FILED IN: Health

Illinois mom sues county for breastfeeding incident while applying for WIC

Mother says she was denied her right to breastfeed while applying for public aid

Natalie Petrovic with infant daughter, says she was denied her right to breastfeed. Screen shot via WGN.

An Illinois mother is suing Cook County after she claims a Cook County Sheriff asked her to leave the courthouse lobby because she was breastfeeding. Natalie Petrovic says she was in the Skokie courthouse because she was applying for public assistance and needed to breastfeed her baby. She says a female deputy told her that she would either need to stop breastfeeding her baby or go into a bathroom to continue. According to WGN News, Petrovic says she stopped nursing her infant because she didn’t want to get kicked out.

Illinois protects a woman’s right to breastfeed in public under Illinois law.

Petrovic told WGN News, “Someone who works for Cook County and is a Sheriff, that’s what really bothered me because, like, you should know this. You should know what people’s rights are. This should never happen.”

Petrovic is now suing the county. It is not clear whether Petrovic is seeking any financial compensation. Petrovic’s attorney, Alexander Memmen says they are only seeking an injunction against the courthouse and deputy, declaring Petrovic’s right to breastfeed in court under any circumstances.

A spokesperson for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office says that courthouse employees witnessed Petrovic breastfeeding for a while and is not sure what Petrovic is talking about or why she’s claiming to have been denied.