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Kentucky Kingdom changes course on breast-feeding

Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - Kentucky Kingdom says it will allow women to feed their babies publicly in any manner they see fit, a policy shift stemming from a social media outcry following a woman's claim she was asked to breast-feed privately at the theme park.

The statement from Kentucky Kingdom chief executive Ed Hart reverses the park's previously stated policy requiring mothers to "use discretion," The Courier-Journal reported.

Hart's statement says "we will leave it up to mom to make that determination and in no way will our staff interfere with mom's decision."

The Facebook post by the woman stirred a firestorm on social media critical of the theme park.

Renee Michelle Villatoro, 27, said she was asked to go to a designated area in a restroom to breast-feed her 7-week-old son.

She said she had to stop feeding altogether because she couldn't leave her other children alone while they were on a ride.

"I've never felt ashamed (about breast-feeding) ... and they really made me feel like I did something wrong," Villatoro said.

She said she didn't want to make a big deal about the incident because she wasn't angry at the young employee who asked her to go somewhere else. Afterward, she called her mother, who told her the direction from the employee wasn't legal.

Villatoro said Hart called her on Friday and apologized. She declined Hart's offer to return her money.

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