Breastfeeding Mum Thrown Out Of Zara Store

Story by: Aleksandra Stefanova, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News

Twenty-two-year-old Stefanie Graedel says she was discretely nursing her six-month-old son when she was spotted by a security guard.

He asked her to leave the store, in the Shoppi Tivoli shopping centre in the small city of Spreitenbach in the northern Swiss canton of Aargau

The woman, who was shopping with a friend, said she decided to breastfeed her baby when he suddenly became hungry, covering his face with her t-shirt to be discrete.

She said she knew that there was a special room for breastfeeding at the shopping centre but it was at the other end of the building and her baby was crying.

The mum says no other shoppers complained, or even seemed to notice, but the security guard immediately approached her and told her she was not allowed to breastfeed in the store.

The security guard went to consult a manager when she refused and then returned to say she had to either stop breastfeeding or leave the store.

The mother said: “I find it outrageous and incomprehensible, we disturbed nobody why were we not allowed to continue breastfeeding?

“One may indeed even eat and drink in Zara. I saw children the same day eating and he said nothing to them.”

She added that it would have caused a bigger disturbance if she had just left her baby to carry on crying.

Zara has reportedly apologised to the woman in writing and said the security guard had acted on his own initiative.

They added they would discuss the case with the man and ensure that it never happened again.

Shoppi Tivoli manager Patrick Stauble declined to comment on the incident.

Public breastfeeding is allowed in the shopping centre, as it is in Switzerland in general, but individual stores have the right to set rules of their own.

In September, Green Party politician Irene Kaelin was criticised for breastfeeding her baby in the Swiss Parliament.

Zara is the main brand of the Inditex group, the world’s largest clothing retailer.