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Horrible experience breastfeeding in boots.

(127 Posts)
nomorelostweekends Sat 30-May-09 20:31:47

So despite their fantastic breastfeeding policy, it appears that Boots has not got its act together in ensuring that staff are familiar with it. Yesterday I went into a city centre branch without a feeding room and asked to use one of the chairs in the pharmacy waiting area to feed DD2 (tho not sure why I asked in hindsight). The assistant refused, saying that methadone users picked up their prescriptions in the same area. I then asked her if there was someone else I could feed in the store. She stated that the store did not have feeding facilities and directed me to another branch in the city centre. I told her that I didn?t want to walk to the other branch. DD was screaming, I was very hot and the town centre was very busy. I said I was happy to feed anywhere in the store, didn?t care if people saw me and just needed a chair. The assistant repeated that there were no feeding facilities in the store and that I should go to the other one.

By this point there were loads of other customers waiting and I was getting really stressed. I asked if I could use the pharmacists consulting room, which the store has. She initially refused, then agreed to ask the pharmacist. The pharmacist came over and said I could not use the room as she was not sure if they were insured and that was not its purpose. I was about to give up and leave when the pharmacist said she would speak to the manager. The manager obviously said it was fine because I was then taken to the room, although the staff member taking me was very preoccupied by the fact it had a window( thought this was odd at the time, but following later events it made sense!)

Once in the room a member of staff came in and said she was waiting behind the door but that she would have her back to me! I started to feed and over heard the staff member waiting outside the door having a conversation with a man, who I assumed was a member of staff (the room was not in a public area). During this conversation the man clearly said ?She can breastfeed me if she wants?- the member of staff by the door then said ?sush, she can hear you?.. As I left I asked the staff member standing outside the door if the man was a member of Boots staff. She was evasive, but asked if I heard the ?comments?, (suggesting he had made more). Then she said ?sorry, you shouldn?t have heard that, then said ?you know what men are like? and finally asked me not to take it any further (I assumed this meant not to complain).

I rang Boots this morning to explain what happened and am waiting for a response. Am interested to know if anyone else has tried to feed in stores without feeding rooms and how they have got on? Have to say, I have done it once before, 3 years ago in a different branch and they couldn?t have been more helpful. So its not all bad.

treacletart Sat 30-May-09 20:36:06

That's apalling! shock Please find the energy to take it further and please let us know how they respond.

MadameCastafiore Sat 30-May-09 20:37:39

They didn't have a feeding room - why the hell did you not go somewhere that did because it is people like you who get all uppity and demanding that gives breastfeeding mothers a bad name.

Why not just sit on one of the chairs and start breastfeeding then you could have come and whinged that a methadone user came and sat next to you?

Or maybe come in and say your elderly mother had to wait ages for a prescription in boots and she has bad joints and so standing is difficult and when she complained she was told that a woman had demanded to feed her baby - even though they did not have the facilities (I presume this is the smaller branch and they have facilities probably due to more space at the other branch) - and the person who was supposed to be serving your mother was in fact guarding the door so she could breastfeed - even though this was not in her job description and meant they were short staffed.

Stop being so feckin uppity and make use of facilities that are there FGS!

nomorelostweekends Sat 30-May-09 20:38:14

Forgot to say that may be a bit slow coming back to thread as DD is 5 weeks and somewhat unsettled in the evenings so spend many hours pacing...

dittany Sat 30-May-09 20:38:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hester Sat 30-May-09 20:42:50

Blimey, MC, why the need to be so angry and hostile? It is really 'uppity' to expect Boots to be courteous enough to supply a chair, and for staff not to make inappropriate comments in earshot?

dittany Sat 30-May-09 20:45:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EffiePerine Sat 30-May-09 20:46:02

I'm sorry you've had a bad experience . Though I'd have just found a convenient bench/coffee shop/wherever to feed, as I loathe feeding rooms. Next time plonk yourself down anywhere and see who blinks an eyelid!

BakewellTarts Sat 30-May-09 20:46:45

Personaly I hate any facilities that have been provided for breastfeeding barely 1 up from a toilet (and sometimes as smelly if combined with the nappy change ones).

I'd love privacy as DD2 is very nosy and easily distracted but settle for any chair available. To hell with methodone users (not sure I could identify one anyway) and if a granny needed a seat I'd move but most times there's a free chair in the Pharmacy queue. I guess next time I would suggest not asking first...

OrangeFish Sat 30-May-09 20:47:26

The behaviour is appalling, but it is also appalling to force staff to provide a breastfeeding space and conditions that were obviously not there when they have provided you with a suitable option.

PeppermintPatty Sat 30-May-09 20:49:20

To be honest I would never ask permission to breastfeed. Why should you? I'd have just sat down on one of the chairs in the waiting area and got on with it. If it was busy I would have gone elsewhere - even if it was just a bench outside or something.

I can also feed standing up if I have too. it's awkward, but do-able.

They gave you a room in the end, so I wouldn't complain. The idiot would made the comment was just that - an idiot. Just ignore.

tutu100 Sat 30-May-09 20:50:13

It is awful that he made those comments, but I don't really understand why you felt you had to keep asking for somewhere to feed. Like Madame Castifiore said either sit down and feed without asking, or go somewhere else. Was there not a bench outside the shop?

I am all for feeding wherever is necessary, but one of the great things about breastfeeding should be that you don't have to ask for somewhere to feed. Feeding rooms can be nice, but you can't expect every shop to have one.

Please though do go ahead as far a you can with a complaint about the comments the male member of staff made as those are totally unacceptable.

Just wanted to add though that I had a good experience with ds1 once. Was with my Mum in a very long financial advisory meeting when ds1 who was 5 months needed feeding. I started to say I didn't know where I could feed him, the Financial Advisor (who didn't have kids of her own) said I was fine to feed in the meeting. Made sure I was comfortable and that no one could see me (glass office). She then gave me the low down on all the feeding and changing facilities in the town and which were the nicest ones as her sister had recently had a baby and they had visited a lot of them. She was fab.

nomorelostweekends Sat 30-May-09 20:50:19

MadameCastafiore - are you aware of their breastfeeding policy, which is displayed in many of their stores? There is an active thread with it on at the moment. I was not 'uppity' and 'demanding' - i politely asked for a chair to sit on, as their policy clearly says they will provide. I would never have done this had i not seen the policy with my own eyes. I said i was happy feed in the store and did not need anyone with me. And had any member of the public commented, i would have been happy to respond myself. There was a number of chairs in the waiting area - i wouldn't have been sitting in the only one!

onebatmother Sat 30-May-09 20:52:40

Blimey MC. You sound utterly bonkers.

nomorelostweekends Sat 30-May-09 20:58:10

I would normally sit on a bench, but yesterday was really hot and sunny and there was no way i was sitting in the heat. Am 5 weeks post section, still can't walk quickly and just thought it was the ideal solution, given screaming baby, heat, no obvious place to feed, and my previous really positive experience. Seems the consensus is not sad

onepieceofcremeegg Sat 30-May-09 20:58:20

MadameC I found your post quite insulting and abusive tbh, calling the op "uppity".

Imo a mother shouldn't have to ask for special feeding rooms or facilities. The op just enquired if she could have the use of a chair, there is no hint in the op (that I can see) that she would have complained if a methadone user or indeed any other customer might sit next to her. Nor did she ask the staff member to "guard" the door.

The staff members concerned (again imo) have behaved very badly.

It sounds as if the manager may have been reasonable, but at least 2 members of staff behaved very inappropriately and oddly.

I would be inclined to telephone tomorrow/Monday and ask to speak to the manager. I would explain what you experienced and ask for their comments on this. If you don't get a satisfactory response then I would put the concerns in writing (to head office if the local branch seem unwilling to respond appropriately)

nomorelostweekends Sat 30-May-09 21:01:59

Sorry, just realised my computer is inserting ? for apostrophes/quotation marks - didn't show up on the preview.

bubbleymummy Sat 30-May-09 21:09:47

NMLw you don't have to justify wanting to sit down at all! I think you have every right to be upset at this treatment. Boots are supposed to have a breast feeding friendly policy. Obviously these staff were not familiar with this and they need to be informed so I hope you do take it further.

MC you are completely out of line and v rude.

nomorelostweekends Sat 30-May-09 21:12:48

TBH not sure why i asked, its just the sort of thing that i do, I do no there's no reason to and in hindsight i probably should have just got on with it...

Satsuma1 Sat 30-May-09 21:34:49

Wow MC, that was a VERY hostile post and extremely rude!

nomorelostweekends Sat 30-May-09 21:35:19

I appreciate all the positive responses, thank you. I guess I just assumed the assistant would say it was ok and would carry on serving and then I would just get on with it. I hadn’t planned a full scale discussion nor was I asking for any specific facilities other than a chair. I did turn to leave before the pharmacist decided to speak to the manager, I had no intention of it turning into anything like it did! I really don't think i was demanding or uppity, it just spiralled in a way i didn't expect. I was bright red by the time i left the shop floor.

The moral, i guess, is don't ask...

On a positive note, DD is flaked out on my knee and is having her calmest evening yet and I am about to watch some TV with DP and eat chocolate

onepieceofcremeegg Sat 30-May-09 21:36:35

enjoy your chocolate nomorelostweekends.

Wishing you and your newborn(ish) dd a lovely night with hopefully a few hours sleep.

bedlambeast Sat 30-May-09 21:43:29

Message withdrawn

Jennylee Sat 30-May-09 21:57:32

that sucks, ignore the negative comment, you were treated badly, they have a breastfeeding policy, they did not stick to it here, the mans comment were awful, I hope you do complain.

JessJess3908 Sat 30-May-09 21:59:05

What a disgusting freak (the man you overheard). It sounds like you had a really horrible experience, don't let it put you off bf in public - 99.99% of people don't bat an eyelid and would bend over backwards to make you comfortable. I am glad you reported them all to boots HQ, anyone with half a brain would have said "yes of course, sit down and stop that baby screaming" wink

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