A YOUNG mum claims bridal shop staff broke the law by refusing to allow her to breastfeed her screaming baby while she was in the store.
Paula Stock, 24, of Letzen Road, Canvey, says workers at Bird’s Bridal, in Chelmsford, told her she could not feed her five-month-old son Sydney in the shop.
The Equality Act 2010, which covers breastfeeding in public, says it is unlawful for a business to discriminate against a woman because she is breastfeeding a child of any age.
The company has apologised to Miss Stock and pledged to now set aside a suitable area for use by breastfeeding mums.
Miss Stock said she visited the shop with her mother and sister, Rochelle Thomas, who is getting married next year, as she was picking up her £900 wedding dress.
Sydney was asleep when they arrived, which allowed mum-of-two Miss Stock to enjoy watching her sister try the dress on, but her baby woke up for a feed and despite her attempts to pacify him, he became so upset that she asked staff if it would be OK for her to breastfeed.
Miss Stock said: “The lady looked a bit awkward and went to ask her colleague.
“Another woman came out and said ‘I can’t let you do that’ and they had dresses in there that are worth thousands of pounds and I would have to go outside.
“He was absolutely screaming and I needed to get him fed as quickly as I could so I went back to the car.” Lyn Bird, manager of Bird’s Bridal, said: “We sincerely apologise for any upset caused, it was totally unintentional to upset Miss Stock, we felt we didn’t have a suitable area due to the lack of space and our own reservations with stock.
“This certainly will not happen again, because since this happened we have given a lot of thought to a more suitable area for future use.”