Another national chain has made the mistake of becoming a repeat breastfeeding offender. A mother, Brittany Warfield, was nursing her seven month old baby while covered with a jacket in a Houston Hollister when she was harassed by the store manager, called out and humiliated for doing what was within her legal right.
What does the law say? “Texas Health Code Ann. § 165.002 (1995) authorizes a woman to breastfeed her child in any location.”
Listen to her story:
Hollister has yet to make a public statement or apology regarding this shameful event, even though Hollister got into hot water back in 2010 for a similar incident in another Texas location. An employee of the Hollister Co. store at Vista Ridge Mall in Dallas ordered a breastfeeding mother, Naomi Yap, and her infant out of a fitting room and demanded that she leave the store, claiming breastfeeding on their property was against Hollister policy. Click this link to watch the NBC news video on the 2010 Hollister incident. Breastfeeding mothers like Brittany Warfield and Naomi Yap should never be denigrated, treated as criminals, be asked to leave for doing what is necessary for their children.
Shame on Hollister for yet another unacceptable transgression against families, for allowing their staff members to break the law and harass breastfeeding mothers. When will they be held accountable for their actions? When will they promise to properly train their staff on the correct and decent handling of breastfeeding mothers and children? Enough is enough. Please join Brittany Warfield and other breastfeeding supporters at your local Hollister on January 5th, 2012 at 3:00 PM your local time. Details on the Facebook event page here. Please share this event and posters!
Hollister: Do what is right. Apologize. Create a breastfeeding policy and train your staff.
(These can be found in my Activism folder on Pinterest.)
Has this ever happened to you? Will you be participating in the nurse-in?
**UPDATE 1/5/2013: NURSE-IN DAY** It is only noon here in California where I am in California but the Nationwide Hollister Nurse-in has now started on the east coast! Hundreds of mothers, babies, and supporters are already at their local Hollister or are on their way. The main Houston Galleria event is due to be BIG. Photos are starting to stream in. Here is Britney Kassner in Cincinatti, Ohio nursing her baby in a Hollister. **2nd UPDATE** The nurse-in has wrapped up across the nation and in Canada. Here is the main mama, Brittany Warfield at the Hollister Nurse-in 2013 at the Houston Galleria. Dozens of supporters came out today in Houston to support her. Michelle Hickman reported over 50 moms attended so there were well over a hundred mothers, supporters, and babies and children sitting in front of Hollister this afternoon in Houston alone. Media attention was generally favorable, as the news stations usually are with national nurse-ins. This photo of media attention is of Jodine Chase at the Hollister Nurse-in, Edmonton Canada. Photo by Karen Speed. My own local event was held in the San Francisco Bay Area. It took place at the Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton, CA. We had at least five moms with five children and one husband come out for support. Here are a few of our photos. Me with my little 16 month old nursing in front of Hollister’s ridiculous sign. I made a poster from a few of the ladies that attended my nurse-in.
One of my photos from the poster, middle, of Christy Wisnewski, made BuzzFeed. She is #25 on this list, 32 Photos From The Great Hollister Breastfeed-A-Thon Of 2013. The mama on the right, Crystal Avila Langen, made Best for Babes. Xela is also known as the Happy Hippie Homemaker if you want to check out her blog.
Most of the malls and Hollister stores were very accommodating, or at least didn’t engage in any negative confrontation. After all, the mothers and supporters were doing what was legal, nursing in public, and were being peaceful. A select few malls didn’t pass the breastfeeding friendly test though. According to Elizabeth Hartmann, security tried to kick the supporters out of Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, IL Thankfully, the Hollister manager came outside and told the security guard come back and apologize because they could be there.
Photo by Amanda Rowe with the caption, “Lakeland Square Mall Lakeland, FL security telling us we couldn’t sit but could stand.” At the Concord Mall in Delaware, according to Diana Hitchens, her and her sister were questioned (see below) because “mall security reported us for exposing ourselves.” She said the cop was nice but said because the mall is private property, they could tell them to leave. Later when someone complained to the Concord Mall’s Facebook page about the mistreatment of nursing mothers earlier that day, the mall responded by telling them that breastfeeding is an “eyesore” and then compared sexual foreplay to nourishment of a child. Read this poster: Outrageous! Here is the news coverage on Concord Mall’s mistreatment of nursing mothers: Best for Babes covered this incident too: Concord Mall Equates Breastfeeding Babies to “Sucking on Wife’s Breasts in Public”; attempts Cover Up Many mothers nursed while sitting in front of the store, standing and shopping, or relaxing in Hollister recliners. One mall, Silver City Galleria in Taunton, MA offered this sad little nursing area in a bathroom stall. (Photo by Hollie Minke Marcotte) Let me just say again that nursing in a bathroom is not sanity and is not acceptable by any standards. Call the Silver City Galleria and tell them that this “nursing mothers’ room” is unacceptable. 508-823-0005 And there were also people, not just mall cops, who complained about the nursing mothers. Krystle Lynn Tewksbury was breastfeeding her son to show support for Brittany Warfield all by herself in Watertown New York, sitting in a Hollister chair when a group of young teenage girls complained to Hollister about her. I don’t see a thing wrong with Krystle or her child here. Why does anyone think tattling on a nursing mother, trying to get them kicked out, is acceptable? Mothers and children have the right to nurse. Period. Thankfully, a Hollister employee told them she couldn’t do anything because the law protects breastfeeding mothers. So, while at the end of the day I would like to think about all of the positives that have come from today – mothers supporting each other and getting out there in public to help normalize breastfeeding, even a few stories of support from Hollister employees and kind treatment, Hollister corporate has still yet to even acknowledge today’s event or make an apology. Too many malls showed their true colors and were scared by groups of breastfeeding moms. Why is that? Moms can spend their money at the mall, just not gather to nurse and shop?
Watch the best news video of the nurse-in here with this zinger, ”But anyone who has a problem with moms doing what Mother Nature built them to do, well, sucks.”
- Hollister Nurse-In: Breastfeeding Advocates Feud With Shopping Mall Following Protest (VIDEO) – Huffington Post
- Central Ohio Moms Stand Up For Breastfeeding Rights - NBC4i
- Moms Stage Breast-Feeding Protest - Patch
- (Video) Hollister stores at center of breastfeeding controversy – ABC57
- Breastfeeding sit-in expected at Northwoods Mall - Live 5 News
- Group plans ‘nurse-in’ at North Charleston clothing store - ABC NEWS 4
- Mothers in Costa Rica were inspired to protest their local mall after a similar incident happened. Breastfeeding Moms Hold Nurse-In Protest At Costa Rican Mall - Huffington Post
Search for more news on the Hollister Nurse-in by clicking here.
- Nurse-ins: What are they good for? - The Badass Breastfeeder
- Check out Hollister’s skin flashing ads in this post about the last incident: Nursing mom kicked out of Hollister – Seriously, Hollister?? - Simple Baby
- Racy Hollister Okay with Sexy Pics, Not Breastfeeding, for Tweens - Best for Babes
- Read it: Every Argument Against NIP Debunked – Paa.la
- Claire’s Nurse-in on New Year’s Eve 2012 – Paa.la
- Breastfeeding in Public: Participating in the Target Nurse-in - Paa.la
- Upcoming Nurse-Ins - Paa.la
- Nationwide Applebee’s Nurse-In 2012 - Paa.la
- My interview in TIME - Paa.la
- Participating in the International Facebook Nurse-In – Photos from Menlo Park & International News - Paa.la