A mum was discouraged from breastfeeding her baby in a branch of Mothercare [Photo: Rex Features]
ICYMI a couple of week’s ago it was National Breastfeeding Week. According to UNICEF’s website, the week is described as an opportunity for “mothers, breastfeeding supporters and health professionals to come together and share what works well to support breastfeeding in local communities.” So, with that in mind, consider the irony of a mum being told not to breastfeed her baby in a branch of Mothercare during that exact time.
Clare Shaw had just sat down to begin feeding her five-month-old daughter, Elsa in the branch in Edmonton, London, when a member of staff approached her to intervene.
The Primary school teacher was asked to use a private room at the back of the store because customers had previously complained.
“I felt really upset and vulnerable. I thought perhaps I was breaking a rule or a law,” the 34-year-old told the Mirror.
“It was only later that I felt quite angry. I wasn’t made to feel that moving to a private room was optional. I felt as if I was being banned from breastfeeding, in Mothercare of all places. I ended up feeding Elsa in the car.”
“I’ve fed Elsa in museums, restaurants, cafés and shopping centres and usually no one bats an eyelid,” she continued.
Under the terms of the 2010 Equality Act, it is illegal for a firm to discriminate against a woman breastfeeding.
The 2010 Equality Act says its illegal to discriminate against a woman breastfeeding [Photo: Rex Features]
Mothercare has since issued an apology to Clare, who was shopping with Elsa and her two-year-old sister.
A Mothercare spokesman said: “Mothers can nurse their children anywhere on the premises and, for those who prefer some privacy, we provide comfortable feeding facilities.
“As our Edmonton store is being refurbished and there are building workers on the premises, we suggested our customer may be more comfortable using the feeding facilities.
“We apologise for any misunderstanding.’
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