pictures taken by LaFrance show two chairs, a table, and baby blankets, facing stalls of the bathroom.

"You wouldn't want to eat in a bathroom, why would you think that's an appropriate place to feed a child?" said LaFrance.

The couple now identified as Shelby and Garrett explained their side on a podcast called Wedding Reality Check with Sandy Malone. WFAA reached out to the couple by social media but did not get a response.

"If they had an issue with what we set forth why didn't they come to us before the wedding and address the situation?" asked the bride Shelby on the podcast.

WFAA met with Blake Nash who is a wedding planner from the Garland area. He and his team have been doing weddings for years and are not connected to either side. He says the accommodation was reasonable.

"I thought they had it very nicely set up in there and they had an option to go to a foyer or a hallway," said Nash.

Personally Nash doesn't mind what a breastfeeding mom does, but says they have an option to attend.

"On the wedding day we work for the bride and groom and if they tell you to do something...I think it's their wedding day," said Nash.

LaFrance says all this is not about shaming the couple. But the wedding couple had thoughts on that too:

"They claim it wasn't to shame us but it was. It was our wedding and it was my note and how much more direct can you get?" said the bride.

LaFrance ended up not taking her newborn to the wedding. She thinks there is no middle ground to nursing.

"There's people that say 'I'm all for breastfeeding' but if there's a 'but' in the sentence, you're not for breastfeeding" said LaFrance.

This is a debate that won't be over any time soon.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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