Among the hot topics discussed by moms, breastfeeding in public ranks near the top of the list. Pictures circulate of celebrity mothers breastfeeding. News reports circulate revealing which companies have harassed mothers trying to breastfeed in public – even discreetly. But the retail giant Target has come to the rescue with its publicly leaked breastfeeding policy.
Public Breastfeeding Woes
Mothers are divided on the appropriateness of breastfeeding in public, and the public is even more divided. Some feel a mother should feed her baby at any time, even it if means exposing her breasts in public because that is essentially what the breasts were designed to do. Others suggest perhaps a cover or blanket to allow the mother to feed without exposing herself. Still others argue that babies shouldn’t have to eat with a blanket on their head and that stores should provide a place for mothers to breastfeed or leave them alone.
Target has been training its employees to do both.
Clean Breastfeeding Locations
Many breastfeeding mothers have stories and complaints about breastfeeding in public. They are asked to leave a store or encouraged to go and feed their babies in a public bathroom. Target, a favorite of mothers, has recognized what these mothers need and put the appropriate steps into the store training manual.
The Target breastfeeding training policy states:
Guests may openly breastfeed in our stores or ask where they can go to breastfeed their child. When this happens, remember these points:
- Target’s policy supports breastfeeding in any area of our stores, including our fitting rooms, even if others are waiting
- If you see a guest breastfeeding in our stores, do not approach her
- If she approaches and asks you for a location to breastfeed, offer the fitting room (do not offer the restroom as an option)
If you have any questions, partner with your leader.
It appears Target has settled on a policy that should please all breastfeeding mothers. Those who want to feed in the shoe section of the store can do so with the support of the store. And those who would like a bit of privacy will be directed to the fitting rooms, a clean location far from public toilets.
Target Gets Breastfeeding Right
While there are still some who would rather not ever see a baby eating away from its home, public breastfeeding will be an area forever debated much like children in restaurants and babies in movie theaters.
But after the policy leak this week, Target has become an even bigger darling among mothers for getting breastfeeding right. Now if only they could sort out a few other policy issues customers are concerned about.
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