A mother has spoken of her shock at being asked not to breastfeed her three-month-old son at a Mothercare branch.
Zoe Frangou, 29, claims that on Friday, September 2 a member of staff at the Bluewater Mothercare store told her she would have to stop breastfeeding her poorly baby.
Zoe took to social media when she did not receive a response after complaining to the store.
She explained she had tried to find a suitable changing or feeding room, but had had to resort to using a public area when she was told that no appropriate room was available.
She wrote: “My baby was on antibiotics for an ear infection and had been asleep for over 5.5 hours and hadn’t fed in this time.
“I found an empty area with some footstools and sat down to feed my baby. I was discrete, covered up and had my pram close to me.”
Zoe was then approached by a member of staff who told her that she couldn’t breastfeed in that area because it could be “dangerous”.
“She went out of her way to confront me and to tell me that I can’t breastfeed,” she added.
“What is more shocking is that this was in one of the largest mum and baby retailers in the UK.
“This was even more stressful because he has been very unwell.”
Ms Frangou said she contacted the Mothercare complaints department and received a standard apology with a promise that the store would contact her.
“I have waited 7 weeks and have heard nothing”, she said.
A Mothercare spokesperson said: “We would like to sincerely apologise to Mrs Frangou for the disappointing way she was treated in our store. We provide all our stores with our breastfeeding policy which clearly states our full support for all nursing mothers.
“Our customers are welcome to nurse their children anywhere on the premises and for those who prefer some privacy, we provide comfortable feeding facilities.
“We are saddened to hear that on this occasion, our guidelines were not adhered and her complaint was not dealt with immediately.
“We are fully investigating this incident and will be making sure that all our store teams are aware of our breastfeeding policy and guidelines for supporting our customers.”
Other parents took to Mothercare UK’s official Facebook page to complain about the lack of facilities available to both mothers and fathers.
One user said: “Often times the changing room is in the same room as the feeding room and even if it isnt he will get hounded out by mummys who think hes not allowed. Its a parents feeding room and a parents changing room. You cant and shouldn’t exclude dads.”