Chicago-area mothers joined a nationwide demonstration against restrictive corporate breastfeeding policies Wednesday morning at Target stores citywide.
The "nurse-in" is an increasingly popular tool for breastfeeding advocates and nursing mothers to highlight alleged violations of Illinois law, which does not classify public nursing as indecency. Whole Foods stores were recently targeted after an employee reportedly told a nursing mother to cover up, and Wednesday's demonstration was inspired by a recent incident at a Houston-area Target store, Time reports.
Michelle Hickman was reportedly nursing her baby at a Target Nov. 29 when several employees asked her to move to a fitting room. Hickman says one employee intimated that she could be cited for public indecency, although her infant was covered with a blanket.
According to the Best for Babes Foundation, an pro-breastfeeding online community helping to organize the demonstration, Hickman felt harassed, and called Target Guest Relations, who repeated that the store's policies "are different from the law," although the company's headquarters released a statement supporting public nursing in their stores after a similar incident in 2006.
About a dozen Chicago moms told NBC Chicago they plan to meet at the Target on North Elston to breastfeed at 10 a.m. for about a half hour. The store has expressed support for the demonstration.
The Facebook page co-created by Hickman organizing the demonstration currently has over 6,000 members, and more than 100 nurse-ins are scheduled in more than 35 states, according to Time.