A young mum today blasted retail giant Sports Direct after she was told to leave one of their stores – because she was BREASTFEEDING.
Wioletta Komar said she was left in tears standing outside the shop in Nottingham city centre as she tried to feed her three-month-old son in the RAIN.
The 25-year-old was sitting on a bench inside the store waiting for her father Edward Morawiec, 63, who was trying on a T-shirts.
But she claims a member of staff suddenly marched over and told her that breastfeeding mothers were not welcome because of “company policy”.
The sales assistant then told distressed Wioletta that the store had no facilities for her and suggested she should go to McDonalds which had a baby and mother room.
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Other customers then took pity on the mum-of-two and helped her to push her buggy outside so she could continue feeding Daniel.
Wioletta said she had contacted the company five times since the incident on January 25 but had received no response to her complaint.
She fumed: “My son started crying, so I wanted to feed him. I sat on the bench near the shoe rack.
“The store assistant approached me and said, ‘I’m sorry but you will have to go out. You can’t feed here. That is our company policy’.
“I would like the staff to be trained better and I would like them to say why it happened. I would like them to apologise.
“It made me feel very upset – I was shaking and I didn’t know what to do. I knew that I was allowed to be there, but what could I do?
“It’s very shocking. Of course it’s knocked my confidence. You don’t expect it, never.”
Polish-born Wioletta lives in Boston, Lincs., with her husband Zbigniew (corr), 33, and their sons Wictor (corr), two, and Daniel, who is now five-months-old.
She had travelled to Nottingham for a weekend shopping with Daniel and her father Edward as a Christmas present from her husband.
She added: “I was meant to be enjoying a weekend shopping and we were staying in the Hilton.
“But I obviously didn’t enjoy myself and it was ruined.
“I have phoned them (Sports Direct) myself 3 times to chase the progress of it and was told that it is in process. In my opinion they don’t treat it seriously.
“Midwifes and doctors say that it (breastfeeding) is best for the child but I feel so upset and frustrated about what has happened.
“I can’t understand why a baby has to be punished for being hungry and why I need to feel like a criminal when I just want to feed my baby son.”
Wioletta has also received support from other mums including Laura Whatton – who was ejected from the John Carroll Leisure Centre in Nottingham in 2009.
Mrs Whatton, who received an apology, said: “I’m not surprised really.
“Everyone is prudish toward it, even though it’s the most natural thing in the world.”
Patti Rundall, policy director for Baby Milk Action, added: “All mothers have a legally-protected right to breastfeed in public.
“It is important, it’s their right and we will do what we can to support them.”
The Equality Act 2010 states that it is discrimination to treat a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.
The act protects women who want to do so in shops or other public places.
* Earlier this week, high street retailer Sports Direct slammed shareholders who failed to support a #73million bonus share scheme proposed for founder Mike Ashley.
The comments came as the company reported a rise in fourth-quarter sales to #360million in the nine weeks to March 30.
Seem to hear far too many stories like this nowadays, god forbid people get the wrong idea about what breasts are for! Just another example of the over-sexualisation of women’s bodies in this society when mothers can’t even feed their children for fear of offending somebody else.
I hope this woman doesn’t stop pestering the store until she receives a proper response!