Walmart has apologized to a New Hampshire woman who said she was told by an employee and a manager, at the company’s store near Dover, that she wasn’t allowed to print photos of breast-feeding mothers.
“He told me repeatedly it doesn't matter the reasoning, it’s against company policy,” Jennifer Luna told WFXT News, describing the recent interaction in a videotaped interview (shown below).
Luna, a professional photographer, said she was at the store to print off pictures of mothers she had shot for a public breast-feeding event in Dover called the The Big Latch On. That event was staged earlier this week to coincide with National Breast-Feeding Awareness Week, WFXT reports.
Luna said the employee and the manager took the photos from the printer and wouldn’t give them back to her, saying they were “obscene.”
“That just blew my mind that anybody could compare breast-feeding with something obscene,” Luna said.
“We are not taking our tops off just because we want to,” Luna, who is also a mother, added. “We are trying to feed our children. This is what our bodies were made for.”
Company spokesman Aaron Mullins spoke with WFXT on the phone and said the employee was a newly hired associated who had been “misinformed.”
“It's currently something that is being addressed with the new associate to make sure that it’s clear, that it’s very clear and the company policy is clarified,” Mullins said.
The company has reportedly reached out to Luna and apologized. She told WFXT she has accepted the apology but she still never got her pictures back.
It’s not the first time that the company has been in hot water with nursing moms.
In February of this year, mothers in Glenpool, Oklahoma, staged a so-called nurse-in at a Walmart store after one woman said she was asked by a manager not to breast-feed her baby in the store.
“The manager came over and said ‘Can you please not do that?’ and I was kind of shocked like, do what? I didn't know what I was doing wrong,” Elizabeth Moreno told KOKI News at the time.
She said the manager said he had received a customer complaint and asked her to stop or cover up.
"I was like ‘Oh no, I'm protected by Oklahoma law that it's OK to breastfeed in public,’” Moreno said.
Walmart told KOKI the company was investigating the incident but mothers are always welcome to breastfeed children in their stores.
Photo Credit: Screenshot from YouTube, Wikipedia