Boobs at Applebee's: Breastfeeding Mafia to Stage Nationwide "Nurse-In" Saturday

Categories: Happening
breastfeeding.jpg
Photo From adaddyblog.com
Breastfeeding in public tends to elicit strong reactions. Some people say a mother has a right to feed her child as necessary. Other people say, "Eww!"

Too bad for those latter prudes, federal law, and many state laws, explicitly say that a nursing mom has the right to feed her baby in most places. Some laws even specify that an exposed nipple is A-okay. But a lot of restaurants have been slow to get the word.

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Throughout the country, nursing mothers have been hassled by store or restaurant management, who request that they cover up, leave, or go feed their babies in a grody bathroom. And no, these are not cases of lactators gone wild -- flippantly pulling out boobs and shaking them around. These were mothers attempting to feed their offspring with a sense of peace and modesty.

To stand up for their rights, nursing moms everywhere have formed a mafia become organized, not only through nursing support group La Leche League but also through Facebook groups and word of mouth.

On September 15, Dawn Holland was nursing her baby in an Applebee's in Covington, Georgia, when she was approached by a female manager. The manager told her she needed to nurse her child in the bathroom or exit the premises. When Holland sat still and stated her right to breastfeed, the police were called.

In support of Dawn Holland, a group called Mother's Right to Choose is staging a nurse-in at Applebee's across the country. The event will take place at various Applebee's from 1 to 3 p.m. this Saturday. Nursing moms everywhere are asked to show up, grab a booth and a "sizzling skillet" and let their baby (or toddler) go to town on his/her milky lunch, too.

We had the chance to speak to one of the event's sponsors childbirth educator and organizer for Breastfeeding Peaches of Georgia Nirvana Jennette. "This is a huge problem and the general public is not seeing this; and neither are the corporations. We get phone calls all the time from people finding our information. Somewhere around 1/3 of these incidents get reported, but we're finding that it happens all the time."

Applebee's issued an official statement earlier this week, "We're in the business of welcoming guests to our restaurants and our top priority is always to provide a friendly and comfortable environment for everyone, including nursing mothers who have the right to nurse in public. This was an unfortunate misunderstanding and we hope the guest will give us another chance to demonstrate that to her personally."

This was not the first breastfeeding episode for Applebee's. The chain experienced similar public backlash in the wake of a 2007 incident in Kentucky.


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23 comments
Allison Little Cosens
Allison Little Cosens

It doesn't bother me at all. Trust me when I tell you that that breast feeding mother doesn't want to show her boobs any more than you want to see them.

Kristina Carmichael
Kristina Carmichael

Personally, I've never seen a mother arrogantly breastfeeding a child. I think that smugness is imagined by prudes, or, quite possibly a result of being told to go hide in a bathroom for the comfort of a grown adult. Maybe those arrogant nursers are out there, though, proudly whipping out their tits and hosing down cashiers...

Jojo Milano
Jojo Milano

Kristina Carmichael now that would gross me out more so then a mother feedin a kid. lets put it this way there are right ways and wrong ways. and decorum seems to be at issue. Blatant or quietly doing it. I bet its not so much the act but the arrogance or expected "right" of an individual doing it that riles others up. :)

Kristina Carmichael
Kristina Carmichael

I recently sat next to a very loud, morbidly obese family at a Chili's. Their smacking greasy lips, the crumbs and spots all over their stained t-shirts and glaring inability to leave a tip commensurate with the amount of service they demanded / mess they created really grossed me out. I'd have liked to ask them to "go eat in their car." But I didn't, because we live in a society. If it bothers you, don't look.

Clean Plate Charlie
Clean Plate Charlie

But why is it "gross in a store full of food"? I can see how actually squirting the milk onto the food might be troublesome, but other than that the disgust people express has always baffled me. (I don't have kids yet, I'm just trying to understand what the issue even is.)

Kelly Ann
Kelly Ann

Oh boy lets not even start the 4 year olds breastfeeding topic lol...thats a wholeee thread in itself lol

Rebecca Anne
Rebecca Anne

Zach McElroy: Men often dismiss issues that primarily affect women as "silly." You, sir, are myopic and silly - unless you mean that it is silly that women even have to do this because our society can't look at women as anything but sexual objects and then shame them for it. Then yes, it is indeed "silly". Em Azin: Explaining life to your child is YOUR responsibility just like feeding her baby is that mom's responsibility. And NO, businesses absolutely do not have the right to kick any person out of their business for any reason whatsoever or did your school skip the civil rights era when they taught history? Finally, what "CRAP" is it you don't want your child seeing? Breastfeeding isn't porn. People aren't hardcore f***ing on the salad bar. Your profile picture is of, presumably you, topless holding your breasts in your hands. THAT is okay, but a breastfeeding mother is obscene?! Women with enormous fake boobs spilling out of lowcut tops and string bikinis is fine, but a mother partially exposing herself in the act of caring for her baby is disgusting and unfit for public eyes? Are you just trolling or are you serious? If you are incapable of turning to your child and calmly saying, "That mommy is taking care of her baby. Some mommy's use bottles and some mommy's breastfeed," than you are in for some serious parenting trouble down the line.

Kelly Ann
Kelly Ann

@ least use a cover, i mean c'mon i can get them free on the internet

Kelly Ann
Kelly Ann

Screaming baby or not, go to your friggen car, not throw your shirt behind your neck so your whole chest is exposed...im sorry but thats gross in a store full of food! Be more prepared as a mother!

Clean Plate Charlie
Clean Plate Charlie

Just playing devil's advocate here, but might the nursing mother not say that her baby is hungry and she has no choice but to grocery shop and no one to watch the baby and your discomfort at a bared breast is your own issue and isn't a bared breast better than a screaming baby?

Em Azin
Em Azin

this is HORRIBLE!!! every establishment has the RIGHT to make ANYONE leave their place for w.e the reason. im a mother and i do NOT like to see other women whipping it out while im trying to eat or shop or w.e. THERE'S PLACES FOR IT FOR A REASON!!! what if i dont want my CHILD seeing that crap?! isnt that a little hard to explain to a 5 year old why a lady is in public with her tit out like its all good?! NO THANKS!!! keep that OUT of the public eye!

Kelly Ann
Kelly Ann

Im sorry but when im online @ a store and theres a woman with her WHOLE breast out to feed her child, then YES..it bothers me! Keep it covered ladies, some things EVERYONE doesnt need to see

lizmay
lizmay

Please, please please, pretty please with sugar on top, please can you change the title of this article.  What crime have these women committed for you to label them Mafia? Dear Editor, Is the term used in this context journalistically correct or mildly misogynistic?  PS - I did ask nicely!

Kelly
Kelly

Breastfeeding mafia? Why are you using this name for breastfeeding mothers who are simply asking that their legal right to feed their babies be respected? The last I heard, there are no organized groups of breastfeeding mothers out there "using extortion and other criminal methods." Thank you for highlighting this issue, but name-calling and comments like "Florida law even specifies that moms can show their nipples _if they so please_" (again, this is just moms attending to hungry babies--that is the only aim here) tells us that we still have a long way to go.

4lindajenks
4lindajenks

Excellent article! If women stop nursing their children then breasts will eventually disappear. So happy to see that this is being discussed and action is being taken. 

 

funchey1
funchey1 moderator editor

Oops! Should be September 15. Changed it!  Good eye. Thanks. 

freakerdude
freakerdude

I bet all of the Merv the pervs will lbe there with phone cameras in hand......

taramwertz
taramwertz

On October 15 she was nursing? Who is editing this?? No one?

saraventiera
saraventiera

 @Kelly The term was not intended to cause offense. It was actually used to satirically draw attention to breastfeeding mother's need to protest in order to make sure their rights are respected. As you can see below, the subject has generated an intense debate.

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