Sunday, October 08, 2006

Some at Brooklyn Babies "R" Us Still Not Digging Breast Feeding

We know we're not the only ones that are finding compelling irony in the results of the Daily News' "breast feeding test" and, specifically, the finding about the Babies "R" Us on Brooklyn's Bay Parkway. Seems like some employees at the store are still telling moms to put it away while shopping. And so, Babies "R" Us is one of the only places they checked in New York (including the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue, Le Cirque and an MTA bus) that tried to stop a breast feeding mother. (In fairness, a guard at the Metropolitan Museum put the brakes on the feeding by saying there was "no eating or drinking" at the museum.)

To quote:
After Toys "R" Us was the target of a high-profile "nurse-in" protest and warned by the New York Civil Liberties Union, I expect that employees at its corporate partner will politely ignore my breast-feeding. In the back of an aisle at the chain's Bay Parkway, Brooklyn, store, I feed my child quietly for five minutes - until a worker spots me.

"Excuse me, ma'am," she bellows. "We have a room where you can do that."

I explain that I had checked out the "mother's room" and found the sofa dirty, but she's undeterred.

"It's not good in the open like this...for the other people who can see," she presses.

When I remind her that I can legally breast-feed wherever I want, she changes her tune. "I just think you would be more comfortable," she says. "If you're comfortable here, that's fine."

Moments later, another clerk sees us and says, "Oh Lord!" She scurries off, perhaps to speak to a manager, and I brace for a new confrontation. But when she returns it's with the offer of a chair to use in the aisle and when I refuse it, she leaves us in peace.

Corporate spokeswoman Kathleen Waugh said the first worker broke store policy. An internal review is under way, and the chain may revamp its training.

"Any mother may breast-feed her child in the place of her choice in any of our stores," Waugh says.
So, all's well that ends well, one supposes, but when is every corporate cog at America's biggest kiddie/baby chainstore going to get the message?

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