Breastfeeding is a healthy, normal, and natural way to feed a baby. It is also protected by law in many states, including Texas, where Brittany Warfield was told by a store manager that she couldn't nurse her baby in the store and would have to leave. This is not the first time that this has been an issue in a Hollister store, nor is it the only city it has happened in. Clearly, Hollister needs to apologize to Brittany Warfield and take steps to make sure that all their employees receive sensitivity training and know to treat nursing mothers with the same respect as any other customer.
- Hollister Co.
I recently learned of an incident in which a nursing mother, Brittany Warfield, was harassed and told to leave your store because she was breastfeeding her child (which Texas law explicitly permits). I had not planned on participating in the nationwide nurse-in, as I figured that it was an isolated incident and more indicative of one employee's attitude than of the company's. Then I found out that this is not the first time this has happened, nor is it the only location or city that it has happened in. That was when I decided that it was more indicative of a corporate attitude, or it would have been dealt with the first time and not been permitted to continue.
As though that weren't bad enough, your company has been very quick to respond publicly on your Facebook page to non-related complaints of poor customer service and negative experiences in your stores, but you haven't responded to the many people posting about the issue of breastfeeding mothers being bullied and kicked out of your stores. On top of that, women have had their posts deleted from your wall.
I am thoroughly disappointed that your company seems to support such discrimination and negative attitudes towards nursing mothers. As a mother to three, I have both bottle and breastfed my babies. Breastfeeding is a perfectly normal and natural way of feeding a child. There is nothing shameful or disgusting about it and it is not something that mothers should feel that they have to hide. It is not offensive or indecent. It is recommended the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, and many other well-known, reputable, and respected organizations as a healthy way of feeding children. I will be attending the nurse-in at my local Hollister store with other nursing mothers to help spread awareness that there is nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public, with or without a cover. I have been telling all my friends about this issue and urging them to attend the nurse-in's in their area, as well as encouraging them to join me in boycotting your company's products and those of any and all companies related to you.
I urge you to make a public statement apologizing for this disgusting incident and Ms. Warfield's treatment at the hands of your company (both the employee who directly treated her so poorly and your company's total apathy and lack of response or caring) and to educate all your employees of the legality of mothers breastfeeding and to support breastfeeding mothers everywhere.
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