For Albury mother-of-three, Reannon Spencer, it was a simple task.
Shopping for baby formula. Just another chore to check off the list of a busy mum.
Reannon visited her local Woolworths store in Thurgoona. When she couldn’t locate the product she required on the shelves, she asked the store manager if he could assist her. The manager didn’t know why the baby formula wasn’t in stock.
Reannon then emailed the Woolworths Head Office, and after another response that didn’t help much, she finally received a phone call from the Manager of Baby, Formula and Needs last Friday.
Reannon says that she asked him why her local Woolworths did not stock the newborn formula.
The answer she got was unbelievable.
The manager claimed that there wasn’t much demand for it.
Oh, and she should be breastfeeding anyway.
She told Melbourne radio station 3AW, “He first started to explain to me the reasons why Woolworths couldn’t supply the stock.
He then said to me he didn’t feel it was a needed product… and when I queried… he told me there isn’t a lot of newborn formulas on stock because newborn babies should be breastfed.”
Slice of judgement pie on your shopping list today?
No wonder mothers get defensive about their choices, when there are areas of society that work like this.
“I don’t think he has the right to challenge why I’ve chosen to bottle feed my baby. It’s a hard enough job as a parent as it is, let alone being challenged on how you feed your child,” she told Neil Mitchel.
She posted a complaint on the Bottle Babies Facebook page and it has gone viral attracting support from mothers around the world.
“I actually stopped shopping there because they stopped stocking SMA, as apparently it was not popular, yeah right, that’s why the shelves were (almost empty),” one wrote.
Reannon says she has since had an apology from the retail giant and on their own Facebook page they have responded.
“Woolworths stocks a range of formula in its stores around Australia. We believe that mothers should be supported in their individual nutrition choices for their newborn children, whether that be formula or breastfeeding.”
Reannon, however, is simply disappointed.
On Woolworth’s Facebook page she wrote, “I think being a parent is hard enough and we should not have to justify why we choose to bottle or breast feed. It is what works best for baby and mum.”