Store That Harrassed Mom for Breastfeeding Defends Itself

breastfeeding momIf the stories about moms being harassed for breastfeeding in public places tend to depress you, how about some good news for a change? After The Stir ran the story of a mom who was sent crying to a changing room in the American Girl store in New York City, the company reached out to mom Joanna DiCarlo . . . and then they reached out to us to explain what happened.

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According to a blog post from Joanna's husband, David, the nursing mom had settled in to feed their hungry daughter, Lainey, in a "semi-private area" of the store, one with comfy chairs, when she was approached by a store employee and told she couldn't breastfeed there. Making matters worse, David said when she moved to the fitting rooms, employees stood outside talking about her, loud enough that Joanna could hear them. It sounded pretty horrific to me . . . So how did the store defend itself? According to a spokesman who reached out to The Stir via email:

American Girl supports mothers’ rights to breastfeed in any location in our stores. As a courtesy, we make available more private areas in all of our stores for women who prefer this. We’re taking this misunderstanding very seriously and are looking into this matter at our New York location. We are truly sorry for any discomfort our customer experienced and have reached out to her directly to further discuss this with her.

Fair enough, but I was still perturbed. What did she mean they "make more private areas available." Don't they know the law? New York moms' right to nurse in PUBLIC are protected. It's all well and good that a store claims to support moms because they provide places to nurse doesn't mean they support breastfeeding overall. So I asked. And here's what they told us:

We support moms breastfeeding in any location of our stores. It is never our intention to "direct" them to more private areas...it's simply something we offer as a courtesy. As I mentioned, we're taking this particular situation very seriously. Ensuring girls and their families have a wonderful experience at our stores is top priority for us, which is why we immediately reached out to this mom to apologize and talk with her about this.

Does their response satisfy you? Do you think we're too quick to blame a store for one employee's piss poor behavior?

 

Image via Raphael Goetter/Flickr

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