Where will you be this morning about 10:00 AM? If the post-holiday glaze finds you wandering the aisles of Target then come prepared to see some boobies. Yes, you heard me correctly, I said boobies! This morning at Target stores around the country, nursing mothers and their babies will protest the humiliation and treatment given to Michelle Hickman from Webster, Texas. With her cart full of Christmas presents, Michelle’s baby boy Noah woke up and began to scream. Rather than let Noah scream throughout the Target store, she found a nice quiet spot near a jeans display in the woman’s department to nurse her hungry son. While nursing, a few Target employees asked Michelle to use one of the changing rooms to nurse. One Target employee even went so far as to threaten Michelle with the possibility of being cited by authorities for indecent exposure.
As a mother who has nursed two beautiful children and who is currently nursing her three week old baby, I find nursing in public to be a significant issue. I personally have nursed all my children in public from the grocery store while pushing my cart (yes, it takes some skill to push a cart, put in groceries, and nurse simultaneously, but it can be done), to the floors of Home Depot, Lowes, Wal-Mart, and the mall to name a few places. If you name it, I have probably nursed there. I personally never was asked at any of these public locations to use a changing room or a toilet. If I had I would have shot back “Do you eat your lunch on a toilet?” We are so over-sexed in this country even a natural and beautiful God-given right to breastfeed is considered dirty, abhorrent or sexual. This is ludicrous to me because it is food for my baby, plain and simple.
I feel sorry about the treatment Michelle was given, but I am glad women around the country will make their voices heard, and as of 10:00 AM local time will nurse also in protest. I wish I could be at my local Target then, but my baby is still too young to be out in public. So, I will nurse her from home in support of other women, and our freedom to breastfeed. Breastfeeding is one of the best things you can do for your children if you choose to do so.