A Texas mother who asked to nurse her 4-month-old son in a Victoria’s Secret dressing room after making a $150 purchase at the store was instead told she could go outside and feed her son in an alley, where no one could see her.
“I said, ‘You want me to take my son outside and nurse him in an alley?’” Ashley Clawson, 27, recalled asking the sales associate in reply. “She said, ‘Yes,’ just very matter-of-factly.”
“I looked at my crying son and said, ‘Don’t worry, son, I’m not going to make you go down an alley to eat,’ and I walked out of the store,” Clawson told GoodMorningAmerica.com.
Clawson, a mother of two from Round Rock, Texas, was at a Victoria’s Secret in Austin Monday with son Beckett when the incident occurred, she said.
“I was immediately baffled,” she said. “I didn’t walk into Victoria’s Secret feeling entitled for them to give me a space. I was just trying to be polite.”
After nursing her son in the stall of a nearby bathroom, Clawson went home and posted her experience on Facebook. The outpouring of support she says she received prompted her to file a complaint with the lingerie chain.
“I called the corporate office and the store manager,” Clawson said. “An hour later the manager said she’d confirmed the story with the other two associates who were there and said they were taking appropriate actions with the employee.”
Victoria’s Secret issued a statement earlier this week that read, in part, “We take this issue very seriously. We have a longstanding policy permitting mothers to nurse their children in our stores and we are sorry that it was not followed in this case.”
The company also told Clawson it would send her a gift card.
“Today is Friday and I still haven’t received anything in the mail,” Clawson said.