A local mother is speaking out after she is told to go the ladies room to breastfeed her daughter in Dillard’s department store at Hamilton Place Mall.
News 12 spoke to the mother, Wittney Hale, who said she was shocked and sadden by being asked to go to the ladies room to nurse her 18-month daughter.
“I was simply doing what I needed to do to get my child to stop crying. I went to what I thought was a secluded enough to nurse her. I discreetly pulled down my shirt let her latch on.”
That’s when a sales associate approached her.
“I was told that I could not breastfeed and that I needed to go to the restroom.”
Hale then went to speak to manage.
“She said she was very sorry and she told me that I could go to the fitting room.The more I thought about it, the more upset I got.”
After filing a formal complaint with the department store. She took to Facebook and posted on Dillard’s page.
The viral post has garnered the attention of thousands.
Some commenters said they plan to visit the store themselves and breastfeed their own children.
“I wasn’t trying to form a rally. I wasn’t intending for people to be so negative, all I wanted it to be was addressed.”
News 12 reached out Dillard’s, they declined to comment on camera, but say the employee was misinformed and all mothers are welcome to breastfeed anywhere within their store.
It is state law to allow mothers to breastfeed in any public or private place she is authorized to be in.
Spokesperson for Hamilton Place Mall, Catharine Wells said all women can breastfeed anywhere inside the mall.
“We welcome all nursing mothers and they’re able to do it wherever they feel comfortable. We have areas in the common area where they can sit back and relax or we do have a family restroom as well if they want a little bit more privacy.”
“If people are offended by the act of breastfeeding and not by seeing an exposed woman then it doesn’t matter what I do to try to respect others they’re going to have an issue”, said Hale.
Hale says she received an apology from Dillard’s.
The department store said they have informed the employee about the state law.