Is Toys 'R Us right to not want to be Ta-Tas 'R Us? Or should they be more forgiving of their customers who are feeding future customers? Or is everyone crying over unspilt milk? A Brooklyn mother claims she was harassed by three or four female store employees when she breast fed her 7 month old son at the Times Square Toys 'R' Us on Monday. Chelsi Meyerson says she went to an "out of the way" place to nurse son Mason, but soon after, a store employee said, "You have to go down to the basement to do that." More employees appeared to tell Meyerson she had to move because there were "children around," and then the store's security was called in. Now, Meyerson has called in the New York Civil Liberties Union, which has asked the toy retailer for an apology and "appropriate compensation," as NY State civil rights law permits women the right to breast-feed wherever they like.
Toys 'R' Us claims they simply asked Meyerson if she would be more comfortable in a private area (they have one specifically for breastfeeding moms) and deny that security was called. The store manager told the Daily News, "We take this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to nursing moms." But they didn't realize that Meyerson's mother is apparently a "high-ranking official" in La Leche League, a breast feeding support group!
Who do you believe, the mom or the store? In our experience, breastfeeding moms generally try to be discreet about breastfeeding - even if they are in a very public place - so it's not terribly awkward. And you can read the letter the NYCLU sent to Toys 'R' Us here (PDF).