Nationwide Breastfeeding Revolt Hits Columbia

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) — “Women want to nurture their babies and have the right to feed them as they would eat, anywhere,” says Catherine Koehn, a nurse in participant in Columbia. Wednesday morning, Catherine Koehn and her 20 month old son, headed to Target in Harbison for a staged nurse-in. She was going to breastfeed her baby, in public at Target. “Breastfeeding is natural and it’s good and it shouldn’t be hidden,” says Koehn. Koehn was part of a group of women who were taking action in a nationwide movement to support Texas mother, Michelle Hickman. Hickman claims she was recently harassed by a Target employee in the Houston area while trying to breastfeed inside the store. “They all came and started walking by and shaking their heads and rolling their eyes and shaking their heads, like I was doing something horribly wrong, I’m just feeding my baby here,” says Hickman. Hickman’s story hit home with women here in the Midlands. “The bathroom or the dressing room is really kind of a low blow,” says Koehn. “You don’t ever hear of people getting offended for babies who are drinking out of their bottle, it’s not ever shocking to people to see a baby with a pacifier,” says another mom at the nurse-in. We contacted Target about the incident and they released the following statement to ABC Columbia News. “As a family oriented retailer, we want everyone to feel comfortable shopping at Target. Guests who choose to breastfeed in public areas of the store are welcome to do so without being made to feel uncomfortable. Additionally, we support the use of fitting rooms for women who wish to breastfeed their babies, even if others are waiting to use the fitting rooms.” A company spokesperson goes on to say that they have been in contact with the store to ensure all team members are aware of their breast feeding policy.

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