A new mom says she was told to go outside to breastfeed her baby because she might spurt breast milk all over the wedding gowns in the shop.
Josephine Fenton had explained to the staff at Jean Jackson Couture that although her fiancé was able to stay with their baby while she tried on her dream dress, he might have to bring the baby in for a feed during her appointment. That was when she says the tone of the encounter turned quite sour, as the mother of the store’s owner said that would definitely not be OK because she might somehow spray milk all over all the other dresses.
The company contends it never said such a thing and that moms are welcome to nurse their babies in the waiting room. However, Fenton says that not only was she told over the phone that breastfeeding wasn’t allowed but was later told that she actually could breastfeed — outside in the street.
Fenton says she went through with the appointment because she really had her heart set on the dress, but by the time her appointment was over, she was pretty pissed. “I would have put the spurting comment down to a misjudgment and put it to the back of my mind,” she told The Daily Mail. “But after the second comment about breastfeeding out on the street, I was just so shocked. They kept treating me as if I had been the horrible one.”
She left a poor review for the business on its Facebook page, and the response she got from both the company and random strangers was less than stellar. The shop itself has come under fire, but many of the comments are in support of the store owner and not the mother.
If the story Fenton tells is completely accurate, then there is no way any of that was acceptable on the part of the shop. And as the comment above shows, there are still plenty of people out there who feel moms just shouldn’t breastfeed when out and about, because if they do, they only want to put themselves on display.
Fenton says it was recommended that she be fit for her dress a year before her wedding date, which means her baby is still young and needs to feed often. It would have been far nicer if the dress shop had worked with her instead of making her feel like she was in the wrong because she wanted to feed her baby.
The owners of the shop report that they’ve experienced harassment since this incident made its way into the news, which is distressing. But if they were in fact as crass as the mom reports (and why do so many appear to think she’s lying about the story?), then they will need to think about how they deal with the public, which does include brides-to-be who have babies they might need to breastfeed.
Women who breastfeed their babies in public aren’t doing it for fun, to show off their boobs, to destroy a business or to spray milk all over wedding dresses. They want to feed their kids, and that was all Fenton wanted to do.