What a friendly place!
Not only do they serve great food but they also provide a complimentary cloth napkin to put over your baby’s head!
Yes, it is true. Free cloth napkins so that no one else in the restaurant has to see a baby eating his meal.
This week, at our friendly Red Lobster, my dear friend nursed her fretful baby. After she finished, the General Manager popped over and placed a cloth napkin on my friend’s table. Ms. Helpful Manager patted it and said quietly, “In case you want to nurse again.” And then fled to the kitchen.
It seems Mr. and Mrs. Old Grumpypants a few tables away didn’t appreciate seeing a baby nurse and complained. Rather than offering them a different table, Ms. Helpful Manager chose to embarrass a mother.
I have some thoughts. (Surprised?)
1) Don’t mess with mothers of babies. Period. It is the most difficult role on the planet and should be treated with respect.
2) It really doesn’t matter what you THINK about nursing in public. Nursing in public is protected by SC LAW. I don’t really like that my neighbor shoots guns in his backyard but he is protected by law. Nothing I can do about it. You don’t like it? Don’t look.
3) Again…many babies won’t nurse under cover. And (see #2) they don’t have to.
4) The World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and others recommend that babies be fed “on demand.” That means that the baby knows when he’s hungry better than we do. So let the baby eat when he chooses–regardless of convenience or audience.
Please remember: breastfeeding would not be such a big deal if it was a normal part of our daily interactions. The more mamas who nurse in public, the less likely that my daughters will be made to feel ashamed one day when they nurse my grandchildren.
If you work in a business: leave the mamas alone.
If you’re uncomfortable around a nursing mama: see my post on nursing etiquette.
Kudos to you, Red Lobster. I give you the BPA-laden, plastic bottle of formula award.