Nursing mothers occupied the chairs inside, and lined the street outside, of the Anthropologie store in Beverly Hills, staging a nurse-in to protest what they perceived as the mistreatment of a fellow mommy who was asked to finish breastfeeding her infant off of the sales floor.
“When I heard what happened, I was just really outraged. I couldn’t even believe it,” said protesting mother Dr. Catherine Begovic, her toddler daughter in hand, as she spoke with a reporter from the local CBS affiliate in Los Angeles.
The nurse-in was sparked after social media was set ablaze with complaints from women and mommies who expressed that they were appalled by what Ingrid Wiese-Hesson posted on Facebook that she had experienced at the Anthropologie store on South Beverly Drive.
“I thought that I was being discrete but within a couple of moments I was approached by someone who identified herself as the store manager and she said “‘I’m here to escort you to the ladies room so that you can finish breastfeeding,'” Wiese-Hesson said notes CBS.
She said she had to finish nursing on a toilet in the Anthropologie store’s bathroom. “She [the manager] opened up the bathroom and she said, ‘sorry there’s no chair.’ And of course, the only thing in the bathroom is the toilet seat.”
Wiese-Hesson made it a point to note that while the manager did not find the breastfeeding to be offensive, she asked Wiesen-Hesson to complete feeding the baby in the ladies room because “she felt that there might be other cultures present that would,” find the move offensive according to KTLA.
Some shoppers reportedly did not agree with the stage-in. One woman said “it’s offensive.” She noted that while “being naked is natural,” that she thinks the nursing women “should go somewhere private to breastfeed.”
Anthropologie’s general manager reportedly called Wiese-Hesson Thursday morning to apologize for the incident. The store issued an apology and statement as well. A copy of there statement posted on Facebook can be found by clicking here.
Under Section 43.3 of California law, “a mother may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private,
except the private home or residence of another, where the mother and
the child are otherwise authorized to be present.” In other words, businesses are not permitted to prohibit women from breastfeeding or to relegate them to a restroom, notes CBS.
“This is nature’s bottle right here,” stated one nursing mom, in reference to her breasts. Another protesting mommy held up a hot pink sign which read “These breasts were made for nursing, and
that’s just what they’ll do.”
Ironically, August is breastfeeding awareness month.