Target Nurse-In Should Make All Breastfeeding Moms Proud (VIDEO)


breastfeeding at targetIt's no secret that Lactivism, or breastfeeding activism, gets on the nerves of some people, but it's such an important message to get out there. Breastfeeding is normal, it's what we're made for, and really, breastfeeding moms would just like to be left alone. It warms my heart, though, whenever the community comes together to show that there are lots of us, and we won't stand to be harassed. And yesterday, hundreds (maybe even thousands) of women did just that when they attended the national Target Nurse-In at over 250 Target stores across the country yesterday to say, "Hey, we ain't gonna take it!"

Last month, after Michelle Hickman, a breastfeeding mom, was harassed by multiple Target employees, then ridiculed by an employee and supervisor at the corporate office when she called to complain, Best for Babes Organization's Bettina Forbes tried to talk to Target's corporate spokesperson to see if the company would apologize. Target's official policy on in-store breastfeeding is a good one (it's permitted), so it shouldn't have been that hard to get the company to say, "Our employees broke the rules, we're sorry," in apology to the nice woman who, by the way,  is also protected by state law. Sadly, it didn't go down like that.

So in defense of not only Michelle Hickman, but moms who have been harassed in the past, Forbes and all these wonderful nursing mommies and their supportive friends and family went out to Target to just ... breastfeed. To say, "We're doing what we're told repeatedly to do, what we're told over and over is best for us and our babies, so don't harass us for it!" They got out there to demand the respect all breastfeeding mothers deserve. The results were amazing.

Check out the footage assembled by Annie of PhDinParenting of the photos taken by women at the Nurse-Ins:

How cool is it that women are willing to stand up for their rights, for their baby's rights, like this? All breastfeeding moms really want is to be left alone to nurse our babies. This grassroots movement of defending our rights since the existing laws are not enforced is our way of enforcing them ourselves, peacefully, with love, but also loudly and proudly. Sooner, rather than later, people will see nursing moms and just like anything else, they'll ignore it and keep walking.

Meanwhile, I'll offer a smile, a thumbs up or a "Good job!" to my fellow breastfeeding mommies, because I know sometimes it can be really hard, lonely, and frustrating. But all they have to do is take a look at those smiling faces at Target yesterday to know they're not alone.

I wish I'd been out there yesterday with you all. We're proud of you all! Keep nursing, keep smiling. Your babies will thank you.

Do you think a sense of community support is important for breastfeeding success?


Image via YouTube

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katyq katyq

To the first post...the point is: they shouldn't have said anything...that's like them  going up to you in the Target cafe and asking you to move elsewhere for no reason, it's stupid and pointless and none of their concern. I do find it offensive that they asked her to move to a dressing room. I find it HIGHLY offensive that women employees stood around the area watching her and making comments and giving dirty looks. What bullies. I wish there were fines for businesses who violate our legal rights.

nonmember avatar Havva

With all the talk about public breastfeeding and the need for moms to be given a little respect, I just wanted to throw this out there.

I have been breastfeeding in public for nearly a year now (with shawl) and have never once had an issue.

I wonder at what point Lactivism starts discouraging nursing. The repeated articles and abrasive comments following, paint the world as a place where moms get the stink eye or worse when they feed in public.

That hasn't been my experience.

nonmember avatar Kris

I'm a bfing mama and I think a supportive community of other bfing moms was absolutely a reason I've continued so long (past a year!) Thank you for your support! I also attended the nurse in at our local Target. It was nice to meet other local moms!

nonmember avatar Cococandy34

Katyq, my apologies. I seem to be misinformed about some details surrounding the target situation. The articles I have read about the mother never mentioned anything about the workers making comments. If this did indeed happen, then I believe that qualifies as harassment. A mother feeding her child, even if it's in an inappropriate spot like the not-so-sanitary floor of a target, should be treated with some respect. Once again, I am sorry for making a comment before I knew the whole story.

nonmember avatar Paala

I do think that nursing mothers need a community, as do all mothers. When the community supports mothers and their legal right to nurse in public, a mother does not feel embarrassed when she is feeding her child the most normal and natural way possible. I participated in the SF Bay Area's nurse-in yesterday to show support for the Houston mother, Michelle Hickman, who was unapologetically verbally attacked by Target employees like she was doing something shameful, like she was doing something that needed to be moved out of the public eye where she was legally allowed to breastfeed. (They threatened to call security on her too.)

nonmember avatar paala

Target was under fire in 2009 as well for calling the cops on a breastfeeding mother and her Detroit cop husband, even though, again, it was the mother's right to nurse in any public or private place. Since then, Target has updated their store policy to reflect a positive stance on breastfeeding, but not all employees get the memo or proper training. Per their policy, a Target employee can suggest a mother nurse in a fitting room, if she would like to, but is in no way required to. And suggesting a mother use the restroom is not allowed. Mostly though, employees are trained to not even make the suggestion of moving, because a nursing mother can shop and nurse at the same time if she so desires. There is absolutely no need to call attention to something that most people don't even notice.

nonmember avatar Paala

The purpose of the nurse-in was to stand together peacefully united, showing the community how normal and natural breastfeeding is, and that mothers can rally support internationally if needed. The Emeryville, CA nurse-in was a very peaceful gathering of about 40 mothers, babies, and supporters. Everyone had smiles on their faces, and everyone that approached us, customers and Target employees, were very supportive. We did not shout or hold signs. We sat happily and talked amongst ourselves and those who were interested in what we were doing. Target donated bottled waters and the media (ABC 7 news) supported us. We gave the did the Target store manager a bouquet of flowers and a thank you card for managing such a breastfeeding friendly store. Many of the mothers who were there had nothing but positive things to say about that store. But apparently the employees were not trained properly in the Houston store. And it isn't just about Target, retailers, or companies who have broken the law in the recent past regarding nursing mothers (Starbucks, Delta, Southwest, Williams-Sonoma, Whole Foods to name a few), it is about normalizing nursing in public so that everyone realizes that the mothers who nurse are actually doing the best thing for their child and society as a whole.

nonmember avatar Ohmyskittles

Paala, it's very nice that you and the group of women you were nursing-in with gave the manager the flower and card. My only point is that so many women, when someone says to them that they are offended by them feeding is public, will often respond by saying "if you don't like it, don't look". That's fine, that's a good answer what what people should do if it bothers them. But a nurse-in is the opposite. You are asking people to look, asking them for their attention. If you never once said "if you don't like it, don't look" then fine, my point doesn't apply to you. But the mothers who have said that, yet participate in a nurse-in are giving a perfectly good cause a hypocritical label. Anyway, it's good to see your nurse-in went so peaceful. I am quite sorry if I offended you.

nonmember avatar Rebekah P

I wish I had heard about this nurse in sooner! I nurse my 13 mo at our Target everytime we go. Although I prefer to nurse him while he sits in the shopping cart, multi-tasking.


I'm glad my local target isn't like that. I have nursed 3 out of 4 of my kids there with no problems.

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