Dentist accused of shaming breastfeeding mother shares her side of the story
Irondequoit, N.Y. (WHAM) - A story 13WHAM first reported Monday continues to generate a lot of comments and interest. A Facebook post from an Irondequoit mother went viral over the weekend after being shared almost 7,000 times. Tuesday, it was shared more than 8,000 times.
Tiffany Elliot took to Facebook Saturday, claiming she was shamed by dentist Dr. Robin Craig for breastfeeding her nine-month-old baby in a patient examination room at Wilson Dental. Elliot said Dr. Craig told her she felt uncomfortable and needed to stop.
Dr. Craig shared her side of the story with 13WHAM over the phone Tuesday. She said she was abruptly interrupted as she was trying to tell the mother she was going to step out of the room. Craig said she was only able to get out the words, “I'm uncomfortable,” before the mother became irate.
The incident took place at the Wilson Dental on East Ridge Road in Irondequoit. The office remained closed Tuesday. It was also closed Monday. It will re-open Wednesday – the same day a demonstration by advocates for breastfeeding is scheduled to take place in front of the office.
The owner of Wilson Dental, Dr. Mike Wilson, said since Elliot’s Facebook post, they have been getting hate mail and even death threats.
Dr. Wilson was out of town at the time of the incident but said he spoke with Dr. Craig immediately afterward.
"The mom got very upset,” Wilson said. “From what I’m told, she apparently threw her purse on the floor, threw her jacket on the floor and stopped feeding the baby. She started screaming. Dr. Craig wasn't trying to shame anyone.”
Elliot disputed Dr. Craig’s claims during a phone interview Tuesday evening, and said the apology from Dr. Wilson on behalf of the office were not sincere.
“My purse and coat for starters were not even in my hand. None of that happened,” Elliot said. “That is an absolute lie. She said, ‘I am uncomfortable.’ Then she started motioning around her chest and said, 'You're going to have to stop doing whatever you're doing there.' I left feeling humiliated."
Dr. Craig said she's never encountered anything like Saturday’s incident, and said her feelings were not respected. She added that the comments made about her character were hurtful.
The Department of Pediatrics at UR is working on setting up an educational training for all employees at Wilson Dental.