Courtesy Alanna Panas

Alanna Panas and her 7-week-old daughter were deemed a "threat" after the new mom started breastfeeding in the empty lobby

January 12, 2015 07:40 PM

A mother and her 7-week-old baby were kicked out of a Maryland casino on Jan. 3 after the mom started breastfeeding in the empty lobby.

During a spontaneous family trip to the Casino at Ocean Downs, Alanna Panas wanted to feed her daughter Lilly after she still seemed fussy, despite drinking a bottle of breast milk. Panas says she wanted to feed her privately in the car but forgot the keys and had texted her boyfriend to bring them.

“I was approached and told to leave immediately,” Panas wrote on Facebook. “I kindly reminded the security guard that Lilly was 7 weeks old and it was freezing cold and raining, I was not willing to leave and risk her health.”

When Panas posted the experience on breastfeeding support pages, her story went viral.

“I was overwhelmed with support and love from other mothers,” she says.

The only one not offering support, it seems, is the casino – though the new mom did receive a call from the assistant executive director after the business posted a response on Facebook.

“The Casino at Ocean Downs strives to make our guests’ experiences enjoyable, and if any member of our team acted in a manner that did not promote that experience, we apologize,” read the post.

But Panas still doesn’t feel she received the apology she deserved.

“I was told to leave immediately because security saw Lilly and I as a threat of sneaking in,” she says. “They denied it was due to breastfeeding.”

“I was never formally apologized to for how Lilly and I were treated.”

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