The trick with breastfeeding

By Stephen Rhodes

I am about to tread where men should never go, but every once in a while I read a story that speaks to me in the language of dullards, dinosaurs and dinkcompoops.

Last week the National Post  said a Montreal children’s store owner had apologized to a nursing mother, who was forced to leave  the store -Les Vetements Orchestra Canada Inc. – a week earlier.

Momma left the store, got angry and blogged about the experience. About 5,000 hits later 150 moms were planning a nurse-in in front of the store.

The apology, while welcome by Shannon Smith, the mother of three who was nursing in the store, was  a bit odd. President Jean-Claude Yana said.

“We assure you that our business policy…is unquestionably to the effect that clients can, if they must, breastfeed inside the boutique.”

If they must? OK, it might have been a language translation thing.

The president blamed the incident on a new employee who was not properly trained. He told Smith he understands how the actions of the employee, who has been disciplined, “may have offended and hurt you.”

It’s 2011, and not 1950. How is it that a children’s store, of all places, isn’t sensitive to this issue? I know public breastfeeding is not universally accepted, but I have yet to come across a mother who isn’t discreet. And frankly, in many cases the other option, when a nursing station isn’t provided,  is a public washroom. I think not.

We talk about the impact of the Internet, blogs and Social Media on business. One simple story about a children’s clothing store tossing a mom for breastfeeding her child. You can’t buy that kind of publicity. And you may never know the impact it has on business. But, I am fairly certain it won’t be good.

You don’t mess with moms. Remember Mommie Bloggers and diapers?

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