IKEA Apologizes After Manager Allegedly Calls Breastfeeding Mom “Disgusting”

UPDATE: IKEA says it has reviewed footage from the day in question and says it has found no evidence that any such incident occurred.
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IKEA is having to do the apology song-and-dance after a mom in Ottawa claimed that she was treated rudely by a manager who told her she was “being disgusting” by nursing in the store and to “take it to the bathroom.”

In a post on the IKEA Canada Facebook page on Monday, the mom says she was at the store with her 9-month-old daughter when she asked to speak to a manager about a pricing question.

The mom says the manager got off on the wrong foot by engaging in a protracted conversation with a co-worker rather than talk to her. Meanwhile, her baby daughter needed to be fed, so the mom did what mothers have been doing for millennia — she fed her. This apparently didn’t go over well with the manager.

From the mom’s Facebook post:

“The manager glared at me and said (and I quote), ‘When you’re done being disgusting, we can resume our discussion. In the meantime, take it to the bathroom because you’re holding up the line.'”

Oops.

The retailer responded to her message, saying “This is not the experience we wish for our customers,” and asking her for her contact information so they could look into the matter.

A rep for the company tells HuffPo Canada that IKEA has apologized to the mom and is investigating the incident.

“We do not accept anyone saying something negative to a mother breastfeeding. This is not consistent with our culture and values,” reads the statement to HuffPo. “IKEA supports mothers’ rights to breastfeed openly. We do provide private rooms for anyone who is interested in a quiet moment, but welcome mothers to breastfeed anywhere in our stores. We are a family friendly company who strives to provide a comfortable environment for all of our customers.”

Longtime readers of Consumerist may remember a similar story from 2009, in which a nursing mom at the IKEA store in Brooklyn was directed to do her breastfeeding in the bathroom by a store employee.

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  1. SingleMaltGeek says:

    In case anyone else is curious about the applicable law, here’s what I found:

    “You have rights as a breastfeeding mother, including the right to breastfeed a child in a public area. No one should prevent you from breastfeeding your child simply because you are in a public area. They should not ask you to ‘cover up,’ disturb you, or ask you to move to another area that is more ‘discreet.'”

    http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/pregnancy-and-breastfeeding-brochure

  2. GoldHillDave says:

    Far from being disgusting, I think moms nursing their babies is very sweet. That being said, I’d encourage them to be discreet when that’s possible.