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?