Today is “Target International Nurse-In Day” at Target stores. Why? Because an employee had the unmitigated gall to ask a customer to move to a changing room to nurse her baby. The nerve of that employee — asking someone to stop doing something that might make others uncomfortable. Where do stores get off trying to keep the majority of their customers happy?
Sure, women have the legal right to nurse their babies. After all, “it’s a normal, natural thing to do.” Well, so are farting, nudity, intercourse, and a variety of bathroom activities. And we generally don’t do those in public. When an activity is deemed offensive or discomfiting to a majority of people, it’s considered polite to do that thing in private.
Having the legal right to do something doesn’t mean you have to do it. And you don’t have to do it in order to preserve your right to do it; the law protecting that right is already on the books. So, nursing women, it would appear your only reason for participating in today’s Target nurse-in is to deliberately offend people and poke your collective thumb in the corporate eye without having to turn to an online resume builder the next day. What a great service to nursing women everywhere.
48 thoughts on “Today’s ridiculous Target ‘nurse-in’”
You tell ’em PT! And, at the risk of sounding all macho and controlling, I wouldn’t want my mate exposing her boob(s) for all the world to see anyway. I think the offer to let her move to a changing room was an excellent way for everyone to get what they wanted. Unless, of course, what she wanted was to offend!
I would hope most men share your attitude and most women share mine. But shy, aging prude that I am, I’m probably out of touch with today’s “liberated women.”
Having been repeatedly sickened by the way I saw women being treated while growing up, I really admire those who stand up for themselves. But the old “freedom ain’t free” thing is very true as well, and we must show the same respect for our rights that we demand from others.
I’m sorry that I’m not being very clear, but I’m suffering from some pretty bad sleep deprivation due to a little “pest” problem one of my very rare guests apparently left me with. Among my other issues, I also have an extreme insect phobia, and the management is taking forever to do something about it! 😯
Eww. Lots of different things can keep me awake at night, but that one would take priority over everything else. Hope it gets resolved soon. Like, today.
Not today I’m afraid. The management says the earliest they can “get to it” will be next week. On the bright (and fuzzy-minded) side, I was wondering just yesterday what the correct spelling for “Eww” was. You have to at least be in the ballpark just to do a proper search! 🙄
I’m with you, PT. Nursing is for our babies, when they need it. It is not a tool of aggression.
We have to question who we are benefitting by nursing in overtly public places. Are we doing it for our children? really? Because I would have thought a quiet, calm environment would trump a noisy public arena any day. The other possibility is that we are doing it because we are angry with people who are not catering for mothers’ needs. This needs sorting: but I don’t think this is the way to do it.
Brandishing our babies as they feed – a sacrosanct moment in my children’s childhoods -benefits angry mothers, not babies in need of calm.
Oh, my… LOL! I saw “Target Nurse-in Day” come across Twitter earlier, didn’t check it out because I thought it had something to do with medical nurses! I never in my life would have thought that nursing mothers would band together to encroach on the public to openly display their nursing “rights.” I’m with you… there may be an isolated incident when one must nurse in public view, but I agree. This is an intimate moment between you and your child. Keep it to yourself. I’m a woman and really have no desire to watch a baby nurse in public. There are some “old-school” ethics which should not go away… this is one of them. Same thing with the other items, i.e. farting… please, I know this stuff must be done, but please… take it away from me. I really don’t want to see, nor smell, some normal body functions.
Sad to say this is by no means the first “nurse-in.” I wrote about one in August 2010. And at least a year before that, there was a huge flap over Facebook taking down photos of women breastfeeding their babies.
And, in afterthought… yes, mom’s… you may have the right to nurse in public. But when being in public, I have the right to not have to view it…. especially if I’m shopping. I’ll go to a maternity ward if I want to see nursing in action.
I read one report about a women who was outraged at having been “humiliated and harassed” by employees for nursing her baby in the store. Apparently it never dawned on her that she could have avoided all that unpleasantness …
It’s all about choice. Better to think about the reaction first before doing the action.
Pump the breasts, carry a cooler, and put the boobs away. Seriously. I’m a feminist, and the whole “nursing in public” thing just strikes me as rude. As you say, it’s also natural to do other things, but we don’t do them in public because we have manners. I dislike Target for other reasons, but in this case, I hope the employees staged a counter-protest, like a “Belch-In.”
All your comments… wow. As a breastfeeding mother of a 10 month old I’m totally offended! All of the “normal” actions you list in your blog post are sexual (except farting). We are not talking about anything sexual here. We are talking about feeding our babies in the most natural and healthy way possible. The fact that a woman’s breast exposed to feed an infant has become considered disgusting, rude, offensive or abnormal is sad.
Pandionna, I don’t know if you have kids or not, but a lot of breastfeeding babies cannot or should not take bottle as they may lead to nipple confusion, so I find it offensive to tell me, a mother, to put a bottle to my baby’s mouth. Also, pumping is not NEARLY as effective as baby sucking, so you are really uninformed. The two are not mutually equal.
I also feel the sentiment that mother’s should have to “shame” themselves to feeding at home or in a stall ridiculous. We are busy busy women, especially those of us who are single mamas like myself. I don’t think I should have to hide or stay at home just because baby is hungry. And sometimes (months 0-3) those feedings take 45 minutes.
My advice to you all is get over it. Maybe once the “stigma” of a mother doing something GOOD for her baby goes away, more women will breastfeed and the obesity of babies will lower, the amount of sickness in children will lower, the breast cancer rates for breastfeeding mothers will lower, and both baby and mother will be healthier all around. It’s really the most selfless thing a mother (and observer) can do.
“All of the ‘normal’ actions you list in your blog post are sexual … ” Really? Since I listed nudity, I assume you must consider it “sexual” (your word, not mine). A woman’s exposed (ie, naked) breast has had a sexual connotation for centuries; it’s hardly a recent development. And yet you and your friends who breastfeed in public have decided to label it “normal and natural” and proceed to flout public sensibilities. Perhaps, if you keep pushing, the rest of us will eventually become innured to your lack of modesty. But for now, it is at the very least inconsiderate of others and should be done in private. If you want to feed your baby in public, take a bottle. (That’s what I did, and my son lived to tell the tale.) Because unless you’ve personally ascertained that all those around you approve, you should assume you are in the minority and you are the one who should “get over it.”
Yes, a woman’s breast is sexual if out and about on it’s own. But with a baby attached? Really? You find that sexual? Maybe there’s something wrong with people in general if they find a mom feeding her child sexual. Ew.
Here is a blog that has many pictures of art depicting Mary BREASTFEEDING Jesus. Without a cover. So yes, the sexualization of a woman’s breast feeding her child is a more recent development.
And you know at one point, many people thought it was “inconsiderate” for black people to sit at a certain part of the bus. Or that being gay “should be done in private”. Hmm, those people were what, ignorant at best?
And I’m pretty sure minorities are protected in this country, and if I am really in the minority, I should deserve the government’s protection, as well as protection from the tyranny, i.e. YOU.
Agreed @TWENTY SOMETHING LIFE… Breasts as solely sexual features is a largely new and largely American issue. In Europe (for example) it is not abnormal to have topless beaches and advertisements for things as simple as deodorant to show bare breasts. It’s not meant for sexual gratification in any way. It’s just a part of the body… with a biologically intended purpose that has been perverted in the last couple of centuries.
“If you want to feed your baby in public, take a bottle.”
Guess what. My son CAN NOT take a bottle. He literally CAN NOT get nutrition from a bottle. He was born with a severe tongue tie and a severe lip tie and cannot get suction around a bottle in order to drink from it. So what am I supposed to do? Seclude myself at home? Deny my child food because it might offend someone else (which is ridiculous because TV, magazines, advertizements, and teenage brats show more breast every day than I ever do while nursing). Get off your high horse and let mothers feed their babies in the way that is NATURAL.
As for the breast having a sexual connotation for centuries, breastfeeding is accepted as an every day part of life in many countries world wide. Art from nearly every century up to the most recent one or two has shown naked breasts and/or nursing women in common every day art (not to be used for sexual gratification purposes). It seems to me that you’re being as selective with your view of what is “normal” as you claim others are. Regardless of how long Society has tried to suppress a mother’s natural ability to feed her child it is still supression. Women were considered property for centuries and not smart enough or strong enough, or too hysterical to really do anything on their own. So since that’s been around for centuries we should accept that too right, because it’s “hardly a recent development”. Give me a break. I’ll nurse my kid where I want when I want. And guess what, if I know you’re there giving me the stink eye for FEEDING MY CHILD, I’ll be MORE likely to just pull my shirt up and latch him on, not less.
A breastfeeding mother’s lack of modesty? Yes, because we enjoy “exposing” ourselves to the masses JUST to nourish our children. Give me a break! I thought feminists tried to encourage women to take back their rights, their bodies, their choices? Not tell them to go hide in a bathroom stall to feed their children. This is a sad era we live in when something as basic and natural as nursing your child is seen a vulgar or inappropriate.
AMEN TO THAT!!!!!!!!
Modesty…..Look at a fashion magazine and then tell me about modesty. The sexualization of our natural human bodies and what they were created to do to perpetuate the human race is despicable and disheartening. Shame on you for this post!
It’s a sad commentary on American culture that it is completely acceptable to drive thru to the window of a fast food restaurant, order your child a combination of chemicals that only minimally resembles food and be considered a good parent. Yet it is considered by these same people as impolite to nourish a baby in the healthiest way possible.
The one year old with a big-mac in Target is adorable, even though there’s a strong likelihood that grease will end up on the clothing, etc, that child will possibly puke it all up later somewhere else (in public), and the parents are contributing to an epidemic of obesity and type II diabetes that will cost the system millions of dollars.
The one year old nursing discreetly in Target is a threat, even though there’s a strong likelihood that this child would be screaming if the mother had not cared enough to feed their child on demand – which lowers the chances of this child being obese later on, and reduces the risk of diabetes, along with many other health issues, saving the system millions of dollars.
American has the potential to be the greatest country on Earth; however, it is backwards thinking and confused morality that is at the heart of so many cultural issues. But I guess the superior American justice and health systems do a better job of parenting than most parents.
I can only assume that all of the people who want mothers who nourish their children in the way their bodies were designed, also tell women who walk around in low cut shirts or tankinis or the like that they must go home or cover up as well. Having given my human babies, human milk, made from my human mammary glands for years, I can safely say that I expose far less skin than the average teenager I teach. I hope that mothers will continue to use their mammary glands for their intended purpose so that, perhaps, one day the act will be seen for what it is: NORMAL.
Agreed… also, I see several women in that picture at least 2 of whom are nursing….and I see no boobies on display! Do you? It’s not like we breastfeeding moms just walk around with ’em out jiggling around. They are covered by a baby at minimum, and for many moms by a cover as well.
Considering that the father of my first living child (who was very abusive to me) told me I wasn’t allowed to nurse due to the fact that my boobs were “HIS”. Then when I had my 2nd child, he wasn’t around, so I breastfed my daughter. My son is now on 4 different medicines daily, my daughter (the breastfed child) is excelling in EVERY way possible, Well, I WOULD HAVE BEEN THERE BOOBIES OUT TO MAKE MY POINT. Props to the Nursing moms at TARGET AND EVERYWHERE. Oh, and if seein a boob flop out so that a child can EAT bothers you ppl…. MAYBE YOU have the issue. Not the mother’s using what God intended for them to use!!!!!!
By the way, the anonymous thing wasn’t intended. My Name is Tausha Naomi SimsKisner and I proudly fed my daughter GOD’s INTENDED WAY!!!!!
AMEN to all my fellow breastfeeding mamas!!!!!!!!!!! It is so sad that I am made to feel ashamed for doing the BEST THING I could possibly do for my child. How would you feel if you had to eat in a bathroom. Have you ever been in a public bathroom? I don’t even like using a public bathroom to GO TO THE BATHROOM because half of the time they are unsanitary and disgusting. And covering up is not always an option. Have you ever layed under a blanket for an extended amount of time? IT GETS HOT! I’m not going make my baby sweat it out underneath the blanket. There are many things in life that will make us uncomfortable and we may not always see eye to eye. But if you don’t like it, look away. It’s not like we’re following you around taunting you with it.
Those were all the points I was going to make. Well said & Amen!
I hate offending people, but I’ve been forced to become more outspoken to stick up for my (and my baby’s) rights. As a breastfeeding mom who’s baby would not accept a bottle, I feel that I should still have equal rights. And that means not getting banished from society to feed my baby. =/ If you have not been forced to sit in bathrooms, dressing rooms, etc. countless times, you don’t know how awful it is. It’s ok the first few times but for 6 or more months? With every baby I ever have? And you know, if more people breastfeed in public, it will become more normal. It’s important to get the word out that breastfeeding is NORMAL. That is what nurse ins are trying to do. The fact that is is shameful, dirty, gross, sexual, or embarrassing to most people is the reason breastfeeding rates are so low. If breastfeeding rates would rise, we’d save a lot of lives and money on health care! Don’t discriminate against breastfeeding moms. It’s like racism or homophobia. You’re basically saying, yes you can be whoever you are, as long as you go into a bathroom to do it. I know that nurse ins can seem ridiculous but if you would walk in my shoes for a mile, you’d understand.
the arguments against nursing in public are old and stale. and as if the law of nature isn’t enough, humans manmade laws are on the side of the breastfeeding mother and her child. it’s not up to the breastfeeding mother to get over it and do what other people want her to, it’s on everyone else to just deal with this reality.
persons of color don’t ride in the back of the bus anymore, and you wouldn’t dare ask them to. women are allowed to vote and you wouldn’t dare try to stop them. so why try to step on the rights of breastfeeding mothers? i don’t believe it’s people’s intentions to deliberately be horrible bigots, but when it comes to things like this that is exactly what is going on. a little tolerance is definitely in order.
for whatever reason, whether a baby can’t take a bottle because of lip tie, or won’t take a bottle because she doesn’t like them, or even if it is simply the mother’s desire to nourish her child in the most natural way possible, she should be welcome to do that. Nurse ins happen because people have the right to protest in the country and stand up for what’s right. if we didn’t have that right, women still would not be equal, gays and people of other races would be discriminated against and no one could say a word. do we want to live in a world like that? no. one of our most precious rights is to stand up for what we believe in and shed light on the injustices that plague us as the most evolved creatures on this planet.
When you all join me in the next stall over in the restroom, or eat under a cover when you’re out in public, so I don’t have to see your disgusting lack of manners, I’ll nurse in the restroom or under a cover. Until then, you can leave if you don’t like what you see.
I TRIED to plan trips out around my daughter’s eating. I remember one time in particular, I fed her so that we could go out, and darn if she didn’t want to nurse as soon as we got there (5 minutes away). infants don’t do things around our convenience. And, for the record, if any of you knew anything about nursing, you would know that many babies don’t take bottles, and most won’t take one from their nursing mother, they want their food from the source.
It’s ridiculous when you stop and think that in many oppressive Muslim countries, where women have to be covered from head to foot, they can nurse in public without a second thought/look, but yet, in this “enlightened” country, it has to be a battle. *smh*
A REMINDER: Opposing points of view are welcome here. However, name-calling and personal insults directed at those who don’t share your view will not be tolerated and will be removed.
I’m sorry but did you actually compare nursing a child with farting and intercourse? Seriously? Do you compare your mealtimes with defecation? Unless adults are going to start eating in the loo, there is no reason to force babies to eat there. Nursing is normal and healthy. If you have a problem, look away but don’t put your outdated opinions on those women who were trying to ensure the right for all women to feed their babies whenever and wherever they need to.
Wow…. quite a response here. I am one who is opposed to nursing in public, at least in the manner of nursing in the middle of store while other are shopping, for example. Honestly, I’m out shopping, or at a restaurant eating, I do not want to watch this. Absolutely no one is denying any mother the right to breast-feed their child. No one. However, to do so opening and in the middle of a store is rude, very inconsiderate of others who do not wish to view this, and a very selfish, self-centered act of attracting attention. Nursing ones infant is a special moment of bonding between a mother and child… I’m at a complete loss here… that this bond unique to these two individuals would not want to be keep as intimate and private rather than a public display of “rights.” This is the problem with our younger generation… lack of respect for others. The x-generation grew up and went away, and now we have the “me-generation.” “What’s in it for me???” I have many family members and friends who needed to nurse their infant while away from home. They simply would either have their private time somewhere as in the car, a dressing room, etc. Never would they go to a bathroom – and I agree that is not a proper place to feed one child. There are ALWAYS options. May take an effort, but then, no one ever promised life would be easy as a mother – or even not as a mother. Additionally, when privacy was unavailable, a baby blanket draped over the shoulder worked just fine. I know the responses to that statement already as I see them above, “why should I hide my breast-feeding in shame?” You are NOT hiding the feeding of your infant in shame. You are merely acting as a mature, moralistic and RESPECTIVE adult by considering the feelings of others around you. It’s amazing how far one can go when simple respect for others is used. Tis sad our younger generation doesn’t “get” this – and some of the older generation too… but most of the “olders” are no longer bearing children.
“However, to do so opening and in the middle of a store is rude, very inconsiderate of others who do not wish to view this, and a very selfish, self-centered act of attracting attention”
When I nurse my child I in no way want attention, nor am I doing it for some selfish self centered reason. I am doing it to feed my child because he is hungry. I’m not sure how it can be rude to feed a child regardless of where you are. I’m not shoving my boob in anyone’s face, and no one has ever seen my boob when I have nursed, not even during latch on or latch off because his face goes under my shirt.
“that this bond unique to these two individuals would not want to be keep as intimate and private rather than a public display of “rights.””
Honestly… I don’t see anything private about nursing a child. No more so then I see feeding a child a bottle or feeding a child a jar of mushed pees. Nursing is also not a unique experience, many people do it every second of every day in every part of the world. Sure I bond when I nurse, but moreso in the early months then I do now. Nursing is for food, when I nurse it’s for feeding my child. That’s pretty much it.
And to address blanket comments. My son will not allow a blanket, shawl, or cover to be put on his head. He must have eye contact with me while nursing and he also likes to touch my face when he nurses. That’s part of bonding and his feeding ritual. Not to mention it gets super hot with a blanket over ones face, and it’s uncomfortable.
My son would not take a bottle, nor can I express more than .25 ounces at a time with a pump, so that wouldn’t work. My son can also *not* take formula due to health reasons. I would not ever feed my child in a bathroom, that is unhygenic and just not healthy. Nursing is not even comparible to sex, pooping/peeing, etc. Nor have I ever seen a mother expose herself when nursing, and I’m a breastfeeding educator and counselor. The notions that one should not leave the house if a baby or child needs to nurse is extremely silly. Nurslings go from wanting to eat every 45 minutes, to every 4 hours, to 30 mintues, to every 2 hours, etc. Most nurslings don’t keep a constant schedule of feedings because breastmilk constantly changes to conform to the growing baby/child. It is not like formula where it’s always the same unless you change to the next step formula. I would never stay home 24/7 just because I’m nursing. I have a life, more than 1 child who goes to groups and other activities, groceries, errands, my own business, and my husband has a job so those activities fall on my hands. The US is the most misinformed of breastfeeding, and blog posts and comments like these are just one more way to knock women down and further ourselves from the rest of the world. If you don’t want to see a woman breastfeed (extremely unlikely you’d see nipple or any more of a boob than on a tank topped woman) then don’t look. It is really that simple and it’s likely that you pass by breastfeeding women more often then you think, because many times, you can’t even tell.
My post originated because of the “nurse-in.” And I stand by what I said about it. It was a vindictive (toward Target) and counterproductive thing to do. Conducting a nurse-in will not win over advocates to the cause of public breastfeeding. Quite the opposite. It pushes one button too many in people like me who would rather not see it but who go months or years without giving it a second thought — until someone stages a “nurse-in.” A nurse-in is an unnecessary, confrontational “in your face” show of defiance. Nothing more. It is, as I said, a disservice to nursing women everywhere.
Well I respectfully disagree. There have been a few nurse-ins in my part of the woods and they actually did some good. Got more people respecting nursing women and things are a lot better in the stores/places that were a little hostile prior to that. I don’t really think it’s an “in your face” thing though, I think the women who do it are trying to show to people that you can’t see anything and boobs aren’t just flopping around when you’re nursing a child. You did mention not wanting to see it while you were shopping or eating, and that is where my response came from, and that it’s not a unique or private moment. If you’re eating and don’t like what you see, don’t look, it’s pretty simple.
Is that how you were brought up? If you did not like the food, did you just not eat? That is being very demanding and lacking respect of others.
It is just as simple for you to not feed your child in public. It goes two ways…
I sat here quietly reading the posts. I am astonished at the lack of respect from these young mothers. Why does the majority have to accept what they feel is defiance. It is like my way or no way. Kids, grow up, you have children of your own.
Nursing is a private matter. I agree. Nursing belongs at home or in a private area. Why does it have to be Your way. I bet you were rude and nasty teen growing up.
Learn the word Respect. I am a senior and I also do not like to be in a room with a nursing mother. Why does it have to be your way or no way. Consider the feelings of others.
If your baby has feeding problems then find another method of feeding. No says to deprive the child, just do not put him or her in our face. There are many places to feed. It has all been explained in many of the other posts on here. You sound like little brats when they stand there and cry when you tell them to eat foods that they do not like. The kids scream and yell and walk away in defiance. This is the same thing.
No one is asking you to deprive your child. All they want is not to see it.
I do not think that is an unreasonable request at all.
If I ever walked into Target and saw many women sitting and nursing their child, I would walk out of the store right away. Do you think it is fair that you are depriving a store owner of making a living? You are just being demanding – you want your own way like a child.
One day you might get a ticket for indecent exposure showing your breasts in the open in public.
Babies are hungry, mother’s are busy. It’s a fact of NATURAL life that mother’s breastfeed babies. The fact that we should have to stop our busy lives and nurse in a closet somewhere is just ridiculous. Babies nurse almost every 2 hours, sometimes sooner. And sometimes they nurse for upwards of 45 minutes at a time. So when would you expect that we get stuff done? I am a single mother, and there’s no way I could have stayed at home for every nursing session. There’s just no way. I would never eat, I would never get gas. I would never live life, that’s unacceptable to ask of a human being.
I, personally, was not a rude and nasty teen growing up and the fact that you accuse a nursing mother of something when you don’t even know them just shows that you are a rude & nasty adult. Shame on you. YOU know better.
I personally always use a cover when I am nursing my LO in public. I may flash a boob here or there getting her into position, but who cares? GROW UP. They are just freaking boobs. My boobs belong to me and my nursing baby. Not to you or to a man or to sexuality. So get over it!!!! I get it, you’re old, women never showed skin in your day. Well, they didn’t wear seatbelts either. Change can be a GOOD thing if you embrace it.
And we couldn’t get ticketed. Nursing mother’s are protected from indecency charges on a federal level. If you don’t like it, look the other way.
plain and simple, it is discrimination. It is against the law to ask a mother to stop breastfeeding and tell her how she should do it. It is my right and the laws protect me, if you do not want to see then you should not look so hard. It is a shame that other women want to control how and what other women do with their bodies, we have a long history of suffrage in this country and the worst part about it is not men, it is other women. Instead of banding together in solidarity we eat each other alive, just like any good suppressed group.
This is not being surpressed. How can you compare this to Woman’s Lib. Nudity is not allowed in public. What you are doing, is showing your nude breast in public no matter how you say it. It is not allowed, except in a nude beach.
It would be so simple if you just enjoyed your child instead of making the child a part of who gets their own way. This has nothing to do with suffrage. It is just you women who have nothing else to do with your lives then try to force others to view a very private time between a child and mother.
I would love to be there when you child gets older and makes a big fuss when you tell her she cannot go out on a school night. Are you going to force her to do what YOU say….. be ready for a fight.
I have just said all I want to say about this matter. I am now going to read a good book.
Great share! Your assessment is spot-on, as usual!
Since I am a Medical Nurse I thought this had something to do with Nurses. Laughs on me!
It makes one wonder if this has more to do with the Mother rather than the baby. I used to prefer to nurse my baby in a quiet, calm more private place. Not ever in a Target store!
I do support the right to feed your child when needed…they are hungry feed them that is a plain and simple necessity. Sitting them down in Women’s Lingerie or Sporting Goods with a Mc Meal…well, not such a good choice. LOL
I nursed all three of my children. There were times when i couldn’t do so in the privacy of my home. I found a quiet spot – good for me and baby – covered baby with a light shawl or baby blanket draped over my shoulder and no one was the wiser, not did they need to be. If you need to nurse your baby in a public space, do so, but please do so with some decorum and modesty. This way you teach your child, from the very beginning, to be courteous of others. That’s all this is. It’s not an issue about women’s rights. it’s an issue about courtesy.
Thank you. It really is just a matter of courtesy, decorum, and what’s best for the baby.