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Mother says she was harassed for breastfeeding at Target

Maine law protects women who nurse in public. A mom can breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mom is authorized to be.

BANGOR, Maine — Posted right inside Target stores nationwide: "You are free to nurse wherever and whenever you like."

That's not the case for Amber Mason, a Bangor resident who was in the Bangor store shopping when her child got hungry.

"I started nursing him in the corner, where the clearance section is and I had an employee come up to me, she is a female she started being very nice about breastfeeding and then it turned into I'm being a slut, I'm immodest, it's disgusting, making comments about how I'm using breastfeeding as an excuse to show everything off," said Mason.

Mason says she knew and explained her rights to the Target employee and continued to breastfeed her son.

"She then moved on to call somebody who she said was her supervisor over, he told me that if I was going to continue molesting my son in their store, I could make my way to the front, pay, and leave," said Mason.

The manager at the Bangor Target nor anyone else would speak to NEWS CENTER Maine on camera about the incident. A corporate office out of state did send us two releases:

Credit: NCM

 

The other statement said: At Target, we want all of our guests to feel welcomed, valued and respected. In all Target stores, guests are welcome to breastfeed in public areas, as well as in dedicated mother's rooms, or fitting rooms, if requested. We have apologized to the guest, and have assured her she is welcome to nurse in our store anytime she visits. We are also investigating the matter and will take appropriate actions upon conclusion. -Target Spokesperson

"I also called the store director here, he told me that he would look into it but he was just going to hold a mandatory staff meeting to remind everyone 'how friendly we are to breastfeeding here.' So I called back corporate again and they told me that my original report is no longer on file, there's no file of me ever making a report, there's no video of me even being at the store that day," said Mason.

Erica Davis-Rackliff is an R.N. International Board Certified Lactation Consultant for Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.

Davis-Rackliff says the public needs to continue to be educated about breastfeeding. 

"There may be some people in the public that just don't have the knowledge or have received education that breastfeeding in public is legal and is protected by Maine state law," says Davis-Rackliff.

"I wish people knew how normal it is, and how good for the baby that it is and all the benefits that come with it," said Mason.

"All 50 states have laws protecting breastfeeding mothers, Maine law provides protection for women who breastfeed in public, it actually states that a mother can breastfeed her baby in any location public or private, where a mother is authorized to be," says Davis-Rackliff.

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