No Room at the Inn? Target Boots a Nursing Mother Mary

harper-woods-michigan-target-boots-breastfeeding-momMary and Jose and their newborn baby (perhaps in swaddling clothes?) were told “no room in the electronics aisle” at a Harper Woods, Mich., Target — not if mother Mary was going to keep breastfeeding that baby like she was.

But Mary and Jose didn’t stop. And they didn’t leave the store. So cops were called. And, well, I think we can safely assume lactaters of the greater Detroit area are coordinating their calendars for a big, wet, milky nurse-in.

Here’s how it spiraled out of control for Target:

On Sunday, Mary Martinez and her husband, Jose, were shopping the super store when four-week-old Raka, their third child, got hungry. So Mary nursed the baby.

Pretty soon, Target security came upon the weary mom and nursling and told her to stop. In fact, Jose tells MyFoxDetroit, security told her this: “It’s against the law. You have to go.”

But the couple didn’t go. Not yet. See, Jose is a cop and he knows his rights. Breastfeeding isn’t against the law any more than eating a bag of Cheetos is. Nobody had even complained (not that a complaint would make it illegal either!)

It wasn’t busy, Mary tells the news. “… One gentleman came through and… he complained about the prices,” [she] said.

The Martinez couple wouldn’t leave, so security called the cops, a move that Target corporate says ensured the safety of their guests. Because nothing endangers the safety of others like a breastfeeder letting down.


“I asked one of them if it was indeed illegal maybe in Harper Woods to breast-feed. He said, ‘No.’ And that was it. We got our stuff together and we left,” Jose Martinez said.

The manager of the Harper Woods Target said breastfeeding certainly isn’t discouraged inside of their store, which is interesting! Because I can imagine few things more discouraging of breastfeeding than having security guards, store managers and the police (the police!) gather round me and my hungry babies.

Maybe I’m too sensitive.

Blogger Crunchy Domestic Goddess has been in touch with Mary Martinez, who says that Target higher-ups have apologized to her, but that she really wants the “situation escalated” and “safety of our guests” lines taken out of their press release.

This incident happened at a strange time in Michigan, where lawmakers are considering outlawing bans on breastfeeding. Now who’s escalating the situation?

And some advice to corporate headquarters everywhere: perhaps employee training should include a line about your policy on breastfeeding, which should be something like, leaving nursing moms alone!

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Article Posted 7 years Ago

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