Woman “harassed” while breastfeeding in Target

You may have read my review last month of the joys and the not-so-joyous moments of breastfeeding my daughter. She is now almost 15 months and our breastfeeding relationship is still alive and strong. In fact, two days ago we were in a well-known shoe store shopping for shoes for her tiny feet, and she wanted to nurse. I informed the kind sales assistant who was helping us look that I would sit on a chair in the store and nurse her, while she and my husband chose shoes. This young lady didn’t even bat an eyelid, and I pulled on my nursing cover and felt at ease while I nursed and others shopped.

So, imagine my dismay when I read this article. According to the reports, a woman was shopping in a Target store in Houston, when her baby awoke and needed feeding. So she put on her nursing cover and sat down on the floor to feed her child when two female employees interrupted her to request that she move to a fitting room while other employees gathered shaking their heads and humiliating her. This has caused outrage among mothers, and there will be a nurse-in at Target stores across the U.S at 10am on December 28th, 2011.

My thoughts? I believe that this was the fault of some uneducated employees, because many nursing mothers I have spoken to and those that have commented on the article, agree that they have nursed in Target with no problem. I have asked to use the fitting room at my local store and informed them that it was to nurse my baby, and the sales assistants have always been very welcoming. Back in 2006 when a woman was asked not to breastfeed in a Target fitting room, the store stated their position:

“Target has a long-standing practice that supports breastfeeding in our stores. We apologize for any inconvenience the guest experienced and will take this opportunity to reaffirm this commitment with our team members. For guests in our stores, we support the use of fitting rooms for women who wish to breastfeed their babies, even if others are waiting to use the fitting rooms. In addition, guests who choose to breastfeed discreetly in more public areas of the store are welcome to do so without being made to feel uncomfortable.”

Their policy states that they do support breastfeeding and we need more stores like this. However, they need to practice what they preach and “reaffirm this commitment” with their team members asap. And I mean, real education, not some feeble company email. This should never have been made into an issue and it saddens me to think that there are individuals that are offended by the thought of breastfeeding.

Have you nursed at Target? What was your experience?

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Ladan Rashidi, Managing Editor. Ladan is a British mother of three, who moved to California in 2008 to live with her husband. Born and raised in London, she has the very British sarcastic sense of humor. None of her previous workplaces prepared her for becoming a mother and having the three most demanding bosses in the world, but also the cutest.

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12 Comments on "Woman “harassed” while breastfeeding in Target"

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jody
Guest
I know this is an old post, but I wanted to tell you that the week before x-mas I was in my car breastfeeding my son at Target and got the cops called on me. This old lady how did not come near my car called the cops. See told them I was not in the car with my two kids. She said she saw me get out of my car go in to Target come back out put stuff in my car. Then i grab my kids and start to go back into Target. The cops came up to… Read more »
Victoria
Guest
I have gotten a lot of looks when nursing at Target, employees included. I usually stand in some random place and look at stuff while nursing. I can’t walk with her nursing anymore (we used to until she was 5mo) now she will flash people when she is distracted by trying to look at them and still eat .(ending up in a nipple sling shot deal. ouch) Not just in Target at all stores. I think it is kinda funny. but it hurts me at the same time. Maybe sitting down isn’t a bad idea. lol I have only done… Read more »
Zarah
Guest

I have also breastfeed my son at Target with out any problems. I went to the back corner of the Target Cafe and used my nursing cover without any problems.

Jeanie
Guest

I’ve breastfed all 7 of my children in public places from 1994-2010 and never had anyone give me a problem, ever. I didn’t use a nursing cover, just discreetly breastfed by lifting the bottom of my shirt up and using it to shield anything other people might not want to see. And yes, I’ve breastfed in Target, many times. Sometimes I’d just sit on one of the bottom shelves and other times I’d breastfeed while walking around. Nobody said a word or even really noticed.

Sherry
Guest

I can’t imagine how this woman must have felt being embarrassed about her choice to bf. If I want to bf my child, no matter where I am, I certainly will. So help the person who crosses my path to behave like a child with rude comments. Hopefully people take note of this situation and realize it is unacceptable to treat a woman like a criminal for bf in public.

Charissa
Guest

I nursed my twins in a corner of the food court area. Nobody said anything. Got some stares from other customers though. I just can’t understand why something so natural is such a big deal to so many people.

Ricki P
Guest
I’ve nursed all 4 of mine, many times, in many public settings including Target (food court) and NEVER have been harassed. I don’t make a statement, I don’t ask permission, I don’t park myself in the middle of all the activity, I just find a comfortable seat & cover myself w/ a light blanket for my own comfort & that of everyone else. Most people honestly don’t notice, they are interested in their OWN activities, not anyone else’s. Only twice has an older lady smiled and said, ‘How nice,’ and moved on. Maybe it’s because I was in an urban… Read more »
LilyB
Guest

Maybe it was the fact that she was sitting on the floor in the middle of the busiest shopping season. I’m not saying it was right to humiliate her however maybe she should have been somewhere more out of the way. WHy is sitting on the floor better then a dressing room that has seating? IDK sounds like she was looking to make a statement.

nicole
Guest

I nurse in target walking the aisles with baby in her mei tai. No issues.

Natalie Spiking
Guest

When my little one was small we nursed pretty much anywhere we went, I typically shopped with her in my sling and therefore nursed without anyone knowing while shopping.

rachel singleotn
Guest

Me too in the food court booth – no problems. I would glare anyone out who dared attempt to humiliate me or move me on. I too have sat down on the floor in airports, stores, libraries when needed to feed my babies. Grrr to anyone who tries to stop me. I think most stores are now up to speed on the whole breastfeeding issue (which shouldn’t be an issue) and agree with the the Author that this was an isolated uneducated Target employee. Who is probably as redfaced as the store colours!!!

brianna byman
Guest

I have in food court area no problem

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