Target Responds

 

Copyright Target Nurse-In

 

Copyright Target Nurse-In

We reached out to Target last week on Wednesday, December 21st to see if we could work with them so that the nurse-in scheduled for tomorrow, Dec. 28, 2011 would not be necessary.  Nurse-ins require a lot of time, planning and effort from busy moms.  All of us have other things we would rather be doing during our holidays.  I am a Target shopper and fan, and given my corporate communications background, was hopeful that I could interest Target in taking some proactive steps to ensure that other mothers would not have to go through what Michelle Hickman had experienced, and that we could ask Michelle Hickman to cancel the nurse-in.

So, Danielle and I spoke to Antoine LaFramboise, a corporate spokesperson. We commended Target for having a corporate policy on handling breastfeeding customers and applauded those stores and employees who get rave reviews for supporting nursing moms. At the same time, we expressed our concern that we had heard multiple reports of mothers having negative experiences breastfeeding at Target, that Michelle Hickman’s experience was not an isolated incident.  We offered to work with Target on a plan of action to turn a negative into a positive and position them as a leader among retailers in supporting nursing mothers, and help them reap positive publicity for setting a great example.  This plan of action would include strengthening their corporate policy, and working with them to develop an employee toolkit that other companies could use–after all, nursing mothers are being harassed at stores, restaurants, airports, courtrooms, etc.!   We sent Antoine LaFromboise an email summarizing our conversation on December 22.

Here’s where the frustration sets in.  We didn’t hear a peep.  We left 2 voice messages and a text message just asking Mr. LaFromboise to confirm that he got our email.  Nothing.   We checked with Michelle Hickman to see if she had received an apology or had seen any public statement or post from Target that they were addressing the issue with their employees and welcoming moms, similar to what Whole Foods had done in August.  Still nothing.

Today, at the proverbial midnight hour before the nurse-in, I thought I would try one last time to reach someone in management at Target.  After much effort I finally got a call back from Jessica Clarkson in Media Relations, and shared with her what I had shared with the spokesperson last week.  I asked her if she would please summarize her conversation in an email so I could share it with our followers, and here is what she sent.

Hello Bettina,

Thank you for your inquiry regarding Target’s breastfeeding policy. As mentioned during our conversation, as a family-oriented retailer, Target has a long-standing corporate policy that supports breastfeeding in our stores. We want everyone to feel comfortable shopping at Target.  Guests who choose to breastfeed in public areas of the store are welcome to do so without being made to feel uncomfortable. Additionally, 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.

We continually educate our team members in stores across the country on store policies to ensure all guests have a great experience and we have been in touch with the store where the incident occurred to ensure all team members are aware of our breastfeeding policy.

We’ve worked with this guest directly to address her concerns and are sorry for any inconvenience it has caused.

Jessica Clarkson

Personally, I’m grumpy that I had to work so hard to get a response.  For pete’s sake, Target has a whole PR staff.  It also feels like too little, too late . . . this could have been so easily solved a month ago–Michelle Hickman even suggested to Target back then that they do what Whole Foods did, and welcome the nursing moms.  What are your thoughts?  How do you think Target has handled this issue? (For the full background on this story, see: Huffington Post, Time.com and our FAQs on the National Target Nurse-In)



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142 Responses to Target Responds

  1. Lindsey says:

    In short, it really seems like Target was just trying to make a half-ass, last minute effort to save face and get you off their back.

    • Stacy says:

      While I think the employees were insensitive, as a mother of three myself, I believe breast feeding is a natural thing, but it is also a private thing & should not be legal in a public situation. People today seem to be getting more selfish, thinking of themselves and not being considerate of others. I personally don’t care to view a display of breast feeding while out in public.

      • Tracey says:

        Then don’t look.

        • Kort Pleco says:

          I like to walk around naked. It’s a natural state of being of course, if anything it’s the most natural thing a person can do.

          If you don’t like it then I invite you not to look, after all, why should I be made uncomfortable for your sake?

          In all seriousness, I support whatever decision Target makes for their store policy. It’s not a ‘public’ area in the same sense as a public park. It’s a business, which means that you’re required to follow their policy, whether you like it or not.

          You have no right to be there. Target has no obligation to accept your person on their premises. If you don’t like it then go shop somewhere else.

          Considering I don’t like this stance, then I will exercise MY right to go shop somewhere else. That’s what people who are committed to respecting other people, and not bullying them into agreeing with them, usually do.

          • Rebecca M. says:

            Businesses are prevented by law from discriminating against certain groups because the greater good is served — for example, businesses cannot require members of certain ethnic groups to eat at a separate lunch counter (sound familiar?). In our not-too-recent past, many people felt that there was nothing wrong with “separate but equal” and that business owners should have the right to discriminate based on race if they so chose. Fortunately our society (and laws) have moved beyond that sort of belief system, and now it’s time for discrimination against breastfeeding mothers to be recognized as the outdated, immoral, human rights violation that it is. Call it bullying if you like, I call it advocating for the natural rights of babies to eat undisturbed and their mothers to choose when, how, and where to feed them.

          • pauline says:

            Hmmm, let’s play the logic game: Target wants my money, they have some crap I might want to buy. I can get that crap anywhere else. I’m a breastfeeding mom. Target doesn’t like me to breastfeed and gives me a hard time when my baby is hungry and needs to feed like babies have been feeding for 2 million years (go figure!). I take my money and buy crap somewhere else.

            Logical conclusion?
            Screw Target and anyone who thinks women and their babies should hide the most beautiful, natural human behavior.

      • Kittie says:

        & what of the baby? Should we not think of them & their need to EAT?Being “comfortable” is NOT a right, & even if it were, it would end at my baby’s right to eat.

        No one bothers the mother bottle-feeding her child, so why should a mother breastfeeding her child be hassled? Because she is using her breasts for what they were designed for? Instead of flashing them in a low-cut blouse?

        Boobs are for feeding first, not sex. Get over it.

      • beth says:

        Like they said. Don’t look.
        I’m not going to scurry around trying to find somewhere ‘private’ when my baby is hungry and needs feeding. There is nothing offensive about it, it’s a logical solution to a problem. So if it makes you, for whatever reason, sqeamish – turn your eyes elsewhere… An easy and trouble-free solution!

        You’re welcome…

        • Tina says:

          My only thought is why on earth would she pop a squat in the middle of the women’s clothes section? I wouldn’t just whip out a sandwhich and sit down to eat. Why didn’t she at least stroll over to the cafe or starbucks? The baby can wait 3 minutes.

          • Sara says:

            AGAIN!!!!! she was doing nothing wrong and should not have to hide…when your baby is hungry and crying the only thing on your mind is to response to his/her needs, that is what’s important. What is it that people don’t understand about breastfeeding? is only uncomfortable for people because it’s not extemely common.

          • Meg says:

            I agree, women should be able to breastfeed wherever they need to. I have an 8 month old and this is a constant issue for us. However, I always go somewhere with a little privacy if I can or somewhere that’s at least comfortable. Also, how obvious are these people being about their breastfeeding? I usually have a blanket to cover up with and in those cases you almost never even know someone is nursing. If someone gets upset at you nursing while using a cover up (YOU DON’T SEE ANYTHING) then that’s a huge problem.

            • Rebecca M. says:

              Please don’t pull the “just use a cover” line on other breastfeeding mothers. It’s fine if you choose to use one, but many babies will not tolerate having a hot blanket or cover over their heads. I do not use a cover to nurse my babies, and you STILL don’t see anything — just the back of a baby’s head and my shirt. Unfortunately, women DO get hassled even while using a cover, which just goes to prove that you’re not going to make everyone happy no matter how “discreet” or “modest” you think you’re being, because some short-sighted, sexist individuals believe that you should just stay home (or go to the bathroom, or bring a bottle, or go to your car, etc.). Therefore, I don’t worry about making other people “comfortable” or “respecting” strangers that I’ve never met and will never see again. Instead, I do what I need to do for my babies, first last and always.

          • Rebecca says:

            Clearly, you have never nursed a baby. If you had, you wouldn’t have made such an ignorant comment.

      • Lynn says:

        If eating is a private thing then I hope you never eat in public. ;)

      • Sheila says:

        Hey Stacy…..How is it SELFISH to feed a hungry baby?
        Consideration? How about a little consideration for a mother who chooses the healthier way to feed her child?

        You do realize that boobs are made to feed babies…..

        • pauline says:

          good reply. People like her are thinking “babies these days are so entitled to food they even want to breastfeed! PUBLICLY”

          I miss breastfeeding. Good times.

      • Sol says:

        That is very sad. Do you feel a woman who bottlefeeds should also stay hidden? If you don’t want to see a baby eating then look away.

      • Janelle says:

        I hold the opposing view that those who are against nursing babies being able to eat in a public environment are selfish, thinking of themselces and not being considerate of others.

        • Kay says:

          Yea but in this story she used a blanket and covered herself up. I breastfeed and go into fitting rooms or have had numerous times go into a bathroom stall only to have to sit on a toilet and feed for about 10 minutes. It’s not fun!! If she is covering herself up and no one can see her boob then I don’t see what the issue is. NO ONE CAN SEE HER BOOB SO WHO CARES??? Yea… no one cares about bottle fed children. And if you tell me to pump and put it in a bottle I have done that and a lot of babies are smart enough to tell the difference between a bottle and boob. My youngest wouldn’t drink out of a bottle of pumped breastmilk even though she was hungry. My inlaws watched her and she waited for me to get home to nurse.

          • Rebecca M. says:

            Please stop feeding your baby in bathrooms. It’s not healthy for you or your baby, and it’s not doing yourself or other mother’s any favors either. Stand up for your rights — research the laws in your state, and nurse your baby when s/he needs to eat. Use a cover if you like, or don’t — it’s totally possible to breastfeed to your own personal level of modesty without using a cover. I know, because I do it, and no one sees anything “inappropriate.”

      • Sara says:

        you have 3 kids, but obviously have no clue of the importance of breastfeeding, it is very natural, nothing bad about it to have to hide to do it, what’s wrong is the sick mentality of people like you that only see breast as a sexual object……if you have a baby and no means of food for him/her around..what would you do.

        • SHIRLEY FORD says:

          BREAST FEEDING A BABY IS NOT THE BIG ISSUE, THE ISSUE IS THE LADY SHOULD HAVE USED COMON SENSE AND NOT BEEN SO SEE MY BOOBS ABOUT IT. SHE DID THIS IN OPEN VIEW ON THE FLOOR JUST FOR ATTENTION AND OF COURSE SHE WILL SUE TARGET AND GET MONEY. WE ARE IN A TIME OF HISTORY THAT IT DOES NOT TAKE MUCH TO GET PEOPLE TO JUMP ON YOUR BANDWAGON. TARGET IS A GOOD BUSINESS TO DEAL WITH AND MAYBE SHE SHOULD GO BACK TO SHOPPING AT WAL MART AND DO THE SAMETHING AND SEE THE RESULTS THERE. MAYBE THAT IS THE NEXT STOP. JUST THINK SHE MAY NEVER HAVE TO WORK AFTER SHE WOREKS HER WAY THRU THE VAST MAJORITY OF STORES THAT ARE AVAILABLE FOR A LAW SUITE.

          • pauline says:

            Target is not a good business. They denigrate women/breastfeeding moms, support anti gay politicians and treat their employees terribly.
            You should be standing up for your sisters’ rights to do what we’ve been doing for millions of years. Our bodies are beautiful and nursing our children is the most beautiful act, and a gift and not something to be ashamed of.
            Stop believing the corporate propaganda and trust your sisters.

          • Rebecca says:

            Shirley, do you honestly think that a self-sacrificing breast feeding mother would starve her screaming child for an opportunistic reason to sue? She just wants her kid to be quiet so s/he won’t bother other customers like YOU. She should have let the baby scream in your face. Maybe you would have liked that better. Every post here should require a checkbox whether or not the poster has breastfed. GUARANTEED: Those against this issue have never used their breasts for their intended purpose–to feed a child. Cow’s milk (formula) is NOT an equal substitute. It’s for fatter calves and richer producers, not smarter humans.

            • Bettina Forbes, CLC says:

              Rebecca, not all moms are able to breastfeed, and there are lots of moms who did not breastfeed who support breastfeeding. Judgmental attitudes toward those that can’t or don’t breastfeed doesn’t help our cause.

      • Debra Walker says:

        Define “display.” I nursed all three of my babies in public, at one time or another, and no one ever knew I was doing anything other than holding my baby. In fact, I once had a woman approach me as I stood in line at Kmart with a nursing baby and ask if she could see the baby–I explained to her that the baby was “sleeping,” and I didn’t want to disturb her. One can be discreet–no “display” need be involved. That having been said, breasts are for feeding babies, our society’s infantile obsession with boobs not withstanding; anyone who thinks otherwise needs to examine his/her own obsession with breasts and leave the nursing mom feeding her infant as intended *alone*.

      • Sonnach says:

        I agree. People eat all the time in public, without thinking of the gross sights that they impose on other people. Mouths open, whole sandwiches or half a bag of chips stuffed in all at once, or walking around with a soda bottle in their mouths. It’s disgusting. No one should be allowed to eat in public, no matter what their age or so-called ‘needs’ to satiate hunger or for nutrition.

        And those people who wear t-shirts with stupid things printed on them, that should be private too. I’m all for freedom of expression, but in public that should be hidden under a plain black overcoat.

        And fat people should be corsetted in public. It’s fine to be fat in private, but in public that’s just inconsiderate.

        And ugly people should wear bags over their heads, and confine their ugliness to private situations.

        And people with southern accents should not use them in public either, especially not in the northeast, the west or the midwest. I mean, come on, it takes no effort at all to speak normally!

        And tan lines should be completely obscured my makeup when in public.

        I agree with you completely, Stacy!

    • Hannah says:

      I can tell you that Hickman was surprised at the claim that Target worked “directly” with the guest and that Target apologized since she never received an apology from them. She said so herself on the Target Nurse In group on Facebook.

      Clearly, Target is being insincere and patronizing.

  2. Melissa says:

    What would you like them to do? They are busy people. Waiting for a week response after your email is not that long. And, it seems like you are pulling the negative out of it. They could have completely beat around the bush with the issue, but they didn’t.

    • Bettina Forbes, CLC says:

      I worked in communications at Merrill Lynch and PR staff are paid to respond immediately. I didn’t just wait for a response, I left 2 messages and sent a text just wanting to confirm they received it, in addition to a message I left with Guest Relations the week prior. In fact, I think they did completely beat around the bush; they never apologized to Michelle, they never issued a public statement, nothing. I’ve spoken to senior HR, PR and crisis communications experts from American Express, Goldman Sachs and they are all surprised by how Target handled this.

      • I agree. Target knows better. They should be ALL over this. I can’t figure out why they aren’t. I’m getting ready to head over there with my baby now! :)

      • Cerise says:

        A few years ago my son took off running and crashed into a cart at Target and busted his lip. The manager helped us with getting him cleaned up and offered to call EMS. We received a follow up call from the manager the next day and a letter and phone call from their corporate office a few days later. Target knows how to respond quickly and do damage control in a timely manner. It’s too bad they couldn’t get it together in time to avoid bad press in this situation.

      • Tara says:

        I support public breastfeeding and breastfed my babies in public. I personally don’t think Target has done anything wrong. The woman was sitting in the middle of the floor in a clothing area. I feel like we never heard the whole truth from Michelle and that honestly this was blown out of proportion.

        I have never had an issue at any of the numerous Targets I breastfed at and know multiple people who work for Target who say their policy is that a woman can breastfeed anywhere she wants and that if a woman REQUESTS a private place they are to give them a dressing room. They do not require any woman to go in the dressing room to feed their baby.

        The issue here was that Michelle was sitting on the floor (which she admits she was doing). Feeding your baby or not a person would be asked to move from that spot. I am guessing the employee probably assumed she was trying to have a “private” breastfeeding session so offered her the dressing room which would be safer for everybody.

        • Kisha says:

          I dont think Target did anytging wrong either. They, unlike many other stores, actually have a breastfeeding policy. I dont think that they took too long to answer the email either. We as a society want everything done yesterday. We’re not taught to be patient at all…even during this busy time of the year. And as a woman who has breastfed 3 kids; i too would look at like she had 3 heads for sitting in the floor of a store to feed her baby! I think a nationwide sit-in was uncalled for..if anything educate the staff at the particular store where Michelle had the problem.

          • Kittie says:

            So, standing over her & giving her dirty looks is OK? If it were simply an issue of where she was sitting, why was it framed as a breastfeeding issue? Why was she told (threatened) that she could be arrested for indecent exposure?

            The employees could have easily said, “Ma’am, by sitting here you are causing a safety hazard for our other guests. Could you please relocate to a sitting area? Or, we have fitting rooms available if you’d like somewhere more private.”

            Very easy, & without the implication that breastfeeding is the problem. They harassed her for FEEDING HER BABY.

            • pauline says:

              exactly. They weren’t worried about her being on the floor… THey were TERRIFIED of BOOBS!

          • Susan says:

            I agree. Bettina sounds like she was out to stir up problems with Target. She probably would have pulled something ugly out of a two day response time. Leaving those messages and texts to Target asking for confirmation was distasteful and an attempt to bully the company. I would not have responded to someone trying to strong arm me in that manner. BTW I am a breast feeding mom of a three month old. I support women’s rights to breast feed in public, but only if these rights are brought out tastefully through genuine, nonagressive efforts.

            • Bettina Forbes, CLC says:

              Having worked with executive management at a Fortune 500 company, and having worked many years in communications and public relations, I can assure you I did not bully anyone. In fact, I offered to help Target turn a negative into a positive; I commended them on their policy and on the many stores and employees who we have heard clearly support nursing moms. Did you know that some of the mothers who participated in the nurse-in brought flowers to their local Target store to thank them for their support? Best for Babes had a lot more to gain from working with Target constructively to develop an Employee Training Toolkit that other companies could utilize; it would have been a better use of my time and would have helped the cause move forward. We made every effort to engage them and enroll them, I would have liked nothing more than to see this whole situation avoided. You don’t know me, and have no basis on which to make such unkind and judgmental assumptions.

            • pauline says:

              So you consider trying to contact a major billion dollar corporation bullying?
              ??? With a text and email? Seriously?
              Do you even realize how little sense that comment makes?
              Get a grip woman, stand up for your sisters and their babies!
              The corporations aren’t going to stand up for you!

        • Janelle says:

          If the issue was merely her sitting on the floor, the alternate (after offering the dressing room) may have been “well, so you know we also have a chair located over by xxx, as we don’t want you to get trampled by another guest”. Problem solved.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Maybe Best For Babes does not have the power it thinks it does.

        • pauline says:

          You live in a country where you are represented by only 10% of your gender in the govt while women make up 51% of the nation and you ask that question?

          No woman in this country has the power she deserves. As long as women don’t stand up for other women and our children, we will not have any real political power and we will need organizations like Best for Babies and MomsRising to fill those miserable gaps.

    • Selma says:

      I disagree. A week is a long time. I had a problem with a chain restaurant (non breastfeeding related), emailed the corporate office (it was online) and received an email back the next day I believe, plus a telephone call from the local manager apologizing, and a gift card. My issue was not public and it was handled immediately.

      This problem has gone public giving them a significant amount of negative publicity. In this economy, and with all the competition, they are pathetic for taking this long

  3. Corinne says:

    It’s Christmas holidays so the corporate offices are probably understaffed and busy with holiday-related issues. Only time will tell if they’re serious or placating you. I don’t know the history of the last month well enough to guess. But you have a LOT of momentum for the nurse-in tomorrow so I say go ahead. It’a a huge (and unfortunately needed) public education opportunity.

  4. Laura says:

    I am disappointed in the response from Target. What a shame.

    I will be attending a nurse-in tomorrow at my local Target to show the employees and general public that breastfeeding can be done in public without fuss.

  5. jennifer dansberger jones says:

    I agree that the effort is a bare minimum attempt to smooth things over. I personally think the added comment about nursing in a fitting room was kind of an insult. like saying, “Sure you have a right to nurse in our stores as long as none of our other customers know you are breastfeeding, as long as you hide.” Oklahoma has a law that a woman can breastfeed anywhere she is allowed to be, I applaude them for it.

    • Rachel says:

      I think that’s a little harsh. They did mention first, before the ability to use the dressing rooms, that they allow customers to nurse in public, without feeling uncomfortable. As someone who did not nurse one child due to medical issues and did nurse my other child, even when I was giving my son a bottle, I used the dressing rooms to feed him. It was because it was less distracting and more calming for him than having to try to eat with the fuss of everything going on around him. It allowed me to put down everything for a short amount of time and just be with my baby. Additionally, I did not feel comfortable nursing my daughter in front of everyone. It was personal, with parts of my body that I choose not to show everyone at any other time, so it was not something I wanted to do while nursing. While I don’t discourage people to do what is comfortable for them, I do think that this being a hot-button issue causes people to look into things. I’m not sure that hiding was what this person meant.

      • Kittie says:

        Yes, they mention breastfeeding in public is acceptable, but they also say that they educate their employees on this policy.

        Obviously, their actions speak louder than their (pre-packaged) words.

  6. Kylie says:

    Melissa, all she did was beat around the bush. She basically spewed regurgitated policy and didn’t even address the real issue, which is that their “policy” is not being enforced.

    Shame on Target for these violations of basic breastfeeding rights and for this horrendous excuse of a response. I am appalled.

  7. CJB2004 says:

    For SURE this was an opportunity wasted by Target…I would definitely file this in the “too little, too late” bin. When I initially saw the news about the nurse-ins, I thought for sure Target would turn this into a nice, shiny marketing/imaging palooza, ala the snacks and hot chocolate they pass out to the Black Friday lines at our local Target.

    You know what Target? We have boobs, but we also have wallets. One of these two is poised to hurt you a lot more than the other. I’ll let you do the calculus.

    P.S. I work in a field closely related to PR, and it’s ludicrous to think that even during the holidays a PR shop for such a high profile company would simply ignore an issue that has appeared in some major mainstream media outlets.

  8. Chandra01 says:

    Target’s response was canned and insincere and shows that they are unwilling to modify what they feel is an adequate policy. I only wish that the nurse in had not been scheduled on a Wednesday so that nursing mothers who work outside the home could participate too. I would think that a nurse in on a Saturday at noon when Targets are busiest would have a greater impact!

  9. Amy says:

    If this had been discrimination in any other form (racial, regarding disability, religious, etc) no one would be saying “the holiday time is busy for Target. A week isn’t long to wait”

    Michelle Hickman was not only discriminated against, and treated in direct opposition to Texas law and to Target corporate policy, but then she was humiliated and bullied over the phone (which Target representatives confirmed DID happen) when she called with her concerns.

    I am going to my Target today, probably by myself, as no one has responded to my nurse-in invitation – I’ve never had any trouble nursing my infant nor my toddler at this Target store – but the discrimination and bullying that is happening at other stores is NOT OK and Target should have a much better response than they are giving.

  10. Ingrid says:

    I think it is a very weak attempt. But they simply may not take you serious. I also think that there breastfeeding in the store policy is VERY weak and leaves a lot to the individual’s interpretation. It seems like employees are encouraged to direct breastfeeding customers to the dressing rooms. Mainly for the ‘comfort’ of the other customers, rather than following the law in most states. I am not a fan of Target and the main reason why I think that this particular nurse in will benefit breastfeeding mothers is that it will force Target to take a stance. And not this vague back and forth wavering.

  11. Melissa Cline says:

    I need them to specifically address the part of their corporate policy that demands discretion on the part of the mother in areas outside the dressing rooms.

  12. Lillian says:

    I do think their official policy is supportive of breastfeeding and that it was not the store or the company but rather the mindset of individual employees that we still have to combat. I have moms tell me their stories of granny’s yelling at them in stores when they were breasdtfeeding.
    I do think Target missed a HUGE opportunity to become a supportive part of all the changes being made regarding breastfeeding laws.

  13. Nicole Housmans says:

    No apology? LAME. Continue with your plans. How I wish I had a nursing babe!

  14. Tonya says:

    That is an utterly insufficient response. Pardon my childishness, but that reply actually qualifies as LAME. I really wish we had a Target nearby. I would be right there nursing my almost 6mo old. As it is, the nearest one is almost an hour away so I will be with you all in spirit.

  15. Dee Keith says:

    Texas has a Breastfeeding law . A law suit is what is appropriate here. Filing suit gives legal precedence , and reaffirms the law. Publicity can then be on the heals of the suite and Target and any other company out there gets the idea that it is against the law to discriminate. Yes suits take time but when the suit is filed a press conference can be called, and then a nurse in if needed. Make the law work.

  16. Tracy says:

    I breastfed both of my children, but never subjected the public to my children’s feeding times. Go to your car for goodness sake, no one wants to be subjected to anyone breastfeeding! Isn’t there anything better for you to moan about? Get a life

    • Sol says:

      I don’t have a car but thanks for the suggestion. And even if I did? There is no reason for me to do so. If I pulled out a bottle it would be okay right? So a breast is okay too. If you don’t like it? Don’t look. No one is forcing you to breastfeed in public.

    • HBACingmama says:

      Yeah, ’cause I’m going to abandon my cart with groceries, go out to my car with a screaming baby, nurse (in potentially stifling heat or severe cold) then go back in and finish shopping. @@

    • Sara says:

      yeap, you were more worried about the public ha?!!! People do have priorities!!

    • Rebecca says:

      “Subjected?” Like as in abuse or mutilation or murder? Oh, you meant breast feeding. Yes, I guess I’ve subjected the public to that. Where are my handcuffs, officer? … Get a life? We should. No one cares about old, saggy mom boobs anyway (yours or mine).

  17. DONA says:

    Why would anyone want to sit on a dirty floor and nurse and baby and why would all of you be proud of it. You worry about what a child eats but a dirty floor in the middle of a store you find to be an appropriate place to eat. If it was a 5 year old, would you set a picnic up on the floor of Target? I nursed 3 children, but would never have done it on a dirty floor.

    • Sol says:

      Some of us aren’t concerned with floors. Dirt isn’t likely to harm me thank you very much. I sit where I am comfortable. Sometimes the floor is the best place.

  18. Ashley says:

    Their response, and delay in response, says that they aren’t entirely concerned with the matter and don’t consider it an issue. They seem, to me, like they want to stay in a positive light, but aren’t making it a priority to do so. At least they do support breastfeeding. It is just sad that they didn’t try harder to save face.

  19. Anne Eglash says:

    They need a nurse-in.

  20. Joyce says:

    If this woman really was sitting on the floor to breastfeed (something that she didn’t “happen” to mention in her complaint) then I don’t blame Target employees for asking her to move. Sitting on the floor in a clothing department is dangerous for that person (and her baby) and also for the other shoppers who aren’t expecting to see an adult human sitting on the floor between clothing racks. I’m sure that if someone had accidentally come around a corner and banged into her with a cart, she would have tried to sue them because they should all be looking out for her! People like this think they are special and they give all the common sense breast feeding mothers out there a bad name.

    My sympathy here is with the store — IF she really was sitting on the floor.

    • Shelly says:

      the very first article I read on this issue stated that the nursing mom made the statement that she was sitting on the floor, and had positioned a rack and the shopping cart to hide her from view of other customers. I agree, safety hazard. If she wants privacy Target provides the fitting rooms for that. If she wants a comfortable place to sit there is a snack area for that. I know most Targets would even find a chair for her if the ones in the snack area were all being used.

  21. michelle says:

    I really want some storage units they have on sale this week. Too bad I can’t buy them because they are acting so stupidly. I refuse to give them any money when they are behaving badly, because I won’t encourage it. Even if it’s only $39.99 for a storage unit, plus $5.99 fabric bins. :-( Too bad, because it’s exactly what I want.

  22. Christy says:

    I can remember breastfeeding my children many times while shopping at Target (literally while walking around the store). I live in California, so I was never bothered by any employees. Of course, a mother should be able to feed her baby wherever and whenever the baby needs to be fed. Shame on Target and shame on their pitiful response to this situation.

  23. Lynda K Woods says:

    I worked in healthcare public relations for sixteen years, and breastfed both my children in the 1980s in many places in downtown and suburban Atlanta. Never had a problem, even in high end restaurants. Target’s response was too little, too late, and too insincere. It only made them look worse. Target’s executive office has some people who are not properly trained in basic, timely public relations skills and should be retrained before they do more damage. And yes, I will be communicating my displeasure with Target by means of my wallet–by shopping elsewhere. Hurray for the Nurse-In. Surely we have not regressed since the 1980s!!!!

    • Rosalyn says:

      Brest feeding is a good thing,but you are in a public place everyone do not want to see someone brest feeding their child.. People that do this is selfish they think of only themselves. I stand behind target and will continue shopping there. No one at target said do not feed your child, they just ask that you do it in private. I think women that let everyone see their Brest is just nasty.

  24. Shelly says:

    This mom is acting like a self centered, spoiled little child. Seriously, so a few Target employees screwed up. Get over it. Target has a policy in place. So not every employee is properly trained, that is understandable when you realize how many employees there are and even though they go through basic training it is difficult to remember everything that is taught during that training meeting. Remeber, and this fact get hidden in most all the media surrounding this incident, that this mom was sitting in the aisles which can be a safety hazard. Really, sitting in the aisle to nurse. What was wrong with the fitting room or the snack area. I really think this mom, and others, should get over it. So some people made faces and rolled their eyes. Aren’t we taught when we are little kids to get over such stuff. Yes, Target did not handle the incident as well as it should at the beginning. But Target is way over this now. Seriously, they expected a response from an email sent to corporate during the holidays. That is really sort of laughable. If it was so important to get a response then they should have phoned corporate. Don’t they have any understanding of how many emails go to corporate and how few employees are working the week after the holidays. I think Target is simply trying to not make a bigger issue out of the situation. Next time someone is rude to you when you are nursing tell them this is what breasts are made for and if they don’t like it then don’t look but the law allows nursing in public. Then move on, just like we teach our kids. Contact the immediate management so they know they need to go over their policy with the employees again. Then move on. Crap happens.

  25. Michelle Lazarov says:

    I think this woman would do whatever it takes to get attention. Obviously. I love shopping at Target and so does most everyone that I know. I certainly don’t desire to see some lady’s boob while I’m shopping, nor do I want to step over her and her boob while I’m trying to shop. She should have gone to a private area of the store, fed the baby prior to coming to the store, used a breast pump, etc. She’s out to make a name for herself. I’m proud of the employee’s for asking her to move, and had I been there shopping I would have done so myself. I would have been more than comfortable saying, “Lady, put that thing away, I don’t want to look at it!”

    • Alesia says:

      Michelle,
      Have you ever nursed a child? If you have you will know that it is easy to conceal a “boob”. I have nursed infront of friends and strangers and they have all said “I don’t know what the problem is you can’t see anything”
      Have you ever had a fussy child that needed to eat? Sometimes when you feed your child before you leave the house sometimes they are hungry again. Would you rather have a screaming baby, or some lady just trying to feed her child. I’m sorry your uncomfortable with the issue and I hope one day you will understand. I acted like you and said the same things before I had my son. Now I get it and support breastfeeding in public.

      “Lady, put that thing away, I don’t want to look at it!”

      Than don’t look and walk away.

      • I breastfed my kids in public :) says:

        Yes, usually they had no clue, they would come up to me and say aw how cute, not realizing what my baby was doing Lol.

    • Janelle says:

      Alas, your comfort as well as the comfort of those employees is irrelevant as Texas state law has a provision in place to allow mothers to nurse their children in public, where ever the mother is legally allowed to be. All of it is moot as the law already defines it being “ok”.

    • Rosalyn says:

      I agree

  26. Jim Gaul says:

    As an older man whose wife breastfed our kids, I’m angry that in this day and age we even have to discuss this. Have those Target employees been living under a rock? Moreover, given the speed with which things go viral on the internet, waiting till the 11th hour to attempt to quell a media storm shows that Target’s PR staff clearly misunderstands what PR means. Their late response makes me mad at them for dragging their feet on something that should have been addressed immediately and easily. And it makes me less likely to patronize their stores, even though I’ve shopped with them frequently in the past.

  27. PJ says:

    All the conversation above, as entertaining, emotional, and thoght-provoking as it is, falls short of scratching the central itch of the issue: needs versus wants. Those in opposition to public breastfeeding cite their own discomfort (masked as lack of desire) with being around an exposed breast, the possibility of an exposed breast, or a child nursing a exposed/partially exposed breast (see Michelle’s comment above on 28 December at 11:42 p.m.). Sometimes these same individuals attempt to project their insecurity onto the notional “masses” by saying things like “no one wants to be subjected to anyone breastfeeding!” (see Tracy’s comment on 28 December at 8:48 p.m.).

    The common thread in these comments is personal desire. These individuals do not WANT to see nursing babies or milk-filled breasts, or whatever else may come with public breastfeeding. It makes many of them uncomfortable, whether for reasons of personal insecurity, societal conditioning, religious convictions, or others. The fact remains, however, that these are nothing more than manifestations of PERSONAL opinions and feelings. In a country purportedly founded on individual freedom, personal opinions are not regulated, and expression of only those personal opinions that cause harm to others or have the potential to cause harm receives moderating legeslation. Additionally, in deference to those mothers who are uncomfortable breastfeeding in public, there is certainly no mandate for them to do so.

    Contrast these wants with the activity of nursing. The health and wellness benefits for mother and baby are well-documented and need no reiteration here. What is important, however, is the fundamental idea that nursing is a NEED–not a want. Fact: Babies must eat. Fact: For the vast majority of babies, breast milk is far more nutritious and beneficial than bottled nourishment. Fact: Nursing is the natural, time-proven, low-cost mechanism for infants to ingest sustenance, and the breast is the medium for this activity. Fact: The female breast is not sexualized in and of itself; rather, for better or worse, some societies choose to encumber themselves with this construct. Fact: Eating is often very much a public function in most societies across the globe.

    Public breastfeeding opponents are surely not observing the act of nursing on purpose, what with naked breasts and the like. So, the entire issue comes down to INDIVIDUALS being uncomfortable with inadvertant observation of babies being fed by their mothers via the method human physiology intends.

    Now, doesn’t that sound silly?

  28. PJ says:

    All the conversation above, as entertaining, emotional, and thought-provoking as it is, falls short of scratching the central itch of the issue: needs versus wants. Those in opposition to public breastfeeding cite their own discomfort (masked as lack of desire) with being around an exposed breast, the possibility of an exposed breast, or a child nursing a exposed/partially exposed breast (see Michelle’s comment above on 28 December at 11:42 p.m.). Sometimes these same individuals attempt to project their insecurity onto the notional “masses” by saying things like “no one wants to be subjected to anyone breastfeeding!” (see Tracy’s comment on 28 December at 8:48 p.m.).

    The common thread in these comments is personal desire. These individuals do not WANT to see nursing babies or milk-filled breasts, or whatever else may come with public breastfeeding. It makes many of them uncomfortable, whether for reasons of personal insecurity, societal conditioning, religious convictions, or others. The fact remains, however, that these are nothing more than manifestations of PERSONAL opinions and feelings. In a country purportedly founded on individual freedom, personal opinions are not regulated, and expression of only those personal opinions that cause harm to others or have the potential to cause harm receives moderating legislation. Additionally, in deference to those mothers who are uncomfortable breastfeeding in public, there is certainly no mandate for them to do so.

    Contrast these wants with the activity of nursing. The health and wellness benefits for mother and baby are well-documented and need no reiteration here. What is important, however, is the fundamental idea that nursing is a NEED–not a want. Fact: Babies must eat. Fact: For the vast majority of babies, breast milk is far more nutritious and beneficial than bottled nourishment. Fact: Nursing is the natural, time-proven, low-cost mechanism for infants to ingest sustenance, and the breast is the medium for this activity. Fact: The female breast is not sexualized in and of itself; rather, for better or worse, some societies choose to encumber themselves with this construct. Fact: Eating is often very much a public function in most societies across the globe.

    Public breastfeeding opponents are surely not observing the act of nursing on purpose, what with naked breasts and the like. So, the entire issue comes down to INDIVIDUALS being uncomfortable with inadvertant observation of babies being fed by their mothers via the method human physiology intends.

    Now, doesn’t that sound silly?

  29. Rosalyn says:

    I stand behind target. Just like I do not want to see young men ass sagging when they wear their pants on their butts, I do not want to see your breast with your baby sucking on it. You can sep in the bathroom and feed your child. Period.

    • Sara says:

      your anology is irrelevant.You are obviously clueless on the topic…. and you are a woman? not even worth the time explaining to you.

      • Martina says:

        Thank you Sara. How can one even compare sagging pants to a physiological need and something as natural and nurturing as breastfeeding?

  30. Cathy says:

    I think the mother was being selfish. Why would she want to feed the baby while sitting on the Target floor? Why not be sensible and sit comfortably in a dressing room, peace and quiet for the child. She chose to cause a commotion and add stress to herself and the child. She didn’t stop there she got other nursing mothers and their babies to protest Target stores. This was a personal incident that should have been handled between her and that particular Target. She sounds like a bully to me.

  31. Tom says:

    Really? It was necessary to assert her right to breastfeed in public by sitting on the floor in a department store? More concerned about activism than safety (someone tripping over her because they didn’t expect to find a person sitting on the floor)? If she was bottle feeding would she have felt compelled to drop everything and sit on the floor to do that? The floor of a store is ok for a child having a brief tantrum but we don’t expect to see adults sitting there. And I doubt that she was “surrounded” by 8 employees and that they were all rolling their eyes but seriously, if she had come upon some homeless person sitting on the floor might she have rolled her eyes at that? Find something worthwhile to spend time on like hunger or domestic violence. Maybe kneel on the floor briefly to honor the last mother’s son or daughter killed in the war.

    • Martina says:

      Tom, thanks for remembering those killed. However, this comment is irrelevant in this discussion. We are talking about breastfeeding, and not the war.
      Furthermore,, I think it is very worthwhile to spend our time defending breastfeeding in public, after all, we are doing something against hunger, like you suggest above.

    • Rebecca says:

      Hi, Tom. I have been in the position of an emergency breast feeding session — ironically on the floor of a Target’s men’s section — to quiet my hungry child whose tiny stomach emptied completely every hour. Fortunately, bottle fed babies who pose no tripping hazard can be propped up in the basket with artificial nipples shoved in their faces. I tried the same, but my boobs didn’t reach that far. So I had to sit while several shoppers flying through the aisles in search of their red bullseye deals tripped over me and sued the corporation as a result. I am so happy to have foiled the Target corporation on both accounts.

  32. Martina says:

    In my (so far) total of 4 years of nursing publicly and uncovered *gasp* I have never received a single complaint from a man. It was always other women, mostly mothers, asking me to leave, cover up, etc. One only has to read some of the comments above to understand that it isn’t men who hinder women – we do it to ourselves. I guess it’s easier to blame men than our own sex, isn’t it? And what exactly are some of the commenters against public nursing concerned with – that their husbands might enjoy the sight of a baby on a boob? That they might have to explain to their children that this is what nipples are for? That *gasp* seeing a boob or nipple in public is actually nothing to snicker about?
    Seriously, in Europe the breast is seen as something natural, something beautiful (no, not only the augmented breast as it is in the U.S.) and people regard a baby latched on, as something natural and often times, something beautiful.
    We currently live in Japan, and I have yet to receive a stare, complaint, or something else from anybody about nursin in public. Yet in the U.S., which claims to be the land of the free, the land of opportunities, the land of everything basically, was I discriminated against constantly.
    Isn’t it in some sense ludicrous that laws need to be put in place to protect nursing mothers from getting charged with indecent exposure? This alone shows how the U.S. society “thinks.”
    Actually, we–as in nursing mothers–should get paid by the U.S. public and government for chosing to breastfeed, and thus helping them save millons of dollars in health care costs. We should also get credit for educating thousands of children that it is normal and right to nurse babies instead of propping a bottle on a pillow while cruising the aisles of Target.
    My children will neither eat under a blanket, in a dressing room, or in a bathroom. If anybody has a problem with me nursing uncovered, I suggest they get over it because human milk is made for human babies, and if they don’t like what they see…hmmm, how about they don’t look. It’s not like I ask obese, ugly, smelly,… people from covering up their fat rolls, ugliness, stink, … when I have to walk behind, next to, or in front of them at Target either.
    Tolerance and caring about your next is, unfortunately, not a given in U.S. society.

  33. It’s funny (or not) – when I tweeted the following on December 27th:

    Will you be participating in the #NurseIn at @Target tomorrow Wed, Dec 28th? via @BestforBabes (10:53 am)

    I got this response (almost immediately I might add):

    @snugabell Hi Wendy- We welcome public breastfeeding in our stores. We have addressed and apologize for the team member situation. -Sean (11:10 am)

    From my understanding of your post, you hadn’t heard back from them at all at this point, correct?

    Hmmm…

  34. Catherine says:

    I am the mother of three and believe that breasting is a beautiful thing, but not to everyone. There is no reason to be ashamed, but at the same time we should be respectful to the general public who should not have to be subject to seeing our private body parts for any reason, even breastfeeding. It is simply not fair to force people to have to see us breasting. If she was properly covered, I wonder if she would have gotton the same response. I am not excusing the behavior of those who made her feel uncomfortable, but that is how she made them feel as well. There are breast pumps, and when we know that we will be going out, what is wrong with preparing a bottle for that short time period, and if you cannot do that then find the least conspicious place possible. Come on now, There is a time and season for everything under the sun. The middle of an aisle in target is not a goog place to be beastfeeding your child. It is moms who give the impression that only our views matter that give moms who are breasting a bad rep.

    • HBACingmama says:

      Oh where to start? First off, you might actually try reading the story before commenting.
      “If she was properly covered, I wonder if she would have gotton the same response.”
      The infant was completely covered with a blanket and this woman was still harassed.

      “There are breast pumps, and when we know that we will be going out, what is wrong with preparing a bottle for that short time period”

      Well, let’s see, first one would have to buy a pump…and bottles, nipples, ice packs, and a cooler for it. Then, when baby wanted to eat, Momma would have to find somewhere/somehow to warm up the milk, while baby was probably screaming to eat. In contrast to Momma just lifting her shirt and latching baby on…do I really need to get into “what’s wrong” with that? And that doesn’t even begin to touch on the issues with women who do not respond to pumps, and the issues with supply that can arise from pumping.

      “then find the least conspicious place possible.” She was in a “remote” area of the store.

      “It is simply not fair to force people to have to see us breasting.” No noe forces you to watch a breastfeeding mother. Look. Somewhere. Else. Not a big problem for a adult. It isn’t fair for a woman to be harassed for feeding her child. If a bottle feeder wouldn’t be subjected to this, a breastfeeder shouldn’t be. Period.

    • I breastfed my kids in public :) says:

      “breasting” ???

  35. Patrick says:

    As a man, and a father of three (initially breast-fed) now adult children, I support the concept of breast-feeding wherever the parent and child feel it is needed. Perhaps it’s because I’m European?
    As a practicing emergency physician, I do NOT support people sitting on shop floors to do so, if any other space is available, as they become a potential trip hazard.
    As clinical director of an emergency department, I recognize that IMMEDIATE response to negative complaints is essential, in order to defuse the potential for an escalating response such as this one is. However, I also recognise that Target local and Target corporate may not communicate effectively, but each believe the other has done what is necessary to respond to this issue.

    Why don’t we all simply look forward to a nice New Year and hope everything settles down into a family-friendly 2012?

  36. Meg says:

    I think Target’s response, and frankly in general the national media’s response, simply highlights that they are not educated about the issue. Here’s the response I wrote to Time.com’s article covering the nurse-in:

    “Because I am a very modest person, prior to my son’s birth, I would have generally agreed with those who felt that at a minimum moms nursing in public should cover up or find a discreet location, or maybe just pump a bottle. I was OK with breastfeeding in public, but it made me feel squeamish and I felt like at least mothers should try to be “modest.”

    Now that I have my son, and have nursed him for a year, I so wish that others could get the same education that I have gained by experience. I was wrong before, not because I was a bad person or baised against mothers, but because I was just ignorant of what was involved.

    When my son was very young (first few months), I at first tried to nurse him only in private rooms when we had family over or were visiting. I quickly found that 45 minutes separate from the rest of the world, repeated every 1.5 hours, all day, every day, was enough to drive me out of my mind. I started nursing with a cover when relatives were visiting. I was a bit uncomfortable with it, but it was better than the insanity I felt creeping into my exhausted mind after so many days of self-inflicted “solitary confinement.”

    Even though I had started nursing with family present, I was still too uncomfortable to nurse at a public place. So I tried to pump bottles to bring with me. Anyone who has never done that just does NOT understand what it entails: buy expensive pump, buy 10,000 accessories, sterilize all tiny components, find 30 minutes when you have nothing else to do and baby is not screaming in order to pump (ha!), realize you can’t pump enough in one sitting so repeat multiple times in order to produce one bottle, spend 15 minutes sterilizing all components each time, realize you pumped too close to a feeding so now you don’t have enough milk for baby to nurse, freak out and give baby some formula (wait wasn’t the point to avoid formula??), eventually go out shopping for a 1 hour trip (which is shorter than the time spent preparing that damn bottle by about 200%). Then endure 2-3 days of baby biting your nipple when he/she nurses because they’ve switched to a shallow latch from the bottle.

    Didn’t take long for me to realize that process was crazy and totally not worth it so instead I started, when truly desperate, to try to find places to nurse as discreetly as possible in public. As a result I’ve endured the nastiest most unsanitary back rooms that no reasonable adult would ever think to eat a sandwich in, let alone feed an infant in. And often that was only after 10 tense minutes with a screaming infant while I ran around the store begging an associate to tell me where a room was that I could please use.

    These things that seem so easy to suggest – pump a bottle before you go out! just nurse in the bathroom! – they are huge HUGE burdens for nursing moms. What you may think is a reasonable suggestion, I have learned the hard way, is in fact a barrier to breastfeeding. And those need to be broken down. The top health officials and medical experts and even political leaders in our country are calling for measures to reduce barriers to breastfeeding because breastfeeding is the best choice for the child. THAT is why it is important for mothers to push back against what is truly a social barrier to breastfeeding. Otherwise it stacks the odds against moms who are already struggling with the knowledge of how easy it would be to just say screw it and grab a bottle of formula, to the detriment of their child’s health, in order to placate a stranger’s perceived discomfort.”

    Since it does seem that at least the nurse-in has gotten the national media’s attention, I truly hope that Breastfeeding Advocacy groups get their opportunity to have some on-air time and educate people a bit.

    • Cassie says:

      Thank you for sharing this story, I feel the exact same way! I am an extremely modest person, and have often felt nervous when necessity dictates that I nurse my baby in public. I should not have to feel that way, and shame on ANYONE who would have the GALL to make a new mother feel bad for doing what is best for her baby. People can be so IGNORANT!!

      • Martina says:

        Thanks for breaking it down to those who do not know how time consuming and difficult it can be to pump. I am European, so I guess I am not modest by citizenship, and the social barriers in the U.S. need to be torn down. Had I not had a successful breastfeeding experience prior to my move to the U.S., nursing my second child would have been so much harder with the harassment we had to endure. Needless to say, behind almost every successful breastfeeding mom also stands a supportive partner, and my husband took much of the heat having discussions with people about the issue.

    • PJ says:

      Meg,
      I just wanted to say that your post was well-written, extremely engaging, and really got to the crux of the issues surrounding breastfeeding. Thank you for your words!

  37. De says:

    Amazing to me is that Target really didn’t think their employees did anything wrong. The fact that they still think moms should run to the fitting room to feed their baby shows how ignorant they are still being. Clearly, the delayed response was to encourage some corporate curmudgeon into agreeing to the watered down “apology without apologizing” statement.

    I am sincerely disappointed in this store, who has always been so family friendly. Boo.

  38. Michelle Robertstad says:

    I hate to say this, but the response received by this blog is a form letter. I saw the SAME EXACT wording on the Target FB page in response to a mother’s anger about the Houston, TX incident regarding Michelle Hickman. It was signed by a different employee, but I remember it implicitly. Especially this line : “We’ve worked with this guest directly to address her concerns and are sorry for any inconvenience it has caused.”

  39. Donna says:

    I think it is great that all the breast feeding moms stood up for their right to breast feed in public. Six years ago when I had my daughter I chose to breast feed and every one in my family thought I was crazy because bottle feeding was so much easier. I remember going out to breakfast with my grand parents one day, my little one started fussing and need to be nursed. I started to nurse her (yes I was covered and never exposed my self in any way) and so older people in the restaurant stated giving me dirty looks and one person said I should go in to the bathroom. That person did not like it when I said; “Do you eat in a bathroom? Because I don’t and either will my baby!” So there in the middle of the restaurant I told every one if they didn’t like it don’t look, I am a responsible breast feeder I am covered you can’t see any thing. What do you think they did before bottles? I only got to breast feed for 10 months but it was worth it.

    • Sara says:

      So glad you stood up for your rights, that’s exactly what I told a lady at JCPenny that told me there was a bathroom nearby when she saw me nursing my son.

  40. Jess says:

    I understand nursing mothers have breast-feeding rights but, I believe it is inappropriate for the public display of breastfeeding. How hard is it to take 10 footsteps to walk to a dressing room or bathroom? Breast feeding is something sacred between mother and child. I wouldn’t want random individuals to see my child sucking my breast. Plus, when you are out, don’t you all prepare milk for the child before you make your daily runs? This is my opinion and please understand I am entitled to one. Thanks!

    • Meg says:

      Hi Jess! Please see my post above (posting 1:00 pm). I hope that my story can help provide you with some additional information. Best, Meg

  41. Cassie says:

    As a frequent Target shopper AND a breastfeeding mother, I am extremely disappointed by how this situation was handled. On the floor or not, covered or not, this woman was humiliated and treated like a criminal for simply feeding her baby in the way she thought best. The harsh comments on this post only serve to highlight the need for education and awareness of this issue. Breastfeeding is supported by the law. Feeding your hungry baby should not make you feel nervous, embarrassed or ashamed, regardless of where you are. Period. Those who are ignorant enough to make degrading comments like: “go in the bathroom” or “put that thing away” should take themselves to the bathroom, or put themselves away. (PLEASE, DO!)

    Whether you like or support the method by which women choose to feed their babies or not, public breastfeeding is supported by the LAW. Thank goodness all of you ignorant, insulting commentators trying to shame women aren’t blessed with the authority to do anything but spout off your discriminatory, unfounded nonsense.

    Target should be ashamed of how they have handled this situation. They are in the wrong, period, and should have made it right immediately.

  42. J says:

    I went out and spent $2,000 at Target! I think this complaint was just a spoiled brat complaining. NO – you dont have a right to sit on the floor in the middle of a public retail store. YOU MORON! This has nothing to do with breast feeding as Target clearly doesnt have an issue.

    My wife uses the changing area or walks around with the baby and never had an issue.
    It has an issue with people thinking the world revolved around them and want something to be angry about because the world doesnt revolve around them. You can’t hide behind a hungry infant to get my heart.

    You have the right to feed your child. According to Target, they even offer a more comfortable place to do it. You also have to be respectful of others and not put yourself in a situation where you could get hurt or prevent others from being able to go through the clothing area to shop. A possible fire hazard and someone could walk into you with a carrage as someone pointed out. If you want to sit on the floor then walk over to the areas designated for nursing and sit on the floor!

  43. Alan says:

    Target seems to have a unique talent for stepping into hot water. First, it doesn’t allow the Salvation Army to have their kettle drive at its stores during the Christmas season. A major indication that this French owned corporation is not in tune to American traditions. Many of us who are doing better now, remember well the support we got from the Salvation Army during rougher times, and are grateful the organization was there. And by the way, I can truthfully say from my own observations I have never witnessed them denying aid to anyone based on their sexual orientation or identity. Now to the issue of breast feeding. It is the most natural means by which a mother can nurse her child, and there shouldn’t be any stigma attached to it at all. I’m nearly sixty, American Black and grew up in the South. Mother’s breast feeding their babies was such a common sight nobody thought it was something out of the ordinary. If she was at church, she simply went to the back of the church to a designated area, where the baby could nurse and the mother could still hear the sermon. If she the time came and she was in a public place, she either placed a baby blanket over her shoulder that was adjusted so the child could breath and still comfortable or not at all. You idiots, and you are idiots who think a child attached to a bare breast is something shameful, naughty, or undignified need to step into the current time line. I pray I never live to see a time when one of the most natural occurrences in the “Human Experience” is seen as indecent. I feel sorry for those people who can’t desexualize a breast when a child is nursing. Your minds are stuck on a one way track, and you need to grow up and get over it. Breast feeding in public or wherever is as old as the days are long. Remember what the old woman said of Jesus, “Blessed are the “paps” that gave ye suck.” So if breastfeeding wasn’t something awkward then, why is it now.

    • Sara says:

      thank you for your true words of wisdom, as a nursing mother, I agree with your comment and appreciate that you put it in such good words!

  44. jean says:

    Breast feeding should be a personal and intimate time between mother and child. Walking around in a Target or any other store breast feeding while shopping seems a little strange to me. You know when the baby needs to be fed, you know before you ever walk into that store. If you’re out and about and it’s too much trouble to go home, PLEASE sit in your car and leave the rest of us out of it. What’s next with out society? Every ones thinks that they should have all these rights without consideration for others. Do you think that maybe a toddler should be able to eat while shopping? Get over yourself!

    • Martina says:

      Jean, may I suggest that you get over yourself. Thank you.
      Now that we got this out of the way, let me tell you that, no, we often do not know when our babies need to eat. They are not machines and their eating habits change often, depending on how much they sleep or if they are growing, just to name two examples. I am sorry if I am unable to make everything evolve around my child’s eating habits. How ignorant of me to possibly walk in a store without having fed my child in the care immediately before. Guess what Jean, that’s why they have a food court in Target because adults and children get hungry. Do you take your food to your car when it is perhaps 32°F outside or so hot you shouldn’t be in it for too long? Oh wait, right, this is America and I should just start my car and have it run and pollute the environment for 30-45 minutes, depending on how long my baby needs for a feeding.
      Hopefully you will be able to desexualize the female breast and then you will realize that there is nothing wrong with a mother nursing her child in public. Until then, thank goodness there are laws in place that protect nursing mothers from people like you.

  45. CATHIE says:

    I STAND WITH TARGET ON THIS, WHY WOULD ANY MOTHER FEED HER BABY IN AISLES NEVER THE LESS IN A STORE. WHAT ARE PEOPLE THINKING OF. NEXT THING THEY WANT WILL BE TO CHANGING THERE KIDS ON THE FLOOR IN THE STORE. THIS SHOULD BE DONE IN PRIVATE, I WOULD NEVER CONSIDER TAKING MY BOOBS OUT UNLESS I WAS IN THE LADY ROOM FEEDING MY
    BABY WHICH I HAVE DONE MANY TIMES. LETS START HAVING SOME CONSIDERATION FOR OTHER
    PEOPLE AROUND US AND THAT IS CHILDREN WHO DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT A MOTHER TAKING HER BOOB OUT TO FEED HER CHILD. IF YOU WANT TO PROTEST ABOUT SOMETHING PROTEST ABOUT YOUR TAXES, WATER, GAS & ELEC. BILLS GOING UP AND ALL THE KILLING AROUND US AND THAT MOST ALL US SOLIDER MAKE LESS MONEY THEN PEOPLE ON WELFARE DO.AND THERE JOB IS TO GO TO WAR FOR US. AND YOU SENTOR, CONGRESSMAN MAKE MORE MONEY THEN ANYONE AND PAY LESS TAXES THEN THE REST OF US. SO IF YOU WANT TO PROTEST, PROTEST ABOUT SOMETHING WORTH PROTEST ABOUT SOMETHING THAT WILL HELP THE PEOPLE IN THE USA. NOT SOMETHING DUMP.

    • PJ says:

      …hmmm. I’m understanding more and more why today’s American youth are so mal-adjusted. For this and so many other reasons, I support my wife breastfeeding our 16-month-old son in public, uncovered, wherever they are comfortable–and with our 7-year-old and 5-year-old right by our sides. My children will grow up will full understanding of the natural physiology of motherhood. Verily, US culture and taboo will force sexuality on their innocence via TV, music, billboards, and countless other media all too soon. With luck and persistence, however, my children will grow to be independent, critical-thinking, caring adults who breastfeed and support breastfeeding, and most importantly, can continue to thrive even when faced with situations or events that push them outside their traditional comfort zones. In contrast, children of individuals like Cathie will invariably have increasing difficulty coping with their own discomforts. In an age of multi-sensory hyper-stimulation and pervasive expectation of instant gratification, how does this failure to cope manifest? Rape? Physical or psychological abuse? Aggression? The list goes on…

  46. Guest says:

    Im confused. Are you this womans lawyer or a representive for her? They didnt have to respond at all. What’s the difference of you contacting the company and me? That being said I honestly don’t see what the problem is. They asked her to get off the floor and out of the way. I have no problem with breastfeeding in public but there is a way to do it. Would you want your kids turning a corner and seeing a womans breasts? I know I wouldnt. And if you’re baby is so hungry that you had to sit on the floor to fred her right away then maybe your should have fed her earlier.

    • Martina says:

      Really??? Why are you so scared of your kid seeing a baby being breastfed? Why don’t you want to explain to you child that breastfeedin is actually THE physiological function of the breast and not holding tassles or arousing men?
      Besides, you usually do not really see any breast when a baby is latched on since its head covers it anyway. It’s all in YOUR head….

  47. Maureen says:

    wow what a nerve this issue has hit. I breastfed my daughter over 30 years ago . I was able to shop and nurse her in comfort at top stores like Bloomingdales in Garden City. Way back then when my own doctor tried to discourage breastfeeding because I had been on meds that pass through breast milk I fought the established thinking – took myself off the meds, waited a few days for all traces to leave my system and pumped and tossed milk for 3 days . When I was able to resume I nursed as needed, which with a baby is OFTEN.

    the high end stores were more than accommodating, often bringing me a chair for my comfort. Never once did anyone tell me to use a bathroom or dressing room where it was stuffy and in the case of a bathroom stall just too nasty a concept.

    I often met other mothers who were also nursing and one Jamaican woman sat with me on more than one time telling me how thrilled she was to see an older child being breastfed. she had nursed her son until the age of 2 which inspired me to keep up that tradition.

    My daugther is now 33 with a new baby that she is breastfeeding. She is a strong willed, healthy as a horse young woman and I credit breastfeeding for her maturity , good health and positive attitude.

    So rock on with your nurse-ins. i commend all the strong women who are doing the best action possible for their child.

    How dare posters suggest going to the car or making a hungry baby wait for the opportune time. Perhaps they were bottle fed and done so when it was convenient for their moms. Doubtful they were breastfed!

    suck it up – literally!!!!

  48. jane schnetlage says:

    I’ve nursed all three of my babies. The last one would not take a bottle in any way, shape, or form. If I left him a bottle of breast milk he would fuss and maybe take an ounce and fuss some more- he graduated to a sippy cup at 8 months for other liquids but nursed until he was 18 months old. (although we seldom needed to nurse in public when he was older). I felt uncomfortable nursing in public at first, but learned to be more comforable and discreet with it. I wore the right clothes so baby could reach breast easily and modestly. It is an art that takes some time to perfect but is well worth it. Feed your baby, look people in the eye, and be proud to be a nursing mother. It is one way to show your love.

  49. Joy C says:

    I am an avid supporter of breast-feeding and nursed my three children into toddlerhood during the eighties. I think sitting down on the floor in an area where people are walking and pushing shopping carts is a bad idea. Going to a dressing room sounds like a fine idea for those who want to nurse there, but perhaps Target should provide benches for sitting on in other areas of the store as well. Nursing in a toilet is uncomfortable and unsanitary——they are not designed for nursing. Some larger department stores have true “rest rooms” with couches. They are great for sitting down and breast-feeding, but they are uncommon.
    It sounds like things could have been handled with greater sensitivity and common sense on both sides.

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