NEW YORK CITY - A New York mother is asking for some compassion after getting a parking ticket while breast-feeding her hungry newborn. After getting stuck in traffic, the mother says she had no choice but to pull into a commercial zone to feed her baby.
Most moms describe a newborn who suddenly cries from hunger as going from quiet to screaming within minutes. In the case of three-week-old Ileana, her mother says while driving through about 45 minutes of traffic in Midtown, things got hairy really fast. "I'm like almost crying because she's crying and all I want to do is pull over so I can attend to her," Guillermina Rodriguez told WABC.
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Rodriguez pulled over in a metered commercial zone. She says she got into the backseat of her van and started breast-feeding, but not even two minutes later a police tow truck pulled up. "He just literally took out the tow truck. He was going to tow the car without even looking in there," said Rodriguez.
With Ileana still latched on, Rodriguez sprang up to the front seat to honk the horn. Fortunately the officer didn't tow her, but she says he did squint through her tinted windows. "I show him the baby and, obviously, my breasts. I'm like, 'I'm breastfeeding the baby' and he looks," said Rodriguez. She says he then gestured like he'd seen too much and as he walked away, he put a $115 ticket on the van.
Rodriguez, meanwhile, recorded cellphone video right after the awkward moment. She says someday this might make an entertaining story for Ileana.
Rodriguez is planning to fight the ticket and calling on breastfeeding advocates to raise awareness. "As a society we need to hear babies crying and answer them and that, you know, I don't think she deserves a ticket for that," said Laura Beth Gilman of the La Leche League of NY.
The NYPD has not commented on the ticket.