Conn. Mom Breastfeeds Baby In Target, Says She Was ‘Verbally Assaulted’ For Feeding Child In Public

Lindsay McCane

A Conn. woman was humiliated on Monday after a man “verbally assaulted” her for breastfeeding her 4-week-old baby in a Target food court.

Jessie Maher of Canton was shopping at the Torrington Target store on Monday when her newborn started getting fussy. Maher realized her child was hungry, and took a seat at a table in the food court to breastfeed her baby. Not long after, an older man started yelling at her, calling her “disgusting” and a “whore,” and requested a refund from the cashier.

After the man started verbally assaulting her, Jessie decided to get out her phone to record what was happening. She later shared the video on Facebook, and as of Tuesday afternoon, it had been viewed more than 4.2 million times and shared more than 60,000 times.

“Before the video started rolling he looked at me and said (very angrily), ‘can’t you do that somewhere else?… That’s f****** disgusting.. You are nasty’ (he said a few other things under his breath),” Jessie wrote in the explicit post.

“I responded with, ‘I am feeding my baby, and I have the right to do it here…walk the f*** away..leave me the f*** alone’ He responded with, (as he’s walking closer and closer to me and getting louder) “you are f****** disgusting…you are f****** disgusting…you are f****** disgusting…you whore” he said a bunch more bull**** that I can not remember….by this point EVERYONE came to my defense! Target staff and shoppers… Then I started rolling the camera….”

During the video, Jessie can be heard telling another woman that she was so upset she was shaking. By the end of the video, several Target workers and fellow shoppers had come to Maher’s defense.

“I’s okay. You shouldn’t be ashamed at feeding your baby. If he doesn’t like it he can go,” one shopper can be heard saying.

“Everyone ran to my aid. They were there just to help us and it was awesome. We need people like this,” Maher told Fox 61.

On Tuesday, Maher’s friend Lisa Falkner, who encouraged Jessie to share her story with other breastfeeding mothers, stopped by the Torrington Target with her daughter to thank the employees for standing up for her friend.

“We’re here today because…I want to thank the employees involved yesterday,” Lisa said in a video she later shared on Facebook.

Last summer, Target shared their updated breastfeeding policy, pleasing many nursing mothers. The policy, which can be read below, is fully supportive of breastfeeding mothers and their potential needs.

“Guests may openly breastfeed in our stores or ask where they can go to breastfeed their child. When this happens, remember these points:

  • Target’s policy supports breastfeeding in any area of our stores, including our fitting rooms, even if others are waiting
  • If you see a guest breastfeeding in our stores, do not approach her
  • If she approaches and asks you for a location to breastfeed, offer the fitting room (do not offer the restroom as an option)”

“We want all of our guests to feel comfortable shopping with us,” Target told TODAY at the time. “Our breastfeeding policy, which applies to all stores, is just one of the ways in which we support our guests.”

[Photo by Northfoto / Shutterstock]