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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Shoppers of a popular department store across the country had an interesting sight this morning. Mothers went to their local Target stores, including here in Wilmington, for a nurse-in.

This national “nurse-in” all started with one woman in Houston, but moms sent the message here in Wilmington that it is OK to breastfeed in public.

“If you like to feed your baby in public, it should be OK,” Rica Stinson said. “It’s best for baby. It’s best for mom.”

Stinson is one of the more than a dozen Cape Fear mothers who greeted Target guests as they entered the store Wednesday morning.

This nurse-in was just one of many across the nation, as a show of support for the Texas mom who claims she was hassled by Target employees for feeding her baby.

“That’s one of the reason we’re here is to offer our services to educate employees and other people and let them know that you can’t treat people that way,” Stinson said.

Mom Emily Barnhill, “It takes a lot of mother and mother support, and even though none of us know the mother in Texas, it’s just a matter of everyone kind of pulling together and saying it is OK, don’t feel bad about it and everyone has to feed their babies.”

Target welcomed demonstrations like this one in Wilmington. The store has made it clear to mothers that its policy has always supported breastfeeding

“As a family-oriented retailer, Target has always supported breastfeedings and mothers that choose to do so,” store manager Matt Merritt said. “Any mother in our facilities can do that, and that is our policy. We welcome it and are certainly open to it.”

While these mothers are all for nursing in public, a few shoppers who did not want to go on-camera did not agree with the practice. But other shoppers who are also moms applaud the national nurse-in.

“They’re just trying to feed their babies,” shopper Becky Graves said. “Just like you’re hungry and you eat a snack — you’re out in public. You have you’re baby, you have to feed them when they’re hungry.”

Another mother, Holly Bigness, said, “I love breastfeeding. He’s my second that I have nursed, and it’s ready and available any time any where they need to feed. You always got it with you. There’s no bottles to juggle or formula to mix.”

Despite the turnout, every mother we spoke with at the nurse-in said they have never run into a problem breastfeeding at the Target store here in Wilmington.


Comment on this Story

  • Guest111

    Finally a Dad responds who is level headed. This man I can support. He has the b**** to say he doesn’t want his wife to show the public her breast. Gals, you need to read this, and so does your spouse, if you have one. Follow his lead and see if you can improve your behavior in public.

  • DML80

    Not everyone can get enough milk using a pump to feed their baby. Some women don’t get the ‘let down’ while using a pump and that means no milk or next to no milk will come out. All these people that are so uncomfortable watching a mother breast feed her baby, WHY IN THE HECK ARE YOU WATCHING THEN??? Turn your head away and quit gawking. It’s as simple as that.

  • Guest Lee

    Your post is confusing. First, when you talk about how you did it, you sound like you’re in favor of it. Then when you start talking about husband’s gawking, you sound like you’re against it. I’m curious…which is it?

  • C. Andrews

    It’s just an inconsiderate thing to do when you’re in public. My wife breastfeeds our 4-month-old, but she wouldn’t dream of doing it in public. Not only does she not want to expose herself to the world, but she doesn’t want to make other people around her uncomfortable. Believe it or not, not everyone wants to see an intimate part of your anatomy. If we’re in public and the baby is hungry, we either make sure we have a bottle we can heat up, or my wife goes to a private place to nurse — like the back seat of the car, which has tinted windows.

    A little common courtesy goes a long way.

  • Guest Lee

    Really…who wants to watch you use a breat pump in public? Believe it or not, there are plenty of women who have never had to use one. They just make their baby their number one priority instead of running all over town. They make sure that baby is fed before they leave home, and they return three hours later to feed it again. They plan their days around that baby’s needs, not their own. Novel concept, huh?

  • Guest78945697

    This article is ridiculous!!!!!

    “My son is almost 18 months and still nurses quite frequently – some days more than when he was an infant!”

    18months?? He is walking at this point!!!!! STOP!!!!!! This article really did nt help the cause of someones point.

    I am a woman and I think it is sweet that you can bond with your baby…but I truly don’t want to see it. Use a cover and stop trying to prove what “good” mother you are….

    You are NOT if you are flaunting the “funbags” in public!!!!

  • GuestAmazed

    Why does everything have to be in public for you? Now you’re talking breast pump in public too?

    I never had to use a breast pump. Proper planning was all that was needed when I was breastfeeding my babies. If you would stay home once in a while instead of gallivanting all over Wilmington, maybe you could figure out a plan. But I realize shopping must take up a greater part of your days.

    You know, where there’s a will, there’s a way. All it takes is a little planning ahead and putting someone else first besides yourself, but I do realize that seems to be a foreign concept for you. This is just another excuse to justify laziness and self-centeredness. You really need to think about growing up.

  • Just take with you Mommy, I’m always hungry.

  • GuestM

    “Not all babies eat like robots” was pretty self-explanatory. Every baby is different. Some eat less quantity more frequently, some eat more quantity, spit up half of it, and then need to eat again in an hour or so. There are lots of different feeding schedules. Just because the average says every 3 hours doesn’t mean that every single baby is going to be the same.
    When the baby’s hungry, pull out a nursing cover and feed the baby. I’m not such a fan of going uncovered, but that’s what nursing covers are for. No one should have to stay home for 6 months; it’s not good for baby or mom.
    Food for thought: some people live far enough away from stores where they will need to feed the baby while they’re out. Here in Montana lots of people live 30 minutes away from the nearest grocery store. If mom feeds baby and heads out the door with a list and completely prepared, the trip still might take longer than 3 hours. Being out with baby will most likely present some unexpected events that can’t be planned in advance as well such as spitting up.
    If anyone is being selfish in this whole debate it’s the people who are telling mom to stay in the house like a hermit for 6 months. Moms who choose to nurse their babies during that special time of their babies life shouldn’t be required to pump and heat bottles or live like hermits just because others are insensitive.

  • Heather

    For all of you that think the pump is the answer think about this..
    When can you pump milk out your breasts? When they are full of milk.
    When are they full of milk? Around the time your baby is hungry.
    So when i feed my baby, you expect me to also pump some out and keep it cold so i can then have to warm it up later when he is hungry just so i can go out for errands. And by the time i can give him that bottle, guess what, the girls are full of milk again. Its got to go somewhere, should I take my pump with me and do that in public? It’s not pretty!!!

  • Guest111

    You need someone to teach you how to manage your time. If you pump then leave for chores you shouldn’t be out half the day doing that with a young child. The milk can be put in bottles and stored in a bottle holder in your carry bag for the baby. After being out a normal amount of time with a young one you will be headed home before the girls get so uncomfortable. Stop whining, step up, be a woman and learn how to handle your days. Good grief little girl. Are you sure you are able to take care of a child by yourself? By the way, I’m a grandmother who has taken care of kids for years and now, at an older age, I’m doing it again. Stop whining and grow up.

  • Guest111

    Set the time and place and I’ll be there with bells on. Been there, done that, survived it and NOT ONE DAMN STRANGER SAW MY BOOB. I can’t help but wonder what the husbands think of their wives showing their breasts in public, KNOWING men of all kinds are gawking. Maybe they are whipped and just keep quiet.

  • Guest111

    This comment is for Target. I didn’t come in the day these silly girls lined the entrance to Target to make their point. It’s such a good thing, too. I probably would have gotten very vocal about the whole embarrassing thing. But hear this. I go to Target a lot. I fell out of love with Walmart months ago. However, If Target ever pulls a stunt like this again I will never enter their parking lot again. Leave these silly issues for the street corner.

  • WilmingtonMAJ

    Keep them at HOME! I can assure you, the people who don’t have to see you whip out your funbags for the brat, or hear a screaming child…will thank you!

  • Guest Lee

    You should have let your daughter answer, since the question was directed to her and not to you. If it felt like a weird interaction, perhaps your daughter and the salesperson both felt embarrassed with how you responded to the suggestion.

    Your daughter is a grown up with a child; she should learn how to handle her own battles without mom jumping in.

  • Guest12

    Wonder how many sex offenders and pervs show up to watch. Use some common sense. Need to be careful these days!!!! Just saying…

  • Guest Lee

    Funny…I don’t see a single woman in the above picture (from the article) breastfeeding. Wonder why? If they’re so convinced they are right, why don’t they just pose for a nice picture for the media?

  • Guest Lee

    Seeing Target endorse breastfeeding in their stores will be the very reason that keeps me away from them. I won’t go in a store that allows this kind of exhibitionism. I’ll take my business elsewhere. I won’t have this forced down my throat.

  • Guest 20

    Will you please stop flattering me?

  • GuestReality

    That’s the best you got? “Not all babies eat like robots”? That statement was hardly worth the time you took to type it.

    It’s called time management….obviously something you know nothing about.

  • mandy

    not all babies eat like robots…

  • guest111

    Ok, you silly women who are trying to yell your statements and rights!!! I have four words for you so you can go in public and do your thing. BREAST PUMP AND BOTTLE!! AND. . . TARGET SELLS THEM… SO THERE, PROBLEM SOLVED. . . OR WOULD YOU JUST RATHER SHOW YOUR BOOB??

  • anne

    Yes Mom you have the right to breastfeed your baby in public if you choose to do so. And yes, Mom, I have the right to be offended if I choose to do so. Rights go both ways dearie! I have no problem with it – just cover up because many of us aren’t interested in watching you. Unfortunately there are some out there that will be watching for the wrong reasons you know?! Not only that, if you are in an area where there are other children present, you need to realize that some parents may not be comfortable with their children watching. Just use common sense instead of getting all offended about it. After all, the child is what is important – not you.

    Oh by the way, hope you like being used by Target for their own free advertisements!!!!!!!!!

  • FunnyCommentGuy

    Do they allow breastfeeding at Hooters? Perhaps the next event like this would be even bigger if it were to be held there.

  • Guest20

    That’s OK, Guest99x. Those who know your posts knew that this wasn’t you. The imposter didn’t fool anybody.

    Somebody hijacked my name too, so I finally changed it. I guess it happens to everybody sooner or later, if you don’t register. Like you said, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

  • GuestReality

    Breasts aren’t ONLY to produce milk to feed babies. They are also made for enticement of the opposite sex. If a man sees a female breast, they’re going to automatically think sex. It’s just their male nature. Why subject yourself and your baby to perverted thoughts and perhaps even comments?

    Newborns have to eat every 3 hours or so. If you feed them before you leave home, you have 3 hours to go out and about before baby gets hungry again. Three hours out with baby is enough. That baby doesn’t need to be dragged out all over the county because mama wants to shop. And they don’t need to be exposed to the “nasty” cigarettes and cursing either, so take them home. After some dinner, and a short nap, baby should be good to go for another 3 hours, if you’re so inclined. Why make a spectacle out of yourself unless you like the attention?

  • GuestYep

    If they aren’t, they should be.

  • Lori hayes 2216

    This world is full of perverts and it doesn’t take much to make them go off. What I worry about is some Sicko watching this and getting aroused and waiting and maybe attacking the woman. And then you have the children. Some parents may not be so open minded and talk to their kids about it so this lets kids minds maybe go where they shouldn’t. I just think it would be more appropriate and safer that if you have to feed your baby just cover up. Its best to be safe than sorry

  • Marion

    A billion years ago (like maybe, in the 20th century), it used to be considered impolite to EAT in public. At all. Anyone – baby, adult, or in between.
    I figure, this was because a) polite people should be able to control themselves and delay gratification, and b) it’s very rude to flaunt what others may lack. So:
    — there may be hungry people in the room with no access to food, but you feel like eating, so you go ahead without thinking of relieving their need by sharing.
    — there may be lonely, solitary people longing to touch a woman’s body – anyone’s body! – who will be distressed by your actions – but you want to feed your baby HERE and NOW, so you whip out a part of your body that you would be offended if a stranger touched, and give suck.

    As I understand the story, the employees offered the nursing mother a room with a couch, but no, she wanted to sit on the floor in the middle of the store. This isn’t Breastfeeder’s Rights – this is exhibitionism!

  • Squinsey

    This was an interesting story.  I was in Target in Gig Harbor 2 years ago with my daughter and 10 month old grandchild and the same thing happened.  She was breast feeding, totally coveredup, a Target employyee approached her and asked if she would like to use a dressing room for “that”.
    I told the employee that wouldnt be necessary. It was such a weird interaction.  I wonder if Target employees are trained to steer breast feeding mothers to dressing rooms?
    Sue Q

  • Guest20

    I’ve told you to stop trying to be me.

  • Guest99x

    You wish you were me.

  • Guest777

    “Excretion” is a normal process as is breastfeeding a baby. So, does this mean everyone can just drop their pants wherever they are and do their thing or would you prefer people take care of their buisness in private? I mean as long as they aren’t fully exposed of course! Exactly! Breast pumps and bottles are made for a reason and so are coolers to put ready-made bottles to keep them cool. Too cold for baby,they even make bottle warmers! Seriously, you just want attention because you can get it this way. Yes, I breast fed my children and I didn’t have to do it in public.

  • Heather

    People seem to forget the reason women have breasts is to produce milk to feed their babies. Why do people have to make such a big deal out of something that is a womens god given right to do. Newborn babies have to eat every 3 hours. Are we supposed to not leave the house for 6 months. If my baby is hungry, I’ll feed him whenever and wherever I am. If I can tolerate people smoking their nasty cigerettes around me and others speaking profanity like it’s common everyday language then everyone else can get over my little man eating his dinner. Other countries have war, hunger and disease and we’re concerned about public nursing!! God Bless America!!!

  • Guest2012

    Lady GaGa, so this is what I would expect. Her own mother must be so proud of teaching her a very self-centric value system, no modesty,and weird battles to fight!
    But…they must be so proud of themselves for sitting on the dirty FLOOR of a stupid store to make a really STUPID point.
    Gee, Mothers are sure wacco’s these days.

  • LOSTmommy
  • TheRealGuest99x

    I guess that getting your name hijacked and mis-used on this forum is a compliment around here. I am quite honored that you would think to do this.

    Remember, if you are going to use my name, I like to write in complete sentences using correct rules of grammar and punctuation.

    Your comments, fraudulently written under my “pen name” are so puerile and crass that I wouldn’t even think of nominating them for a booby prize.

  • Guest Reply

    I don’t believe this happened. Show us a closeup photograph of this happening since it is Ok and all!

  • Guest44563

    but if this Target store in ILM did nothing wrong, this was more of a look at me type of thing.

  • dylan

    The times they are a changin

  • Guest943

    Target will do anything to make a damn dollar and this proves it!!!

  • cynthia

    I breast fed my kids, but don’t believe it should be done in public. Maybe you don’t mind people looking at you, but many feel uncomfortable seeing you. I would think you would want to respect their rights too. It doesn’t take much to go where you are in private to nurse.

  • GuestUhHuh

    That’s because you’re an exhibitionist, and it’s all about YOU. It’s supposed to be about bonding with your baby.

  • GuestUsed2Bx99

    I don’t mind if people look at me when I breast feed.

  • Guest99x

    I enjoy feeding in public because it stirs up people.

  • Das Weibstück

    …BREAST PUMP !! Use one so you don’t have to whip your girls out in public. My Gawd, its simple and safe to use.

  • Guest1946

    I guess it is safe to assume that all the women who got their undies in a wad over breast feeding never wear skimpy bathing suits in the Summer with their puppies hanging out.

  • just me

    i dont what to think about all the comments nor the story itself. I have two children that were breast fed. And sorry, if i was out doing errands, they were fed where ever we were. But my breasts were never exposed. I used blankets to give myself and my child more privacy. I have never seen a woman just pop her boob out for the world to see. I have been asked before to please use a restroom to nurse which offended me because bathrooms are nasty. But i got over it. I think there is common sense to everything, but its not very common any more. I went out of my way not to make a scene or make anyone uncomfortable, but thats just me

  • Breastfeeding is natural. It should be done when and where it needs to be done. But please be courteous and discreet. What is so difficult about using a bib, blanket, clothing, to avoid unnecessary exposure.

    When public smoking was prevalent, particularly on aircraft, I always thought, ‘Every time you breathe your smoke on me, I’ll spit some of my cola on you. Perhaps you’ll eventually make the connection and see how unreasonable you’re being.’

    The point? If you’re acting as an exhibitionist, don’t be surprised or complain when someone whips out their penis in your face simply because they can, after-all, you invited it.

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