Breastfeeding Moms Stage Protest At San Jose Target Store

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Breastfeeding moms were out in force at more than 100 Target stores across the country, including one in San Jose on Wednesday, all prompted by the alleged mistreatment of a breastfeeding mom at a store in the Houston area.

The mother claimed employees made her feel uncomfortable when she fed her son while Christmas shopping last month.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

Melisa Nunez was among those gathered at the San Jose store at The Plant shopping center.  She said that many women are afraid to breastfeed their children in public.

“That’s why you find so many moms that just don’t go out or always carry a bottle,” she said. “Or they hide in their car or in a bathroom. Who would want to eat their lunch in a bathroom? Why should I feel obligated to do that for my child when we’re not causing anyone trouble. We’re keeping to ourselves. I’d rather if no one looks at me. I don’t need anybody staring at me while I’m feeding my baby.”

Richard Piche, assistant manager of the Target at The Plant on Curtner Avenue, was asked what he would say to someone who complained about someone breastfeeding their child in the store.

“I would just restate our policy, that we allow our mothers to breastfeed in any public area in our store,” said Piche.

Target said all employees have been updated about the company’s policy.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Mike Colgan
  • grossed out

    ewwwww. effing gross.

    • tn

      The focus is all wrong!- Although I think it should be discrete I also think it’s a choice. What the focus should be on is the overweighted ladies who dress in spandex pants and skintight tank tops who look like a 50 pound sack of potatoes stuffed in a 25 pound sack, waddling through the prepackaged pastry section. Now that, is indecent.

  • 8 ball in the side pocket

    This is an outrage of common decency. No there shouldn’t be public urination exposing our breasts or genitals in the food Isle at Target. Not only is it a health hazzard but a infringement of others freedoms. Our Stores now so desperate for business? What has happened to common decency is not so common.. If these women really want to flip there breasts out next to the Mangos and drip there bodily fluids and leaving tissues in the shopping carts where customers purchase produce have the decency to wear a trench coat to identify you. The Policy of being descreet applies here. What if men insisted it was there right to air out there testicles in public. This should not be a business issue but should be an issue taken up with the health department. A new generation of flashers and inconsiderate third world thinking and acting people are trying to lower the standard of laws that protect us and our children. The Blond and the Brunette I as certain would look great flipping them out to the enjoyment of men in the store. But what of others. Think of others besides yourself.

    • kiera

      There is nothing health hazzardous about nursing. LOL Do you know what breastmilk is made of? Things that actually KILL disease and infection. It is full of antibodies. Moms in Africa with HIV/AIDS are encouraged to breastfeed because it is SAFER than giving them the contaminated water. This is not the same as a man showing his testicles.There are more boobs on photos with models wearing next to nothing than you see with a nursing baby. We are thinking of our babies when we nurse – so yeah we aren’t thinking of ourselves.

    • Stacey

      Wow. You seem pretty uneducated. First of all, Breast feeding is not a health hazard, it’s a means of feeding a child. Airing out testicles is not comparable to feeding a baby. As far as lowering the standard of laws to protect you and your children, protect you from what? Most states have laws that say breast feeding is not considered indecent. I certainly don’t flip my boobs for the enjoyment of men. And i certainly don’t think of myself, but I’m thinking of my hungry child.

  • Jamie

    There is nothing gross or indecent about feeding a baby when he/she is hungry. It is a normal, natural, non-disgusting act. What is gross is that people expect breastfeeding mothers to go sit in the bathroom to feed their babies. Talk about nasty!! Do you eat in the bathroom, where urine and feces become airborne with the flushing toilets?

  • jenny

    I totally agree that women should not breastfeed in public. I breastfed all four of my children for two years each and not once did I find the need to expose myself in public just to feed my child. Before I left my house I prepared for anything from feeding to changing diapers. You can too, you can express milk into a bottle and it will not hurt your child to drink from a bottle for one or two feedings. If you don’t want to give a bottle, then sit in your car and feed your kid. I do not want to see your breast, it is gross and should be a private thing done in the privacy of your home. Quit forcing your sick attitudes on me and the rest of the world. Be a smart mom and prepare before you go aqnywhere.

    • Brie

      I feel dreadfully sorry for your children if that is the attitude you have towards meeting a primal need of theirs. I hope you didn’t have any daughters who might choose to breast feed their own children one day. Heaven forbid they might just have to do it in public. It’s not like having sex on a table in the food court, generally speaking that should be done in “private”. Breast feeding is not indecent it’s normal and I am incredibly disgusted that you as a breast feeding mom believes it is “gross” What a shame, I’m quite surprised that in you 8 collective years of breast feeding you didn’t grow a little more comfortable with your own body. You must be one huge tight ass then.

    • Suzanne Tatum

      My baby wouldn’t latch to nurse for a two weeks when he was 3 weeks old after he was bottle fed, so yeah, one or two feedings from a bottle can hurt. It can create a situation where the baby realizes that they don’t have to work as hard to eat, then simply won’t. He would SCREAM each time I tried to nurse him. I’m very lucky that I was able to coax him back into nursing eventually, after weeks of exclusive pumping, because with some babies, this never happens.

    • Laura

      I have breastfed three children over the course of almost nine years. I leave my house on a regular basis and so do my children. When they are hungry, I feed them. I would do no different for an adult.

      Breasts are not gross. They are actually quite fascinating in that they produce milk that is not only a source of food, but provide antibodies and stimulate brain cell growth.

      I think eating a meal in a public restroom is disgusting, but as an adult you are free to do so if you wish.

    • kiera

      Actually it is not beneficial to nurse from a bottle. What if baby gets nipple confusion? So your thoughts and opinions should keep my child from nursing the normal way? Wow, whose thinking is backwards?

    • Stacey

      I am a smart mom. My child does not drink from a bottle when I’m with him. And why should I stop my shopping to go run to the car? I don’t find feeding my child sick or gross. Its beautiful and natural. If you don’t like it then don’t look. It’s that easy

  • Elena Hidalgo

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public. That is what our bodies were made to do. Indecent? No. It’s not like us mothers are walking around topless. Health Hazard? No. It’s not like I’m walking around lactating all over your food and faces. There is no clear comparison to men walking around with their testicles out.

    But to those of you who don’t support feeding babies the best food for the seem to be either uncomfortable in your own body, uneducated or perverts for staring. If you didn’t look so hard, you wouldn’t feel uncomfortable. I am so lucky to be surrounded by so many people who think its a beautiful, natural and healthy thing. It sickens me that even other BF’ing moms thing its indecent. I don’t need to pack a bottle or stay home. I have everything I need under my blouse.

    It’s a breast. GET OVER IT.

  • Aaron

    8 ball – your argument is invalid for making the point you want to make here. Look up “straw man” logical fallacy and try again.

    Finally, there is no nudity or indecency in public breastfeeding.

    Ask yourself this: if breastfeeding was considered “indecent”, why would CBS put footage of breastfeeding moms in its news coverage of this protest, on public TV?

    • Aaron

      By the way, hide your kids at the 1:30 mark in the video, because things get “obscene”!

  • Crunchy, granola, breastfeeding mom!

    Wow. Breastmilk is in no way “unsanitary”… That comment is absolutely absurd! And FYI, men insisting on swinging their tesitcles around is very different from multiple elections, votes and the MAJORITY OF SOCIETY deciding that it was a basic human right….. In CA, state law says that a woman may breastfeed her baby in any place that she and her baby are authorized to be. Get over it. You see more skin on Primetime TV! Or the beach, or walking around target! Whether you like it or not, breastfeeding in public is legal, but you don’t have the right to bully or harass us for doing so.

  • Molly

    Breastfeeding, if you can do it, is the absolute BEST thing for your baby. A woman has breasts to breastfeed how do you think the human race survived? Breastfeeding! If breastfeeding in public bothers you, don’t look!

  • Suzanne Tatum

    So some of you would want your hungry child to not be fed when they need to eat? We’re talking about an infant here. They have no reasoning ability. They don’t understand that they’ll be fed *soon* while they are taken to hide from people who don’t want to see them be fed. The only thing they understand is that they aren’t being fed when they NEED to eat. Their needs aren’t being met. And they trust their parents a little less each time.

    As far as indecency, women *are* discrete when nursing. The mom in Houston WAS using a cover. Even without a cover, there’s not much to see. Most moms nurse without even a sliver of skin exposed. Those not comfortable **watching a mother feed** don’t have to sit and WATCH her. If you happen to glance at someone who you suspect may be feeding a hungry baby, be happy you aren’t having to listen to the baby starving and screaming.

    Thankfully, breastfeeding IS legal. Child neglect is not.

    • Lana

      “breastfeeding IS legal. Child neglect is not.”


  • greenbottoms

    I am amazed at these comments. I don’t need to belittle any one as they are all entitled to their opinions, but I can’t help but shake my head at some people ignorance. I am proud to be a breast feeding mom of a 2 yr old and proud to use public displays of affection and nurturing for my son. Breast feeding is healthy and normal. It’s only sick and twisted people in our society that make breasts only function to be sexual. Me “whipping ’em out” in public is not the same as someone peeing in the public. Breast feeding is building better babies, and these babies will grow up to respect and appreciate their loving beginnings. Congrats girls on taking a stand in something so perfectly normal.

  • Jessie

    I am a PROUD breastfeeding mama who participated in my local Target nurse-in. To those of you who think I should stop what I’m doing to go feed my child somewhere private, why don’t you go eat your next meal in a fitting room, bathroom, car, etc. You closed minded people are the reason such a natural thing is being discriminated against. As for the mother who said she breastfed all 4 of her children without nursing in public, I truly feel sorry for you. Obviously the public got to you and warped your mind into thinking something so natural was wrong and that you had to hide away or feed from a bottle. I honestly hope that if you have daughters you haven’t poisoned their minds with such unnatural habits.

  • Lana

    Before I had a child, I was ignorant and worried about breastfeeding. The thought of a baby sucking on my breast freaked me out. This is because we live in a culture where breasts are sexualized – the main purpose (we are taught through media and sexist attitudes) are for sexual enjoyment. Also, all the nursing moms I knew nursed in private. As a product of this environment, I had no connection to the breast’s real purpose, which is to feed a child and sustain the human race.

    Now, after having a child, those thoughts are a very distant memory. It seems bizarre to me that I even thought of breastfeeding as weird. I only thought that because it was unfamiliar to me compared with all the other things I was USED to seeing breasts do. The truth is, when you are a mother, the only thing you should be thinking about is 1) I need to feed my child when he or she is hungry and 2) breast milk is PROVEN to be the absolute BEST food for your infant. Breastfeeding is INSTINCTUAL for both baby and mother. The baby tries to latch on minutes after birth. And if not, there is something wrong.

    For those of you who have never breast fed, there is a whole host of logistical items that make using a bottle for the sake of other (ignorant) people’s comfort very difficult. The easiest, fastest most beneficial way to feed your child is to breastfeed. Besides, I think that if you have never breast fed a child, you don’t get an opinion here.

    For those of you who are saying things like it compares to a man’s testicles…sorry to inform you but a man’s testicles aren’t designed to provide the SOLE source of nutrition for a child who triples in size in the first year. They didn’t have formula thousands or even hundreds of years ago. And now that they do have it, it is still an inferior source of nutrition for a child compared with breastmilk.

    You should be THANKING breastfeeding mothers. Breastfed infants have higher IQs, have higher immunity levels, and are less likely to be obese and diseased. So a breastfeeding mother is doing HER part to try to give her kid the best change of being smart enough to become educated and hold down a job as well as stay healthy – all things that reduce the likelihood of that baby needing YOUR tax dollars for welfare, unemployment and health care costs.

    If the biggest risk of breastfeeding is offending some random ignorant person, I will gladly take that risk.

  • oldolf49

    If they are good looking boobs……….

  • redneckwriter

    Next time you’re in a food court at the mall. look at the people walking around, what do most of them do when they pass the food court. They watch people eat, so if breastfeeding moms want other people to watch them eat, then let them breastfeed.

    On the topic of sanitary conditions, And no I am not trying to be condencending here I just want to know (learn), but does the mom wash her hands before she eats her own meals? Does she wash her breasts before the baby eats? After all the moms breasts have been under a shirt and most likely in a bra for hours, so wouldn’t that make a good area for bacteria to grow?

  • jenny

    You ladies who support breastfeeding in public sound like you belong to the Le leche league. I used to belong to that organization until I realized they were the breastfeeding nazis. It all comes down to common courtesy for the general public and respect for yourself. When people eat in public they are not eating directly from body parts of other people. If your baby is going to get “nipple confused” then you should stay home until he is weaned if you don’t want to give him a bottle. I nursed four kids and not one of them got nipple confused. If your baby can not drink from a bottle then you have no business leaving your home. What woman with a nursing baby stays out all day long shopping or doing whatever? That’s just crazy and it isn’t healthy for your baby to be out all day long. If he can’t go three hours without eating you have no business leaving home. There are working women who have to express breast milk and have their babies fed with a bottle. They are not denying their babies the nutrients that breast milk provides. Don’t tell me bottles with breast milk in them is going to harm your baby. You are breastfeeding for yourself, not your baby, he can have the milk in the bottle and you can hold him close to mimic breastfeeding. The breastfeeding in public crowd sounds like a bunch of bullies forcing their breast down everyone’s throats. Your argument doesn’t hold milk or water. Its ridiculous. If you insist on being inappropriate in public, then cover up for goodness sake so no one sees anything. Respect yourself.

  • noncentz

    any one who feeds their child on the dirty floor of a public building and in the danger of foot/ cart traffic should be reported to child protective services

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