You wouldn’t expect a store that caters to women, especially one selling garments of a, shall we say, intimate nature, to come down on the side of judging women — but according to one mom, that’s exactly what Victoria’s Secret did to her, when an employee of the lingerie chain told her she couldn’t breastfeed her baby in their store.
TODAY Moms reports that mom Ashley Clawson, 27, was shopping with her 4-month-old son Beckett at her local Victoria’s Secret at a mall in Austin, Texas, when her infant started crying with hunger. As a store clerk rang up Ashley’s purchases, the mom asked if she could use an empty dressing room to feed Beckett.
Before the clerk could answer, another employee interrupted to deny Ashley’s request. Instead, the clerk said that the mom could feed Beckett in the alley behind the store, where nobody would see her. Ashley says there were about three customers besides herself in the shop at the time.
Completely confused, Ashley told TODAY that she was “shocked and hurt” that a store selling bras and panties to women would have a problem with a mom breastfeeding in a private dressing room. After she had to resort to feeding Beckett in the mall’s public restroom, Ashley went on Facebook to air her feelings, and to submit a formal complaint. After a local news channel aired her story, Ashley said the company was prompted to issue an apology and the promise of a gift card, which she has yet to receive.
Breastfeeding advocates are rallying around Ashley, and hope to stage nurse-ins at Victoria’s Secret stores in response to the incident. However, the company issued a statement to the press, saying that the company has “...a longstanding policy permitting mothers to nurse their children in our stores and we are sorry that it was not followed in this case.”
Ashley responded, “They have a huge demographic of new moms that they are missing out on. I feel that Victoria’s Secret doesn’t even care… [It’s] like, if you are a mom you don’t have a right to feel sexy.”
Source: TODAY Moms