A rail company that runs trains through South Yorkshire has apologised after one of its conductors was accused of humiliating a breastfeeding mum by asking her to feed her baby girl in the toilet.
Chantelle Nicholls, aged 23, was travelling on a Northern Rail train to Sheffield when she began breastfeeding four-month-old Morgan behind her pram.
But when the conductor came to check her ticket near Rotherham, Chantelle says he told her to ‘do whatever you are doing in the toilet’.
The mum-of-two, who had boarded the train in Doncaster and was en route to Chesterfield, said she was made to feel ‘extremely embarrassed’ as passengers began to stare.
“I felt humiliated – it’s unfair and illegal for him to ask me to move. No one would have noticed if he hadn’t pointed it out.
“I was made to feel I was doing something wrong.”
The Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal to ask a nursing mother to move from a public place while feeding her baby.
Miss Nicholls refused to move and complained to Northern Rail.
She claims she was told no such Act existed and it was down to the discretion of the conductor.
Miss Nicholls believes both the conductor and phone operator should be disciplined.
Northern Rail’s Pete Myers, head of customer relations, apologised. He said the company is taking the allegations ‘very seriously’.
“We were shocked and disappointed to hear of the incident and would like to apologise again to Miss Nicholls. It is the law that a woman should not be discriminated against while breastfeeding on a public service. This goes beyond the law because it is morally wrong to do so.
“We are grateful to Miss Nicholls for bringing this to our attention.”
Miss Nicholls, from North Somercotes near Cleethorpes, received huge support for her ordeal on Facebook, Twitter and the website Mumsnet, with many users sending emails to the rail firm.
“It’s great to see so many mums standing up for what’s right,” she said.
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