Friday, August 24, 2012

Breastfeeding mom denied room to breastfeed

When will the day come when all breastfeeding Mummies will be treated like NORMAL human beings? When will breastfeeding Mummies be looked at as women who are ONLY feeding their baby and not some nasty, rat infested, beaten and dented old trash can? I mean... is that too much to ask for? Is it too  much to be looked at as a person?

The other day I was contacted by Ang. When she contacted me..... I was reminded how far we still need to go, in normalizing breastfeeding. I do not use the term "Normalize Breastfeeding" very often...... it has a "well breastfeeding is different and not normal" tone to it.... and breastfeeding is NOT different and IS normal....... There should not be a difference between breastfeeding and bottle feeding. Bottles have nipples.... women have nipples.... both bottles and women use nipples to feed their babies.... NO DIFFERENCE!


So... back to Ang. Ang is a Mummie of a 9 year old son and an 8.5 month old Nummie Lover. She took both of her sons shopping to Forman Mills, in Allentown, Pennsylvania. While shopping..... her youngest son got hungry (because all babies get hungry.... heck I get hungry.... when you are hungry.... you EAT. Not a new concept.... am I right?) sooooooo while her oldest was trying some clothes on, Ang thought it would be a great time to breastfeed her baby. She did not want to leave her son alone, so she decided.... she would breastfeed in a dressing room. A quiet place.... a shielded place away from negative people who could possibly give her grief. A pretty safe bet right? NO! The dressing room attendant looked at her with a huge question mark above her head. (Why would this lady want a dressing room if she is does not have any clothes to try on?) Ang asked if she could go in and nurse, but when the attendant still looked dumbfounded.... she asked "I want to go in and breastfeed my son. Is that ok?"


Now hang on.... hold on to your Nummie Lovin' babies.... 'cause this will cause you to drop them!

The dressing room attendant said (and I am quoting here) "no..no, I dont think so...no" AND Ang said she had a very "disgusted" look upon her face.

WAIT... HUH?! WHAT!!!!! This Mummie was DENIED a dressing room to breastfeed in?! W....H....A.....T?????????!!!

Now the dressing room was NOT busy.... Ang told me that there was only one other person in the dressing room. She also asked the dressing room attendant if she could breastfeed because she wanted to get a "number"...... as the dressing room had curtains and nor doors that can be locked. She did not want anyone walking into her dressing room.... so having a number would say "Hey someone is in here.... move on to the next room." All the while, Ang was just trying to be respectful.... even when she was not given the same respect.
When she was DENIED a room, Ang responded with "Are you kidding me?! So I have to go in my car and feed? Where it would be the same exact thing only hot out there?!" The response she got was a shrug of her shoulders.

Now sadly.... Ang tried to nurse in the car.... but her Nummie Lover was too hot... so it did not go over so well.

Ang did go and talk to the Store Manager (who happens to be a breastfeeding Mummie herself!), who was very apologetic and told Ang that she would let the sales associate know right away. That made me feel pretty good...... I mean it is AWESOME that the manager (first of all) is a breastfeeding Mummie and (second) apologized and was going to speak with the associate. BUT what gave the associate the THOUGHT that she has the right to DENY anyone a dressing room?! I don't care if someone just wants to sit down and read a book......It is not a VIP club and you are not the Head Bouncer! You do NOT deny anyone a space like that. Her step-son was trying clothes on.... for Nummie Lovin' sake! This Mummie did not need to bring clothes into this dressing room......She is spending money at this store.... if she can use the PUBLIC bathroom then she should have FULL rights to a flippin' PUBLIC dressing room!

Now.... PHEW... calm down Mummie..... calm down. Soothing breaths... IN.... OUT... IN.. OUT........... Okay... I am better now.

I want to applaud the store manager for the way she reacted in such a positive way. I am glad she saw the error that was made and was going to correct it. That is AMAZING! BUT I have reached out to the Corporate office of Forman Mills. I simply want to know what their policy is on breastfeeding AND dressing room usage. I want to inform them of this horrendous act (the associate) and the amazing response of the manager. They have yet to respond...... but as soon as they do....... you KNOW I will post about it!

Does this require a Nurse-In? I do not think so. It seems the Store Manager knows what happened was wrong and planned on correcting it. I see no reason to take this any further. HOWEVER...... I do think that corporate should know about this and I feel that this should be addressed in a store meeting and/or training.

Breastfeeding Mummies want nothing more than to feed their babies. We do not want to make a scene. We do not want to create a knock'em sock'em duel. We just want to feed our babies. Isn't that what ANY mother wants?

~Mummie




9 comments:

  1. Wow...I have never been denied a dressing room to nurse my son in. And if I was denied then I would never go back and I'd be sure to let you know :) Keep up the good words!!!

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  2. I'm going to go against the grain here and say that if we want to normalize breastfeeding then allowing mothers to go in dressing rooms to nurse is not the way to go about it. You wouldn't allow someone to use a dressing room have lunch or a snack so what makes breastfeeding any different? Yes babies have different needs and need to feed much more often than us adults but surely it would be more normal to have a nursing room or to have chairs dotted about the store? Most clothes stores have a no eating policy and I'm in 2 minds about whether breastfeeding should count. I nursed my son for a year and happily did it wherever I was but something just doesn't seem right, to take a space that is specifically designed for something like trying on clothes and expect that nursing mothers have every right to use it for their own purposes and to become indignated when refused. there's nothing normal about that at all.

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    1. What ISN'T normal to me is the fact you claim you breastfed your LO for a year but aren't supportive of feeding wherever?! I was trying to be respectful in going into a private area. If there were multiple people in there or waiting for a room, of course I wouldn't ask to go in just yet, I would wait so I didn't feel like I was taking someone's space. But there was only ONE person in there. Regardless, it shouldn't matter. You're comparing someone having say, pretzel sticks, in a dressing room compared to me NEEDING to feed my son and the only thing he eats is BREASTmilk...from the BREAST latched on. Two TOTALLY different things! A snack isn't needed, his feedings are. Do I think more stores need to be like malls and have family rooms with nursing chairs off to the side, absolutely! I couldn't agree more. BUT seeming as some stores don't, but they have rooms that are for privacy, whether trying clothes on or not, would be suitable enough for the average BF'ing mum who is too shy to just let it all free. You're not sure if a store's eating policy should pertain to BF'ed babies?! Are you kidding me?!?! So you mean to tell me employees don't get lunch breaks?! Ohhhh different huh? Maybe instead of using a dressing room people like you would've been more happy if perhaps I asked to use their break room right?! Since that's what the break room is for...to eat..right? Wrong. A zebra is a zebra whether you put a sweater on it or not. All your doing is trying to cover up the main thing here and that is a BF'ing mums EVERY RIGHT BY LAW to feed WHEREVER, WHENEVER she pleases. I was DENIED. That goes against my civil rights. THAT is not normal. As my RIGHT by LAW, I could've sat right on the floor, whipped it right out and fed...but floors are for sitting, not eating right? Maybe a nearby bench would've been better? But..those are for waiting on..right? That's how I feel you're portraying it. That the only place to breastfeed a baby is in a car (don't matter if its hot out, right?) or in the home. Me wanting to breastfeed in private whether it be the dressing room, bathroom (disgusting), or undercover (most babies, including mine REFUSE to stay covered...try it sometime, bet you won't like it either), its MY RIGHT AND LAW TO DO SO. So yes, when I, or ANY BF'ing mum for that reason, are told they can't feed their hungry child, any NORMAL person would get angry. You can continue to go against the grain, but don't be surprised when you get splinters. G'day.

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    2. floors are for walking on, not eating*

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    3. *babybloggee-Im Angies brother, and to be perfeclty blunt, it really doesn't matter what anyone feels is "right". The law is the law. When you fed your LO, how many times did you find the elusive "BREAST FEED HERE" section. You say you fed anywhere you wanted and I'm sure others opinions were of less import that your child's need; so why are you trying to put boundaries on my sister according to your own morel reasons when you used the same laws whenever it was convenient for you? My point? The reason this law took so long to pass, was because of people trying to impose their own personal "clauses" into it. If a child is hungry, feed him. Period. End of conversation.

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  3. I am not a breast feeding mom and never was, but I think its absurd that any store would deny access to any private room for a mom to breast feed in. Ang was trying to be respectful of people, and she was not respected. As for the bad comments, people keep them to yourselves. If you have nothing nice to say to someone that is trying to take care of their child, then don't say anything at all and keep your negative thoughts to yourself. If Ang wasn't taking care of her child then she would be a bad mother! I'm so proud of Ang for sticking up for herself and her breast feeding baby!!!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and support!! It means so much!!

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  4. I would have just stated Bf standing right there while I waited on her to call the manager to the area.

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  5. Sad that the store employee wasn't more agreeable but good that the manager responded appropriately! Thinking of a way to make this a non-issue at all--maybe next time grab a couple items of clothing, ask for a number, and go sit in the room to breastfeed. I frequently BFed in public and don't recall ever asking permission from anyone, anywhere. I'd say 99% of the time people didn't know and for anyone who did, they never said anything. Hopefully the corporate office recognizes that the dressing rooms are a public place and informs employees about laws that allow anyone, including a breastfeeding mother, to be there.

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Thanks for commenting!