Mother Told To Breastfeed In The Toilets At Debenhams



A mother was left furious after she was directed to the toilets by staff at Debenhams after asking where she could breastfeed her baby.

Dezrin Ward, from Trentham, says she was disgusted when she was directed to the baby changing room to feed her 11-week-old daughter Remi Cooper.

The 22-year-old fed Remi on chairs outside the toilets at the store, in Hanley’s intu Potteries shopping centre, Stoke-on-Trent.

The retailer has now apologised for any distress Dezrin experienced, claiming it was an ‘isolated incident’.

Dezrin Ward was told to breastfeed her 11-week-old daughter Remi in the toilets of a Debenhams store in Stoke-on-Trent 

Dezrin recalls how she was shopping in the store when Remi started crying.

Initially Dezrin was told by a member of staff that there was an area within the children’s section of the store where she could breastfeed.

But when she failed to find it, another shop assistant showed her to the baby changing facility.

Dezrin said: ‘I went in there and there were two toilets, a baby changing area and a chair.

‘Remi was hysterical and there was a queue of women who wanted to use that facility.

‘I thought I can’t feed her next to a toilet and I don’t want to keep the other mums waiting as it would take me about 45 minutes so I sat down just outside the baby changing room where there are a few chairs.

‘I tried to feed her there. There were men and women walking past and it was freezing cold.

‘I was sat there for quite a while and the cleaner came down to me and she said that she couldn’t believe I was feeding her there.

‘Another staff member came down and said that there was no breastfeeding area included in the plans of the building before mentioning that the café was a place where I could breastfeed.’

Dezrin said that if all staff members were aware that the café was an acceptable place for customers to breastfeed, it would have saved her from the ’embarrassing’ experience.

The retailer has since apologised to the mother for what they call an ‘isolated incident’

She said: ‘It’s shocking that a business such as Debenhams don’t have such facilities.

‘It was disgusting that they expected me to breastfeed in the baby changing room. As a mum I find Hanley quite short of breastfeeding facilities and in this day and age that is very bad.

‘It was a humiliating experience. I had people staring at me and the smell coming from the toilets was horrendous and I had to sit there for 30-45 minutes.

‘They really need to review their policy on this and their staff need to know where is acceptable to breastfeed – not a toilet.

‘I feel like people need to realise that breastfeeding is a normal thing and mothers who do this shouldn’t be penalised and banished to a toilet.’

A Debenhams spokesman said: ‘Debenhams is supportive of breast feeding. This was an isolated incident and we are sorry for any distress caused to the customer.’


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