Lakeside Joondalup Shopping Centre has apologised to a Perth woman who claims she was “humiliated, exposed and intimidated” when she was escorted out of the centre’s parents’ room while expressing breast milk for her baby.
Natalie Cramp works at the shopping centre and was using the parents’ room to pump breast milk yesterday to later feed her baby.
She said another mother complained about her to security because she was using the facility without a baby.
She posted about the incident on the Perth Mums Facebook page and the post has since received more than 700 comments.
“I’ve received the worst treatment today at Joondalup shops being harassed, exposed breasts and escorted out of the parents room after a parent told security I was in their (sic) without a baby,” Ms Cramp wrote.
“I was humiliated, exposed and intimidated by the security!”
“I just want to say mums pumping breast milk ARE just as entitled to be in the parents’ room as breastfeeding mums.”
She said there was nowhere else for her to express and she was now “scared” to use the parents’ room.
“Yes I may not have my baby with me but I’m pumping to be able to feed my baby while I’m away at work.”
“I’ve spoken to centre management and they said I need to inform security that’s what I’m doing in there before I go in there...... bulls**t... I’m so angry I hope no pumping Mum has to go through this... I’m over Dirty looks from judgy (sic) mums, just because my child isn’t there doesn’t mean I don’t have a reason to be In there. I WILL NOT PUMP MY MILK IN A PUBLIC TOILET.”
The shopping centre responded with an apology on its Facebook page.
“We unreservedly apologise to the mother for any hurt caused,” the post read.
“The Lakeside Joondalup Shopping City parenting rooms are for the use of all parents, including mothers expressing milk.”
“Our security yesterday attended the parent room to perform a welfare check after another customer raised concern about an unattended woman entering the room. Given customer safety is our top priority our security team respond to every call or complaint.”
“At no time did security ask the mother to leave the room, nor was she escorted out.
“We apologised to the mother immediately, and reassured her that she is welcome to use the parenting room at any time.”
Mrs Cramp said she had been “blown away” by the support from fellow mothers.
“I just want the kind of mums who reported myself and others aware we have every right to be in there, also Joondalup needs to change how they deal with this! I shouldn’t have to tell them before I go pump to avoid this happening again. I want to feel comfortable being able to use the parents’ room. As it stands I’m now scared to go in there.”
This article originally appeared on PerthNow.