Mums hold mass breastfeeding protest at Sports Direct

Mothers hold a 'feed-in' after a women says she was thrown out of the Nottingham store for breastfeeding her baby

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A group of mums have staged a mass breastfeeding protest at a Sports Direct store in Nottingham – to show their support for a woman was told she couldn’t breastfeed her baby there.

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Wioletta Komar, 25, from Boston, Lincolnshire, said she was forced to take her baby outside the store and feed her in the rain, after being told breastfeeding inside was against Sports Direct’s company policy.

The protest was organised by Nottinghamshire Breastfeeding Mums Network and, during the half-hour ‘mass feed-in’ about 30 mums breastfed their babies, supported by 30 other men and women and 70 children.

“The staff were actually really lovely,” says Leah Gibson, one of the organisers. “They carried on about their business and left us to it, which is what the aim of the whole thing is.

“We want all shops to treat breastfeeding women in the same way.”

Sports Direct have not commented and, according to Wioletta, did not respond to her original complaint for three months – only sending her flowers after a story about her treatment at the store was published in the local paper.

“It is sad that I had to go to press and media to get an answer from them,” says Wioletta. “I was all covered; I didn’t expose my breasts or anything.”

She said the shop assistant saw her start to cry after telling her to leave.

“It was the way she spoke to me,” she says, “and her whole attitude. She was just so rude, and I felt so upset and embarrassed.”

Wioletta says she has not breastfed in public since the incident. “I still feel depressed about it,” she says. “and can’t forget.”

According to the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful for a business to discriminate against a woman because she is breastfeeding and it is every business’ responsibility to ensure that a woman breastfeeding while receiving a service they provide is not treated unfairly.

But it’s clear, from Wioletta’s experience, that not every company employee is aware of the law.

“I can’t understand why a baby has to be punished for being hungry and why I need to feel like a criminal when I just want to feed my baby son.”

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MadeForMums Writer – Jessica Gibb

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