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

(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.)

Pedestrians pass by a Victoria's Secret store.
Pedestrians pass by a Victoria's Secret store.   (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
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