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Mum-of-four "humiliated" by National Gallery security guard for breastfeeding in public.

A mother-of-four who was made to cover up while breastfeeding in the National Gallery of Australia has received a personal apology.

Christie Rea said she felt “humiliated” when a security guard chastised her for feeding her baby during a visit with her husband and four children in December, The Canberra Times reported on Friday afternoon.

“It was absolutely humiliating,” Ms Rae told reporter Steven Trask of the guard’s initial request she move into the foyer or parents’ room.

“Women who breastfeed shouldn’t be shamed into sitting away in a back room.”

The Newcastle mum was told it was a “food and beverage issue”, as breastfeeding was banned to prevent milk spills in the public space.

A spokesperson for the gallery has since confirmed to Mamamia the staff member’s actions were “a mistake” and contrary to the NGA’s official policy.

“He was not rude or anything, but he was quite stern. It was very clear that it was an issue of decency and modesty,” Ms Rea told The Canberra Times.

She added that she was allowed to continue feeding on the condition she covered her shoulders — and her child — with a wrap.

“My eldest child pointed out that there was a naked sculpture of a breastfeeding woman inside the room.”

Christie was "humiliated" by the incident. Source: Facebook
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The NGA's Deputy Director Kirsten Paisley contacted Ms Rea directly today to apologise.

She stressed to Mamamia she didn’t want new mothers who might be breastfeeding or bottle-feeding to be discouraged from visiting the gallery.

“As a mother who has been there myself, I know how important it is to feel supported and safe in your role as the mother of a young infant,” Ms Paisley said.

“It’s a terrible mistake and one that I am personally seeking to address.”

Ms Paisley is also working with all security and front of house staff to ensure they are aware of the gallery’s policy on breastfeeding, which is that “all mothers are welcome to feed their babies at anytime and anywhere in the gallery.”

Ms Rea told Mamamia she was happy with the response and glad the policy has now been clarified.

"I was assured by Kirsten Paisley, the Deputy Director, mothers are encouraged to visit the gallery and that breastfeeding inside the gallery is very much supported," she said

"This is an excellent outcome for breastfeeding mothers and women in general.

"I'm glad my daughters understood the injustice of the situation and that there are laws to protect their rights. It's an experience I wouldn't wish on anyone, especially new mothers. I'm a seasoned mother-of-four, but you never understand how discrimination feels or how you would respond until you go through it first-hand."