Mother Not Allowed to Breastfeed at Dillard’s
If you have a bad experience at an establishment, be sure to let people know. If attention is not brought to the matter, then things won’t change. Speaking of bad experiences…let me tell you about the not so lovely time I had at Dillard’s in Asheville, NC.
Dressing Room Drama
Firstly, I thought that it would be kind of me to be considerate of others during my attempt to breastfeed my daughter. I waited in line at one dressing room and was told due to the long line I could try a dressing room around the corner. I located the other dressing room but it also had a long line. Rather than try and get back into the first line, it made more since for me to proceed and take my place in this line.
After waiting for a little while, a lady left the dressing room. She notified the attendant that she would keep all her items. I had 2 items in my hand and just knew that she was going to ask me if I was ready to go next. Yep, that was a bad assumption. I stood there for a few more minutes before I decided to ask her if I could go into the dressing room. She did not even think I was worth speaking to. I had to ask her for directions on how to get into the dressing room. It was a line…yet, she spoke to everyone else. Ok…rant over, but I find that to be very rude. I had clothing for my child, but I also needed to nurse her.
There’s A Special Place for You
I shared with the attendant that I needed to use the dressing room. I also shared that I would also need to use it to nurse. She informed me that their store had an area dedicated just for breastfeeding in the back of the store at customer service. So…now I am being directed to a third location where I would be welcomed to a dedicated breastfeeding area. I’ve been in the nursing room at Buy Buy Baby and I must say that it is pretty nice. A little part of me just thought that the space Dillard’s had would be similar. The other part of me had different feelings. Anyhow, I happily made my way to the back of the store where I would locate this special area for me to nurse my baby.
On the way to the back of the store, I noticed a huge sign that read “RESTROOMS.” In my mind, I am saying my two favorite bad words. I mentally had to redirect my thoughts to focus on looking for the customer service desk. When I found it, the lady shared with me that there was NOT a dedicated area, but that she could help me find somewhere. By this time, 20 minutes had passed and I still had a hungry baby. However, before I continue to rant, I will mention that I do appreciate the lady who tried to help. She took me towards her break room, but because people were in there, it was not a suitable place for me to nurse.
As we were heading back into the store, the associate in the break room asked his fellow employee why I was not allowed to nurse in the dressing room. And her reply was… “They don’t want us using the dressing room for that on our busy days.”
Apparently, I am not an important enough customer for their store. I am going to take a guess. In their mind, I traveled an hour and some change from Greenville to their store, wandered in with my baby so that I could use their dressing room to nurse her with no intent to make a purchase. Right….that makes perfect sense. This whole situation partially feels illegal, but every part of it feels like discrimination.
Just Whip it Out
Let me tell you what I did. There was a bench in the middle of the store, I sat down, whipped a boob out and fed my girl.
I tried to be courteous. I tried to be graceful. And in my heart, I dared someone to say they were offended. No one did. What’s important, is that my daughter was fed.
While, I really needed a dress for a party that I will be attending at the end of this month, the way I was treated was not worth trying to look for something. If you have a baby that is breastfed, avoid this store, because in the event your baby is hungry then you will be sent to the back with the restrooms. Or….do go in and just whip it out when your baby is hungry, because babies have to eat.
Support a Great Mom Like You
Before those who bash breastfeeding start to criticize, please note that I had no expectation that Dillard’s would have a place dedicated just for me to nurse my baby. My attempt to locate a dressing room was out of consideration for others. Especially with the current stigma against mothers who breastfeed in public. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t have a problem with breastfeeding my child in public.
Furthermore, the law allows mothers the ability to breastfeed their baby in any location that food and drinks are permitted. This experience was just a reminder that women do not get the support they deserve. And because of that many women are discouraged from trying to breastfeed and miss out on the many benefits breastfeeding can provide to mom and baby.
If you would like to support moms who breastfeed, please send us an email at email@example.com and put “I Support” in the subject line. We will respond with more information about our breastfeeding movement and how you can help.