Ashley Clawson had just finished purchasing $150 of merchandise at Victoria’s Secret in Austin, TX, when her 4-month-old son needed to be fed. She asked the employee behind the counter if she could use the fitting room to breastfeed.
“She said you cannot nurse your son in our fitting room but you can go outside to the alley and nurse him there, no one usually goes there,” Clawson told My Fox Austin. Clawson even had the employee clarify her statement to make sure she had heard her correctly; there was no misunderstanding.
“I was humiliated by the whole thing, I immediately called my husband,” Clawson said.
However, the employee’s statements do not align with Texas law, which states, “a mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be.”
Clawson had to file two complaints before she received response back that she would be receiving something in the mail.
Clawson also said,”The posters and everything are just women showing their breasts and obviously to Victoria’s Secret in my eyes, it’s looked at as a play toy. Not necessarily, means for you know nursing your child, which is why we have breasts to begin with,” and then added, “I do think that Victoria’s Secret needs to train their employee’s better on the breastfeeding policy and know the laws on it.”
Victoria’s Secret did issue a statement after the story was gaining traction via social media:
“We take this issue very seriously. We have a longstanding policy permitting mothers to nurse their children in our stores and we are sorry that it was not followed in this case. We have apologized to Ms. Clawson, and we are taking actions to ensure all associates understand our policy that welcomes mothers to breastfeed in our stores.”