Pinellas County

Largo mom says Publix store clerk shamed her for breastfeeding

LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) - For Nicole Potter, shopping at Publix was a pleasure, until this past Sunday.

“I was about to check out and had everything up on the register and my baby was crying. I picked him up out of his seat and started to breastfeed him,” she recounted.

Within moments, she said the clerk that checked her out at the Walsingham Road store in Largo became rude.

“She immediately said in just a few seconds, ‘you know they have covers for that’ and she pointed to her chest area,” Potter said.

Potter was shocked.

“I told her, ‘I'm not bothered by it.’ She said, 'well I am offended so you shouldn't do that here.'”

Potter said she's accustomed to hearing remarks about breastfeeding since she's breastfed all five of her children, the oldest being 11.

But this was different.

“I didn't feel like that was her place to say something. I feel like she is supposed to be providing a service, not judging me or discriminating against me for my choice.”

Florida law states “a woman can breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, whether the nipple of the mother's breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.”

Although it doesn't matter, Potter says her's was not.

“It's not like I pulled my shirt up for everything to be exposed. I just pulled my strap down and put the baby here. So you can't see much when I'm feeding,” she said.

Potter complained to a manager and she says an assistant apologized, but she says it didn't seem sincere.

The managers told News Channel 8 we would have to contact corporate for a response.

Brian West, Media and Community Relations Manager, said, “We respect our customer’s rights to breastfeed in public, including while shopping our stores.”

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