August is National Breastfeeding Month, but apparently Anthropologie didn't get the memo.
Ingrid Wiese Hesson slammed the women's retailer store after she was asked to leave the sales floor by an employee at the Beverly Hills location for nursing her baby, and subsequently taken to their stock room bathroom to finish breastfeeding.
"My first time being escorted out of a store for Breastfeeding. After purchasing $700 worth of clothing, my baby started crying so I sat down in the back of a nearly empty store and put on a cover," Hesson wrote on Facebook. "Within moments I was asked to do it elsewhere. Happy Breastfeeding month anthropologie!!"
She continued with a "nipplegate" update that included an email she sent to corporate:
I'm writing to share an unfortunate event that occurred at the Beverly Hills anthropologie location. As a long time Anthro member and loyalist, it seemed natural to do my first postpartum shopping outing at Anthroologie. Anxious to use my birthday discount, I brought my six week old infant along and we both smiled as I walked away from the register with $700 worth of Breastfeeding friendly clothing. But baby began to cry and I found a chair at the back of the store and sat down to feed him. Imagine my surprise when the manager Meredith approached, "I'm here to escort you to the ladies room where you can finish feeding your baby." Shocked. I unlatched the infant, he began to cry, and we did the walk of shame to the stock room bathroom. There was nothing but a toilet in the room. "Sorry we don't have a chair." I left the store embarrassed and called back to talk to Meredith and verify what I had just experienced. "I thought you and the other customers would be more comfortable off the sales floor," she explained. Please inform Meredith that CA law grants me the right to Breastfeed in public. As a store that caters to women, I would hope your staff would be more understanding. Meredith said, "we must be fair to all the customers, not just moms." Meredith, moms are customers too. At least the many women that have already liked my Facebook post in the past hour seem to think so. Shame on you anthropologie.
Corporate responded on their Facebook page with the following:
We are disappointed to hear of the unfortunate experience that occurred in our Beverly Hills store. As a company comprised of hundreds of mothers, which seeks to put the customer first, we celebrate women in all of their life stages. Given our staff's dedication to providing exceptional customer service, we welcome this as an opportunity to enhance our customer experience by providing further training and education for our staff. Our aim is that all women – all mothers – be comfortable in our stores and delight in their relationship with Anthropologie.
Regardless of getting their attention, Hesson and fellow moms put together a breastfeeding sit-in at the store, and posted a photo of the women with their children and signs of protest on her Facebook page.
She wrote, "100+ women Breastfeeding at the Beverly Hills anthropologie!!! Mommy strong! Refuse to move! Know your rights!!"
Just so we're all on the same page, according to the California Civil Code, "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, except the private home or residence of another, where the mother and the child are otherwise authorized to be present."
And that's that.