Breastfeeding moms stage protest at Portland Marshalls store, while soldiers try to normalize breastfeeding

Portland, Ore. — (KGW) Just inside the glass front doors of the Marshalls store in Northeast Portland, a group of moms breastfeeds their children.

They’re doing it as a show of solidarity, after a local mom’s Facebook post about her humiliating experience in the store caused outrage on social media.

Karina Gomez posted a photo on the Marshalls Facebook page that showed her sitting on a toilet seat and nursing her baby daughter inside the Cascade Station Marshalls store. Her comment said:

“Yes, this is me sitting on a toilet feeding my sweet, Katalina Maria, after I was denied my right to breastfeed where I wanted to by a #marshalls employee. I was denied to breastfeed in a dressing room, instead I was directed to a bathroom stall to breastfeed. What a way to treat breastfeeding customers, shaming them for breastfeeding, making them feel embarrassed that you need to feed your child. I am angry, upset, but more so humiliated. My rights have been violated.”


Julianna Gjerman organized Monday’s nurse-in because she felt it was important to make a statement to Marshalls and any businesses which sends mixed messages about breastfeeding.

“They need to train their employees. I think all retail, restaurants, they need to be more aware of how to approach situations like this, and be more appropriate,” she said.

Read more:

Across the nation — This photo, also posted on Facebook, of 10 soldier moms breast-feeding their babies is going viral online. And it is a talker because some question if the women should be in uniform while breast-feeding.

09.14 breastfeeding


Here’s the back story: Photographer Tara Ruby was in the air force from 1997 to 2001. She said there were no lactation rooms on base when her first son was born, so she would have to find private places to pump.

Now, Fort Bliss, an army post in El Paso, Texas has a new nursing room.

Ruby says the photo shows women don’t have to choose between being a soldier and a mother.

Online, many people have praised the photo, but others questioned the ‘professionalism’ of women breast-feeding in uniform. For the record, there is no army policy against breast-feeding in uniform.

© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

Skip to content