Victoria’s Secret: Sorry We Didn't Let Woman Breastfeed
Instead, a clerk suggested she go outside in an alley
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2014 3:33 PM CST
Pedestrians pass by a Victoria's Secret store.   (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

(Newser) – Victoria's Secret is dealing with a PR headache over a gaffe rich in irony. A store in Austin refused to let a woman breastfeed her son in a changing room, with a clerk helpfully suggesting that she go outside to the back of an alley instead, reports MyFoxAustin. There's a few problems with this, starting with the fact that state law in Texas gives moms the right to breastfeed wherever they want. But the reason the story is resonating probably has more to do with this sentiment, expressed by the spurned mom to Austin CultureMap: “I had never thought of breastfeeding as such a shameful thing, especially in a store where breasts are visible in every corner.”

After the story got picked up by local media outlets, the chain apologized to 27-year-old Ashley Clawson and promised to make sure all its sales clerks knew that women are welcome to breastfeed in its stores. Clawson, meanwhile, thinks Victoria's Secret is missing the boat with women like her, citing the lack of a line of nursing bras. The chain "could have a great customer base in new mothers if they treated them right." (Victoria Secret's last major public apology was to Native Americans, over a model's headdress.)

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Showing 3 of 64 comments
Jan 27, 2014 9:56 AM CST
" Clawson, meanwhile, thinks Victoria's Secret is missing the boat with women like her, citing the lack of a line of nursing bras." Does she need a sexy bra to get the kid sucking ?. Tell her V S's style is to turn the lover on , not the feeder !.
Ezekiel 25:17
Jan 25, 2014 3:25 PM CST
This is always a trap issue. The best thing to do is to let a patron know they can OPEN breast feed the little bugger. You CANNOT ask a mother to go into a back room even it its a nice quiet room with a babbling brook and a lactation chair. Malls have learned that the hard way. But one mall maybe needs some upgrading because our little malls in my city have nice lactation chambers for mothers who don't want to pull the milk bloated breast out in the open of the food court next to people consuming their order of cheesey bacon fries. The mall that needs to read this and do something is THE GALLERIA in Dallas, Texas. A group I travel with has a couple lactating moms in it (perennially), and we made that walk to the LOO area where the lactation rooms are usually located and they did not have one. But, they do have family restrooms so that's what the ladies used. But that's still not acceptable as its like eating in the bathroom. Now to be fair, our moms in the group do have lactation covers so they can sit out in the food court and feed the little stink makers.
Jan 25, 2014 2:07 PM CST
In an ALLEY... LMAO. Priceless. My question is was she a patron or was she just trying to use their changing room? If you aren't changing into anything, why are you in a stores changing room taking up a room for people who actually need to change? Feed the kid in the store somewhere else. I hate waiting to use a dressing room. Breastfeeding takes forever! Women, invest in cover ups and feed your darn kids where you please. Ask Old Navy about me. Keep right on shopping never missing a beat.