National Target Nurse In Moms Show Up & Out

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard various stories about the Nation-wide nurse-in at Target stores. The nurse-in was initiated by  Michelle Hickman who was harassed and humiliated by Target employees who clearly understood her right to nurse in public, but ignored it. Nursing moms, such as myself, joined the Facebook Group created by Hickman to support, share and empower one another. The response has been overwhelming and I have truly enjoyed reading the comments and stories shared by those who braved judging eyes to silent nurse and declare that breastfeeding in public is not only normal, but a right. We have the right to feed our babies on demand, just as much as a formula feeding mom does. To do this, is not only responsible parenting, but encouraged by doctors, researchers and many others who have recognized valuable health benefits to breast milk.

Although circumstances prevented me from attending my local Target with baby in tow, I can share some comments and pictures from those who did attend.

There were lively discussions and intriguing questions as moms pondered whether breast feeding was a civil rights issue in the group. The consensus agreed that breastfeeding leaned more towards a human rights issue. Other moms shared their experience of what it was like being filmed and having cameras around. A mom spoke of her experience of taking a few pictures for a film crew, because a Target store didn’t allow them to do so.  There were many stories that shared frustrations of various sorts. Mostly in regards to public negativity that continues to surround breastfeeding.  It seems as though the majority of the moms had a positive nurse-in experience with little or no interaction with Target employees and shoppers. Along with a few unexpectedly encouraging and supportive words from shoppers here and there.

Here are some pictures of moms in their respective Target Nurse-Ins…

Kristina nursing 10 month old son at the Target Nurse-In, in Mary Ester, Florida

Khera and Devon nursing Lilah and Liam at the Target in Rochester MN

Sanford, Florida Target Nurse-In

As a nursing mom, I’ve found this Facebook group exciting, encouraging and supportive, save for the few trolls that snuck in with degrading comments.

The question becomes, what has Target learned from this? Best for Babes said they tried to reach out to Target in order to work with them on implementing breast feeding policy, even possibly cancelling the nurse-in  in exchange. According to BFB, Target never responded, until the 11th hour, with this email…
Hello Bettina,
Thank you for your inquiry regarding Target’s breastfeeding policy. As mentioned during our conversation, as a family-oriented retailer, Target has a long-standing corporate policy that supports breastfeeding in our stores. We want everyone to feel comfortable shopping at Target.  Guests who choose to breastfeed in public areas of the store are welcome to do so without being made to feel uncomfortable. Additionally, we support the use of fitting rooms for women who wish to breastfeed their babies, even if others are waiting to use the fitting rooms.
We continually educate our team members in stores across the country on store policies to ensure all guests have a great experience and we have been in touch with the store where the incident occurred to ensure all team members are aware of our breastfeeding policy.
We’ve worked with this guest directly to address her concerns and are sorry for any inconvenience it has caused.
Jessica Clarkson - Read the entire post here.
Hickman says she’s yet to receive an apology from Target and I don’t know if she’s received it since she posted her statement on the Target Nurse-In Facebook group. She is also receiving harassing and threatening calls and emails to her home. Unfortunately public perception remains hostile towards the breast feeding mom.  Hickman is extremely brave to step in the spotlight for moms who need to nurse in public everywhere.  I’d like to extend my  heartfelt thanks to Michelle Hickman for her unending courage and those who shared their photos with me!

Did you attend a nurse in? What was it like?


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