Moms Protest By Breastfeeding Publicly at Odessa Target

By Jen Kastner
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- Nursing mothers across the country breastfed in protest on Wednesday at various Target stores for what they call an attack on their rights.

This nationwide nurse-in was caused when a Houston mom says she was approached by employees while she was breastfeeding inside the store. She was told to move to a more discreet location, sparking an uproar that spread throughout the country.

On Wednesday, NewsWest 9 interviewed nursing moms at the Odessa Target, where they breastfed together, in public and didn't care who saw it.

"Do you have to be discreet eating a sandwich? I mean, a baby's got to eat. If you don't have a cover or the means to be discreet, your baby still has to eat," mother, Patricia Lacy, said.

"If a mother's covered and she's comfortable, then that's fine. But, if she doesn't feel like she has to cover herself [then she shouldn't]. A lot of wiggly babies pull the blankets off and it is kind of a hassle," mother, Tasha Lodge, said.

Target says their store policy is that women can breastfeed however they want inside their stores.

Target Representative, Beatriz Merino, says, "We're a very family-oriented company as it is and as a whole so anyone that wants to breastfeed can do it anywhere in the store. That includes the fitting rooms, even if there's a line."

Target admits those employees probably didn't know the rules.

"Sometimes people are so new and we change staffing sometimes and they're not aware of that policy so we're just trying to make that effort so that everyone is aware of it," Merino said.

In fact, it's not just the store policy. Texas law states, "A mother is entitled to breastfeed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be."

On our NewsWest 9 Facebook page, more than 150 of our viewers had strong opinions. One viewer wrote, "Women shouldn't have to go into the restroom to feed their baby! Don't like an exposed breast? Don't look!"

Another viewer wrote, "I'm all for the breastfeeding thing. But must you do it in public? I've seen women half exposed in public. I don't think it's appropriate.'

These moms say the media is still party to blame for people's discomfort.

"Breasts are sexualized in our society," Lodge said.

However, that's still no excuse, they say.

"Whenever I nurse my baby, I don't expose anymore skin than bikini models in ads that are everywhere," Lodge said.