Breast-feeding moms protest at Targets nationwide - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Breast-feeding moms protest at Target

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - From Targets in Houston to Chicago, nursing mothers and their babies were out with a purpose Wednesday.

"It's about women everywhere, all over the world that this is having an effect upon on a daily basis and them standing up for their right," said Michelle Hickman.

At the forefront of the protest in Houston is little Noah's mother, Michelle Hickman. She said she was breast-feeding Noah at a Target in Texas with a blanket over her last month. Hickman claims she was offered a dressing room. But, when she denied, she said she was harassed by Target employees.

"They all came and started walking by and shaking their head, rolling their eyes like I'm doing something so horrible like feeding my baby here," said Hickman.

Which is why local mothers used the Target café to feed their babies. Outside the chain store, with signs and babies in hand, they supported Hickman for what they say is only natural for many mothers.

"She's hungry. She needs to be nourished, and it doesn't matter where I do it. It's for her," said Natalie Bordelon, local mother.

"We still live in a country where a mom can be humiliated for feeding her child. This is not a sexual thing at all," said Catherine Eagerton, who organized the local "nurse-in."

According to Target's policies, any mother is allowed to breast-feed her baby, even if it's in the public areas of the store.

"Target has a very family-oriented policy, and everything is associated with families so we do support breast-feeding in the stores," said Target assistant manager Edward Greensberry.

Shopper Ted Gasser told 9 News he supports the mothers and their cause.

"Is it something that's offensive to you when you're shopping?" asked Kiran Chawla

"No, (it's) something that needs to be done. When a kid is hungry, he's hungry," said Gasser.

"There are ads that show a lot more than what a breast-feeding mom would show on a daily basis," said Bordelon.

Which is why Greensberry said that one incident in Texas last month is not the norm for all Targets.

"I think it was an isolated situation unfortunately," said Greensberry.

Louisiana law states that a mother may breast-feed her baby in any public place and clarifies that breast-feeding is not a violation of law.

Copyright 2011 WAFB. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly