The Warehouse group are being applauded by the New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance (NZBA) after customers are being welcomed to breastfeed anywhere in the store.
With conformation displayed on large posters about the store the promotion has kicked off nationwide and has been hailed by NZBA as a step forward in promoting breastfeeding in public.
While The Warehouse has continuously supported breastfeeding mums the campaign acts as a reminder to mothers that they are welcome to do so anywhere in the store.
The signs placed around the store. Photo Credit: Warehouse Official Facebook
Debra Fenton, chair of NZBA, says that the initiative goes well with the Human Rights Act that sates women have the right to breastfeed in public.
The act says that breastfeeding discrimination is not legal and that women are allowed to breastfeed in public and during employment hours.
“This is a big step towards normalising breastfeeding in New Zealand, and we applaud The Warehouse for supporting nursing mothers and treating them with respect,” says Fenton.
“We hope other businesses and organisations follow suit.”
Shane Cornelius, general manager of The Warehouse operations has acknowledged that the posters are put around a store as a reminder to mothers.
“We’ve only had posters in stores for a few months but at the end of the day we just wanted to remind mums that they are free to breastfeed in our stores and they can ask a team member if they’d like to use a fitting room”.
Although businesses who promote freedom to feed in stores are growing there is still a sigma around mothers breastfeeding in public.
The latest occurrence in happened in Tauranga after a mother was told by a stranger in a supermarket store to breastfeed in her car.
Another occurrence In 2014 saw mother-of-three, Anjula Manga, approached by a cleaner at Hamilton’s Te Awa at The Base and told she could not breastfeed her 6-week-old daughter in the foodcourt. The managers of the mall later apologised to her and said it was an error of judgment.
“I think it is so sad that people take time out of the day to make somebody feel that low about nurturing their child. I just don’t understand what drives a person to have such strong feelings about public breastfeeding,” she said.
The Warehouse Group’s signs are a way to communicate with mothers that feeding their child in public is something the group supports.
Signs can be a way of sending a clear message making mothers feel at ease while also setting the tone for other customers.
In the UK a local café, Brasserie Blanc, went viral after offering breastfeeding mothers a free cup of tea and a ‘pit-stop’.
Cafe sign. Photo Credit: Brasserie Blanc Official Facebook.
“While there is growing awareness and acceptance in New Zealand, as demonstrated by The Warehouse, we still have a long way to go before breastfeeding becomes the cultural norm,” Says Fenton.
Stuff.co.nz has an entire parenting sector that can keep you up to date with the latest breastfeeding news.