On Wednesday, mothers all over the country mobilized their babies and their breasts to stage ‘nurse-ins’ at more than 250 Target stores.
The breastfeeding protest was triggered by events on November 29, when a Houston mother named Michelle Hickman was asked by Target employees to relocate to a fitting room after she had begun to discreetly nurse while sitting on the floor of the women’s department. According to an interview Hickman gave to ABCNews.com, the employees “rolled their eyes” and “gave her dirty looks” when she refused. Eventually, more than eight Target employees simply surrounded her. Texas law permits Hickman to breastfeed publicly.
Hickman’s story gained attention from other moms, and soon, a Facebook page organized to stage a national nurse-in. More than 7,000 women joined the page. Best for Babies, a non-profit that seeks to eliminate breastfeeding barriers, tried to meditate between the group and Target for a ‘proactive’ resolution; however, Target’s response seemed to be too little, too late.
So the nurse-in was on. While some stores only had one woman publicly breastfeeding for the cause, others had 50 moms or more. The atmosphere at most of the stores was festive and fun, and there were no major incidences with Target employees.
What’s next for the group? The moms are working with Best for Babies to lobby for nationwide legislation that protects breastfeeding moms (45 states have such pro-breastfeeding laws).
Don’t miss the latest from Being Pregnant – Like Us on Facebook!