Missing the Target on Breastfeeding

If you’ve turned on a TV in the past few days or read anything online or in the paper, you know breastfeeding has been making headlines once again. This time they’re not talking about the benefits, but rather where and when a woman can feed her child in public. It’s all because of what happened at a Target down in Texas. A woman decided to nurse her fussy child in the women’s clothing section when a few workers asked her to go to a fitting room to finish. She says some others gave her dirty looks. She tried to explain to them that the law in Texas (and in many other states) allows women to breastfeed in public. She was so mad she called Target headquarters to complain about how she was treatred. I read that Target welcomes women to breastfeed in public areas of the store without being made to feel uncomfrtable. Target is now going to make sure all of its employees are aware of its policy. In support of her and other breastfeeding moms across the country, many women staged a “nurse-in” at Target stores.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love me some Target shopping, but what these workers did was so not cool. As a breastfeeding mom, it’s hard to schedule outings and errands around when you think your child may want to eat or around when you may have a “milkplosion” if you don’t let it all out. Like they say, when you gotta go, you gotta go. In this lady’s case, her child was hungry, plain and simple. I’m sure if she let her child scream people would have looked at her too because she was “that mom” with “that kid.” They would have wondered why she wasn’t doing something to keep her kid quiet.

Personally, I don’t breastfeed in public because I don’t feel comfortable doing it. I like sitting on my couch with my boppy and my baby. I supplement with formula because my baby eats a lot. This also allows me the luxury of being able to pop a bottle in her mouth if we’re out and she does get hungry. Women who breastfeed exclusively should be able to at anytime without feeling like a social outcast or for fear of making any man or woman, for that matter, feel uncomfortable. If the woman was standing in the store wearing a string bikini on the verge of having a Janet Jackson Superbowl wardrobe malfunction I wonder how many male employees would complain. Being the catty species we can be, I’m sure the female workers would still have some comments, myself included ! I feel for this Texas woman who was just being a good mom and really using her breasts for what they were intended for. It’s just sad that although we’ve come so far, so many people are still off target when it comes to breastfeeding.

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