A breastfeeding mum has said she was refused access to a clothing store’s changing rooms and told to use a nearby toilet instead.
Charlotte Stanbridge was shopping in Zara in Bournemouth with her seven month old son, Teddy, when she asked a shop assistant if she could use its changing rooms to feed him.
However, the 21-year-old says she was told to take him to a nearby Costa Coffee..
She said: ‘My sister and I went into browse and found a few things we were looking to buy.
‘When my sister went to try things on, we politely asked that as the changing rooms weren’t busy, could I possibly use one to feed my baby Teddy.
‘The woman working then said “no, not really”.
‘We were so shocked and asked why, and she replied saying “well, it’s a changing room so its not really for that, there is a Costa over the road you could use”.’
The stay-at-home mum said she explained she was looking for somewhere more private as her son gets easily distracted and that being discrete was a personal preference of hers.
She added: ‘She then said “well they have a toilet you could use”.
‘At this point I was literally shaking with rage, my legs even turned to jelly because I was so angry.’
Charlotte said she asked to speak to the manager, who agreed that what had happened was wrong and said that she would go and speak to the original member of staff.
But she claimed the manager didn’t return to let her know what had happened, and she is unsure if the manager spoke to the member of staff.
‘I was ridiculously angry,’ she added.
‘I have fed in many shop changing rooms before such as New Look, Topshop and TK Maxx.
‘I was even more angry that I was purchasing something and therefore felt that they were completely dismissing me as a consumer.
‘I think what angered me more was that the changing rooms were free, I would understand more if it was busy but they had rows of empty rooms’
A Zara UK spokesperson said: ‘Zara UK’s policy on breastfeeding is that in no circumstances should breastfeeding be stopped in our stores and that customers who wish to breastfeed their child should be supported by providing a safe and comfortable environment on request.
‘We understand that in this circumstance one staff member did not follow the policy, subsequently the manager explained our policy to the customer and apologised.
‘Zara UK would also like to apologise and confirm that we have spoken to the staff member involved.’