A new mum has organised a breast feeding “sit-in” after being told to stop nursing her baby son in an Oxford department store.
Mother-of-two Emily John organised the protest in anger after being asked by staff to stop feeding four-week-old Jacob in Debenhams on Saturday.
Oh, oh! More brealots. But wait!
Debenhams apologised and said it was an “isolated incident” where staff got its policy wrong.
So, the sit-in’s off, then?
The sit-in is set to take place this Saturday at 11am. A Debenhams spokesman said staff at the store were now working to make the event a “celebration” of breast feeding.
Well, of course! After all, if no-one sees you exercise your rights, do you even have them? It’s the new philosophical thought experiment of our time!
Comments are pretty much as you’d expect:
Is this really wise? Not only has this young mum had her home address (near enough) published in the paper, half of Oxfordshire now knows she won’t be at home at 11am on Saturday…
As to getting the baps out for the babies. There’s a restaurant on the 3rd floor and a coffee bar on the 1st floor. There’s also a seating area on the 3rd floor adjacent to the loos. I’m not sure if the Oxford store has a Gold Card holders lounge or not.
Perhaps other ladies were waiting to sit down and try on shoes…
And oooooh, does he get some flak for that remark!
Later on, the lady herself enters the fray:
I wanted to update this a little as the interview with me was done before Debenhams had issued a full apology, and things have since changed.
After Debenhams apologised, my contact at their head office and I agreed that since we all agree that breastfeeding should be encouraged – including in public – that we would like to work together to celebrate breastfeeding.
As such, the sit-in is no longer a protest, but Debenhams is welcoming nursing mothers to a party to celebrate berastfeeding.
I fully accept Debenhams apology and they have assured me that staff will be urgently retrained so that this incident is not repeated. I feel happy that Debenhams can use our celebration on Saturday to demonstrate their committment to nursing mothers, and mothers and their supporters can use the time to gain support and be reassured that they can breastfeed in confidence in Debenhams from now.
I think pregnant women have a ‘right’ to urinate in public, should they so need; will Ms John be holding a similar ‘Pee-In’ in the High Street?
Or is breastfeeding special?