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Ikea apologizes to Ottawa mother allegedly called "disgusting" for breastfeeding

IKEA has apologized to an Ottawa-area mother who says she was treated rudely while breastfeeding her baby in the store on Monday.

In an interview with CTV Ottawa, Brea Rehder said she was standing in a check-out line when the employee spoke to her.

"She asked me what my issue was and by then I'd started nursing Sloan because she was getting fussy...I asked her my question about the price and she said 'when you're done being disgusting we can discuss this further, in the meantime, go to the bathroom because you're holding up the line'"

Rehder said she and her friend were shocked but she quickly got angry when she realized her 2-year-old son, Evan, who also breastfeeds, heard the comments. She says he didn't want to nurse that night saying it was "yucky."

"They can give me an entire house make-over but it's not going to make up for the damage done to Evan's emotional well-being."

Ikea says it's trying to track down which employee it was. The store's manager, Isabelle Auclair said that's unacceptable behaviour and that "breastfeeding moms are welcome in the store anytime."

While Redher says she doesn't hold one employee's actions against the store, she is considering filing a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission to send a clear message to other companies.

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  1. MikylaL posted on 03/13/2014 06:53 PM
    Hello!
    I just wanted to put in my 2 cents. I am a mother of 2, have a bachelor's degree in nursing, and I breastfeed.

    Luckily, my family and I live in a province that has recognized women's rights and the rights of our children. It is plain and simple: breastfeeding whenever and wherever has been deemed to be a human right in Ontario.

    I would like to say that the way the Ikea staff conducted herself is disgraceful on many so many levels. How dare she say something so offensive to anyone and in front of their child.

    I would also like to say that the pole designed by CFRA is poorly written and poorly designed. Poorly written because "show some modesty"?? Since when is breastfeeding a child not modest? Wearing tube tops and skinny jeans show way more of the human body than breastfeeding a baby. This is our human right to nourish/care for our child! Its not a matter of modesty, it a matter of human rights! Poorly designed because I have tried to vote FOR being able to breastfeed ANYWHERE and the poll has not counted my vote (and I have tried to vote on 3 separate devices).

    It puzzles me that we are allowed to showcase and present our sexuality however and whenever we want, yet we are looked down upon for nourishing our children the way we were biologically designed to. News Flash - BREASTS WEREN'T DESIGNED TO BE FLAUNTED AND OGLED - THEY WERE DESIGNED TO FEED, COMFORT, AND LOVE

    We would not shame a cat or a dog for nursing their young, we would celebrate it! Yet, women are being shamed for providing their children with the most basic of needs (comfort, food, love).

    How far have we come as a society, really, if we can't support and celebrate Mothers caring for their children.
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