"I was completely shocked, as I have never had anyone comment on me breastfeeding in the whole 18 months I have been nursing," says Wittney Hale

By Gabrielle Olya
Updated December 19, 2019 09:44 AM
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Credit: Source: Wittney Hale/Facebook

Talk about irony.

Wittney Hale was told by a Dillard’s employee that she was not permitted to breastfeed in the store, despite the fact that the store has a woman’s breasts on display in the lingerie section.

“This afternoon while shopping in your store, my daughter got really fussy,” she posted on Dillard’s Facebook page. “I searched for a quiet secluded area to nurse my child. When I found a place, I asked if it was okay for her to eat here. The employee at customer service nodded.”

However, once she began to breastfeed her 1½-year-old without a nursing cover, Hale, 23, was asked to leave the area.

“She told me I would need to go to the restroom,” she writes. “I was completely shocked, as I have never had anyone comment on me breastfeeding in the whole 18 months I have been nursing, yet alone, [by] another woman, possibly a mother herself.”

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Hale says the employee then began to direct her to a restroom that was a walk and an elevator ride away.

“I’m sure my hungry child would understand that we have to take a journey to somewhere more secluded where she can eat… NOT,” she writes.

After speaking with the manager and filing a complaint, Hale noticed a photo of a woman’s breasts on the wall as part of an ad for bras while she was leaving the store.

“Why is it acceptable for a giant picture of boobs to be on the wall, but I cannot feed my child?” she posted.

Hale’s post has received 4.5K reactions, and has been shared over 2,000 times.

The Chattanooga, Tennessee-based business owner believes her post has gone viral because “other breastfeeding or former breastfeeding moms are angry that it happened,” she tells PEOPLE.

Dillard’s did issue an apology to Hale, commenting on her post: “Dillard’s strives to create a pleasing and comfortable shopping experience for all our guests at all times. Accordingly, we respect the right of mothers to nurse their children wherever they feel comfortable in doing so. Upon becoming aware of this situation, our store manager immediately reached out to our customer and apologized. Our associates have been reminded of our breastfeeding policy.”

Hale says she is satisfied with their response.

“I think it’s safe to say no mom will ever be asked to nurse in the restroom in Hamilton Place mall again.”