Breastfeeding mother told to leave restaurant after 'offending' customers
A mom nursing her baby at a restaurant was confronted by not only a waitress, but other patrons and the establishment's owner — all because she fed her kid. What's up with that?
Holly Treddenick relates the tale on Facebook about how a simple restaurant visit resulted in a shouting match between herself and a group of adults who didn't seem to know that breastfeeding in public is perfectly legal.
While waiting on her friend, Treddenick and her two kids relaxed on the patio at the Irish Cottage Kitchen and Ale House. Putting her baby to breast, however, led to an escalating series of events and she and her family got kicked out. She was first confronted by her waitress, who informed her she should not be "doing that" and would have to leave. As she was packing up, the owner came out and backed up the waitress — also telling Treddenick that she should have gone to a private area to nurse her baby.
This unpleasantness was eventually followed by a confrontation between Treddenick, her friend, the owner and some customers, which resulted in their group (which included three small children) being shouted at. The customers, who were the original complainants, told Treddenick that she had offended them and ruined their lunch.
The restaurant posted a couple of notes on the incident, the first being pretty unprofessional and unapologetic:
Many viewers of their Facebook page weren't buying it. One user wrote, "Within the last few hours you've received 270 negative reviews here, a huge social media backlash that is being shared many times over, and a petition outside of your restaurant and this is the position you take, blaming the mother and not remotely owning it? If you didn't deserve it before, you do now. Absolutely appalling."
But their second post was a little more on point:
Of course, this "apology" doesn't address the fact that the mom was bothered in the first place for doing nothing more than feeding her infant.
Unfortunately, breastfeeding harassment continues in many different locations, from doctors' offices to court rooms to the mall to Target — despite laws that are in place that ensure moms can nurse their kids anywhere they are legally allowed to be.
Why is this so hard to understand?
In any case, Treddenick and her friends held a peaceful protest at the location and hopefully the restaurant's owners will realize that they need to properly train staff about breastfeeding, babies and moms.
What should a business do when a customer either nurses a baby or complains about another customer nursing a baby? In a nutshell, nursing moms should be left alone, and complaining customers should be offered a seat in a different location if they simply cannot handle looking away from a mom breastfeeding her child.
Treddenick, her kids and her friend went to a different restaurant to dine, and were welcomed warmly. Moms shouldn't be afraid to nurse their babies in public because of incidents like this, however — they really are few and far between.