Walmart Apologizes After Mom Asked To Stop Breastfeeding

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Walmart is apologizing to a B.C. mother after she was asked to move to a washroom when she started to breastfeed in public at one of the chain’s department stores.

Tanya Constable was at a Walmart store in Langford, British Columbia, yesterday morning when, her 11-month-old daughter, Myra, started to cry.

When she stopped to breastfeed the child, she was approached by an employee of the store.

“You can’t be here,” Constable, 27, said a female employee told her, suggesting she breastfeed in the washroom instead.

Constable, a child-care worker on maternity leave, asked to speak with a manager.

“The manager said that if someone complains, the store’s policy is to ask them to move,” she said.

According to Constable, there were no other customers in the baby section where she was nursing who could have complained. She left the store.

Kevin Groh, director of corporate affairs for Walmart Canada, apologized on behalf of the store, saying that for the employee to suggest that Constable move to a washroom or change room was wrong.

In fact, Groh said, Wal-Mart’s policy for years has been “absolutely black and white.”

“Customers can breastfeed in whatever manner they see fit anywhere in the store.”

Groh said Friday’s incident was a result of miscommunication. The employee who initially approached Constable did so not because she was breastfeeding, but because she was doing it on a rocking chair meant for display purposes only, he said.

He then went on to say he will be reminding their staff across Canada of the company’s policy.

Maybe they should also install nursing rooms, like some other stores have.

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SAHM of 2 boys and founder of GrowingYourBaby.com, World Traveled Family and The World We Share. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!

Comments (3)

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  1. Angela says:

    I actually am not that conservative, but I do feel like women should at least go to the washroom, especially in a place such as walmart where people bring their children. Yes, it’s natural but not everyone wants to see this, and not everyone should have to see this.

  2. really says:

    really? You sound very conservative and very unhygienic if you would breastfeed in a place where people use the toilet.

  3. Paul says:

    Angela – “at least go to the washroom”???. Have you ever visited a Wal-mart washroom. I shudder at the thought of even taking an infant into a Wal-mart washroom (given how incredibly filthy it usually is) let alone to feed. You may be unhygienic enough to do that to your own kid, but don’t expect others to do the same to theirs.

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