A new mother has said that she was told to go and breastfeed her 10-week-old son in the women’s toilets at a branch of Costa Coffee.
Hollie Dixon, from Brighouse, said that she was left embarrassed at following the incident in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.
She went to the shop to feed her son after hearing about the company’s policy on welcoming breastfeeding mothers.
She said she has rarely been out on her own since giving birth to her son and this would have been the first time she had attempted to breastfeed in public.
‘I felt embarrassed and walked out,’ said Miss Dixon, who had already paid for a hot chocolate and a bottle of water.
‘I was already annoyed because when I entered with my pram as every single person watched me struggle as it wasn’t a automatic door and I was trying to get in. Then to be made to feel like that was just horrible. He wouldn’t like eating in a toilet so why should my baby.’
Miss Dixon had already placed her drinks order and was paying for them when she asked if they had a particular area where mothers could breastfeed.
She only went to Costa Coffee because Denzel was upset at the time and wanted feeding.
The member of staff responded by telling her to feed him in the women’s toilets.
Miss Dixon said: ‘I found the member of staff quite rude. All I said was that I needed to breastfeed my son and is there an area I should sit. It was the way he looked at me as I said it and how he told me I could only breastfeed in the toilets.
‘I am quite shy and have been reluctant to breastfeed in public. I always ran back to the car but that day I had no choice but go to the nearest place. When your baby is crying and wanting to be fed, there is nothing you can do but feed them.
‘I was told that Costa welcomes breastfeeding mothers and that is why I felt comfortable going in there and trying to feed in public. I heard Costa even had special areas or breastfeeding corners to help mothers have more privacy. I guess these areas must just be the toilets.’
Here’s what her mother had to say about it all:
A spokesperson for Costa Coffee said: ‘We were concerned to receive the customers social post and are looking into it as a matter of priority.
‘We have always been very happy for mothers to breastfeed in our stores, wherever they choose, and for all those who prefer a more private area, we offer baby changing facilities.
‘Costa is renowned for its family friendly environment and is the perfect place for mums to relax with their children.
‘Our staff will happily deliver drinks to parents’ tables and go out of their way to accommodate families.’