Don’t breastfeed in my store! (Are you kidding me!?!)
Stop feeding your child in our store or we’ll have to call security…That is what one woman was told when she was shopping at the Dixie Outlet Mall the other day when she decided to breastfeed her one month old child. When the mother explained to the clerk that she can’t force her to leave for feeding her child, security was called to have her removed. Luckily, the security guard knew the law and explained to the clerk that she can’t be forced to stop feeding her child. According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, “No one should prevent you from nursing your child simply because you are in a public area. They should not ask you to ‘cover up,’ disturb you, or ask you to move to another area that is more ‘discreet.’” I couldn’t even imagine what I would’ve done if this clerk came to me and said the same thing. I do know that like the mother this happened to, I would expect a written apology and not just from the store in question but also from the clerk. You would expect that the store will now retrain their employees on what a customer’s rights are as human beings.
So now I ask, why are people so against breastfeeding? It is proven to be the healthiest option for your child. I can understand people being uncomfortable if someone were to be walking around topless but that is not the case when feeding your child. Even when a woman is not covered up, the breast is mostly covered by the child when eating; that it is almost like the mother is wearing a low cut top, since most of what you see is the top of the breast. I admit that when out in public, I do use a blanket to cover myself but not because I think it is wrong to breastfeed in public. It is to keep my baby from being distracted by all the noise and people while eating and to keep me from being bothered by the few people who think what I am doing is unacceptable.
I have been told that I should feed my child in the bathroom (like we would eat our lunch in there…gross!) and one woman told me she didn’t want me to feed in front of her child (even though I was completely covered and no one could see what I was doing). Breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed our children. There was once a time that it was the only way to feed them. I hope that anyone who reads this post today understands that when we breastfeed in public, it is because our child is hungry and not because we are perverts who are trying to be indecent. Most malls now have breastfeeding rooms which are comfortable and inviting but they are not always in convenient places. I have been at the other end of the mall when my baby started to cry because he was hungry and that is harder to listen to than someone not wanting me to feed in front of them. I am not about to walk all the way to the other end with a screaming baby. I am going to stop and feed because the needs of my family will ALWAYS come first.
Have you ever been chastised for feeding in public? What did you say to the person with the problem?