kicked out of walmart for nursing!!!

Julie - posted on 08/24/2010 ( 157 moms have responded )

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the town i live in there is no LLL and no lactation consultant because not many women breastfeed here. i do i have EBFed my kids since birth now only my son bfs i recently went to walmart here and was asked to leave the store by a manager because i sat at one of the benches and breastfed my 6 month old. my 20 month old was with me as well as a friend who also breastfeeds her 5 month old, her two older kids were there too! in our state it is legal for you to breastfeed anywhere you are allowed to be as long as the child is under 12 months old.

the babys were hungry so we sat down to feed them about ten minutes later we were confronted by a manager and asked to leave the store. my friend showed him a copy of the state law -we carry it around in our diaper bags- and he became irate saying if we did not leave the store he would have us removed....

we decided to leave both shopping carts right there -and they were full- and left without buying anything...instead we went to HGHills and nursed our babes in the van -i have a nine passenger one- then went inside and finished shopping



im just looking for opinions on how others would have handled the situation...

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Danielle - posted on 08/24/2010

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i would have again showed him the by laws, and politly told him if he was to have you removed then you would call the police, if he doesn't like it he doesn't have to watch

Jessica - posted on 08/26/2010

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Forty-four states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands have laws with language specifically allowing women to breastfeed in any public or private location (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming).
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Twenty-eight states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands exempt breastfeeding from public indecency laws (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming).
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Twenty-four states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have laws related to breastfeeding in the workplace (Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming).
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Twelve states and Puerto Rico exempt breastfeeding mothers from jury duty (California, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon and Virginia).
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Five states and Puerto Rico have implemented or encouraged the development of a breastfeeding awareness education campaign (California, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri and Vermont).

Several states have unique laws related to breastfeeding. For instance,

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The state of Virginia allows women to breastfeed on any land or property owned by the state. Puerto Rico requires shopping malls, airports, public service government centers and other select locations to have accessible areas designed for breastfeeding and diaper changing that are not bathrooms.
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At least two states have laws related to child care facilities and breastfeeding. Louisiana prohibits any child care facility from discriminating against breastfed babies. Mississippi requires licensed child care facilities to provide breastfeeding mothers with a sanitary place that is not a toilet stall to breastfeed their children or express milk, to provide a refrigerator to store expressed milk, to train staff in the safe and proper storage and handling of human milk, and to display breastfeeding promotion information to the clients of the facility.
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California requires the Department of Public Health to develop a training course of hospital policies and recommendations that promote exclusive breastfeeding and specify staff for whom this model training is appropriate. The recommendation is targeted at hospitals with patients who ranked in the lowest twenty-five percent of the state for exclusive breastfeeding rates.
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Maryland exempts the sale of tangible personal property that is manufactured for the purpose of initiating, supporting or sustaining breastfeeding from the sales and use tax.
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California, New York and Texas have laws related to the procurement, processing, distribution or use of human milk.
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New York created a Breastfeeding Mothers Bill of Rights, which is required to be posted in maternal health care facilities.
Link to Site: http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=1...

Celeste - posted on 08/24/2010

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I would contact corporate immediately. I wouldn't let this go. I'd also go to www.firstright.org as well.

Alex - posted on 08/24/2010

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I would haave called the cops and filed a harrasment complaint. THen I would call the better business bearu and report them. Then call walmart and complain as high up as you can get (which is high cinsidering I have spocken to execs. about issues with walmart.

Christina - posted on 08/24/2010

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I agree with the other moms. I would have sat there and made him "have me removed." If there is a state law saying you can do it then legally, there isn't anyone that can remove you! I would definitely follow up with Walmart's corporate office. I would be sure to explain the entire situation and point out that there is a state law that supports you as well as the fact that this manager's actions caused them to lose your business. Walmart is NOT a big fan of losing business. =)

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157 Comments

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Adrienne - posted on 08/31/2010

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I personally think you made a good choice. You want to set an example for your other children. I would definitely go to corporate!!! When I'm at Walmart and I need to nurse, I go into the dressing rooms. They can't bother me there!!!

Boyana - posted on 08/31/2010

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I would have taken his name and file report in the nearest police station on the spot!

Marcela - posted on 08/31/2010

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Tina, I understand that it's every mother's right to BF with or without a cover - I'm fine with that and I support both ways. I'm talking about the people on here that said, "Well, I can understand him asking you to cover up or move to a different location if you were exposed." That's not right! I just don't understand how a nursing mother can say that to another nursing mother since, "the MOST important part of breastfeeding, (is) the milk getting in the tummy of the baby."

Tina - posted on 08/31/2010

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In response to Marcela R-S, not ever mom feels comfortable nursing without a cover, it is their right as is yours to use or not use a cover. Let's not get away from the MOST important part of breastfeeding, the milk getting in the tummy of the baby. Everything else is irrelevant.

Leny - posted on 08/31/2010

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I would have the store denounced to the local consumer protection office. You have enough witnesses and this store manager and the chain he represents decisely would use a lesson of such kind. You also would have the right to be compensed for such an outrageous treatment.

Anna - posted on 08/30/2010

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I would have said, " OK, please call the police and you can explain to them why YOU are breaking the law."

Kristel - posted on 08/30/2010

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This really should be a nationwide event... a breast feeding sit in at all wal-marts.

Kristel - posted on 08/30/2010

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I live in California, where it is also legal to breastfeed, I've never been in that situation before, but if it was me and I had kids with me I might have done the same as you, and then called corporate, contacted La Leche League, and then gone to my local news as well. It's a mother's right to feed her child, public or not your baby has to eat, It's only humane to feed a hungry baby. I would totally go to a breastfeeding sit in.

Emily - posted on 08/30/2010

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I would have sat right there and continued to nurse. I would have threatened him with a call to the police. I'd have also contacted corporate, the local news station and paper, the national LLL, and anyone else I could think of. I would have also called all the nursing mothers I know and planned a nurse-in.

Emma - posted on 08/30/2010

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Move to Australia it is illegal to discriminate due to brestfeeding, plus Australian Breast feeding Association exists. Fucken America No suprises!

Merry - posted on 08/30/2010

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Marcela, I whole heartedly agree, cover or not, its a TON less offensive then the 14 year old with 5 inches of cleavage hanging out. I dont want to flash my boob, but if theres a bit of skin around it while he eats its no bodys bussines to think its rude. Its the only thing boobs are supposed to do, would you condemn an ear for listening? why condemn a breast for lactating.

Sara - posted on 08/30/2010

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I would have encouraged him to call the authorities and than showed the officer the law myself. because legally you could sue them for such unlawful behavior ( not that I am suggesting it) but you have a legal right to nurse your child anywhere you see fit because it is the law. I would clearly write a letter to wal-mart corportation along with sending them a copy of the laws. I agree with many of the other postings dont let this go!

Nicole - posted on 08/30/2010

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Id be pissed. Its a state law just about anywhere you go that as long as your not exposing yourself you are allowed to breastfeed your child in public. For them to throw you out it was unlawful and wrong. You definitly handled it better then i would have. He couldnt've had you removed it he tried. Its a state law. and as long as you werent bare chested he wouldnt have been able to do anything about it.



Id put a huge complaint in with their cooperate office. It may not make a huge difference. But thats what id do...someone would be hearing how i felt.

Dorene - posted on 08/30/2010

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I agree w/ everyone too. I wouldn't have left and reported the incident to a "higher up". That was wrong. I just have one question: There is a such to legally and illegally breastfeed? are you kidding me? That's the child's source of food. I'm appalled! People are so ignorant!

Toni - posted on 08/30/2010

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I'd get a lawyer and call your local news station. That is unacceptable. Call wal-mart corporate office about it too. Make sure to get the name of that manager.

Katrina - posted on 08/30/2010

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At the target where I shop, there is a sign that says to "allow breastfeeding moms to feed in the dressing room". I have since then started asking the staff at Walmart if I could breastfeed in the changing room. They have always said yes and been very accommodating, and even watch my carseat and items I want to buy. I now ask the salespeople at every store I shop to use the dressing room and nobody has ever turned me away yet. Knock on wood....I also find family bathrooms and the backseat of my car to be places I frequently breastfeed. So I bring my cover just in case.( I also got some free shades for the windows when I registered at Babies "r" us. yeah.......... don't want to show off my jewels....got to keep it rated PG in public. wink!)

Marcela - posted on 08/30/2010

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That's horrible! It just makes me sick to my stomach to think that. I agree with many others and I would've stayed right there and asked him to call the cops. I've never been asked to leave but I have gotten a couple of looks, but I don't care, I'm feeding my child.
My daughter is 17 months old and I still NIP WITHOUT a cover. I've never used a cover and never will. I'm almost more disgusted that some women on here say that it's okay to NIP as long as you're covered up. It's horrible to know that this is coming from BF'ing women! I don't understand how you can BF a child but not support every women that BF's, with or without a cover - I just don't get it. You understand that the only thing that you're doing is feeding your child, so what's wrong with a mother who doesn't use a cover? It's a boob, get over it. If more and more mother's didn't cover up and weren't ashamed or weren't worried about if it's disrespectful or rude, or going to offend someone else - Then more people would look at BF'ing as normal.
I hate when some people say, "You have to respect others." Really? Why? The girl that shows her thong doesn't care. The fat guy that doesn't have his shirt on doesn't care. The old lady that doesn't wear a bra doesn't care. And you know what? I have a neck and I just look the other way. :)

Katy - posted on 08/30/2010

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i would have stayed right where i was. it is your RIGHT to feed your baby...& its not even about your right to breastfeed, its about your babys right to eat when he is hungry ! like i said, i would have stayed my happy self right there, how could he remove you ? ONE - he cant physically remove you, then it becomes battery. TWO - the police wouldnt remove you, its against the law ! im exclusively breastfeeding also, & ive walked around babies r us before nursing my daughter in my arm, and even used their rocking chairs to breastfeed ! also, ive fed her on a bench in walmart, just like you did, & i WISH someone would tell me to stop !

did you see the thing on TV where there was a large group of breastfeeding mothers protesting in a chick-fil-a because the manager asked a mother not to feed her baby there ?

Amanda - posted on 08/30/2010

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try to schedule a nurse in that manager was wrong and you were right you have the legal right to breast feed anywhere you are authorized to be. Find as many friends who are nursing their babies as you can and all go in find a place to sit and nurse your kids carry your cards with you and if they try to kick you out call the cops. You can also sue if you want to go that route. You have a right to feed your baby without public stigma and humiliation.

Samantha - posted on 08/30/2010

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I don't understand why you were asked to leave...personally i don't like to in public, but I can understand the situation. why have to leave everything and go outside when it's perfectly legal to do so inside the store. If you were discreet about it and covered, then there's no problem. You should sue them! I dunno...something. I've seen ladies pop that junk out and nurse with their boob hanging out the shirt completely exposed...so unless that was the case...there's no reason they should have had a problem with you BF...it's ridiculous!

Beth - posted on 08/30/2010

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terrible!!!!! I would have sat there and said go ahead and try to remove me. Most businesses have the right to refuse service/ask unwanted people to leave, but if that is why you were being asked to leave and you contact corporate that manager is going to get chewed out big time! I also would never go back. Good for you leaving the full carts! If they did force me out I would show them the full cart and show them the number of kids you have and say see how much business you are going to lose out on now?? Plus I will be telling all of my friends and family....potential of losing millions of dollars, possibly billions over time, and that will not go over well with corporate either.

Tiffany - posted on 08/30/2010

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I worked for walmart, and my walmart would never have done this and had they I certainly would not have been as nice as you were lol. I do understand why you didn't make a scene though. I'm glad to hear that the person was let go as an employee there and I am glad they apologized and tried to make up for the situation.

Kelli - posted on 08/30/2010

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Not as nicely as you! You used such self-control. I would have battled to the bitter end especially if my husband was with me! So sorry that you had to endure this bias. It is wrong and illegal! I actually had to pump in a mechanical room the size of a closet at my work because no one was really interested in finding a place for me to pump. Blessings to you!

[deleted account]

I agree with the many other posters...go to management and then to corporate with your complaint! And please keep us posted to what happens in the future with this!!!

Candice - posted on 08/30/2010

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I would have called the police and informed them of the situation. He had no reason to bother you while nursing, no right to harass you, and no authority to tell you to leave or you'd be removed. I would have let him try... Definitely talk to WalMart headquarters and local authorities.

Crystal - posted on 08/30/2010

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This makes me want to go sit on that bench and use my breast pump! If the manager complains, just simply state he doesn't seem to have a problem with bottle-fed babies and this is what you have to do to provide the bottle. It's his choice!

Allison - posted on 08/30/2010

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Ok, so I just read the resolution posted by Julie and I think the nurse in is GREAT, and thank goodness that guy got fired! Seems like the best resolution for raising BF awareness :) Great job Julie!!! I hope the nurse in is a great event to reach out to the WalMart crowd!!!

Courtney - posted on 08/30/2010

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i would have told him to try to remove me and i if he did i would call the police... dick. i BF while walking around in walmart all the time.

S - posted on 08/30/2010

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OP I see many people did not read your follow up response. I'm glad to hear Walmart stepped in and handled the situation. As for your initial question, I would have pulled at my phone and called the police for him, while sitting right there and nursing. I will admit I try to cover up but when baby has to eat they gotta eat, bump everyone else.

I will never understand how it is ok for some people to leave the house lookin like who don it and why, or even like they're wearing their underwear and don't get not one complaint but then you get harrassed for feeding your child!
ps still prob woulda consulted a lawyer tho, that $800 was a buy off I guarantee they contacted their legal department to find out the best way to cover their arse.

Jennifer - posted on 08/30/2010

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I would have (and actually have done this!) told the manager to go right ahead and call the police. You were well within your rights to BF your child, and by law (as you know) cannot be forcibly removed for doing so. If he was going to have store security remove you, I would have called the police myself. I suggest that you contact their Customer Service Manager (if that was not the person who approached you) and lodge a formal complaint. If he was the person who spoke to you, go to his boss and lodge a complaint. I would also contact local news stations and publications. Wal-Mart (and McDonald's) seem to be in the news a lot lately for telling customers to leave when BFing.
I EBF my son, and have walked through the grocery store and Target and had no problems with it. Though I did BF my son at my husband's baseball game and a lady threatened to call the police on me for indecent exposure. I told her to go right ahead. I think I'll try our local Wal-Mart next time my son is hungry, just to see what happens! lol

Merry - posted on 08/30/2010

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Leiloni Schulz in my state of Wisconsin it is illegal to ask a mom to cover up. It's also illegal to ask her to move to another area, even a nursing room. Not every state has this much protection yet but I bet in a few years most states will improve their laws to this. Respectful is not wearing low cut shirts for the intent of being sexual. Or mini skirts to pick up guys. Respect isn't the thing we need to worry about while nursing as it is disrespectful not to nurse a baby.

Allison - posted on 08/30/2010

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I'm also from a very "cover up or do it in private" kind of community, although I don't live there anymore. My son wouldn't really eat when covered after about 5 months old, and if there wasn't a comfortable "private place" available for nursing, I would nurse him anywhere without a cover. I tried to keep myself covered as much as possible with my shirt, but other than that I think it it EXTREMELY rude of ANYone to ask you to move OR to "cover up". Boobs are made for feeding, so if someone doesn't like to see that it is truly their own problem, not the BF mom's problem when she is dealing with a hungry infant who doesn't want to be covered, or if she forgot to bring a cover, etc. I am so sad that this still happens in the US :(



@ Julie - I'm sure you have your hands full, but if you don't have time to publicize this terrible incident, it sounds like there are plenty of moms on here who would gladly do the work for you!!!! If done appropriately, it might really help breastfeeding awareness in your community (and mine!)

RaeJeanna - posted on 08/30/2010

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What happened back when these reps and managers were babies and they were breastfed? No one complained then.We mothers know why we BF. Others need to get their stuff straight. And Honestly you should make every phone call and write every letter you can. Make it known that this kind of behavior from a "Wal-Mart manager" or anyone is unacceptable. Especially when there are laws to protect you.

Wendy - posted on 08/30/2010

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I would talk to my lawyer, and ask my lawyer to send Walmart the letter for compensation. Baby needs milk just like us wanting a hamburger.

[deleted account]

I would have let him "have you removed"~! You were well within your legal rights and he should be ashamed of himself for bothering you at all. I'd write a letter to Walmart's head office if I were you~! That's ridiculous and infringing on your and your son's rights as far as I'm concerned.

Ashley - posted on 08/30/2010

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omg, this is so ridiculous. How can they do that to you? I'm with everyone else. I would have showed him the by laws again and told him to call the police. I would also send an email to the La Leche League and make them aware of the situation. I would also send a stern letter to corporate walmart telling them how this is unacceptable. You have the right to feed your child whenever needed. I have never been kicked out of a place but i have gotten my share of dirty looks. I think its sad that us breast feeding moms get look down upon just because we breast feed.

Leiloni - posted on 08/30/2010

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I was just wondering if you were covered at all. I have breastfed two of my babies for over a year and I always covered up in public. As much as it is your right to feed your baby naturally where-ever you want, you also have to respect others. I do not like seeing women nursing with everything hanging out. I am glad that you are choosing to breast feed. I also think it is horrible that they kicked you out. They could have asked you to cover up. I would call Wal-Mart corporate office and file a complaint.

Angel - posted on 08/30/2010

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I would contact an attorney and get all you can from that wal-mart as well as the last laugh after having that pig-headed manager fired!

Carol - posted on 08/30/2010

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i say you should sue them. i bf my daughter ive done it everywhere, if that happened i would sue.

Tequila - posted on 08/30/2010

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I would've stayed right there and nursed my hungry infant! And I would've like to see how he would have me "removed"

Ashlee - posted on 08/30/2010

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i hope that after you won your case against Kmart u took them to court for costs and the inconveince, also i cant believe that it got that far the police should have known better, obviously not, in australia we have the freedom to breastfeed, on occasion my friends have been asked to leave the public area but if they provide you with a place to breast feed they can, but youalways get the few who feel offended and at thoses people you think, well im sure uve done this before just not for food, i seriously hate it, and its usally men who complain, i mean seriously have u never seen a boob before?

[deleted account]

I agree with everyone above that I would have made them try to remove me. That manager violated your civil rights. Have you considered suing? I bet Wal-Mart would get a hefty fine and you would raise breastfeeding awareness too! You might even be able to find an attorney who would take this on a contingency fee, meaning they would get part of your settlement, so you would have no out of pocket expense.

Ashley - posted on 08/30/2010

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thats causing your little one to be even more hungry i would do what everybody said and call corp. they can't do that.

[deleted account]

That is crazy!! Our society is becoming so upside-down, hang in there and know you are doing the right thing... don't let people like that upset you too much they are not worth the energy! : ) Just let this make you a stronger person!

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