Watch above: Social media was on fire on Friday when a mother posted that she was asked to leave a store in the Fairview Shopping Centre to breastfeed her baby. Melinda Gadbois told Global News she was shocked when a Browns employee asked her to leave the store. Ines De La Cuetara reports.
MONTREAL – Melinda Gadbois was out shopping in the Browns store at the Fairview Shopping Centre when her five-month-old Lilian started crying. The baby was hungry, so Gadbois sat down to breastfeed her.
The store’s assistant manager then walked up to her and told her she couldn’t do that inside the store, and that she needed to leave.
“He said, ‘people don’t want to see that here,'” said Gabdois.
Gadbois ignored him and finished breastfeeding, then went to confront him. Gadbois’ brother recorded the conversation on his iPhone.
In the video, the employee can be hear telling Gabdois she should have gone to the breastfeeding room at the other end of the mall instead.
It took Global News almost 10 minutes to get from the Browns store to that room.
“I was embarrassed and I was confused and I was just thinking, ‘Why can’t I feed her here? What’s the problem?'” said Gadbois.
She later took to Facebook to voice her concerns, posting on various group pages.
Other mothers who heard the news were outraged, and the post quickly went viral. Some decided to post directly to the Browns Facebook page.
“Shame on your store,” wrote one woman.
“I will assume that you will have training done for the staff, so that something like this never happens again,” ” wrote another.
” Until then, you have lost my business.”
Watch: Public breastfeeding controversy in Montreal
Browns later answered via Facebook noting, “These actions in no way represent Browns or what we stand for.”
The store added that the employee had made a mistake, and offered its apologies to Gadbois.
Still, some mothers are so upset they are planning on having a nurse-in Saturday.
They say this isn’t the first time this has happened, and it’s starting to become too common.
“In Rosemont earlier this month, one mother was asked to leave a pool. Another was asked to leave a maternity store,” said Bunmi Laditan, a Huffington Post blogger who plans on attending the nurse-in.
“It’s happening because people don’t know it’s legal, and it’s a cultural thing,” she said.
She added that she thought it seemed like these employees thought there was something indecent about breastfeeding.
“I think it’s a good thing for all those other mothers who are just exactly like me who just want to breastfeed their child anywhere,” said Gadbois.
“In public, or anywhere.”
Gadbois said she didn’t expect it and she has been very moved by all the support she’s received.
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