Woman forced to stop feeding baby in store

Katrina and Leo at home

Katrina and Leo at home

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A MAJOR high street store has apologised to a young mum after ordering her to stop breast-feeding on the shop floor.

Katrina Carten was feeding six-week-old Leo in the queue at Primark when a staff member asked her to go to a changing room or leave the store.

When the teenager refused to leave the queue, the staff member asked a security guard to repeat the instruction.

Katrina, 19, whose son suffers from a hernia which is aggravated when he cries, said she was left feeling “frustrated” and “victimised” following the incident.

She said: “Leo is waiting for an operation to get rid of a hernia which becomes very painful when he cries, so when he is hungry I feed him as quickly as possible.

Discreet

“I didn’t think anything of it, I wasn’t exposing myself – I was discreet and certainly wasn’t doing anything wrong, although that is how I was made to feel.

“I stayed in the queue and within a few minutes Leo was fed and our items paid for, no harm came of anyone.”

Primark is located in the Houndshill Shopping Centre in Blackpool, a breast-feeding friendly shopping mall.

A manager at the store has since apologised for the way Katrina of Overdale Road, Grange Park, was treated.

Katrina added: “I’ve had funny looks in the past but I’ve never been asked to leave. I was furious at the attitude shown towards me.

“When I told my mum she phoned the store and the manager arranged a meeting and was apologetic.

“But I want to highlight this issue as there obviously needs to be more awareness of policy and procedure, staff at the shop didn’t know what to do.

“I don’t want mums to feel they can’t feed in public, especially young mothers who are less experienced.”

A Primark spokesman said the incident had been a simple misunderstanding.

He added: “We take all concerns raised by our customers very seriously.

“Primark does not prohibit nursing mothers from breast-feeding, moreover, any customer can request a quiet or private area within the store to breast-feed and our staff will use all reasonable endeavours to accommodate such a request.

“With regard to this case, a member of our independent security personnel thought he was being of assistance by suggesting an alternative location for breastfeeding within the store.

“This information was provided with the best of intentions and in no way indicated reluctance by the store to facilitate the mother’s requirements.

“Staff have since been re-briefed on the company’s breastfeeding policy and on the facilities Primark has in-store for nursing mothers.

“Primark would like to apologise for any offence or distress that was caused.”

A Houndshill spokesman said: “Houndshill is a pro-breastfeeding shopping centre and offers breastfeeding facilities for our customers.”