Breastfeeding mum shooed away at Westfield Chermside cafe, she says

Westfield breastfeeding issueWESTFIELD Chermside is a stone’s throw from me and is my local shopping centre. This was posted on Westfield Chermside’s Facebook page yesterday by an upset breastfeeding mum. I have included Westfield’s response.

Dear Westfield Chermside,
I have never been to your store ever before as I live on the south side of Brisbane, but had planned to meet a friend today for coffee. As a mother of a toddler and 5 week old newborn it was nice to see your store had pram parking. Well done for that!

However, I was rather shocked and disappointed when my baby started crying for a feed I sat down at the closest seating I could find in order to breastfeed which happened to be the (name removed by Felicity) store. There was only a couple of other customers there having coffee and ample of spare tables and chairs however the middle aged woman behind the counter came over and asked if I wanted to order something. I said no I was just sitting down for a few moments to breastfeed my baby. She then informed me that the tables and chairs were for “customers” only and I said “but my baby was crying and needs feeding and I wouldn’t be long” She then told me there were “parent rooms” for that.

I felt very upset that she wanted me to move and felt offended at the way I was treated. As ANY parent of a newborn and toddler knows that it is a huge effort to get out of the house and do anything and then to be basically told not to breastfeed my baby was beyond the joke… I am sure going to think twice before going to Chermside store again and will possibly never go to (that store) again because of how I was treated today. I will also be informing my friends and other mothers of what happened. I am sure in this day and age that I should have the right to breast feed my baby wherever and whenever I need to.
Yours sincerely,
Emily Dixon.

Hi Emily,
Thanks for your feedback and sorry about your experience today. Unfortunately I can confirm that the area you sat down in was a retailer’s allocated seating for their customers. I will pass this feedback onto (the retailer).

Just to let you know for your next visit to our centre, Westfield specifically provides a large number of general seating areas throughout the centre on which you are welcome to take your time to stop and breastfeed.

Again our apologies for your experience and we hope to welcome you back to Westfield Chermside soon.
Kind regards, Westfield Chermside

3 thoughts on “Breastfeeding mum shooed away at Westfield Chermside cafe, she says”

  1. While I understand that some parents believe in feeding on demand, isn’t the mother being somewhat sensitive in blaming both the retailer and Westfield for this incident. Westfield provides both a parents’ room and general seating upon which she could have undertaken her breastfeeding. That meets its community obligations. The retailer may have been abrupt and unsympathetic but has a right to reserve its seating for paying customers.

    1. Keith, you’re right, of course. The retailer and the shopping centre all acted within their rights. But my point is, where’s the compassion? A fellow human needed a seat for a few minutes and there were plenty to spare. She wasn’t taking up the last available seat in the place on a busy day. I thought it was a heartless response from the retailer in question and also Westfield. (It was her first visit to the centre, she had no idea where the nearest parent’s room was. I know where it was and in relation to her, it was a long walk). I’m surprised at people’s lack of compassion, is all. There’s been lively debate on this post over at my Facebook page, with surprising results.

  2. The issue here is not the breast feeding but sitting at a table reserved for customers, however the shop made a poor judgement in asking her to move on if at the time it had very few customers, retailers should know that people attract people and therefore that lady was in fact doing the store a favour by sitting at their table.

I would love it if you would tap out a few words here!