We’ve heard plenty of awful stories of moms being shamed, banned and otherwise mistreated for breastfeeding their children. This story, however, takes things even further.
Caroline Starmer, a 28-year-old mom from the U.K., recounted a traumatizing encounter she had at a local store. In a post on the Facebook support group Free to Feed, she said she was quietly feeding her 9-month-old daughter, Paige, in a corner of Primark when a security guard asked her to leave. When she refused and proclaimed her right to feed her child, things reportedly got ugly.
She says the guard “physically removed” her daughter from her breast and took her. She told The Mirror, “The pain was excruciating, because she was pulled off my breast against her will, she instantly clamped down with her two bottom teeth causing a lot of pain to me. I was stunned, I didn’t know what to do, this stranger had hold of my daughter and was walking off with her screaming while I had my breast exposed and my other daughter in the pushchair.
“When I regained my senses I sprinted after him and stood in front of him,” she continued. “I grabbed Paige off him and he just sneered at me and walked off.”
Rage. That’s all I can imagine feeling if someone did this to my child. To be ignorant and rude is one thing, but to physically lay hands on someone’s baby like that while a mother is breastfeeding is beyond outrageous.
Starmer says she lodged a complaint with police, but so far no action has been taken. The store actually denies the incident and in a statement told The Independent that, after reviewing camera footage, they could “see no evidence that she was approached by anyone during this period.”
As much as I want to believe that no one would treat a breastfeeding mother this way, the fact is that we’ve seen so many other incidents that sadly make her claims extremely believable. In any case, let’s hope they get to the bottom of it and, if in fact they can prove it happened, that some heads seriously roll.