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Reports From Multiple Fronts in the 'Breast-feeding in Public' War

The battle lines are fairly well-drawn by now: Mothers with infants sometimes like to actually venture out into the world and do things. While they are out, they want to be able to breast-feed their children in McDonald's, retail shops, etc. Some restaurants and shops, however -- or at least some of their employees -- do not welcome breast-feeding on the premises.

Today I saw stories about two different ways this disagreement is playing out. The New York Post reports that a mother was allegedly thrown out of a Midtown Manhattan chocolate shop after breast-feeding her baby there. The mother claims that while she was nursing her baby in a manner in which no nipples were exposed, the shop manager came over and told her to "stop doing that." According to the Post, the mother refused, leading the manager to eventually order her to "leave and never come back to [the] establishment again." The mother has filed a lawsuit against the shop for her "severe embarrassment, severe shame, severe humiliation, severe emotional distress and loss of dignity." Although the shop manager has since been "removed," the shop claims that it never threw the mother out for breast-feeding but rather just asked her to "cover-up some."

Meanwhile in Arizona, dozens of less-litigious mothers staged a "nurse-in" at a Glendale McDonald's this weekend. The mothers breast-fed their children in the restaurant in response to a store manager who asked a woman to leave earlier this month for breast-feeding her 6-month-old son (breast-feeding in public is reportedly allowed under Arizona law).

ABC 15 reports (via Consumerist) that the owner of the McDonald's says the request for the mother to leave was a mistake and contrary to its policy, and he "can assure mothers it won't happen again."

Posted by Bruce Carton on August 25, 2010 at 01:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

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