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I was kicked out of a store for nursing in the dressing room!!!!

post #1 of 147
Thread Starter 
I recently had a terrible experience in Orlando, FL (where I live) which has left me shaken and upset. A friend suggested that I post on here for support.

I have an 8 month old daughter (my first child) and I have been breastfeeding her without any issues or problems until yesterday. On Saturday, at around 3 pm, I was on Park Avenue in Winter Park, FL for an arts festival and to do some holiday shopping. I was in a store called Siegels trying on some shorts and a bathing suit when my daughter woke up from her nap. I had already placed several items that I was purchasing at the desk and, at the time my daughter woke up, was in the dressing room with no clothes on as I was trying on a bathing suit. Because my baby woke up hungry and crying I figured I would nurse her before trying on the next bathing suit. The minute I sat down on the bench (literally- I had not been sitting for more than 30 seconds) the sales clerk who was helping me came up to the curtain and said "excuse me....you'll have to leave the dressing room if you need to breastfeed your baby...you can go into our bathroom if you need to breastfeed". I said "I'm about to try on a bathing suit and will only be a few more minutes." She then said "I have other customers who need the dressing room you can go into the restroom." Shocked (as the store was empty and the dressing room next to me had been occupied for a good 15 minutes or so by someone trying on clothes and that customer had not been rushed), I asked the salesclerk if she was asking me to leave. She said "Yes- you need to leave now".

I was dazed and didn't know what to do so I stood up, put my crying baby back in her stroller and got dressed. I stormed out and left the clothes I had been trying on in the dressing room. As I went outside I made a comment to another clerk about how rudely I had just been treated. I took a few deep breaths to gather my thoughts and decided to go back inside to get the woman's name. When I went back in and asked for her name and the owner's name I found out she WAS the owner! She then began to tell me how rude I was for not leaving immediately when she had first asked me to (how dare I keep breastfeeding my crying baby???). When she told me I should have gone to the bathroom I replied by asking her if she liked to eat in the bathroom. She got extremely nasty with me and then said she wasn't having this conversation with me and I needed to leave her store. After telling her she didn't need to discuss it with me and could discuss it with my attorney I left.

I immediately called my friend who is also a breastfeeding mom to tell her what had just happened. She suggested that I go to the art festival and tell the news crew there. I told them my story and was asked to follow up on Monday (tomorrow)....I have not decided whether to follow up or not b/c I don't really want my name or picture on the news.

However, I want to make this woman feel as uncomfortable as she made me feel. If anyone has any suggestions I am open to anything!
Here is the info on the store:

The woman who helped me was Robin Siegel (the owner)
Siegels Clothing Co.
330 PARK AVE. SOUTH
WINTER PARK, FL. 32789
(407) 645-3100

www.siegelsonline.com
post #2 of 147
I'm sorry I don't have any advice, other than to maybe write a letter to the newspaper or something? I'm sure she advertises locally- maybe find some venue where she is trying to garner business.

FWIW, you should find no problem nursing in the Gap dressing room! My sister is a manager at one of their stores, and they regularly have those reminders at their employee meetings. Sorry for the random thought- she told me this just the other day.
post #3 of 147
I don't really have any advise, but I would definitely write a letter to the paper. That is unbelievable...I have nursed in plenty of fitting rooms while trying on clothes and have never had an issue...I wouldn't be shopping there anymore. Some people are just so clueless, of all places, I don't think I would ever nurse in the restroom.
post #4 of 147
That's just horrible. I mean besides the fact that it is not legal, it was horrible customer service. You were buying something, you were naked and in the middle of trying on another article of clothing, and you pretty much left once she asked you. Then she accuses you of being rude.

Honestly, I'm not sure what I would do, but I would really be tempted to picket with signs and chanting outside of her store. If she is going to treat her customers as badly as she does, she doesn't deserve to have any business.
post #5 of 147
Florida has a law that permits breastfeeding in any public or private place:

http://www.ncsl.org/programs/health/breast50.htm

and see especially here:

http://www.flsenate.gov/Statutes/ind...20015#0383.015

I would write a letter to the newspaper and copy this business owner, clarifying that fact. Perhaps some lactivists here or at your local LLL can help you with the appropriate wording.
post #6 of 147
Sorry you had such an awful experiences- was she not aware that she was breaking the law by asking you to leave?
Definitely take this further and keep us posted!
post #7 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post
Florida has a law that permits breastfeeding in any public or private place:

http://www.ncsl.org/programs/health/breast50.htm

and see especially here:

http://www.flsenate.gov/Statutes/ind...20015#0383.015

I would write a letter to the newspaper and copy this business owner, clarifying that fact. Perhaps some lactivists here or at your local LLL can help you with the appropriate wording.
I agree!
post #8 of 147
I am sorry you were treated so badly! I am in Orlando too. I will never shop there...not that I do anyway but now I def. wont!!!!
post #9 of 147
I"m not getting why you think it was nursing she had a problem with. I wouldn't have bottlefed my baby in a changing room. It's for trying on clothes.
post #10 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by angelcat View Post
I"m not getting why you think it was nursing she had a problem with. I wouldn't have bottlefed my baby in a changing room. It's for trying on clothes.
She WAS trying on clothes. The way she was treated was rude & illegal.
post #11 of 147
My question would be more how did the woman know the momma was breastfeeding in a closed dressing room where she was trying on clothing? That disturbs me on an even deeper level than the illegal and rude behavior.

Anna
post #12 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by angelcat View Post
I"m not getting why you think it was nursing she had a problem with. I wouldn't have bottlefed my baby in a changing room. It's for trying on clothes.
Probably because the owner heard the baby crying and came over to say, "excuse me....you'll have to leave the dressing room if you need to breastfeed your baby...you can go into our bathroom if you need to breastfeed"
post #13 of 147

breastfeeding is just one part of parenting

Quote:
Originally Posted by angelcat View Post
I"m not getting why you think it was nursing she had a problem with. I wouldn't have bottlefed my baby in a changing room. It's for trying on clothes.
Sure, the change room is for trying on clothes. If the store owner had a problem with a customer having a child in the change room, that MIGHT be a reasonable policy. Since that is not the case (cause if it was she would have informed this customer on the way into the change room, not after she had already been in there for while), the owner's problem was with breastfeeding. Suppose she had a 4 year old child in there with her, would the owner have kicked them out if the mama paused to hug her child, talk to her child, dig a cookie out of her pocket to keep the child happy? I doubt it, but those are all "not trying on clothes" activities that would very likely happen with a parent and child in a change room.

So sorry this happened to you.
I hope no mother in Florida EVER shops there.
To give us all hope for good shopping experiences: Room for Two (maternity and children's wear & toys) on Commercial Drive in Vancouver will bring you a foot stool and a glass of water if you are bf'ing in their change rooms, which I have done on days when I'm not even shopping in there!!!!! But you can bet they have my loyalty!!!
post #14 of 147
: i am so sorry you were treated that way. that woman is a UA violation
post #15 of 147
I would have been tempted to walk out of the dressing room half naked when she asked me to leave! Not that I would have actually done this, but I would have been tempted to!

Now that it's already happened, and she broke the law, wouldn't it be appropriate to contact the police about the matter?
post #16 of 147
I would write a letter telling her how this made you feel. Include copies of the laws that the pp posted. Then wait a reasonable length of time for a SINCERE apology. If none is forthcoming, kick it up a notch, take it to your local bf groups and maybe if she doesnt see the error of her ways, a peaceful and educational nurse in/out is in order.
post #17 of 147
Maybe you could also get a petition of signatures from people who will not shop at her store and will tell others not to shop there until she apologizes, or agrees to be breastfeeding friendly in the future. I'd sign it. I live in Wyoming and am not likely to ever go there, but she doesn't have to know that. I shop online all the time and I'll definately not buy anything from her online store.

Or you could take all the breastfeeding mama's you know with you into her store with a copy of the laws and all breastfeed at there at the same time. You could also report your story on momsrising.org. They might have some good advice for you there too.
post #18 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da WIC Lady View Post
My question would be more how did the woman know the momma was breastfeeding in a closed dressing room where she was trying on clothing? That disturbs me on an even deeper level than the illegal and rude behavior.

Anna
Yes that's what I was thinking....???
post #19 of 147
me too, is there a camera in there or something? dodgy.
post #20 of 147
I was thinking the same thing how in the world did she know you were bfing : the implications of that are scary to me.
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