It all started with one mom’s experience of being harassed in a Target store. 35-year-old Michelle Hickman of Houston Texas happened to be breastfeeding her child in the said department store when a staff asked her to transfer to a fitting room to nurse in private.
Mortified, Hickman complained to Target management, but contrary to the official statement on breastfeeding in-store, she was told, “just because it’s a woman’s legal right to nurse a baby in public doesn’t mean she should walk around the store flaunting it.” There was purportedly not even a trace of being apologetic or regretful from Target’s side.
According to Target, they are by no means against breastfeeding in their stores. In fact, their policy states that:
"We want everyone to feel comfortable shopping at Target. Guests who choose to breastfeed in public areas of the store are welcome to do so without being made to feel uncomfortable. Additionally, we support the use of fitting rooms for women who wish to breastfeed their babies, even if others are waiting to use the fitting rooms."
With this, Hickman expressed her sentiment to fellow moms who quickly rallied up to form a nationwide breastfeeding movement, to “nurse-in” at Target stores across the U.S., which took place last December 28 and participated in by hundreds of breastfeeding mothers in different Target branches.
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In order to help establish breastfeeding as an acceptable activity of mothers wherever they may please, Roth set up a Facebook group to organize the nurse-in, which gathered more than 6,700 members.
While the actual nurse-ins had varied participation turnouts, Hickman and her co-breastfeeding advocates feel overwhelmed with the attention they’ve received from the public, and remain optimistic.