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Breastfeeding in public

Breastfeeding in public can be a tricky ordeal. But did you know that in Maryland a mother has the right to breastfeed wherever she goes with the child?

A few weeks ago, The Baltimore Sun got a call from Michael Sonn, who was visiting family in Maryland with his wife, Kathleen, 11-year-old daughter Marina and 2-year-old Martin. They are from California.

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Michael was upset at what he called an infringement on his wife's breastfeeding right during a trip to Six Flags America amusement park in Prince George's County.

While Michael was taking a bathroom break, Kathleen said she was nursing Martin under a shaded area at the park when a security guard approached her and told her to cover up.

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Kathleen said she objected to that idea because it was a particularly hot day and she had never had a problem breastfeeding in public.

According to Kathleen, the guard told her that she would have to leave the park if she didn't comply.

Although she was upset, Kathleen said she stopped nursing and decided that the family would stay because it was Marina's first trip to an amusement park.

"I didn't want to ruin the whole day for her," said Kathleen, who's a licensed midwife.

(A side note: Interesting enough, August is National Breastfeeding Month.)

Julia Filz, a spokeswoman at Six Flags, said there might have been some miscommunication.

"At no point was she ever told the choice was cover up or leave. It's outside the letter of the law," she said.

Filz says employees are trained to know mothers could breastfeed wherever they feel most comfortable at the park. On request, the park has private rooms where mothers could nurse their children, according to Filz.

One thing that's clear is the state law:

Have you had difficulty breastfeeding in public?

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