Women stage 'nurse-in' at Marshalls store to protest treatment o - KPTV - FOX 12

Women stage 'nurse-in' at Marshalls store to protest treatment of breastfeeding mom

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A group of mothers staged a 'nurse-in' at the Cascade Station Marshalls store Monday to protest the store's treatment of a breastfeeding mom.

Karina Gomez posted a photo on Facebook Sept. 12 with a caption saying an employee at the store told her she wasn't allowed to breast feed in a dressing room and that she had to do it in the restroom instead.

Gomez said she was upset and humiliated by having to feed her daughter while sitting on a toilet:

Yes, this is me sitting on a toilet feeding my sweet, Katalina Maria, after I was denied my right to breastfeed where I wanted to by a #marshalls employee. I was denied to breastfeed in a dressing room, instead I was directed to a bathroom stall to breastfeed. What a way to treat breastfeeding customers, shaming them for breastfeeding, making them feel embarrassed that you need to feed your child. I am angry, upset, but more so humiliated. My rights have been violated. #cascadestation #marshalls #breastfeedingmom #shamedforbreastfeeding #humiliation

Click here to see the full post.

As of Monday afternoon, the post had been shared more than 17,000 times.

Marshall's responded with the following statement:

"We have a breast feeding policy in place which instructs Associates to allow customers to breastfeed as they choose within stores. We have looked into this matter and regret that it may not have been followed in this instance. We have been in touch directly with the customer involved so we may resolve the matter. We apologize for any inconvenience. "

Breast feeding in public is allowed under Oregon law.

The demonstration was fairly low key, with two dozen women nursing their children at the front of the store. Mother and protester Andrea Leoncavallo said that was exactly the point.

“I think that breastfeeding in public should not be anything that anyone is ashamed of or that anyone has a problem with. I'm shocked that it's still an issue. But it is apparently,” she said.

Julianna Gjerman doesn't know Karina Gomez, but organized the nurse-in to show support for her.

“I definitely feel her pain in this sort of situation,” she said. "Just hiding from society and feeling that judgment when people look at you, it's not a good feeling, so I definitely understand where she felt humiliated and embarrassed.”

Another protester, Tassia Owen, hoped the demonstration educates the people who saw it.

“I know it's not the policy of the entire store, but it's nice to raise a little bit of awareness and little bit more education about why people nurse and why they nurse in public and why it's not okay to tell someone to go to the bathroom,” she said.

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