Hugh Grant recently visited an establishment called The Castle Inn (a pub) in Dover, England, and in the midst of chatting with the owner, Paul McMulland, became visibly embarrassed when greeting Paul’s girlfriend -- because he didn’t realize at first that she was nursing their young baby, Sebastian.
The baby’s mother, Natalie, was sitting on the sofa, breastfeeding her baby, when Hugh Grant came over and introduced himself. She said that he had no idea she was nursing her little boy and only realized it when her arm jostled the baby loose when he attempted to shake her hand. He apologized, turned red and promptly faced the other way.
They then turned the situation into an impromptu photo op, with Sebastian happily nursing away (he apparently wasn’t finished with his meal yet) while Hugh hovers somewhat awkwardly by her side. He does, however, get points for being a good sport -- despite his obvious discomfort.
Breastfeeding in public continues to be a battlefront of sorts for moms everywhere, with discrimination taking place in cities all over the globe. In the US, most states have specific laws protecting the rights of nursing mothers, and many businesses also have established rules for their employees to follow if there are any situations, such as complaints, that arise as the result of a mother nursing her little one. In general, mothers are allowed to nurse their children anywhere they are legally allowed to be, whether that place be public or private.
However, there continue to be issues with moms being told to cover up, go to another area (such as a restroom) or even leave the premises entirely when they are discovered to be breastfeeding their babies.
So, while Hugh Grant’s reaction isn’t unusual, the photo is in a sense -- although he was possibly embarrassed because he strode up to her and tried to shake her hand without the first clue that she was nursing. Which gives weight to the argument that you honestly can rarely tell if a mom is breastfeeding in public unless you’re really right up in her business.
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