Security, We Have a Breastfeeder on Aisle 9

Family in Target in Michigan. One month-old baby cries then mother breastfeeds baby.

Simple, right? Happens every day without notice or incident.

Not this time.

The story doesn’t make it clear what happened between two security guards showing up and them calling two police officers. Target corporate headquarters commented, “This specific situation escalated to a point where we were concerned for the safety of our guests, so law enforcement was called.” Maybe the fact that the husband is a Detroit police officer played into it. Target admitted that their employee overreacted.

In the end, the family left, terribly embarrassed and not eager to return to that store. And, Target has to re-educate employees that this is what breasts are for.

This sounds a lot to me like an incident on Air Canada when I’m sure flight attendant #1 then flight attendants #2 and #3 would all have been happy to toss me and my baby out into Lake Ontario because I actually insisted on breastfeeding my screaming baby to calm her.

The problem doesn’t usually end up being with corporate policy in these situations but with misinformed petites généraux. If you dare to breastfeed in public (and you SHOULD!), just be aware of your rights and stay calm if anyone questions you.

Bonus: read the comments on the story on Mom Logic. The judgment are amazing for daring to take a newborn to a store and for daring to breastfeed to the recommended age of two years old. The comparison of breastfeeding in public with peeing in public is just astonishing.

DARE!

5 thoughts on “Security, We Have a Breastfeeder on Aisle 9

  1. Have you read Annie at PhD in Parenting’s series on breastfeeding on a plane? http://www.phdinparenting.com/2008/09/13/breastfeeding-on-an-airplane-the-collection/ Just curious.

    I was really surprised at some of the comments posted in regards to the incident with the Martinez family on the MomLogic site. I know I shouldn’t have been as I encounter comments similar (if not worse: “You might as well feed your child with a penis.”) in my day to day life. I was very happy to see people responding in support of the family however.

    Thanks for posting on this. I am enjoying reading different takes on this story.

    • Erin, thanks for that link. I hadn’t read those stories. It’s tough to know whether to laugh or just roll my eyes. I traveled a lot overseas when my children were nursing. Of all of those flights, I only had the one issue—but it was a big one! Part of our breastfeeding training should be: 1) know your rights (all three of them), and 2) how to stay calm while clearly defending those rights.

  2. This makes me so angry—the purpose of a woman’s breasts has been SO convoluted by society. They. Are. Designed.To.Feed.Children.
    PERIOD.

    I feel so terribly that this family had to deal with such a stressful situation and I applaud the mother for being courageous.

    • I am sorry to hear that you have experienced issues while breastfeeding on board an aircraft…I can’t imagine. I am a flight attendant and breastfed both my babies and if anything, I have a hard time not just chatting with moms and babes because I so enjoy my own. Personally, when I brief parents with little ones, I suggest they offer the bottle, breast or soother on descent or if there is any discomfort during climb…it can be so hard on their little ears.

      • Julia, I’m so glad to hear that you help mothers feel comfortable when they fly and breastfeed. Maybe your approach will help the few who don’t quite understand how much it helps during the pressure changes.

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