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asked to breastfeed in the toilets on train!!

(207 Posts)
Channicholls Wed 26-Jun-13 13:30:08

i was on a northern rail train yesterday with my 3 month old daughter. she required feeding. I was sat behind my pram and no one could see what I was doing.

When the ticket collector came to check tickets he asked if I could do what I was doing in the toilets. I responded by saying 'what breastfeeding' and he said yes. I told him I was fine where I was and didn't move and he left it. during the whole exchange he had his hand up and was making faces as though what I was doing was perverse.

I was really embarrassed and left feeling extremely uncomfortable and with everyone in the carriage watching me.

I called Northern rail today to make a complaint and was told by them that there was nothing they could do and its down to personal preference of conductors.

what are my next steps? I feel like I was treated badly and that this shouldn't be allowed by such a large company (or anyone for that matter).

Quangle Wed 26-Jun-13 13:32:44

bloody hell. The personal preference of the conductors? And if they personally prefer that you dance round a maypole with flowers in your hair would you have to do that too?


Wheresmycaffeinedrip Wed 26-Jun-13 13:33:59

That's disgusting! Ask them if they'd eat their dinner in the loo!

stinkyfluffycat Wed 26-Jun-13 13:34:20

Someone who actually knows will be along shortly but I'm pretty sure you have a legal right to breastfeed wherever you bloody well want to (I may be wrong but if that isn't true it should be).

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Wed 26-Jun-13 13:35:12

Pursue your complaint, involve NCT, LLL, your HV, local press, etc. Find out who their CEO / MD is and get on Twitter / Facebook.

What he was asking you to do was illegal and it may be discriminatory on
Northern Rail's part not to pursue this. It is NOT down to personal preference.

BF is protected by law. Northern Rail receive public money to provide a service. Disgusted on your behalf.

poshme Wed 26-Jun-13 13:37:48 has the legal stuff.
They were acting illegally IMO.

Cravingdairy Wed 26-Jun-13 13:38:13

Breastfeed in a train toilet! shock

I think the recommendation on here is often take to Twitter or email the managing director...depends what you want from them though to be honest. I think it's pretty disgusting (not to mention quite possibly illegal) to tell someone where to breastfeed. as far as I'm aware In the UK you can breastfeed anywhere you're allowed to take a baby...if you'd been bottle feeding would he have asked you to do that in the toilet? (most of which on trains are vile) no, because it's disgusting and IMO so was his attitude. it's no wonder there's such a low rate of breastfed babies in this country with ignorant twats like that about. you're entitled to feed your baby wherever you need to...and if you want to take the complaint further and get some retraining in (or arrange a MN mass-breastfeed on his next shift) then I'm sure you'll get a lot of support on here, myself included. but personally I don't have the balls and I'd probably just laugh it off and try not to let it stop me feeding wherever DD needed feeding

MummyOfSunbeam Wed 26-Jun-13 13:39:17

In Scotland that would be illegal - we have a law saying anyone can bf a child up to the age if two anywhere that they already have a right to be (cumbersome language but good it exists). I am sure in England even if no law a company should respond better to this - actually equalities legislation occurs to me.

I am so sorry you encountered this IDIOT. I would have wanted to ask if he wanted to eat in the toilets and if not then why a baby should!

dragongirlx Wed 26-Jun-13 13:39:52

Under the Eqauality Act 2010 it is unlawful to discriminate against a women who is breastfeeding.
If you are breastfeeding your baby anywhere and asked to move this is unlawful discrimination. By allowing the train conductor to this they are encouraging discrimination.
I would get back in touch with the train company and let them know this and say if you don't recieve a satisfactory response you will be pursuing it further.

dragongirlx Wed 26-Jun-13 13:40:07


fedupwithdeployment Wed 26-Jun-13 13:42:02

Why doesn't someone find out the email address and name of the CEO. If that was posted here, I bet an Army of MN would contact him / her with their thoughts on the matter. I saw this happen a year or so ago with a complaint about a John Lewis delivery - someone came on to apologise, and the issue was quickly resolved.

Sorry that you had to put up with that OP.

Dackyduddles Wed 26-Jun-13 13:42:23

I can't link but yes it's illegal. I do not understand why firms don't know this!

Quilty Wed 26-Jun-13 13:43:04

Awful awful awful! Train toilets are about the most disgusting place I could imagine bf in! Definitely need to make a serious complaint, don't let this ignorant twat get away with speaking to you like that!

HomeHelpMeGawd Wed 26-Jun-13 13:50:16

Northern Rail is owned by Serco and Abellio.

The men who are the managing director and CCO are here

Serco serves the NHS extensively. It is run by these men (and one female NED)

Abellio is run by these men, these men and these men

Antediluvian isn't the half of it....

I think a Twitterstorm is your best bet to effect change at Northern Rail. You need to get it picked up by a big name.

RoooneyMara Wed 26-Jun-13 13:51:30

You're right, it shouldn't be allowed.

I wonder if it is against the law in the same way it is to ask someone to stop BFing in a restaurant etc

RoooneyMara Wed 26-Jun-13 13:54:14

sorry, masses of x posts! blush

To sum up I'd say that I wouldn't even go to the TOILET in a train toilet, let alone try and feed a small baby.

And if they want people to do that they should bloody well clean them.

Channicholls Wed 26-Jun-13 13:54:42

The CEO is Ian Bevan but I can't find how to contact directly.

there is a customer relations email but it was the customers relations contact number we used when our complaint was dismissed. :S

Channicholls Wed 26-Jun-13 13:56:03

i don't have twitter, but my aunt has posted on my behalf but isn't sure how to get it noticed. lol

any advice?

expectingtoomuch Wed 26-Jun-13 14:00:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

expectingtoomuch Wed 26-Jun-13 14:03:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

expectingtoomuch Wed 26-Jun-13 14:05:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Abra1d Wed 26-Jun-13 14:08:06

Perhaps next time the buffet's full they could suggest that people take their coffee and sandwiches into the toilet. Might as well make it a useful eating place for everyone and not just reserve it for BFing.

Channicholls Wed 26-Jun-13 14:08:32

they have replied to twitter post. saying they looking into it. :-$

sydenhamhiller Wed 26-Jun-13 14:14:22

I am so angry about this...Definitely need a twitter storm about this. How is it OK to sell newspapers with Page 3 girls, but not breastfeed in public.

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