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A Gold Coast shopping centre says it will re-train staff after a mother claims she was told not to breastfeed her newborn outside luxury stores such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci.

The mother-of-two said the encounter with a member of the Pacific Fair concierge team took place at the weekend after she declined offers to use the centre’s facilities.

Pacific Fair Shopping Centre claims the incident was a “misinterpretation” but apologised and promised to re-educate staff on its policies.

A peak body for breastfeeding says incidents such as this highlight the need for training and “breastfeeding-friendly environments”, and for mothers to know their rights.

On Saturday, Gold Coast mother-of-two Shannon Laverty said she was visiting Pacific Fair Shopping Centre with her three-week-old son Shep when she stopped at some seats to breastfeed.

“I sat down on the public lounge area in front of the concierge desk and when my son was latched on my breast, this woman came running over,” she said.

“She said, ‘Excuse me, you know there’s a facility for that?’

“She added, ‘For your information, there’s a facility you can change the baby’s nappy, there’s also hot water and milk powder so you don’t need to use your body’.

“My jaw just dropped, and I said, ‘I’m fine here”.

Ms Laverty said when she declined the woman’s offer to the facility provided the staff mentioned that she was seated in the “high end” section of the shopping centre.

“She said, ‘Well if you’re not going to use the facility, I’m going to ask you to move on from here because, as you can see, there are stores like Louis Vuitton and Gucci, so you’ll have to breastfeed somewhere else’,” Ms Laverty said.

“And I just said, ‘I’m fine here thanks,’ and just smiled and kept breastfeeding. It took me three times of saying no for her to walk away.”

Ms Laverty said the incident left her feeling overwhelmed as she recounted the incident on social media.

Her posts were met with an outpouring of support from mothers around the country.

Meanwhile, Pacific Fair Shopping Centre said it was sorry to hear about Ms Laverty’s experience at the centre but maintained the incident was a “misinterpretation”.

In a statement the spokesperson said that it “has always been our policy that mothers are free to breastfeed anywhere at Pacific Fair”.

“Unfortunately while a member of staff was attempting to explain the various options available at the centre, there may have been a misinterpretation which caused offence to the customer,” the spokesperson said.

“(She) was never required to move on whilst feeding.”

The spokesperson said the centre was “truly sorry” for the incident, which “doesn’t meet our standards of customer care”, and it would be undertaking additional training with all of its staff to “re-educate them on its policies”.

“Pacific Fair immediately offered direct apologies to the customer from both senior customer service staff as well as senior centre management,” the spokesperson said.

“Pacific Fair is also grateful for the opportunity to reaffirm our position that breastfeeding mothers are welcome to breastfeed wherever they are most comfortable.”

This article originally appeared on Over60.