A tired hungry baby

by on January 6, 2011



New here?

You'll probably want to hear about how I became an accidental lactivist first. And maybe see some of the media coverage.

Over the next few weeks I'll be talking about what happened after the hoopla. My thoughts on the news coverage, what's happening with the human rights complaint, why people are sending me hate mail for breastfeeding, and more. Check back often.

Yesterday I was asked to stop breastfeeding my baby.  And I’m pissed.

I was shopping at Orchestra, a kids’ clothing store at the Complexe Les Ailes shopping centre in downtown Montreal. They have a small semi-secluded seating area for kids with movies playing. My older kids were sitting in their stroller watching the movie when my youngest got hungry. So I fed her. She’s 5 months old and she eats breastmilk. From my actual breast. Shocking, I know!

I wasn’t even the only mother breastfeeding. I was being discrete, as if it matters, which it doesn’t (but that’s for another blog post). And I hadn’t finished shopping.

And that’s when the store clerk showed up and asked us both to stop.

Actually, she asked the other mother first.

“Why? I’m buying things…”

“Vous ne pouvez pas. [You can’t]”

Then she looked at me.

“Vous ne pouvez pas allaiter dans le magasin. [You can’t breastfeed in the store]”

Well. That’s not true. And I said as much. The Québec charter of rights and freedoms protects women against discrimination on the basis of sex. And preventing someone from breastfeeding in public constitiutes discrimination on the basis of sex. It’s even been tested in case law.

When it was tested in court, both the individual who asked a breastfeeding mother to stop and the business where that person was employed were required to jointly pay damages of $1000. It’s not a lot. But mentioning it was enough to get the sales clerk to pay attention and she hurried off for reinforcements.

The Canadian charter of rights and freedoms also prevents discrimination based on sex. However, no legal case has specifically evaluated the charter’s application to public breastfeeding. In BC and in Ontario [Added January 12: as well as Nova Scotia] there are laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in all public places.

I knew the law. I knew my rights. But I was still upset. And not the angry, self-important, righteous  kind of upset. The teary, scared, “they’re going to kick me out of the store”, “I’m here with my kids” type of  upset. It was clear I was about to be thrown out, and I was pretty sure that if I was going to be forced to justify feeding my baby, I was going to cry. And I felt truly alone.

I don’t just think women have the right to feed their kids (breastfed or not) how and when and where they want to – and dad’s too. I think they should be invited to do so, really welcomed. Being a parent is hard work, and really it’s just one of those civilized things that nice people do for one another.

So I got up and stopped feeding my hungry baby. And then I went to the front desk. And I paid for the clothes I had planned to buy. That is the only part I regret. I think I was in shock. I think it hadn’t all sunk in.

The manager was up at the front talking to two clerks, including the one who had asked me to leave. And of course they didn’t realize I was the one who had brought up those nasty legal impediments to their request. So I had the pleasure of listening to them badmouth me, hear how I was ridiculous and how I should go to the mall breastfeeding room, and I was able to confirm that the store manager was fully aware of what was going on. I just made it out the door before the tears.

Now I should mention that Complexe Les Ailes does have a fabulous breastfeeding room, which I use often and truly appreciate. It is spacious and inviting and clean. And there are even tables and chairs for older siblings. But just because I like it does not mean I should be confined to it just because my baby is hungry (another blog post to come on that, but read this in the meantime).

So, what next? Well, there’s this blog now. Feel free to add some comments, if you support me. And I’ll be contacting the store, the store’s head office and the mall where the store is located. All I really want is an apology and an enforced, store policy that respects Canadian law and ensures that no other mothers will get the same shoddy treatment. Feel free to send your own letter, as well. [Added January 8: I’ll be filing a human rights violation complaint.] I’ve just been invited to a nurse-in on January 19. There is a Canadian petition to sign and a Québec petition to sign too. And after that, well, we’ll see.

À mes lecteurs francophones… Il est difficile face à un tel événement, émue et fâchée, de choisir les mots pour bien s’exprimer, encore plus dans une deuxième langue. Mes excuses de ne vous offrir qu’une version en anglais. Toutefois vous êtes bienvenues de laisser vos commentaires dans les deux langues.

For your letter writing pleasure:

(There is also a longer list here.)

Orchestra – Montréal
Vêtements Orchestra Canada Inc.
1010 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, suite 2402
Montréal QC H3A 2R7
Canada

Tel: 1.514.842.5225
http://www.orchestra.fr

Orchestra-Kazibao – Head Office
400 avenue Marcel Dassault
34170 Castelnau Le Lez
France

Tel: 0499130800
http://www.orchestra-kazibao.com
infos@orchestra.fr

Complexe Les Ailes
Administration
650, de Maisonneuve Boulevard West,
Suite 630
Montreal QC H3A 3T2
Canada

Tél : (514) 288-3759
http://www.complexelesailes.com
service@complexelesailes.com

Although Orchestra is a French company with only 4 locations in Canada, the Canadian company Panda also distributes their clothes, so feel free to contact them too.

Panda Headquarters
259. Labelle Blvd. #201
Rosemère (Québec) J7A 2H3
Canada

Tel.: (450) 818-9741
1-888-357-2632
http://www.chaussurespanda.com



173 comments

WOW! I can not believe that this happened to you. It makes me sad as a mother of 4 that people are so daft. Chances are, that very store clerk was breast fed in public by her mother some time in the 60’s or 70’s when everything was openly acceptable. I’m not sure what has changed, but humans have been born to mothers who then need to feed them for as long as I know! I am currently breastfeeding 6 weeks old twins. It is a HUGE undertaking, and find that it is next to impossible to leave the house. The one time I took them to the mall, I went to the “Family Room” where there is a change table, a toilet, and a sink. To my dismay, there was no chair to sit on to nurse my babies, therefor, I had to stand and lean against the counter top (twice) to feed the girls and it took me over an hour. I could have gone to the food court to sit down and feed them, but can you imagine the reaction I would have gotten there. *sigh* something needs to give….

by Cheryl Das on January 6, 2011 at 5:35 am. #

I am a little behind the time here. I am only just hearing about this news and frankly, I think as a society we have become backwards and extremely pathetic. Why is it ok for some woman, dressed as a slut with her breasts clearly visible through her shirt to walk in public places and not be asked to leave, but as mothers trying to breastfeed our babies, we are looked at as exhibitionists and asked to leave? I bet if the porn star Jenna Jamison was sitting there breastfeeding in public that no one would say a word to her because she is a sex object and its ok for her to be doing what she does. It truly angers me that something so natural is viewed as something so unnatural. Society needs to find something that is much more powerful to argue about in public other than breastfeeding. I could name off a hundred topics that should bring more fire to the news than breastfeeding. Why don’t we talk about AND DO something about the corrupt government or the parents who think society or schools should raise their kids for them? How about that stuff? That’s only a few. Come on people. Get over yourselves. To set the record straight, breasts were not invented for pleasure or view, they were invented to feed the children. It is unfortunate that a woman’s body part, one that nurtures, has been treated as an object that is only desirable if put in a sexual situation rather than a natural setting, like breastfeeding. I guess I am so sick of women being treated as objects and told when it is ok to show skin and when it is not and that fact that society needs a wake up call. Breast feeding is natural and a part of life that God intended.

by Kristie on January 27, 2011 at 1:58 pm. #

It is, indeed, a very sad story! we have to protest. Mother of 6 myself, it never happen to me, and frankly, I don’t know how I would have react. It must be such a shock?

But we are behind you!!!

Come join us at the first ever Allaite-In! See the details in the facebook page.

by Genevieve on January 6, 2011 at 7:20 am. #

One time I was nursing at a mall when a woman (another shopper) started yelling at me from quite a distance. She was saying how disgusting it was. Everyone stopped and started looking. It was very shocking and embarrassing. I had my older son who was a toddler in the front of the double stroller beside me and I was giving him a snack too. With tears I packed up and left.

My boys are 16 and 17 now. I didn’t have the internet and the power of social media back then. How I wish that I had found the words to speak up to her… or that someone else in the food court had come to my rescue.

All the best with your campaign!

by Ruth Maude on January 6, 2011 at 8:57 am. #

THATS the “Q”!!! you should ALL go at that place and breasfeed your kids!!! And if ever somebody tells you it’s discusting, you should tell them that it is the FIST thing the human has does since all times!!! I im so frustreted to read this! I wish a was breasfeeding again!!!!

by Cat on January 6, 2011 at 9:04 am. #

Je suis tout à fait d’accord avec Cat, toutes les femmes qui allaite devraient se rendre à ce magasin et allaiter leur bébé en public. Je n’en reviens pas! Nous sommes en 2011, et non en 1950!

Je demeure en Ontario et certains de mes compatriotes ne sont pas aussi ouvert d’esprit que les Francophones. Je me tenais d’ailleurs en ligne pour prendre la photo avec le Père Noël, et ma puce, alors agée de 5 1/2 mois, s’est mise à pleurer parce qu’elle avait faim, je lui ai donné le sein tout en étant debout en ligne. J’ai bien reçu quelques regards plus ou moins surprit, mais personne n’est venu me dire de m’en aller me cacher.

Même mes beaux-parents agés de plus de 80 ans, sont confortable avec l’allaitement. Au début, je changeais de pièce pour ne pas les indisposer mais après un bout de temps, je leur ai demandé si ça les dérangeait, et la réponse a été non. Mon mari n’était pas trop confortable avec le fait que j’allaite en public mais à force de me voir faire, il a changé d’opinion.

J’espère que ce cas fera les manchettes pour que ça ne se reproduise plus!

Une nouvelle maman pro-allaitement.

by Elise Coley on January 7, 2011 at 11:08 pm. #

You should go to the media with this. I know that Sophie Durocher (reporter, animatrice) is passionnate about breastfeeding issues like this…. She breastfed in a store once as a test to see what would happen and wrote about it in her blog.

by Pascale DesLauriers on January 6, 2011 at 9:18 am. #

This is making me very angry. I totally understand why you got scared of being kicked out and wanted to cry. This is so unfair. I’m glad that you know your rights and that you are gonna do what you can to stop store managers and clerks to behave against parents and babies rights like this in the future.

I hope that people are gonna write to the Orchestra head office to complaint… As a parent, even if my kid is older now and that I’m not breastfeeding him anymore, I know it’s not an easy task to take a baby shopping, and I will definitely not shop in a store where they won’t let you breastfeed quietly.

Please fight for your rights, and don’t let this happen again!!!

by melanie on January 6, 2011 at 9:26 am. #

Bonjour,

En toute solidarité, voici mon courriel envoyé au complexe les ailes de la mode:

Bonjour,

J’aimerais, par la présente, faire une plainte au sujet du magasin Orchestra de votre complexe, qui a demandé hier à deux clientes qui allaitaient leur enfant de sortir du magasin. Ceci est inacceptable. Allaiter est un droit fondamental de la mère et être allaité en est un des bébés et enfants. Et ce, n’importe où, n’importe quand. Qu’importe qu’il y aie une salle d’allaitement ou non. Ces dernières ne doivent pas devenir obligatoires pour les mères désirant allaiter. C’est super pour les mères moins à l’aise pour des raisons qui leur appartiennent, mais cela ne doit pas devenir handicapant pour les autres qui elles, sont plus à l’aise. L’allaitement n’est ni indécent, ni obscène. C’est juste normal! Il est inacceptable qu’un tel comportement soit encore en vigueur en 2011. En espérant que vous porterez une attention particulière à ma plainte et que vous règlerez la situation avec le dit magasin. De plus, des excuses aux mères en question seraient la moindre des choses.

Merci,

Cynthia Roy, fière mère allaitante de ma fille de 3 ans et de ma fille de 2 mois.

by Cynthia on January 6, 2011 at 9:29 am. #

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by marianne marianne. marianne marianne said: RT @ValGouin: Une maman expulsée d'une boutique car elle allaitait (texte anglais) : http://breastfortheweary.com/2011/01/06/tired-hungr … […]

by Tweets that mention A tired hungry baby « breastfortheweary.com -- Topsy.com on January 6, 2011 at 9:33 am. #

Je n’irai jamais magasiner là… Il devrait penser un peu plus avant de commettre des idioties comme tu as vécues… C’est un magasin pour bébé en plus!!!

by Caroline Giguère on January 6, 2011 at 9:54 am. #

Maybe we need to find something else for society to obsess about/sensationalize/demonize, instead of breasts. Preferably something that isn’t part of my body.
Oranges, maybe?
“Hey, lady, you can’t eat that orange in here – this is a respectable business…”
I honestly believe that through media manipulation, we could transfer the fetishization of breasts to something else, and give women a well-deserved break.

Anyway… I hope there isn’t a “next time,” but if there is, I hope you, and everyone else this happens to, will stay where you are and continue feeding. It’s probably the only way that complainers will learn to get used to it. (Easy for me to say, I know!)

thanks for posting the contact info, and allaitez-y! :)

by Sheila on January 6, 2011 at 9:58 am. #

“Bonjour,
ce message concerne l’incident survenu hier à l’un de vos magasins. Deux clientes qui allaitaient leur enfant se sont vues demander de cesser!
(http://breastfortheweary.com/2011/01/06/tired-hungry-baby/#more-1)
Comme si le fait de nourrir son enfant de la façon dont la nature l’a prévu était quelque chose de déplacé, obscène ou vulgaire! Comme s’il fallait se cacher honteusement de donner le sein à un enfant qui en est nourri!
Je pense qu’un dose de jugement et de bon sens est nécessaire et qu’il convient d’allaiter discrètement. Mais en 2011, cela ne devrait pas signifier d’avoir à se dissimuler dans une pièce lointaine et fermée sous peine de se faire renvoyer des lieux! Le mépris dont a fait preuve votre personnel est pour moi beaucoup plus offensant qu’un innocent bout de peau! De plus, dans la loi, cette femme était parfaitement en droit.
Je suis désolée pour vous de la mauvaise publicité que ça vous fera et j’espère que vous saurez y réagir de façon adéquate.
Isabelle Fortin-Rondeau”
Voilà, es espérant que plusieurs personnes écrivent!

by Isabelle on January 6, 2011 at 10:22 am. #

Shocking – horrible.
I really feel for you. I hope you can all show these people that their bigotry will not be tolerated.
Good luck!

by DBM on January 6, 2011 at 10:52 am. #

Your kind of sad and shocked hits home! My twins are over 7 months now and last quite long between feeds, especially now that they are eating solids now too. But they don’t know what a bottle is…and what scared me most about going out and about was not the getting ready, the possible crying…it was that sooner or later I was going to have to bf the twins. One by one in public! I have not had your experience, but the looks yes, often enough, and sideways snide remarks. I have slowly become proud of it, proud of the gift I am giving my babies and have been now waiting for the comments, albeit with trepidation, in order to fire back my verbal ammunition! We are doing the best for our babies, and wherever they are, if they need milk, they get it…that’s why we have it on tap, isn’t it?

by Bridget on January 6, 2011 at 11:17 am. #

You have my sympathy. It’s upsetting to read your story and I can understand how you felt teary. You would have felt vulnerable and the last thing you want when feeding your baby is to feel under attack. I will never understand how some people ( a lot of the time woman) can be so unsupportive. Also I can see why you’re so annoyed that in retrospect you shouldn’t have bought the clothes. Hindsight is a great thing though.
Breastfeeders of the world unite! x

by Louise Raphael on January 6, 2011 at 11:36 am. #

I support you, and I stand beside you. This is intolerable. I am letting my Facebook network know all about this incident.
Too bad, really. I really like(d) Orchestra clothes….
Much love~
-Emma, in Montreal

by Emma Kwasnica on January 6, 2011 at 12:13 pm. #

Voici ma lettre:

“À qui de droit,

Je viens de lire le compte-rendu d’une de vos clientes qui a tenté d,allaiter son enfant dans votre magasin, ici: http://breastfortheweary.com/2011/01/06/tired-hungry-baby/#more-1

Étant moi-même une maman en lactation et une de vos clientes, je dois vous dire que je suis HORRIFIÉE par la façon dont les membres du personnel ont traité ces 2 dames!! Et elles ne sont sûrement pas les seules, les autres ayant probablement préféré ne pas publiquement aller de l’avant avec leur histoire.

De tut temps, les enfants ont été nourris au sein. Vous aussi probablement, lorsque vous étiez enfants! Nonobstant les préférences et les dégoûts personnel que des employés pourraient avoir, il existe une toute petite chose, la Charte des droits et libertés, qui stipule que de demander à une personne en train d’allaiter son enfant en public de quitter les lieux est contraire à la loi… je peux vous assurer que je ne mettrai plus jamais les pieds dans vos magasins et que j’encouragerai toutes les mamans, en lactation ou non, à faire de même, à moins que vous ne revoyez votre politique interne, que des excuses publiques soient présentées.

Nous sommes les mères de vos clients de demain.

Sincèrement,

LUCE BEAULIEU,
Montréal”

by Luce Beaulieu on January 6, 2011 at 12:51 pm. #

Attitude indécente

Cet incident est complètement inadmissible et AUCUNE raison ne saurait le justifier. Ne pas permettre l’allaitement public c’est ça qui est indécent. Il est clair que je ne mettrai plus les pieds chez Orchestra et que je passerai le message à tout mon réseau.
V Letarte

by valérie letarte on January 6, 2011 at 1:21 pm. #

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jodinechase, Valerie Gouin. Valerie Gouin said: Une maman expulsée d'une boutique car elle allaitait (texte anglais) : http://breastfortheweary.com/2011/01/06/tired-hungry-baby/#more-1 […]

by Tweets that mention A tired hungry baby « breastfortheweary.com -- Topsy.com on January 6, 2011 at 1:36 pm. #

I’m shocked. When I was breastfeeding, I was living in Longueuil and went to Montréal very often. I nursed everywhere, in stores, restaurants, food courts, in the middle of the Palais des Congrès and even the metro. Once, my husband and I went shopping and our son got hungry while my husband was choosing a pair of eyeglasses. I said I was going to the nursing room, but the clerk told me it wasn’t necessary; they had chairs in the back if I liked. I truly believe that this attitude is the attitude everyone should have in regards to breastfeeding.

Sure, I wore a nursing cover, but it shouldn’t make a difference. Some mothers and babies are not comfortable with the cover, and they shouldn’t be told they should wear one, or nurse in a bathroom, or leave because they are nursing.

I’m so sorry it happened to you!

by Roxane on January 6, 2011 at 1:44 pm. #

This is the letter i just sent to la direction des Ailes de la Mode. I will write a similar one the Orchestra’s costumer service in France. I am so very sorry you had to experience this absurd situation. I admire your courage for making this humiliation public: it is the only way to hope for change and societal evolution.

Madame, Monsieur du service à la clientèle des Ailes de la Mode,

Je suis complètement OUTRÉE de ce que certaines mamans on dû subir comme traitement dans votre boutique Orchestra: se voir imposer d’arrêter d’allaiter son bébé, une humiliation inutilement bête. Navrant.

Cette attitude est SCANDALISANTE. Vous avez, certes, une section d’allaitement pour ménager la sensibilité de vos clients qui n’ont toujours pas conscience qu’allaiter en public n’a rien de honteux, ce n’est pas uriner ni déféquer, c’est nourrir un bébé de la manière la plus saine et naturelle du monde. Nous avons le droit de le faire PARTOUT. Il y a une charte des droits et libertés qui cautionne ce droit. Nous ne devrions pas être assister à la remise en question de ce droit d’aucune manière.

Il est encore plus choquant de savoir que ça c’est passé dans une boutique POUR ENFANTS!!! Étant moi-même maman qui allaite toujours son fils de 13 mois, je ne me rends dans ces boutiques que pour combler les besoins de mon enfant: grâce aux besoins de mon fils et à mes sous, comme ceux des autres enfants et des sous de leurs parents que vos boutiques existent et que leurs employés ont un emploi: pourquoi alors nous traiter avec si peu de dignité?

Vos politiques de services à la clientèles sont plus que décevantes, elles sont dégoutantes.

Vous avez perdu ma clientèle. Je ne remettrai plus les pieds aux Ailes de la Mode avant que votre direction et celle d’Orchestra ne s’excusent publiquement avec sincérité et promettent que tout sera mis de l’avant afin que cette situation ne se reproduise JAMAIS.

J. Duzyk
Femme, mère qui allaite et consommatrice dégoutée par les Ailes de la Mode

by julie duzyk on January 6, 2011 at 3:07 pm. #

An nurse-in is being organised, if you wanna jump in : http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=191376997542504

by Fanny Héraud on January 6, 2011 at 3:17 pm. #

This is truly sad, nearly made me cry reading this.. if an adult is hungry they will happily wander in and out of shops eating so its only right to starve a baby?

by Rachael on January 6, 2011 at 6:06 pm. #

I just wrote a blog post about you! http://bit.ly/ewmt8P Social Media Lactivism – how a nursing mom using social media in response to a Montreal store.

by Ruth Maude on January 6, 2011 at 6:17 pm. #

Oh my… As you, I’m too shocked to go on in English.

Je n’arrive pas à croire que non seulement ce genre de choses arrivent encore mais en plus dans une boutique pour enfants, donc qui devrait être encore plus sensible au bien-être des mamans finalement.
Je ne serais malheureusement pas là le 19 janvier, mais je vous soutiens. Si j’ai le temps, je rédigerais également une lettre pour signaler mon désaccord. Ou si cela se fait, j’irai signer une pétition pour que le droit des mères allaitantes soit respecté par cette boutique.

by Véronique L.-L. on January 6, 2011 at 7:22 pm. #

This is trully unfortunate that in 2011, breasthfeeding is still considered out of place. I trully hope that besides your blog you will officially place a complaint. the addresse is 360 St Jacques, Montreal
(514) 873-5146

by Stephanie on January 6, 2011 at 9:29 pm. #

Have we gone nuts????????????????? for me this is the most normal thing in the world to see a mother breastfeeding her child!!!!
I can not believe this is hapenning in Canada! I come from a third world country and you could see the mothers at the bus, at the mall, bresastfeeding their child!
I find that RIDICULOUS!

by Larissa on January 6, 2011 at 9:32 pm. #

J’ai porté plainte à la Commission des droits de la personne et de la jeunesse après un incident en mai 2009.
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/le-droit/actualites/gatineau-outaouais/200910/20/01-913237-les-demarches-dune-mere-portent-fruit.php
http://www.aspq.org/DL/Periscoopdec2009.pdf
Je sais que ça demande énormément d’énergie et de temps, mais ça vaut le coup. Toutes celles qui l’ont fait ont gagné. Les arguments sont béton! Je t’encourage donc à porter plainte.
Voici quelques arguments:
Pour un bébé, l’aliment par excellence est le lait de sa mère. Santé Canada et l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé recommandent que le lait maternel soit le seul aliment et la seule boisson d’un bébé pendant les six premiers mois de sa vie; en fait, il est recommandé que la femme continue d’allaiter l’enfant – tout en ajoutant petit à petit des aliments complémentaires – aussi longtemps que désiré (deux ans et plus).
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/dca-dea/prenatal/nutrition-fra.php
Le logo «Bienvenue au bébé allaité» a été créé par Santé Canada en partenariat avec la Ligue La Leche et dit bien “N’importe où. N’importe quand.”. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/dca-dea/images/breastfeeding_friendly_logo_f.jpg
Au Canada, nous avons le droit d’allaiter en public; la Cour suprême du Canada –ainsi que d’autres instances juridiques- ont déjà statué en faveur de l’allaitement maternel dans les lieux publics.
Il existe de la jurisprudence à ce sujet:
Mme Linda Desrochers contre Meubles Accents (2005)
http://www.canlii.org/fr/qc/qctdp/doc/2005/2005canlii35842/2005canlii35842.html
Mme Marie-Claude Giguère contre la Ville de Montréal (2003)
http://www.canlii.org/fr/qc/qctdp/doc/2003/2003canlii33420/2003canlii33420.html
Pour l’instant, seules la Colombie-Britannique et l’Ontario détaillent spécifiquement les droits des mères qui allaitent dans leurs lois provinciales.
http://www.infactcanada.ca/br_bc_humanrights.htm
http://www.ohrc.on.ca/fr/issues/pregnancy

«Il arrive parfois que les femmes soient dissuadées d’allaiter dans des lieux publics parce que certaines personnes croient qu’il s’agit d’un acte indécent. Pourtant, l’allaitement maternel est une question de santé et non pas de bonnes moeurs. Les femmes devraient pouvoir choisir de nourrir leurs bébés de la manière qu’elles jugent la plus digne, la plus confortable et la plus saine.»
«La ville de Toronto a approuvé une politique sur l’allaitement en public qui encourage les femmes qui vivent à Toronto, y habitent ou y sont en visite, à allaiter n’importe quand et n’importe où dans les lieux publics contrôlés par la ville. La ville favorise des attitudes positives envers l’allaitement dans le cadre d’événements publics comme des événements annuels sur l’allaitement»
http://www.ohrc.on.ca/fr

In the 1996 case of R. v. Jacob, decided unanimously by a three member panel of the Ontario Court of Appeal, the accused was charged with indecent exposure after walking down city streets topless and then sitting on a residential porch. Osborne J.A., speaking for the majority of the court stated:
. . . there is no evidence of harm that is more grossly speculative [referring to the decision of the trial judge]. . . There was nothing degrading or dehumanizing in what the appellant did. The scope of her activity was limited and was entirely non-commercial. No one who was offended was forced to continue looking at her. I cannot conclude that what the appellant did exceeded the community standard of tolerance when all of the relevant circumstances are taken into account. It follows that what the appellant did on July 19, 1991 did not constitute an indecent act.
If appearing topless in public is not considered to be an indecent act, it is quite unlikely that breastfeeding one’s baby would be considered so.
BREASTFEEDING AT MUNICIPAL POOLS IN CANADA
http://www.breastfeedingalberta.ca/files/BMPC-MainDoc.pdf

La Commission pour les droits de la personne et de la jeunesse du Québec est très claire: la discrimination est interdite quelle que soit la situation et cette discrimination fondée sur le sexe (seules les femmes peuvent allaiter) est illégale.
http://www.cdpdj.qc.ca/fr/accueil .asp?noeud1=0&noeud2=0&cle=0 

Enfin, un dernier point qui a retenu l’attention dernièrement est l’attitude envers l’allaitement en public. Je pense que toute personne qui considère l’allaitement dans des lieux publics « obscène » ou « indécent » est tout à fait dans l’erreur. Récemment, il y a eu un incident dans une grande ville où les agents de sécurité ont prié une mère de sortir du centre commercial parce qu’elle allaitait. Cependant, l’allaitement devrait non seulement être permis dans les lieux publics, mais il devrait y être facilité. Moins il y aura d’obstacles à l’allaitement maternel, plus les mères continueront à allaiter leur bébé. Combien de temps une mère devrait-elle allaiter? Le plus longtemps possible.
Dr Paul Roumeliotis est le Médecin hygiéniste au Bureau de santé de l’est de l’Ontario et professeur adjoint en pédiatrie à l’Université McGill. © Dr Paul Roumeliotis
http://www.eohu.ca/dr_paul_health_columns/fr/Votre%20Sante%20-%20Allaitement.pdf

by Nathalie Gagnon on January 6, 2011 at 9:46 pm. #

Voici d’autres cas répertoriés:

automne 2007 dans l’un des commerces d’un centre d’achat à Québec: une femme allaitant son bébé de 6 mois se fait demander par un commis de sortir du magasin prétextant qu’elle pourrait par son geste choquer des gens. Mécontente de la lettre d’excuses qui mentionne qu’elle n’avait pas bien compris le commis, elle porte plainte à la Commission des droits de la personne (CDP). Une entente est signée en médiation.
http://blogues.chatelaine.com/durocher/?p=100
printemps 2009 à une piscine municipale de Terrebonne: une femme allaitant son bébé se fait demander d’arrêter parce que son lait est un liquide biologique dangereux! Après quelques semaines d’attente, le service des loisirs s’excusent.?printemps 2009 à une piscine municipale de Gatineau: une femme allaitant son bébé se fait demander de terminer dans le vestiaire parce que c’est le mot d’ordre. Après quelques semaines de coups de téléphone et d’attente, la femme (moi!) porte plainte à la Commission des droits de la personne. Le dossier se règle en médiation.?http://www.cyberpresse.ca/le-droit/actualites/gatineau-outaouais/200910/20/01-913237-les-demarches-dune-mere-portent-fruit.php?Automne 2009 à une piscine municipale de Montréal: une femme allaitant son bébé se fait demander d’arrêter et dire qu’elle est filmée!!!?Automne 2009 dans un musée de Québec: une femme allaitant son bébé est expulsée d’une salle d’exposition. Rapidement, une lettre d’excuses est envoyée et la politique de l’endroit en faveur de l’allaitement, remémorée auprès des employés.?Hiver 2010 dans un magasin de Trois-Rivières: une femme allaitant son bébé est priée de quitter sous la menace d’appeler la police. A suivre…?http://www.cyberpresse.ca/le-nouvelliste/actualites/201002/24/01-954683-expulsee-dun-commerce-parce-quelle-allaitait.php
Hiver 2010:
http://www.ledevoir.com/culture/theatre/281272/libre-opinion-inquisition-et-ostracisme-a-la-maison-theatre
Printemps 2010: Une femme d’Ottawa se fait demander de se couvrir alors qu’elle allaite durant le cours de natation de son aîné.
http://news.sympatico.cbc.ca/Local/ON/ContentPosting?feedname=CBC_LOCALNEWS&date=true&newsitemid=ot-ottawa-breastfeeding-apology
http://actualites.ca.msn.com/regional/ottawa-gatineau/rc-article.aspx?cp-documentid=24217294

by Nathalie Gagnon on January 6, 2011 at 9:49 pm. #

I’m sooooo pissed!!!!! A breastfed baby should have the same rights as a bottlefed baby!!!

Just watch me! Next time I g to Complexe les Ailes, I syop directly at Orchestra, ask the manager and tell him/her all my disappointment and that I will never ever shop there again and that I will pass this to all my friends!!!!

by Katia Power on January 6, 2011 at 10:30 pm. #

Je viens de lire ce commentaire et cette dure expérience que ces deux mères ont subi aujourd’hui. J’ai peine à croire qu’en 2011 on puisse avoir une telle mentalité. L’allaitement est ce qu’il y a de plus naturel, de plus humain et de plus beau qu’une mère puisse donner à son enfant. J’ai de la difficulté à comprendre et à croire qu’avec toute la promotion et les bienfaits transmis sur l’allaitement maternelle, que l’on puisse avoir une telle réaction…surtout dans une boutique de vêtements pour enfants. Je suis curieuse de savoir si on avait mieux toléré une mère qui nourrit son bébé au biberon ou tout simplement par un biscuit. Un coin spécifique est alloué aux enfant dans un grand magasin de Montréal pour l’amuser ou le divertir…ce même coin pourrait, du même coup, servir aux mamans (et aux papas) pour nourrir son bébé.
J’ai vécu une telle intimidation et descrimination à Paris dans un beau petit parc, il y a 16 ans, en allaitant mon bébé de 7 semaines…et j’étais à ce moment outrée de l’attitude de ces gens, car il me semblait qu’au Québec, au moins, on était beaucoup plus réceptif. J’ai peine à croire qu’on ne puisse allaiter discrètement, dans un lieu public, à Montréal en 2011.
Je serai en pensée avec vous le 19 et j’encourage toutes les mères allaitantes et qui le peuvent à se mobiliser pour vous.

by Boutique Mère et Mousses on January 6, 2011 at 11:00 pm. #

I am outraged! I go there often… that could have been me. Ridiculous. I definitely plan on being there for the nurse in but I will not spend another penny there for sure. I will share this along…

by Nadia on January 6, 2011 at 11:43 pm. #

No anger. Just feed your child. I see people eating in cars, hear them slurping their coffees in elevators, stuffing their faces and spilling most of what goes between their hands and mouths on the floor at sporting events. Please. Breastfeeding is the most polite, clean, discrete way to feed a baby. Doesn’t anyone see this?

by maryanne on January 31, 2011 at 10:59 pm. #

[…] Pour lire la lettre ouverte de la mère en question, c’est par LÀ […]

by Actualité : Une femme se fait interdir d’allaiter. « Infos Bébé on January 7, 2011 at 12:42 am. #

Oh! That’s an idea!

Peut-être devrions nous faire un “sit-in” dans ou devant la boutique Orchestra… en allaitant?!

On se donne rendez-vous quand?
Et les maman non allaitantes sont bienvenues aussi, de même que les papas…

On appelle Sophie Durocher et une équipe de télé, avec ça??

by Sophie B. on January 7, 2011 at 1:26 am. #

I’m so saddened by your story.You are right – being a mum is hard work, and supporting parents should be the work of the whole community. Scolding parents for looking after their little ones is completely out of line. What kind of dignity did they think they were preserving? One in which we all hide our humanity and distance ourselves from any reminders that we are physical beings, built and nourished by love.

by Katie Munnik on January 7, 2011 at 4:48 am. #

Incroyable!! Définitivement à rayer de ma liste de magasin!!!

by Belle Maman on January 7, 2011 at 8:20 am. #

I was part of the January 1996 Nurse-in at Westmount Square and have been fighting since for support and laws related to nursing in public in Quebec. I have nursed my children everywhere in Montreal and all around the world. Many Boroughs in Montreal have by-laws related to nursing so perhaps we need to remind the borough of Villa Maria and Mayor Tremblay of this.
The current movement is strong and it takes a peoples movement, a mothers movement to make a difference. I will share the link for the nurse-in with all my colleagues and friends and on the INFACT Canada and INFACT Quebec sites. Consider also writing to your MNA (Members of the National Assembly of Québec)
http://www.assnat.qc.ca/en/deputes/index.html
I will be there between BF meetings to support this Nurse-In in Montreal. It is time for change!

by Carole Dobrich on January 7, 2011 at 9:26 am. #

J’entends faire une plainte tout de suite après ce commentaire. Je suis sincèrement attristée par la façon dont vous avez été traitée.
Vous avez tout mon soutien, soyez-en assurée.
J’ai allaité mon fils pendant 14 mois, fièrement et partout. Jamais aucune femme ne devrait vivre une expérience semblable.

by Caroline Durand on January 7, 2011 at 9:32 am. #

Hi,

I just can’t believe this. I will NEVER go to this store and buy their clothes.

Je suis outrée et j’espère que tu déposeras une plainte officielle. Je sais que ça prends du temps mais s.v.p. il faut le faire pour le bien de tous.

J’aime beaucoup l’idée de faire une grande rencontre devant ce magasin et allaiter nos enfants. Si vous le faites, j’y serai!

N’oubliez pas non plus que nous avons beaucoup de pouvoir contre ce magasin, les vêtements sont beaux? Just too bad, buy somewhere else. Si toutes les femmes qui lisent ce message croit en ce principe croyez moi, ils vont y penser la prochaine fois!

Isabelle

by Isabelle B on January 7, 2011 at 10:20 am. #

Wow…. what can I say? C’est honteux!
Une pensée de soutient depuis la France!
J’ai vécu la même chose il y a trois ans, une maman s’est faite expuler devant moi d’un magasin Sephora car elle allaitait ( je précise: en écharpe, ca ne se voyait même pas) sous prétexte que ca choquait la clientèle.
Moi j’ai allaité mes enfants trois ans et demi, en co-allaitement. Je suis un cas social aux yeux de beaucoup, je choque. Et pourtant je revendique ma situation! Allaiter est ce qu’il y a de plus naturel…. comme faire ses besoins! Bientot les enfants en couches ne pourront plus faire leurs besoin dans leurs couches dans les magasins parce que cela gênera. Ou va-t-on? LOL
Non, sérieusement, il est temps que les mentalités changent!
Keep up the good work by breastfeeding, and be proud of it!

by schneider sophie on January 7, 2011 at 11:34 am. #

As per Nourri-Source:

The right to Breastfeed in public areas is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms…
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!!!!

Permis d’allaiter de Nourri-Source:
Le droit d’allaiter en public est protég. par la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés…
Ne vous faites pas dire le contraire!!!

Je vais envoyer une lettre moi aussi!!

by Lybelle on January 7, 2011 at 12:18 pm. #

I add my 2 cents to the pool of outrage. It’s bad for any business to prohibit breastfeeding – but how particularly short sighted for a children’s clothing store to inconvenience their target market. I bet they’ll be sorry in the aftermath of this storm.

In general, there’s so little catering to the difficult job of parenting in this society. I feel limited in most things I do and I feel amazingly grateful whenever I do come across an establishment that has thought of some detail to include my family. Becoming a parent has made me much more sensitive to accomodation in general.

by Sandra on January 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm. #

I experienced the exact same thing in Fort Lauderdale airport last year. I was sitting discretly at the gate, waiting for my flight when the security guy came up to me and said: “Madame, you have to stop feeding your baby!” I said: “excuse-me?” He said: “You can’t feed your baby here. You could get arrested for that.” I said: “W-H-A-T? Ok, then, where can I go?” He said: “Go in the bathroom.” I said: “I went into the restrooms area and there’s no chair to sit on.” He said: “Sit on the toilet.” I WAS SHOCKED. My baby was crying, I had to feed him and I had NO WHERE to go. I couldn’t believe that this was still happening in 2010 still. I decided to go to another gate area where I could almost hide in the back corner, and breastfed anyways. Luckily, I never got “arrested”! What a joke that was!

Your story is shocking. You should ask apologies from the people who asked you to stop feeding your baby. How unbelievable! Thanks for sharing your story! : )

by Valerie Baillargeon on January 7, 2011 at 2:19 pm. #

Actually, the security guard didn’t know what he was talking about. You can not be arrested for breastfeeding in Florida. Most States have laws to protect the breastfeeding mother and Florida is one of them. He was just another example of someone who does not know the laws and goes by their own opinions instead.

Sit on a toilet? How disgusting is that?! Some people just do not think these days.

by tishm on January 27, 2011 at 9:02 pm. #

I’m sorry that happened to you! I will never spend a dime there should the chance arise.
Thankfully in Iowa I am protected very clearly. I was nervous initially about going out and nursing in public, considered printing and carrying the law with me in my diaper bag. But no one has ever given me any grief about it, thankfully.
I hope you get your apology! And I’d take those clothes back.

by stacy h on January 7, 2011 at 2:50 pm. #

[…] d’elles a pris la parole sur la blogosphère. [Si vous lisez l'anglais] allez lire, c’est très bien écrit en plus. Je la remercie, parce […]

by « Vous ne pouvez pas allaiter dans le magasin, madame.  « «La marâtre joyeuse on January 7, 2011 at 3:01 pm. #

WOW! Good for you standing up for yourself and even having the presence of mind to cite case law!!

If I lived closer and were still BF my son, I’d be at that store BF in a flash!! I went to a McDonalds near me that did the same thing this past summer (was in the Hamilton Spectator newspaper) and the woman received a full apology from the store manager, head office and the employee who told her to stop as he had no right to do that!

Good for you – I hope they give you the apology you deserve and that Quebec quickly passes law and makes BF allowed in all public places as it is in Ontario!!

by Ashleigh on January 7, 2011 at 3:05 pm. #

Wow – This is so sad – would they have asked you to stop feeding your baby a bottle – I think NOT.
I also suggest contacting the media – make the store pay for your horrible experience. I’m in Ontario – but want to go breastfeed in that store. Stick up for yourself!

by Susan on January 7, 2011 at 3:07 pm. #

Agh! I can’t believe they had the NERVE. And to talk about you ‘behind your back’ like that… The store clerk & other employees were obviously not mothers, or ones that breastfed! You gotta feed a hungry baby and I’m positive you wouldn’t have been asked to stop BOTTLE feeding your baby…

I hope you get your apologies and that something changes there! Good luck.

by PamJ on January 7, 2011 at 3:08 pm. #

I am so sorry that you had to experience this. I am sickened that you were treated this way. I cannot believe that people still think that breastfeeding is in some way offensive.
I have shared your story on facebook , signed the petition and will be writing some letters.

I am proud to say that breastfeeding my son tops the list of my greatest accomplishments.

Stay strong!

by Joanna on January 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm. #

I am so, so sorry you experienced this. I related so strongly to every word you wrote. I have seen this happen to so many women. They are made to feel disgusting, inferior, they are shamed. Their babies go hungry for a while or are cared for by a woman shaken and upset (if people think children and babies aren’t affected by their attached caregivers they are decidedly mistaken).

I will write letters.

Thank you for posting.

by Kelly on January 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm. #

I have lived and breastfed all over Canada including on Parliament Hill. The ONLY place I was ever told to stop was in Montreal (of ALL places!) at the Complexe Desjardins.

by Sarah Dufton on January 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm. #

I’m so sorry this happened to you, it shouldn’t have happened and was entirely unprofessional of them to badmouth you at ALL and then for you to actually HEAR it was even worse! Shame on them! I am in Virginia so I cannot do the nurse-in but I would very much like to be there in spirit nursing my 10 month baby girl! I have 6 children, all whom I nursed in public and I have been blessed enough to not have been asked to leave….YET. I am not done breastfeeding so it could happen but I am always ready to fight my rights!!!!

by brenda on January 7, 2011 at 4:34 pm. #

I would have been shocked, especially in a children’s store. Can’t believe they were so ignorant in this situation.

by Angela on January 7, 2011 at 4:38 pm. #

I breastfed my baby girl for a year, and I can definitely say how hard it is when your baby gets hungry and you want to feed them and have to cover up. Its so tough! I would have been more than crying if I were you! They were completely out of line, not you!

by Jennifer on January 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm. #

I’m so sorry you had to go through that experience- and at the hands of other women! You are very brave to talk about it and complain. We need to stand together. Congratulations on breast feeding your little girl!!

by Monica on January 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm. #

In a kid store??? Le comble du ridicule.

29 months of breastfeeding and counting (with two different babies) and nothing so outrageous as ever happened to me. And I hate breastfeeding rooms and never use them if I can find a correct seat elsewhere.

I hope you do get the apologies you deserve and that they understand the lesson.

by Sara in Montréal on January 7, 2011 at 4:58 pm. #

I am thoroughly disgusted by the treatment you recieved in the Store. I think it’s wonderful that you stood up for yourself, I can only imagine how hard it must have been. They should be ashamed of themsevles. I hope they receive many letters of complaint in addition to my own.

by krystle on January 7, 2011 at 5:52 pm. #

As a mom who has breastfed two babies and plans to nurse my next, I find this so infuriating. We live in a culture where women wear clothes that reveal so much more than breastfeeding and I walk my kid through a store with perfume ads that leave nothing to the imagination, yet people are “disgusted” when I nurse in public?! I know you regret leaving the way you did and not making a scene, but I totally understand how shocked you felt and can relate to the fact that you were keeping the emotions of your other children in mind. I am grateful that I have never been openly confronted about nursing in public, but I’ve received some glares, stares, and comments. Women should not be ridiculed, shamed, or bullied out of breastfeeding in public! Private nursing areas are nice, but not always practical. You picked an absolutely appropriate place to nurse and these employees should be educated!

by Mindy on January 7, 2011 at 6:01 pm. #

I’m so sorry you felt alone and overwhelmed. As right as we are when we stand up for breastfeeding, it can leave us feeling emotionally vulnerable when we are attacked and condemned with an energy of disgust around our children.
I remember when this same thing happened 15 years ago in Westmount square. In very little time we rallied together an astounding number of breastfeeding women to support the woman and to educate the public. I was tandem nursing at the time and boy and that certainly turned some heads. Even though I’m no longer breastfeeding, I stand with you in solidarity.

by Lesley Everest on January 7, 2011 at 8:10 pm. #

[…] vous invite à lire le texte écrit par la victime de cette discrimination et les commentaires laissés sur son blogue! Un nurse-in a même été mis […]

by Orchestra, une boutique de Montréal, interdit l’allaitement! | Confessions on January 7, 2011 at 8:27 pm. #

i fully support you! if i was the other mum sitting next to you, i would have said a thing or two, as well. and you would have not felt alone.

by Tasha on January 7, 2011 at 8:39 pm. #

We had a similar situation in our local shopping mall last year and organized a nurse-in. It was very successful in promoting awareness of the law, but unfortunately not in changing people’s minds about the appropriateness of NIP. Sadly, people will cling to their weird notions about nursing.

Sending you big time support from MD in the USA.

by Becca on January 7, 2011 at 8:55 pm. #

C’est terrible! J’ai aussi posté ton blog sur facebook. Bonne chance dans tes démarches. Nous sommes plusieurs derrière toi.

by Brigitte on January 7, 2011 at 8:59 pm. #

Completely shocked.
I nurse everywhere too. I use a wonderful Kiokko nursing cover, and you can barely tell what’s going on under there. Honestly, I use it for my own benefit, not for bystanders. I can’t believe that in a children’s store, of all places, they would give you attitude. We should find a “Nursing Welcome” sticker and stick it on their door.
I will gladly participate in the nurse-in – just tell me when!

by Sandrine Mimeault on January 7, 2011 at 9:06 pm. #

This is infuriating. Particularly at a children’s store! I have been on the receiving end of a few raised eyebrows and stern looks when I’ve breastfed my baby in public but no one has had the nerve to ask me to stop.

I completely understand how frazzled you would have been though. However, now with the clear head you used to write this post, you need to not only carry out your correspondence to everyone in that company but you also need to go and take those clothes back and with the same clear and proud head tell them that they are complete cows and that until they make a concerted effort to demonstrate understanding and acceptance of their clientele, you won’t shop there. AND you’ll tell every single person you know to not shop there.

Good for you for writing about it and keep doing what you will always do best – be your children’s mom.

by MrsG on January 7, 2011 at 9:07 pm. #

Bonjour,
Si vous saviez les endroits où j’ai allaité mes bébés… même dans une église lors de funérailles!!
Et bien souvent, les mères font cela si naturellement, si facilement et si discrètement que personne ne le remarque…
Comme certaines d’entre vous l’ont dit, je me demande si le haut d’un sein de mère qui allaite est plus visible que ceux que l’on voit sur les affiches des boutiques de lingerie…!
Pour moi, l’allaitement de mon fils se terminera dans les prochaines semaines… je n’en ai que de bons souvenirs…

by Clau on January 7, 2011 at 9:57 pm. #

Sadly I can believe it happened. I’ve been nursing on and off in this town for 14 years as of next month and somehow I have NEVER been asked to stop. I’m actually annoyed about that because my husband is a lawyer and we’re convinced they have some sort of “don’t mess with the lawyer’s wife!” radar. Grrr. And I know exactly that teary scared feeling. So sorry this happened to you. The Indian Restaurant near me has a nursing mother sticker on the door to signify they are nursing friendly (I am in the Point by metro charlevoix) and I smile every time I see that sticker. How many times does this have to happen before people LEARN? Ailes is going broke, they should be glad anyone was in there even if they were buck naked. Jerks. And why is it always WOMEN tripping about this?!

by wkh on January 7, 2011 at 10:03 pm. #

Here is my brief letter. (BTW, I found the address of an Orchestra PR person on their investor page, so I sent it there, too.)

To: ‘jcyana@orchestra.fr’; ‘infos@orchestra.fr’; ‘service@complexelesailes.com’
Cc: ‘Garneau.M@parl.gc.ca’; ‘jchagnon-wsl@assnat.qc.ca’
Subject: Retailer violating human rights in Montreal

Greetings,

It has come to my attention that the children’s clothing retail store Orchestra in Complexe Les Ailes in Montreal is in violation of the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms for refusing to allow customers to nurse their children in the store.

The incident in question is reported at the link below:
http://breastfortheweary.com/2011/01/06/tired-hungry-baby/

This outrageous disrespect for Canadian laws and children offends me both as a mother and citizen. It is an act of wanton shamelessness on the part of a foreign-owned retailer that expects to take our hard-earned consumer dollars. I demand that Orchestra take steps to remedy the situation with the mother involved, and to educate their staff on the civil rights laws of this country, if they expect to generate revenue here. This note is copied to local political representatives in case Orchestra management requires additional encouragement to comply with our legislation.

Until then, I will spread the news through my personal network and urge every mother I meet to boycott Orchestra, Complexe Les Ailes, and Panda Shoes (an Orchestra distributor).

Sincerely,

Jennifer [surname redacted]

by Jennifer on January 7, 2011 at 10:59 pm. #

Je suis une maman qui allaite mon petit garçon de 8 mois presque chaque fois que je sors et même s’il ne m’ est rien arrivé de la sorte , je me sens directement interpellée par cette histoire. J’abonde dans le sens de tous les autres pour dire que c’ est INADMISSIBLE et bien sûr Orchestra est retiré de ma liste pour toujours. QU’en 2011 on vive des situations semblables me semble iréel.
Merci d’avoir partagé cette expérience, peut-être que ça sensibilisera certains hommes et femmes de croc-magnons.

by Virginie coossa on January 7, 2011 at 11:13 pm. #

Sending support from Calgary. I’m proud that you knew your rights, and I totally understand the feeling of being overwhelmed by emotion and not being able to say and do what you really want to. Wish I could reach out and hug you right now. Good for you, momma!

by Jenny Wiebe on January 8, 2011 at 12:02 am. #

I breastfed my two daughters now aged 30 and 25. Way back then, we would see this kind of thing happen all the time. Many woman fought for this very natural and beautiful gesture!
I am now a very proud grandmother of 2 adorable children which the last one is still being fed breastmilk. I used to buy my grandchildren some really nice cool clothes at this store (0nly on sale…way too expensive). I will no longer ever go there! And If I didn’t work on your sit-in, I would be there to cheer all you great mothers who chose to breasfeed your children! It’s very sad to see that even 30 years later, some people are very retarted on this topic!! And I know just how you must of felt when they asked you to get out!! I would of cried my eyes out too!! We are so vulnerable when the babies are so young and hungry! Be proud!! And don’t ever stop yourself from breastfeeding your baby wherever you are!! Good luck!

by Celine theriault on January 8, 2011 at 12:07 am. #

I am so sorry to hear this happened to you, in Montreal, in 2011! I’m a new mom proudly breastfeeding my 4 month old son and I know I would have been shocked, teary and frazzled if this ever happened to me. Props to you for knowing our rights and voicing them. Education is power! No one should ever have to feel uncomfortable for breastfeeding. A post on another blog gave me a great idea to print out and carry a copy of my rights with me in the diaper bag so thanks for all the great links in your post! http://blog.applecheeks.com/posts/2011/1/7/nursing-in-public-exercising-our-rights.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Thank you for sharing your story. You have my support!

by Jackie on January 8, 2011 at 12:12 am. #

I am disappointed you bought the clothes after that. I would have said, “I will not be buying those now, or ever.” The store does not respect you – don’t help it survive by buying from it.

by Janice on January 8, 2011 at 12:34 am. #

I am disappointed at the behavior of the employees at Orchestra and hope that the complaints are heeded by Les Ailes de la Mode. How dare they contravene our civil rights! I nursed my daughter for 13 months (until she decided she was done, much to my disappointment), a memorable period of my life when I felt deliciously female. Friends who chose to bottle feed their children never made me feel uncomfortable with my decision to BF (and I tried to keep my BF beliefs, and the applicable documentation in its favor, to myself). For purely personal reasons, I rarely nursed in the open and am thankful not to have been stared at or admonished when I did. Seeing women nursing in public makes me smile (and brings back amazing memories) and I encourage everyone who wants to BF in public to do so, whenever the need arises. It is THE most natural activity for mother and baby. Faith and perseverance can, and will, dispel archaic attitudes.

by Kristin on January 8, 2011 at 12:34 am. #

I’m so sorry you had this happen to you.
I hope that everyone spreads this message on your behalf, and on behalf of all nursing moms.
Good luck!
And shame on Orchestra.

by Barb on January 8, 2011 at 8:41 am. #

I think that it’s a sad state of affairs that mothers cannot feed their children when their kids are hungry. Breastfeeding is much more than getting food into hungry bellies. It’s bonding, loving, and so beautiful. Disgusting? I think not!
To be perfectly honest, I used to adore watching my kids feed from their mother. There was a sense of pure beauty in that. Alas, the kids are grown now. So, “Another Mother”, please take some small comfort in knowing that there are many out here who feel for you, for what it’s worth. It’s just so…criminal that someone would even ask you to stop.
Anyway, that’s my two cents.

by David on January 8, 2011 at 10:24 am. #

Outrageous!!! This should not even be an issue in 2011. Keep up the fight.
Former Montrealer and nursing Mum of a 7mos old.
Heather, Kitchener ON

by Heather on January 8, 2011 at 10:36 am. #

Juste to let you known that you can contact me if you need someone to translate your history!

by Cynthia on January 8, 2011 at 1:44 pm. #

I’ve written letters to all the addresses provided.

by J. Sukys on January 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm. #

I fully support your right to breastfeed in public, and THEY need to be made aware of this. I nurse my babies in public and anyone who tries to stop me…beware. And exactly, this should NOT even be an issue these days. Make them fully aware.

Mary in Alberta.

by Mary Siever on January 8, 2011 at 3:28 pm. #

Letters written!

by Mary Siever on January 8, 2011 at 3:42 pm. #

Outrageous…I will never go to that store!!!

by Claudia on January 8, 2011 at 7:33 pm. #

Thank you for having the courage to stand up for breastfeeding.
From a mother of 4, and grandmother of 6.

by Kate Bissell on January 8, 2011 at 11:44 pm. #

Lettre envoyée!

J’irai ailleurs acheter des vêtements pour mes petits-enfants!

Et je continuerai à encourager les mères qui allaitent. J’ai allaité mes enfants à une époque où il fallait se cacher et je croyais sincèrement que les mentalités avaient évolué. Faut croire qu’il reste des néanderthalien(ne)s hélas….

Nona

by Babs on January 9, 2011 at 2:00 am. #

Even without kids of my own I think this is ridiculous.
Since when feeding a kid has become disgusting ???
This just should not happen.Period.

by Naomi on January 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm. #

I was so outraged when I read this story that I immediate went to Orchestra’s website and filed a complaint on their website. Here is the link / voici le lien : http://www.orchestra.fr/contact.asp

by Maya on January 9, 2011 at 1:06 pm. #

Voici ma lettre de plainte envoyée au magasin:

Suite aux événements dégoutants survenus au magasin Orchestra du complexe les Ailes de la Mode, à Montréal, où pas une mais deux mères se sont fait interdire de nourrir leur bébé affamé, je tiens à signaler ma rage face à cette attitude arriérée. En 2011, nous n’avons plus à établir les bienfaits de l’allaitement. Cependant, le personnel de ce magasin su faire preuve de manque de civisme, bien au-delà de leur simple devoir professionnel. Il est allé à l’encontre des droits des bébés, si innocents soient-ils. Il est certain que jamais je ne mettrai les pieds dans ce magasin pour enfant. De toute façon, il est voué à faire faillite, étant donné que sa politique consiste à faire mourir les enfants de faim, et que ceux-ci sont leur clientèle cible. Iriez-vous manger votre lunch aux toilettes? Pourquoi les bébés devraient-ils, eux?
——
je vous invite à voir cette pub australienne:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnReJeQrK0k
c’est excellent!

J’invite également toutes les mères à qui ce genre d’histoire arrive d’avoir le courage de le médiatiser. C’est en étant entendues que nous serons écoutées!

Courage et merci!

by Anne-Marie on January 9, 2011 at 4:14 pm. #

OMG – I feel for you so much. I am currently breastfeeding my 2 month old and its tough enough just to get out of the house, let alone be shamed because you’re feeding your baby. With all the sleep deprivation and stress of juggling a baby and a toddler, tears are never really that far away on a good day. The LAST thing anyone should be doing is making you feel bad – for anything! I’m so disgusted with the store personnel in your story – they should be publicly humiliated for their ignorance and poor manners.

Fortunately for me in Calgary, I’ve never had such a problem. In fact, store clerks have offered me change-rooms to feed my baby in so I would feel comfortable. They’ve even gone and got me a seat. I tell you, it was WELL appreciated. Yes, there are nursing rooms – usually just one and they always seem to be waaaaay off on the other side of the mall when you need them.

Good for you for taking this as high as you can. People need to be made aware. Mothers need to feel welcomed, comfortable and appreciated. Afterall, we only have the most important job in the world!

Best of luck. You have my full support.

by Briannah on January 9, 2011 at 5:32 pm. #

Non mais franchement! C’est incroyablement ridicule.

by RB on January 9, 2011 at 6:03 pm. #

Merci d’avoir créé ce blog pour partager cette triste histoire. Qu’elle mauvaise publicité pour le magasin Orchestra et tant mieux. J’espère que ceci attirera l’attention des médias et servira de leçon. Je M,engage à écrire une lettre comme plusieurs autres mamans. J’allaite actuellement mon deuxième enfant. Une vendeuse de chez Simon’s au Carrefour Laval m’a déjà suggéré de me rendre au salon d’allaitement et j’ai gentillement refusé et continué d’allaiter dans un fauteuil devant sa caisse. J’étais avec une amie qui allaitait elle aussi.
Merci d’avoir partagé votre histoire.

by evelyne marchildon on January 9, 2011 at 6:54 pm. #

Je viens de lire cette histoire ! Je ne suis absolument pas contre l’allaitement, bien au contraire, ayant moi meme allaité mes 2 enfants . Je connais bien ce magasin et l’endroit en question où lesdites mamans ont allaités leur bébés . Or, par soucis de sécurité, je ne m’y serais jamais installée. Ces chaises sont minuscules et je ne vois pas un adulte s’y assoir ! Peut etre que le personnel pensait a ca … je ne sais pas …

by Pierrette on January 9, 2011 at 8:14 pm. #

Just before xmas, I got reprimanded after a mom-to-be complained that me, as a breast feeding godmother (a.k.a. marraine d’allaitement), breast fed my 14 months old baby during one of our prenatal breast feeding class!!! And my breast feeding was so “text book” discreet!!!

Glad to see to will file a complain to the Human Rights!!! You go mama!!!

by Caroline on January 9, 2011 at 9:51 pm. #

Franchement choquant, je vous encourage même à poursuivre légalement le magasin…je compatis avec ce que vous avez vécu.

Shocking! I encourage you for a legal pursuit againt them, you will win for sure. I’m sad for this bad experience. Continue to nursing in public, please, it’s the best advocacy to defend it.
Hope that there will be a lot of breastfeeding mothers for the Nurse-in!

Isabelle Cloutier IBCLC

by Isabelle Cloutier on January 9, 2011 at 10:29 pm. #

It’s ridiculous that in 2011 that this is even an issue. Breastfeeding is completely natural and is proven better for babies that formula. I wish you all the best at your nurse-in! Glad that you are standing up for your rights and I’m sure you’ll win! Good luck!

by Nadine on January 9, 2011 at 10:42 pm. #

Je vous encourage fortement à porter plainte à la Charte des droits et libertés , et à poursuivre le magasin légalement . Je vais partager votre blogue sur Facebook car j’ai entendu votre cas sur LCN dimanche matin et ça m’a choquée au plus haut point . Je n’ai pas allaitée dans le temps y a de ça presque 34 ans , c’est un choix personnel mais je comprends tout à fait les mamans qui allaitent . Je n’ai jamais magasinée à cet endroit pour mes petits enfants et ce n’est pas de sitôt que je le ferai non plus , jamais ils n’auront mes sous , c’est scandaleux ce qu’ils vous on fait à vous et l’autre maman , voyons ma brue a allaiter ses 2 enfants et y a rien de scandaleux là , c’est tout à fait naturel .

by Francine Carreau on January 10, 2011 at 12:02 am. #

Unreal! I completely understand how it didn’t all sink in until afterwards and only then did you realize what you “should” have said or “should” have done. Hats off to you for breastfeeding your baby which is one of the most demanding jobs a mother has. And congrats on keeping it together as long as you did. If you wanted to really piss off the sales clerks, you could have also taken some clothes into the fitting room to “try” them on…. take you sweet time, and hopefully a line would form outside! Might not be too good for business!

Best of luck :-)

by Stacy on January 10, 2011 at 7:28 am. #

Je trouve cela débile de la part du magasin, et pas vraiment commercial, mais de là à parler de violation des droits de l’homme…

by bh on January 10, 2011 at 8:56 am. #

Je ne peux pas croire qu’en 2011, dans un magasin pour enfants on fasse a si peu de bon sens. L’allaitement est naturel, les seins sont en premier lieu fait pour ca. J’ai allaité mes 2 enfants PARTOUT et il n’aurait vraiment pas fallu que quelqu’un vienne me dire de me cacher ou sortir, ouf que j’aurais été mauvaise. Bande d’idiot! Et que dire des commis qui commentait l’incident devant les clients dont celle qui se faisait expulser. Franchement! J’ai fais une plainte au bureau chef en France, au magasin meme et au complexe les ailes. Vous ne me verrez plus jamais mette les pieds dans ce magasin, ni même mes amies

by Stéphanie on January 10, 2011 at 10:15 am. #

C’est ça. Je suis marraine d’allaitement et on en parle beaucoup dans les rencontres de marraines. Pas fort.

by Emia on January 10, 2011 at 10:23 am. #

Je ne comprend pas comment des femmes de notre génération peuvent encore penser comme ça en 2011. Elles n’ont probablement pas d’enfant et n’ont jamais été confrontées aux pleurs déchirants d’un enfant qui a faim! Pour ma part, il m’est arrivé d’allaiter dans une église, pendant une cérémonie de baptême, une autre fois en pleine cérémonie de mariage, souvent dans plusieurs magasins, dont Clément, dans la section des chaises berçantes a vendre, devant tout le monde. Je ne suis allée que de rares fois dans les salles d’allaitement car je trouvait cela contraignant et préférait allaiter en public. Jamais on ne m’a fait de commentaire négatif. Souvent j’ai reçu des regards attendris et des encouragements. Pourquoi faudrait-il se cacher?

by Marie-Pier on January 10, 2011 at 12:03 pm. #

You have my complete support!

by Laurel on January 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm. #

If I lived in Montreal, I would be joining the January 19 nurse-in at Orchestra children’s clothing store. There, a woman was recently approached by a sales clerk and told she couldn’t breastfeed her five-month-old baby. That just makes my blood boil!

It perplexes me as much as it infuriates me. Why, why, why on Earth would a female sales associate deny a mother of three the right to feed and nurture her small child in a store that caters to the mom’s very demographic? There’s no good reason or explanation, other than sheer ignorance and stupidity.

The woman, Shannon Smith, has launched a complaint with Quebec’s Human Rights Commission over her treatment. I say, Go, Shannon, go!! I’m behind you all the way.

Orchestre isn’t the first place to exhibit such deplorable judgment. In 2006, a woman was asked to get off a Delta Airlines flight for breastfeeding. (That calls for a “WTF?”!)

By contrast, other establishments are accepting and supportive—and I think they deserve a mention too.

When my second son was just a couple of months old, my husband, three-year-old son, and I went shopping for a new bed. My little one started to cry, so I sat down on a mattress and started feeding him. One of the store’s employees, a man, asked me if I wanted to sit on one of the deluxe, adjustable mattresses, the kind where you can raise and lower the top and bottom halves. I got all propped up as if I were sitting on a lounger by the pool. That same employee also offered a pillow for my back, then others offered me coffee and muffins that staff members happened to bring in for themselves to share that morning.

I wasn’t just comfortable; I was practically blissed out! (That store was Sleep Country on Marine Drive in North Vancouver. Thumbs up!)

I don’t qualify as a “lactivist” and I know and love many women who couldn’t or chose not to breastfeed their own kids. To each her own.

But I am appalled at Orchestre’s stand and I hope this kind of reaction to breastfeeding fast becomes a thing of the past.

Visit blushmom.com, a site for moms and moms-to-be!

http://www.blushmom.com/Home/tabid/54/EntryId/548/Im-Cheering-On-the-Woman-Who-Was-Asked-to-Stop-Breastfeeding.aspx

by Gail on January 10, 2011 at 1:33 pm. #

Grrr… Although, culturally, it is hard for me to nurse my baby in public, it is absolutely ridiculous, what happened to you. I’ll look into writing to all of these people. The ridiculousness! That too in a kids’ store?

by S on January 10, 2011 at 5:09 pm. #

[…] L’histoire a fait le tour des médias traditionnels. Cyberpresse, CBC Radio One (le matin), TVA nouvelles, TVA […]

by « Vous ne pouvez pas allaiter dans le magasin, madame  (2) « «La marâtre joyeuse on January 10, 2011 at 9:40 pm. #

I am in Calgary and I have just read about your unfortunate experience. It saddens me to read about such stories! Though I currently live in Calgary, I was born and raised in Montreal. I must say, unfortunately, while I lived in in Montreal I had the impression from those around me that breastfeeding was not something to be proud of – that it was shameful and should be done in private. I did not have children yet at that time but my friends who did have children never BF’d in public. In fact, those I knew who had children never even BF’d in front of me! I have been in Calgary now for over a decade and I have 4 children, all of whom were breastfed. Here I never ever felt that it was something to hide or be ashamed of. I nursed all my babies in public. I sometimes used the private nursing rooms at the mall, but honestly I prefered to nurse in the food court or in the middle of the mall because I enjoyed people watching. I never had any strange looks or snarky remarks. In fact, most of the time people looked me in the eye, and smiled at me. I was proud to be feeding my babies the best possible nourishment they can recieve.

I wish I could attend the nurse-in and support you! but just know that I am supporting you from Calgary.

p.s. There are more breasts in the media today that are far more indecent than a breat that is feeding a baby. It shocks me… You can see more breast on a tv commercial or a music video that what you see when nursing a baby. it saddens me that people still think today that this in indecent.

by Cindy on January 10, 2011 at 10:14 pm. #

Your story is so touching. Thank you on behalf of all nursing women for speaking up and trying to make the world a better place.

by Holly Botner on January 11, 2011 at 6:59 am. #

[…] she posted her story on her blog last week, she said, she asked for two things: An apology from the children’s clothing company and […]

by Montreal children’s store apologizes for giving breastfeeding mom the boot | Posted | National Post on January 11, 2011 at 9:47 am. #

[…] mère a raconté les faits sur son blogue (en anglais). Cyberpresse a été l’un des nonbreux médias qui ont relayé la nouvelle. Depuis […]

by L’allaitement en public, recul ou avancée? « on January 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm. #

I am in shock with your story. I cannot believe that in this day and age people still view something so natural and so beautiful as inappropriate! Like a previous person said – we so many breasts on TV, movies, etc – how is it that a mother breastfeeding her child when they are hungry is wrong?

I live in Nova Scotia and it is actually law here that no one can ask you to leave a store or stop breastfeeding – and I cannot believe that this isn’t the case everywhere! Here is the Nova Scotia rights:

http://www.infactcanada.ca/humanright.htm

I am a mother to a 9 month old boy and I still breastfeed him, and in public if he is hungry! Good for you for not staying quiet and for standing up and making a point – hopefully this will make some changes so that others don’t have to go through what you have gone through! GOOD LUCK!!!!!

by Jennifer Kogon on January 11, 2011 at 3:25 pm. #

Breast-feeding mothers – unite! I also was asked to fully cover up while breastfeeding my son; my son being a contrary and rather decisive little individual, refuses to nurse covered up. I was then asked “wouldn’t we feel more comfortable in the public restroom?”, which has no chairs or changing facilities btw. My answer was another question, “do you eat your lunch while on the toilet?”. I took the person’s horrified expression to be no, they don’t eat there so I told them that we would join her in the can for lunch, if she was on her way there. Sent that poor ignorant moron running!

by Jennifer Kurulok on January 11, 2011 at 4:56 pm. #

My husband pointed out the article in the Globe because something similar happened to me last month. Except it was someone dressed as “Mrs Claus” who put her hand on my shoulder and said, “Dear, you really should be doing that in the women’s washroom.” I couldn’t speak, I was so shocked and surprised. I’ve since written a letter of complaint and hinted at the violation of the human rights code; I’ll be interested in whatever response I may receive.

Good for you for fighting! There should be no need, certainly, but as long as there are people who can’t understand that a baby has the right to eat anywhere (and, of course, that said baby’s mother has the right to feed that baby anywhere) strong women like you are needed to stand up for these rights.

by Melanie A on January 12, 2011 at 12:55 am. #

Hi again.
Just to let you know that supporters have created a blog where we can put ideas and pictures of different places women has breastfeed in public and also the best and worst nursing room you have encounter in your area (pictures and comments please, funny comments also…!!)–(as breastfeeding in public is a right, there will be no discussion about that in this blog):
http://allaiterpartoutauquebec.blogspot.com/

Un mot pour vous faire savoir que des supporters ont crée un blogue où l’on pourra donner des idées et mettre des photos de différents endroits publics où vous avez allaité, ainsi que les tops et les flops côté “salles d’allaitement” que vous avez rencontré dans votre milieu. (photos et commentaires svp)
– (puisque l’allaitement en public est un droit, il n’y aura pas de discussion autour de cela dans ce blogue):
http://allaiterpartoutauquebec.blogspot.com/

ça peut faire avancer la cause de l’allaitement en public, et aussi aider à améliorer les endroits existants…et peut être mettre de la pression sur les centres d’achats qui n’ont encore que peu de confort à offrir aux mères qui le souhaitent…!!

Merci aux filles qui ont eu cette bonne idée pour le nouveau blogue!! (j’ai été témoin des échanges, c’était enrichissant et agréable de voir cette belle mobilisation!) Certaines seront au nurse-in…!

Isabelle Cloutier IBCLC

by Isabelle Cloutier on January 12, 2011 at 2:38 am. #

I went there once, but will never go again, except for the sit-in.
You’re not alone!

by Cindy on January 12, 2011 at 10:11 am. #

The problem is that our society only considers breasts as sexual objects – it is therefore OK to show breasts in a sexual way in television and movies but not in the basic, natural act of feeding our children. Bare a breast in public and ignorant people consider it a sexual act and indecent. Actually using a breast to feed our young contradicts the dominant idea of women as sexual objects and upsets the cultural norm. North American culture has all sorts of weird and conflicting issues with motherhood and sexuality, breastfeeding is certainly one of them. Good luck with your campaign, I have the luxury of living in British Columbia where breastfeeding in public is protected. As an imminently expectant mother-to-be, I intend to feed my child wherever I need to do so. While I intend to be discreet I certainly do not intend to limit myself to areas approved by others.

by Amanda Lord on January 12, 2011 at 8:47 pm. #

[…] partagé avec vous mon indignation face au traitement qu’a subi une mère allaitant dans la boutique Orchestra du Complexe les Ailes de Montréal. L’évènement a […]

by Orchestra – l’heure des excuses | Confessions on January 14, 2011 at 10:30 am. #

[…] moms they needed to stop. You probably know the rest. One of the women, Shannon Smith, got mad. She wrote a blog about what happened. She wanted an apology, and enforcement of the store’s policy that, in her words “respects […]

by Hell Hath No Fury Like a Breastfeeding Mom Blogger at Bunchland on January 14, 2011 at 11:36 am. #

It’s ludicrous that people have a problem with women nourishing their offspring. Bottle or boobie, babies have a right to be fed on demand. Shame on people who can’t deal with a natural mother-child bond. Power to the breastfeeding mothers!!! Btw, I’m not a mother yet, just a woman who fully supports you.

by Sarah L on January 14, 2011 at 1:37 pm. #

My ACTION to this will be to smile and give a sign of support to any woman I see breastfeeding her child – anytime, anywhere. We need to make connections. More positive experiences to out way the nasty or uncertain gazes.
__________________

Mon ACTION sera de sourir et donner un signe de support a chaque femme que je voi qui allaite son enfant en public.

by Brandie on January 14, 2011 at 10:38 pm. #

I offer complete support. There is no excuse for this kind of thing – especially in a CHILDREN’s clothing store. Babies need to eat.

by Barbara on January 14, 2011 at 10:55 pm. #

Thank you for your courage to write this and spread the word! All our mothers and babies deserve respect. Obviously lost on those ignorant staff members. Like really? How did they survive their first years on this planet with out there MOTHERS!!!! Man that makes me frustrated.

I support you and so does my lovely daughter!!!

BREAST FEEDING ROCKS!!!!!!!!

by Julia on January 15, 2011 at 4:02 am. #

Sad in this day and age that women have experiences such as yours. And sadder still that this is not a one off. It just occurred here in Vancouver in a furniture store. A mother was asked not to breastfeed. Then a reporter for the Vancouver Sun wrote a column about how it was really just all about being polite and, like dressing appropriately for a funeral, one shouldn’t breastfeed in public. It is really pathetic that a woman would write such drivel.
So thank you for standing up for women’s rights to feed their babies whenever and wherever they need to. It is after all normal.

by Frances Jones on January 16, 2011 at 12:20 am. #

Il m’est arrivé la même chose en octobre 2009, au restaurant [Editor’s note: redacted] Ste-Rose. J’allaitais mon fils de 9 mois, je d’ailleurs portais un chandail d’allaitement et un foulard! La serveuse est venue me demander d’aller allaiter ailleurs. Je lui ai demandé quel client s’était plaint, elle m’a dit que personne ne s’était plaint mais que c’était dans les politiques de la maison. Je lui ai expliqué que je n’arrêterais pas d’allaiter mon enfant et que je ne changerais pas de place, que seulement me le demander était illégal. Je lui ai aussi mentionné que pour certaines mères, ce genre de demande pourrait compromettre un allaitement parfois fragile. Je me suis plaint à [Editor’s note: redacted] Canada et ait reçu une lettre d’excuses.

by Amelie on January 16, 2011 at 11:48 pm. #

Voici la copie de mon e-mail:
Comment le manager de votre magasin ose-t-il tolérer que de vulgaires grooms empêchent une femme d’allaiter son enfant ??? Vous avez eu de la chance que cette femme n’était pas moi, car loin d’avoir envie de pleurer j’aurais plutôt immédiatement appelé la police et fait un scandale. D’ailleurs vous pouvez vous attendre à une vague de mamans allaitant dans tous les rayons de votre sale boutique, si toutefois vous échappez au boycott pur et simple.

Vous avez aménagé une « salle d’allaitement » ?? Et alors ? Depuis quand une femme doit-elle se cacher pour nourrir son bébé ?

Je ne vous salue pas

A.D., femme, mère, qui ne remettra plus jamais les pieds chez vous

by Artemis on January 18, 2011 at 12:10 am. #

Lâcheté, étroitesse d’esprit, puritanisme et pudibonderie, certes !
Mais surtout sexisme, misogynie et hypocrisie en tout premier plan !
Et puis, oui, je l’ajoute et le maintiens : VIOLENCE !

(Et pour qui en douterait, qu’il lise Breast for the Weary – A tired hungry baby à :
http://breastfortheweary.com/2011/01/06/tired-hungry-baby/#more-1)

Toujours la même histoire : le grand besoin de contrôler le corps des femmes, de les embrigader dans des règles stupides, de baliser leurs faits et gestes. Comme il y a loin de la coupe aux lèvres entre le beau principe d’égalité des sexes de la Charte canadienne et la réalité quotidienne !

Mesdames, persistez et signez ! Offrez à vos nourrissons ce que la nature fait de mieux pour leur croissance et leur santé ainsi que pour la création d’un solide lien d’amour et de sécurité.

J’ai allaité mes filles il y a près de 30 ans. Publiquement au besoin. Bien sûr, j’évitais l’exhibitionnisme, mais jamais je ne me suis cachée. Peut-être m’a-t-on servi moult regards réprobateurs, mais je n’en sais rien car je me centrais sur ces moments privilégiés avec mes petites et que c’est elles que je regardais.

Mesdames, quand vous devez allaiter publiquement, concentrez-vous sur ce geste millénaire, enveloppez-vous dans un cocon avec votre nourrisson et adoptez le calme et le flegme de celle qui a la chance de vivre dans un pays libre et qui use de ses droits. Si on s’objecte, ne donnez pas aux bigots le pouvoir de vous déstabiliser et de transformer votre geste sain en un moment de stress que ressentira votre bébé. Si on insiste, respirez calmement, ne bougez pas, priorisez le plus urgent : nourrir le petit affamé, et au lieu de dépenser inutilement votre énergie en discutant et en vous justifiant, demandez qu’on appelle la police pour régler cette affaire de droits et libertés, et surtout de gros bon sens. Non seulement le petit aura-t-il eu le temps de se rassasier, mais vous aurez aussi montré que l’allaitement est sain et naturel et qu’on n’a pas à s’en justifier.

Merci, madame Shannon Smith, d’avoir porté cet incident méprisable à la connaissance du public et honte à la boutique Orchestra qui n’a décidé de s’excuser qu’après avoir constaté l’ampleur de la grogne suscitée par son ineptie.

Dans le même ordre d’idées, je partage avec vous ce qu’a vécu ma fille à la clinique de fertilité [Editor’s note: redacted] à Montréal en décembre dernier, où elle était allée passer un test de clarté nucale. Alors qu’elle venait tout juste de payer près de 400 $ pour l’examen, son bébé de huit mois (sevrée du sein mais encore à la bouteille, vous vous en doutez) s’est mise à hurler, réclamant son boire. Ma fille a alors tendu un biberon à la réceptionniste qui a refusé catégoriquement d’utiliser le four à microondes des employés pour chauffer le lait ! Ulcérée, ma fille a fait comme Mme Smith et a quitté les lieux. Avec le recul et une fois calmée, elle a pensé à un autre dénouement : faire un sit-in avec un bébé hurleur et compter les minutes qu’aurait mis la réceptionniste avant d’agir, probablement pas dans le but de soulager la petite puisque le confort des bébés ne semble pas une priorité chez [Editor’s note: redacted], mais sans doute pour éviter que ne perdure la scène disgracieuse à laquelle assistait la clientèle de la salle d’attente… clientèle elle-même prête à payer cher pour entendre à son tour les pleurs de sa progéniture…

Mais non, le ridicule ne tue pas !!!

by Francine on January 18, 2011 at 11:29 am. #

[…] manifestation vient en réaction à l’interdiction de deux jeunes mamans québéquoises d’allaiter leur bébé dans un ORCHESTRA de Montréal le 6 janvier dernier. Oui, oui , vous […]

by Allaiter sans honte en 2011? | on January 19, 2011 at 1:26 am. #

Excellent interview on CBC Radio, good for you!

by Robin Kristofic on January 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm. #

Hello Shannon,

I thought you might be interested in this link, it is about a woman who goes through similar experiences:

http://www.bencomicstrip.com/blog/breast-is-best/

My husband Daniel did these comics over 10 years ago. Sadly, plus ça change!

by Rina on January 20, 2011 at 11:21 am. #

I’ve just received a reply (see my earlier comment, #125 I think?), and am not impressed. The relevant part of the letter is one single sentence. It begins “In regard to your experience…” and continues with “…I have made note and will be sure to remind staff and volunteers of their responsibilities and conduct when addressing our guests, no matter what the circumstance.” I read that as “we’ll pinch our collective nose and tolerate babies breastfeeding, but we won’t like it and we won’t agree with it, so there”. And the person who responded couldn’t even bring himself to use the word breastfeed!!

by Melanie A on January 25, 2011 at 12:44 am. #

Il y a quelques semaines j’étais interdite d’allaiter dans un magasin du centre-ville de Montréal. On songe maintenant à rendre la loi plus claire pour mieux protéger les droits des femmes d’allaiter en public, pour réduire les chances que cela arrive de nouveau.

Une nouvelle pétition gouvernementale existe qui propose une loi qui permettrait explicitement aux femmes d’allaiter partout en public dans la province de Québec. Cette nouvelle loi serait similaire aux lois qui existent déjà en Colombie-Britannique, Ontario et la Nouvelle-Écosse. .La députée d’Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Carole Poirier, qui est aussi porte-parole de l’opposition officielle en matière de famille, a accepté de parrainer la pétition. Je vous encourage de la signer et de le faire connaître à votre entourage.

Signez la pétition:
http://bit.ly/golPTm

Merci!

by Another Mother on January 26, 2011 at 12:16 am. #

I think most of us are missing the point here. The reason breastfeeding is bad is because we are brainwashed by the huge corpoarations that sell baby formula. There have been numerous cases in which corporations have changed the way society views a social norm just to sell more of their product. The goal is to make breastfeeding a bad thing because it is not profitable to a coporation. There have been numerous studies that prove that if we all breastfeed our babies, they not only are more healthy and have less incident of eary diease but also are more intelligent when they are adults. With the debate of rising health care cost i wonder why this fact has not been mentioned ?

by frank on January 27, 2011 at 8:37 am. #

You go girl! Try pumping in public places?!? So many restrooms don’t have outlets (my pump was electric) and I have pumped in people’s offices, in the corner of an airport, you name it!

Even here in California where women parade around practically naked with huge fake breasts, a real boob feeding a child creates an uproar. Go figure.

Very proud of you. Continue the work that you are doing. Your three kids are so blessed to have a mother such as yourself =)

by Marisa R. on January 27, 2011 at 9:06 am. #

I am a grammy now but nursed all three of mine in the 60’s and 70’s. I would try to pick a quiet corner and cover up well with a blanket and can report that either I got a pass or no one figured out what was going on….

It would be great if this truly beneficial activity was perceived as the good thing it is and ceased to ruffle folks’ feathers.

Nurse on Moms. That’s what your boobs are there for not just for decoration. Nature’s perfect food – always the right temperature, ready to serve and comes in cute containers!

by kate griffith on January 27, 2011 at 9:12 am. #

I have absolutely loved reading the comments from such an incredible bunch of ladies. I wish my French was better so I could read all of them.
I breastfed my two children everywhere I went. This was in the eighties. Now my daughter is having twin girls and plans to breastfeed.
I never asked permission, and never ever breastfed in restrooms. Who wants to have their meals in a smelly restroom. It takes about 8 hours a day to nurse just one baby, and I wasn’t going to hide away somewhere. One time I was nursing my daughter while sitting on a park bench in the middle of a shopping mall, when an older man came and sat with me and visited. He didn’t realize I was nursing, and was asking me about the baby. It dawned on him when I discreetly switched sides. He got a bit embarrassed. I nursed my babies while I was in restaurants and having dinner.
I think that we have gone backwards. I usually see young women crammed into a restroom to nurse their babies. What happened? I live in Oregon and we are usually the leaders in rebellion and being progressive, so maybe that’s why no one ever said anything to me.
Nursing was the most convenient way to feed nmh babies. also, I’m a Registered Nurse and know the benefits.
when I lived in Africa, women were breastfeeding their babies everywhere.
monterey

by Monterey on January 27, 2011 at 10:00 pm. #

I am the mother of a 2 1/2 year old non-nursed little girl. I cannot believe that in the 21st century people are so shallow and narrow-minded that they would actually reprimand a mother for feeding her child! I give you kudos for standing up for your rights and the rights of your baby to be fed. And to all the women who supported you at the mall “feed-in,” congratulations to them for standing by their convictions to bring awareness to what is right!

by Angela on January 27, 2011 at 9:50 am. #

I am a mother of 2.5 children (expecting in April), and have breast-fed both my children so far. I have found that most of the negativity around my nursing my children came from my mother, who is against breast-feeding, as opposed to anyone in public.

Neither of my children liked having their faces covered up while nursing; they preferred to be able to look up and see me. Which is fair, I suppose; I wouldn’t want to eat with my head under a blanket either. By the same token, I don’t think it hygenic to tell women that they have to feed their infants in a bathroom, given that older children are taught never to eat in a bathroom because of germs. Next time someone offers that suggestion, ask if they eat on the toilet!

by Sheila on January 27, 2011 at 12:13 pm. #

If they would allow a child to have a juice box or a bottle in that store, then a child should be able to breast-feed. If it is a place where people are not allowed to eat or drink such as a museum or church, I think they should not be breast-feeding there either.

by Paige Jelley on January 27, 2011 at 1:54 pm. #

I breast fed both of my daughters. With my first I was a young and inexperienced breast feeder, so if we got caught out in public, I usually fed her in the car or a dressing room, but that was because I was still getting the hang of the whole thing. With my second daughter I wasn’t as embarrassed and I had it down to a science so that things weren’t all hanging out there. :) I didn’t always remember a blanket in the summer months. But I never will understand the craziness that surrounds this. It’s a baby eating. It’s not like it’s two adults who need to go find a room somewhere. And it’s not like the mother is sitting with her boobs hanging out since most women use nursing blankets and of those that don’t there isn’t anything to see anyway. People need to be a lot less neurotic about a baby eating; there is a lot more things to get hysterical about.

by Melanie on January 27, 2011 at 3:38 pm. #

While I am not a nursing mother, or a mother at all for that matter, I can see where there is much emotion on both sides of this issue. I am in agreement that nursing mothers of all stripes should be allowed to nurse whenever and wherever they wish. I am NOT opposed to breastfeeding at all. It is beautiful and natural and I think healthier for the baby and the mother than formula.

However, I think there is a way to make everyone happy, as some people may feel uncomfortable with the idea that there are breastfeeding mothers feeding their children in public. Some people are just “puritanical” and if they even SUSPECT that breastfeeding is going on they will pitch a fit and yell and scream. They will refuse to understand the situation, even if denying the right violates the rights of the mother. In order to avoid the uncomfortableness of the whole situation, could someone explain (en englais, s’il vous plait) why extracting breastmilk into bottles and taking them out to use would not be an acceptable compromise? I know that there is something about the warmth of the milk, but sometimes even adults have to eat things that are meant to be eaten warm, cold.

Just wondering.

Merci beaucoup!

by Kim on January 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm. #

I breastfed all four of our kids, now 24, 22, 18 and 16 years old. I can not believe this is still an issue! Really? I fed them on demand where ever we happened to be. I occasionally got a look but I’m an out spoken person naturally, so no one ever dared confront me.
Congratulate yourself on standing up for a babies right to eat when hungry. Good job Mom.

by Cindy from Nebraska, USA on January 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm. #

Good for you for breastfeeding your children! I breastfed all three of my children – sometimes in public if I was on the go. Although I was never asked to leave a place, there were many disgusted looks that I shrugged off. I hope that you are getting lots of encouragement from the positive comments left here!! I believe that there are many more sensible people with normal views about breastfeeding than there are of the other type. Sometimes you just have to be a duck, and let it all roll off your back!!

by Anne O'Donnell on January 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm. #

I wanted to say ‘Thank you’ for standing up for yourself, and your child. People don’t understand that the primary function of breasts was not for sexual pleasure, but for feeding our babies.

I commend you and others who participated in the mall protest. I say, “You Go, Girl!!”

by Donna on January 27, 2011 at 6:05 pm. #

Your friends & allies to the south (US) support you in this effort.
If we don’t speak up for our children, who will?

by gary turner on January 27, 2011 at 6:12 pm. #

Just read about the nurse in today! Good for all of you! What ignorance to ask you to stop feeding your baby. I nursed all 5 of mine– and if they got hungry, I just fed them where we were at. I always used a blanket. I don’t think anyone ever got an eye full.

GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

by Michelle on January 27, 2011 at 6:54 pm. #

I am appalled! That is utter bullshit (I apologize for my profanity but when I get upset I swear).

I do not have any children but firmly believe in nature and what is more natural than a more providing nourishment to her offspring.

People need to get their heads out of their asses. There is nothing profane or unnatural about a mother nourishing her child. I am thoroughly disgusted by anyone that even have a negative opinion about a mother breast feeding her child in public.

Society has gone for a shit – I do not know what has happened but over the past several years I swear to god that people have become more retarded. Smarten up people it is not like you have never seen a breast before!

by Chad Dyck on January 27, 2011 at 8:39 pm. #

I nursed both of my children and would do so again. They both know that it’s the right thing to do and will expect their future wives to share the same viewpoint. Breasts are for feeding babies first and spousal entertainment second. The objectors to breastfeeding probably feel uncomfortable acknowledging the secondary as well as the primary purpose of breasts.

Nursing moms do NOT intentionally expose their breast(s) in public, so the objection that nursing moms are acting in an exhibitionistic manner is invalid. It’s high time that women who choose nursing refuse to accept being sent to the ladies’ room, no matter how well appointed it might be. Anywhere an adult can eat is fine also for a baby. I nursed both of mine while sitting in the dentist’s chair having my teeth cleaned. There’s simply no valid reason to object to breastfeeding, period.

by angelhelp reiki on January 27, 2011 at 8:49 pm. #

Just wanted to let you know you have sisterly support down in the states. We all just want to feed our babies. Thanks for being a good honest mom.

by Amanda on January 27, 2011 at 8:53 pm. #

Good for you for standing up for your baby’s right to feed anywhere.
I think if anyone suggests that baby should be fed in a bathroom, they should pack their lunch and go eat in there themselves!
In the some of our states we have laws that protect the baby’s & mom’s right to nurse anywhere. I hope you are able to get the same in Canada.
Good luck & God Bless!

by Connie on January 27, 2011 at 9:18 pm. #

You go, mama! I can totally believed this happened. What did shock me is that you were covered up and a FEMALE employee still asked you to stop. Goodness. :(

I am so sorry. But good on you for fighting this.

by Alison on January 27, 2011 at 9:30 pm. #

Good job momma!!! Babies should be breastfed where ever and whenever they need to be feed. My second I remember feeding in the middle of Disney World right next to the Tea Cups… I fed my daughter every where and we have the right to feed our babies the way babies were intended to be fed. Breastfeeding needs to be promoted and respected. I would much rather see a women nurse their babies then girls walking around half dressed….

by Lori on January 27, 2011 at 10:01 pm. #

Good for you! Stand up women’s rights to breast feed in public!!

by Laura on January 27, 2011 at 10:32 pm. #

Breastfeeding is a fundamental right of humans… The right to subsistence.

Its unbelievably sad if the public perception isn’t matured enough to accept babies feeding in public.

Support from India: Our women have a absolute cultural right to feed their babies literally anywhere the baby wants to feed. The baby’s urgency and need beats every other nonsensical right of adults.

The whole attitude and business of segregating and hiding breastfeed activity to rooms ought to be condemned in the strongest manner possible for forgetting one fundamental truth: That its human nature to feed and to be fed from the breast almost always in an urgency. Trying to barricade that right into narrow spaces like other calls of nature is absolute blunderbuss. Whats next, sneezes only at a special zone? smile area, anger venting ring?

by Jagan Mohan on January 27, 2011 at 11:05 pm. #

Thank you for sharing your story. I hope someday we live in a world where feeding our children is normal and inoffensive!

by Rebecca on January 27, 2011 at 11:16 pm. #

Just read about this issue and the sit-in regarding breastfeeding. Way to go!!!!!!! As a physician assistant and mother I love to read stories like this. You knew and stood up for your rights and excited social activism! A wonderful story to share with your children as they grow.
I nursed both my sons for 2 yrs. each (they are now 7 and 3) and will continue to support breastfeeding in public or private!!!!
You have support from the USA and Southern Illinois!!
God Bless!

by Courtney on January 27, 2011 at 11:57 pm. #

I send my support from the U.S. and I wish I had been there. Breastfeeding is the way that we are meant to feed our little ones, and it is not a shameful process to be hidden away. If a nursing pair needs privacy to avoid distraction, that is one thing, otherwise we should all be free to feed our youngsters as we (and they) wish whenever and wherever we are. I celebrate your doing what is normal and what I believe to be an absolute right for moms and babies/young children.

by Diane Harris on January 28, 2011 at 2:28 am. #

Well I must just be getting too old at the age of 72 years. When I was a teen age boy this was common in Church and even on the court house square in the town of Lawrenceville, Georgia.

I think that in the 50s people began to use formula and that seemed have changed everything for the worse. I remember one of young cousins drinking mik from a glass and when I commented to his mother (my aunt) that I thought he was too young she told me that breast fed babies start drinking from a glass much earlier than bottle babies.

How are we ever going to change this? I think maybe we are fighting the formula makers. What could be more normal than this? And people are offended! I don’t understand.

by Owen Greeson on January 28, 2011 at 3:03 am. #

I am from the UK and me and my girlfriend are expecting out first child together, due in 6weeks! I am shocked that breastfeeding is not looked upon as the most natural thing in the world.

It is every womans god given right to breastfeed their child whenever and wherever they wish!

I personally think that no one on this planet has the right to disallow or stop a woman breastfeeding! No judge, presdent, prime minister or anyone for that matter has the right to pass any law or rule that stops women breastfeeding ANYWHERE. If there is a place on this planet where breastfeeding shouldn’t happen it would in an extreme case and I feel that 99.9% of women wouldn’t breastfeed in that situation anyway.

What is this world coming to!

by Luke Daly on January 28, 2011 at 5:26 am. #

Quelle situation abasourdissante ! Je salue votre respect de vous-même et de nous toutes, femmes allaitantes, pour avoir osé dénoncer telle étroitesse d’esprit !

Bravo à vous toutes, femmes ralliées par la force des médias sociaux, pour faire entendre leurs droits !

Jennifer, maman X 7 ayant 146 mois d’allaitement à son actif et n’ayant jamais vécu pareille absurdité

by Grande-Dame on January 28, 2011 at 10:35 am. #

Sending our support from Scotland. All the best with your campaign.

(Mother of two breastfed boys)

by Jeanette on January 28, 2011 at 10:57 am. #

You know, before I had my daughter I was all in favour of other women breast feeding in public but I was pretty sure that I didn’t want to have my bits on display. Then I realised the reality of it. When you have a screaming baby you’ll a lot of things to fix the problem including whipping out your breast in desperation wherever you happen to be. This situation is plenty stressful enough without ignorant people, who likely don’t have kids, making disparaging remarks. I also used to think that I would use a nursing cover. I bought two in anticipation of my baby being born. I then discovered that she hates them and spends so much time trying to get the cover out of her face that she won’t eat.
I’m totally in support of women feeding their children whenever and wherever they want to. Anyone whomakes a big deal about it obviously has so little in their own life that they have sensationalize a little bit of boob.

by Lisa on January 28, 2011 at 6:21 pm. #

Thank you for standing up for the rights of all breastfeeding moms! I think it is sad that we even need to have laws that allow nursing in public. This is the one problem I have with the nursing areas at many public places. Don’t get me wrong, I have used many of them and it has made life much easier at times. However, it seems that these rooms have caused others to think that nursing moms MUST go there to feed their children. I am sorry you had to go through this, especially with your other children watching. The world is a mess.

by Sarah on January 28, 2011 at 10:54 pm. #

You gave all my sympathy. As the mother of a voracious 3 1/2 month old I fully understand the need to feed a screaming child ASAP. I would have cried too! I love in the US but would be happy to support in any way that might be helpful.

I must also vent that I find it horrendous that we must put laws in place to be allowed to do something in public that is more natural than most things we do – including tying our shoes!

by Karen on January 29, 2011 at 12:08 pm. #

I am currently breastfeeding my six month old and understand how difficult it can be to breastfeed in public. I do the best I can but there is a stigma that needs to be changed regarding BF’ing. It is natural and the best thing I can do for my baby. People should be applauding breastfeeding mothers, not shaming them!!!!

by Lori on January 29, 2011 at 2:14 pm. #

The only thing that I can think, when I read about all of this is that it just reveals how much women are still thought of as sexual objects. What is the problem with breast feeding? Why does it make people feel uncomfortable? Because it seems people can no longer disassociate breasts from sexuality and no one wants to think of babies and sex at the same time.

This really saddens me, as it seems that what fundamentally needs to change is women being thought of as sexual objects, and I don’t know how to change that.

I agree that we need to have the law on our side, but some of the comments here show that even having a law will not change public opinion and keep these incidents from happening.

by Sarah on January 30, 2011 at 3:48 pm. #

I am so sorry this happened to you. It is so unfair.

I nursed my son years ago when he was an infant, and you’re so right… when a baby’s hungry, it’s inhumane to let a child starve because our society sees a normal part of the human body as something to be viewed as a sex object. (And were those guys who stare at boobs ever breastfed by their mothers?)

How about if someone said, “I’m offended by young women getting plastic surgery so they look like nursing mothers?”

Our society needs to learn that mammals feed their young… whether we’re talking about a cat, a dog, or….gasp!…. a human whose baby needs nutrition. Can someone tell me why no one gets upset if some young actress with implants bares her breasts in public? It’s because we’ve unfortunately twisted things in some people’s minds. Breasts are for nursing, not for exhibitionism.

Good for you for getting all those women to nurse their children at the mall. Hopefully, this will raise awareness of what mothers who care for their children are entitled to do.

by Linda T. on January 30, 2011 at 9:15 pm. #

I’m only just catching your story through the Daily Mail here in Ireland…but I’m appalled. I was also harassed in public from some ignoramous in a cafe. I refused to be harangued out of there. I hope you get some resolution from the shop at the least. Thank you for doing the best for your hungry baby!

I’ll certainly be writing to the shop. The French are some of the most supportive of breastfeeding in the whole EU!

Just another breastfeeding mom who won’t be moved!

Amy

by Amy on January 31, 2011 at 8:06 am. #

I am all for mom who want to breast feed in public. I mean they usually don’t just pop out a bare breast for all to see, but use modesty and a light blanket to cover up. I did when I breast fed. I never had anyone ask me to stop. I live in Indiana in the USA. I didn’t get to breast feed long cause my premie baby would take to it. But I sure wouldn’t let someone tell me to stop. Lots of stores here have a lounge outside the women’s restroom which is great to sit comfortably and nurse. I mean it’s natural and most women do it so what’s the fuss all about.

by Nancy Bennett on February 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm. #

Disgusted at the ignorance of these shop assistants and shop manager. Wish I were a fly on the wall when it comes time for them to have babies and need to feed them right then and there. I bet their attitude to the most natural thing in the world changes then.

The sad thing about it too is that in time they will forget what they have said and done, but it has left its mark on you forever. Take comfort in the knowledge that the majority of women AROUND THE WORLD are appalled at what you went through.

by Emma on February 1, 2011 at 8:09 pm. #

That is absolutely outrageous behaviour on their part. Hopefully the bad publicity they are now getting will make them see some sense. I hope you got that apology from not only the store but the mall itself.
I’m actually glad that I live in a country where it is illegal to ask a woman to stop breastfeeding in public. The business can get a pretty nasty fine if it is reported.
It’s terrible that some people see womens breasts as purely sexual. They are clearly not! When will people learn

by Amanda on February 2, 2011 at 4:49 am. #