Here at MFM HQ we see sooooo many stories about breastfeeding in public over the course of a week, we’re tempted to overlook many as being nothing new.
But this one really got us talking – as, we think, it brings up a pretty interesting debate.
When 21-year-old mum Charlotte Stanbridge was out shopping with her 7-month-old baby boy Teddy in Bournemouth, she popped into the local Zara and asked if she’d be able to use their changing room to breastfeed him as, she told the Mail Online, he tends to get distracted and Charlotte prefers to nurse discretely.
But she was apparently told by an assistant: “No, not really… it’s a changing room so it’s not really for that, there is a Costa over the road you could use.”
Charlotte says she was so angry her “legs turned to jelly” and she began shaking with rage.
The long and short of the story is, once head office at Zara got wind of what had happened, it promptly distanced itself from the staff member’s actions, confirming:
“Zara UK’s policy on breastfeeding is that in no circumstances should breastfeeding be stopped in our stores and that customers who wish to breastfeed their child should be supported by providing a safe and comfortable environment on request.
“We understand that in this circumstance one staff member did not follow the policy, subsequently the manager explained our policy to the customer and apologised.
“Zara UK would also like to apologise and confirm that we have spoken to the staff member involved.”
Fair dos to Zara for their stand on this – we wholly applaud them.
But – and please don’t shout us down here – could there be another side to this? It’s clear that Charlotte asked politely if she could use the changing rooms and we get why she was so upset when she was told no.
On the other hand – it is a changing room – and if you’re a mum who’s out shopping wth your baby and you want to do a quick try-on of an outfit only to find the changing room’s taken up by someone feeding their baby – might you find that a tad annoying?
Especially if there’s a nearby cafe where they can do it – after all, you have to try on clothes in the changing room – there’s no other choice.
We’d also query if asking to use it was the best course of action? Obviously Charlotte was trying to do the right thing – but here at MFM HQ we admitted we’d have been much more likely to grab a few clothes off the rail and nip into the changing room as if we were going to try them on – but instead use the time to feed our little one.
And surely no one would be any the wiser?
Hmmm. Lots of food for thought on this one.
What do you think?
Have you ever nipped into a changing room to feed your bubba? Or would you prefer to ask?
Can you understand why a shop assistant might feel they can’t allow you to use a changing room for breastfeeding – or is that totally out of order?
Tell us in the comments below or over on Facebook