Australian mothers are outraged that a mother was asked to leave her local Kmart when she was feeding her baby, and have pledged to flash mob the retailer in protest.
Kmart may not realize what can of worms one of their employees opened up last week when he/she told a nursing mother she could not feed her baby in their Smithfield, Cairns, Australia store, but the outrage mothers all over the world are showing on social media may be a small taste.
An anonymous mother claims she was asked by a Kmart employee to stop breastfeeding her baby while she was in the store, and local mothers felt that the retailer needed to know what a disservice it did to that mother, and nursing mothers everywhere.
Kmart admits there was an incident in which one of their employees asked a mother to ‘cover up’ when nursing, but either way, the Australian Breastfeeding Association is not happy with the discrimination the mother experienced, and says it is illegal to ask people to leave shops because they are breastfeeding.
An anonymous local business owner, Rachel, has organised a breastfeeding flash mob through a closed Facebook group of Cairns mothers she is a member of. Rachel said that the protest is not to be malicious, but more the opportunity to take a stance for the normalization of breastfeeding mothers everywhere.
Rachel said that the group will be using the flash mob to stress that women breastfeeding in public are still discriminated against, and that needs to change.
She also says that anyone and everyone is welcome, including those not breastfeeding, to show that people demand that the legal rights of a breastfeeding mother are recognized and acknowledged. Rachel hopes that this will highlight the need to further educate people in the support of breastfeeding mothers.
While a spokesperson for Kmart says they are very concerned about and apologize for this woman’s experience, and encourage her to contact them so they can discuss it further, this is not the first time that Kmart has been accused of being less than supportive.
In 2015, a mother was told that breastfeeding her child in the changing room (for lack of nursing area) was ‘unhygienic,’ and she felt discriminated against. At the time, Kmart said that the store manager and team were notified and concerned, and would be working toward ensuring nothing like that happened again.
So, while they again find themselves apologizing, they may end up getting way more of a ‘show’ than they ever anticipated. Perhaps this time, they’ll ensure that nothing like this happens again.