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Breastfeeding Discrimination

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from MelissaWeymouth. Show MelissaWeymouth's posts

    Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination

    You shouldn't be breastfeeding in a restaurant!
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  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from beentherebefore. Show beentherebefore's posts

    Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination

    A restaurant is not a public place.  It is a privately owned space and can be run by the management as they choose (generally).  Why don't you just 'pump' milk so you can use a bottle when out, or try to be more discrete?  For another diner to say something, I would guess something was hanging out.  I did this once when I had a newborn (I was at a private family event), but stopped when I realized that three teenaged boys were looking (even though I was pretty sure that couldn't see anything).  If you wouldn't post a picture of this on the web, don't do it in front of others!  Also, I love kids and understand that this is a more family oriented restaurant..... but I can't stand when I get a babysitter for a special night at a more formal restaurant and the under 4 set is there... especially when it is past 8 pm (aka 'witching' hour).  Not only is in interruptive, but I feel bad for the kids, who in most cases would rather be at home.
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from beentherebefore. Show beentherebefore's posts

    Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination

    Also, next time ask for a more private place in the restaurant to sit.  For example, a booth where you won't be facing other diners.  A booth would also be much more comfortable! 
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Kiwiguy. Show Kiwiguy's posts

    Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination

    In Response to Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination:
    Bravo to Armheins! When you become a parent there are certain sacrifices you need to accept. One is that there are some environments that is not wise to bring a 6 week old to... a restaurant like Armheins is one of them. I once attended a rehearsal dinner at an upscale restaurant and the woman sitting next to me decided to start nursing her newborn (judging by the age of the child they appeared to have come directly from the maternity ward)...making the rest of the table extremely uncomfortable, she lacked the common courtesy to move a more discreet, private location To those on this board that are screaming discrimination...this is not discrimination! it is two people in dire need of some common sense who need to learn that being the parents of newborn means you can't always do everything you want.
    Posted by kapler19

    When you go out to eat at a restaurant there are certain sacrifices you need to accept. One of those is that not everyone is the same as you. There are going to be people at the next table that talk louder than you are comfortable with. There may be people sitting in the booth behind you that you are convinced are listening in on your conversation. There is going to be someone eating something off the menu that you find disgusting and the smell of it may just be repulsive. You might be enjoying your healthy salad and some obese person just a few tables over may be tucking into a huge burger with a double order of fries. Or conversely, maybe you'll be enjoying a juicy burger after a hard week and work and some killjoy hippy two tables over is giving you dirty looks as they nibble on three carrot sticks for dinner. Then there is a the assclown who is talking loudly on his cellphone and the drunk guy trying to hit on the waitress.

    None of these things are illegal and you might encounter any or all of them in the course of a night at a nice or not so nice restaurant. Life is full of choices. You seem to think that all your choices are the correct ones and anyone at odds with you is wrong. Well, if you see something you are uncomforatble with, why don't you peel your eyes off the breast feeding mother and eat your meal. Enjoy the company of your friends. Can you do that? Or is the lure of a near exposed breast so great that you just can't help but stare and deep down that makes you uncomfortable no doubt guilty in a way that you insist this "temptation" be removed from your general vicinity?

    Congratulations on your first post. I look forward to you never posting  a second time.
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from kiwigal. Show kiwigal's posts

    Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination

    In Response to Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination:
    A restaurant is not a public place.  It is a privately owned space and can be run by the management as they choose (generally). 

    Just like restaurants can't LEGALLY discriminate on the basis of age, race, physical ability, sexual orientation, etc., they also cannot LEGALLY discriminate against breastfeeding mothers. Why is that SO hard for people to understand??
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from mayanl5. Show mayanl5's posts

    Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination

    Hey the kid has to eat too! Please, people really need to calm down about this. I got dirty looks while breastfeeding in the front passenger seat of my own car once. Not fun where you have a screaming child and you are trying anything to calm them out in public. 99% of people with babies are probably trying pretty hard to keep them quiet while out and about so give us a break.
    I hope Amhreins is reading all this b/c I will never go to your restaurant due to this incident.
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Kiwiguy. Show Kiwiguy's posts

    Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination

    In Response to Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination:
    A restaurant is not a public place.  It is a privately owned space and can be run by the management as they choose (generally). 
    Posted by beentherebefore

    I'd be interested in seeing a restaurant use that theory in allowing smokers in their dining area. Or to maybe have a whites only area and a segregated area for the "other folks".
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from am1028. Show am1028's posts

    Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination

    BRAVO Kiwiguy.  LOVE your posts.

  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Kiwiguy. Show Kiwiguy's posts

    Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination

    In Response to Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination:
    BRAVO Kiwiguy.  LOVE your posts.
    Posted by am1028

    I'm available for parties. Book early though.
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from jessjgh1. Show jessjgh1's posts

    Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination

    NO- this is not something you should expect, although, now you can be prepared to know your rights.  It is unfortunate that the person assisting you did not know the law is on your side and that s/he should have told the 'offended' party that your child has every right to breastfeed and offered, them another table if they felt the need to- but bothering you was definitely improper.  I get that not everyone has been around young children and I'm guilty of my own misconceptions pre-parent, but feeding your child is not something that should be hindered (indeed, a delay might end up causing a very unhappy baby).  

    I'm so sorry your wife and your son were harassed while breastfeeding.  That must have been an extremely frustrating dinner for you, but kudos for the 2 of you for getting out and bringing your little one with you for a night on the town.  There's a small window when babies are (fairly) easily portable and quiet enough with their mother that you can do that-- then they get a little older and more wiggily and it gets a little more challenging. Parents who are able to be responsive to their babies needs are going to have happy (and healthy) babies--- and breastfeeding without delay (on demand) at home and while out is a key component of that.  

    Instead of putting a damper on your evening, it's too bad the restaurant didn't have a more positive response.  I know the few times I was lucky to go out and about with my little ones I was fortunate to get waitstaff who seemed delighted to see a family with a little one.  It is MUCH appreciated, of course- but really also appropriate.  

    If you are someone who is offended by watching an infant nurse then look away- it truly saddens me that something so nurturing, peaceful, and precious gets a negative reaction.  Let's note, expecting mothers to use a  nursing cover or blanket is ridiculous (it's her choice to use one, but it is ridiculous to 'expect' it) but it often only further makes the incident stand out.  Seriously, most times you can not tell a mother is nursing- yet the use of a cover or large blanket (if the child doesn't immediatly throw it off) is often awkward and completely obvious. 

    It may be helfpul for restaurants to touch on this and make sure their staff has some idea how to handle a similar situation without involving the family or making a mother feel awkward.  Family friendly business should check out MA Breastfeeding Coalition or a local breastfeeding counselor (La Leche League, BACE, or other) and get some tips. 


    In Response to Breastfeeding Discrimination: Posted by chopin4scherzi
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from bostonfrog34. Show bostonfrog34's posts

    Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination

    My wife and I have a son who will be a year old on Thursday. We've had a few experiences dining out with him and have never had a problem. We first took him out on our anniversary, when he was three weeks old. My parents were with us visiting from Texas. We walked to a local place (in Waltham) with a big dining room that's never crowded. He did really well for about 45 minutes and then started to cry pretty uncontrollably, at which point my wife picked him up and walked home with him. My parents and I followed shortly afterward. No big deal. 

    During the meal, my wife breastfed my son, and nobody noticed she was doing it. Some people here would probably be surprised how often breastfeeding goes on right under their noses. It really is extremely discrete most of the time; it's very rare to see any part of the breast at all. My guess is that the OP's wife breastfed her baby very discreetly--most moms quickly learn how to do this--and the waitress freaked out for no particularly good reason. Breastfeeding a baby (particularly a newborn) doesn't have to be, and usually isn't, distracting or awkward for anybody. I suspect that the waitress at Amrheins (I don't know the place) severely overreacted, and I would have been pretty angry about her behavior, too.

    A few thoughts for those who don't like seeing children in restaurants:

    Newborns are the best kids to take to restaurants. They take up little space, make little noise and generally stay quiet once they've been fed. It's kids from about 2-7 who really cause problems. Newborns are barely even there. (Also, strollers for newborns are very small by nature. Newborns can't fit in huge strollers--they'll fall out.)

    It's almost impossible to leave a newborn with a babysitter, particularly a newborn that's breastfeeding. I don't want to get into why, but people with kids should know what I mean. And parents of a newborn do have to get out of the house eventually--it's not a house-arrest sentence to have a baby. Smokers stand in front of buildings and choke us all out; obnoxious people talk loudly on their cell phones at dinner or get beeping text signals all night; drunks get loud and rowdy at the bar. All of that is way more common and way more distracting than having a newborn in a restaurant, yet people almost never complain about it. 

    Again, you would probably have to look for breastfeeding in order to see it at a restaurant. I'm very surprised that a customer complained at the OP's restaurant (and I'm suspicious as to whether that's actually true--my guess is that the waitress herself had some sort of problem with the situation). My wife has breastfed in all kinds of places--restaurants, church, sidewalks, tailgate parties--without incident. Regardless, the waitress was rude and incorrect in her understanding of the law.

    A few thoughts for parents of newborns:

    We have found that (if your baby can handle it) going late to restaurants works pretty well. When our son was on a 24-hour nursing schedule and not sleeping through the night, anyway, we'd go out at 9 or 10pm or later. Places aren't crowded at that time, and staff tends to be a bit friendlier. Now that our boy is supposed to sleep all night long, we try to go early for dinner if we go out.

    Boston and Cambridge are full of college students and hipsters, and many of them hate families and children. It's part of who they are. You have to grow a thick skin if you want to have a kid in the city. People outside the Northeast are much more welcoming to kids, and folks are great on the West Coast (outside of San Francisco). But then living in other parts of the country presents its own problems and its share of other kinds of idiots. The Boston 'burbs are much more welcoming to families than Boston and Cambridge are. Waltham has tons of places to eat, as do a lot of cities around here. Come on out. 

    It is awfully hard to get out to a nice place with a kid of any age. I don't know anything about the OP's restaurant, but we kind of lean toward going to the 99 down the street or the local pizza place around the corner if we're going to take the kid out. It's not fine dining (although the pizza place is darn good), but it's a night out of the house. Then again, a quiet baby can go pretty much unnoticed just about anywhere. We once took our son to Margarita's in Waltham after the main restaurant had closed and had dinner with him in the bar area, which was full of tipsy singles hitting on each other. Nobody batted an eye. Our boy was perfectly happy. It was pretty fun, actually. 
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  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from hughkona. Show hughkona's posts

    Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination

    I tend to frequent the blog and these topics run rampant over there.

    I find that to be awful that someone would "complain" about someone nursing in their private booth while covered up!?  Why were they so focused on your table anyway? And for the hostess (I assume a woman) to defend them instead of you (equal customers) is wrong, to say the LEAST.  She should have stopped it in it's tracks right there with a "I'm sorry you feel uncomfortable, but nursing a child is not a crime and we will not ask another customer to leave with a baby".  Jeez, what if your baby was no longer a newborn and was a 12 month old nursing kiddo?

    I would have asked the restaurant to pay for your meal and that you'd all be leaving together. Now that it's passed it would be great if you could show back up with a written letter and speak to the manager, letting them know the rules and stating you'd appreciate a refund of your meal (NOT in a form of a gift card haha) and at the least re-education of your employees on proper customer service.

    Did you see the video about the woman kicked off a bus for nursing her son?  Dispicable!  It was on the news and was brought up because it's illegal.  It didn't happen around here.

  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from ms4211. Show ms4211's posts

    Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination

    Wake up and realize that you are a family now. Too bad a favorite place does not cater to families, find a new favorite and join the rest of us. Enjoy the new child, they grow up fast.  Tell us a story about him/her, not the treatment you received. 

    My daughter, now grown, once thought she would become the hostess at a family restaurant we frequented near the Spag's store in Shrewsbury. That place is gone now, but we have fond memories of our little girl, pretending to work there.
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination

    In Response to Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination:
    Oh please . . . all of you really need to get over it. Most people do not want to go out to dine where moms are nursing their little darlings.
    Posted by hurricanekathy

    Then you should stay home
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination

    In Response to Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination:
    In Response to Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination : I agree with Princess Cal and OrrEspoCash!  CHEAPSKATE!!! (Amrheins isn't expensive.)  Hire a babysitter and stop acting entitled in a divey "restaurant" like Amrheins.  If you don't want attitude don't tote a child and a huge stroller to a Southie Bar.  Are you sure you are mature and financially well off enough for this parenting gig or are you going to complain every time the rest of the world doesn't accomidate your new lifestyle?
    Posted by Tricia-

    Are you suggesting they get rid of their child?
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination

    It must be a slow day on the mensa forums with all the geniuses on here.

    Women in Massachusetts have the right to breastfeed in any public space. Pretty much the only exceptions are places of worship -- those can make their own rules.

    Breastfeeding mothers do not have to cover up, nor should they. Breastfeeding is a natural, beautiful act. It's good for babies. One always has the option to look away.

    If you're not mature enough to handle a woman feeding her infant in public, then you should stay home.

    Breastfeeding was good enough for Mary and Jesus. It should be good enough for you.
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from bettle. Show bettle's posts

    Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination

    I hope you relocated to your car and went elsewhere.  On your way out you should remember to tell them that you weren't paying for the half a meal before they asked you to leave and forget a tip.  If they were wrong the mistake should be on them.  The restaurant attracts nosy unpleasant people.   
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from JoannaWeiss. Show JoannaWeiss's posts

    Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination

    From Boston Globe columnist Joanna Weiss:

    It's amazing, though not surprising, to see the range of opinions here. Breastfeeding in public is such a hot-button topic that I wrote a novel about it:
    And I'm not surprised this situation hit Southie; it seems one of thes controversies pops up somewhere every month. Last March, I wrote about a somewhat-similar situation in New York:

    It often feels like people fall solidly into one of two camps: do it everywhere (discreetly) or never leave your house while nursing a baby, lest you make someone else uncomfortable. You'll see, from my column, where I stand. But I still think we can find common ground. So here are a couple of questions:

    1) For nursing women and their partners: If you had the choice between nursing at a booth or table in a restaurant or using a small, comfortable nursing room (like the ones they have at Babies R Us, only maybe cleaner) which would you prefer?

    2) For those who don't want to be near nursing baies in restaurants: Is there any sort of coverup a mother could use that would make you feel OK? One of those new snazzy apron things that have no chance of causing a wardrobe malfunction? Or does it bother you just to know what's going on underneath?

  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from hughkona. Show hughkona's posts

    Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination

    I used to love these forums on bostonmoms, but reading what some of the witches have written on here makes me cringe.  I would hope that people so cold hearted are not parents themselves, but what would bring a non-parent to our beloved moms site?
    I think the fact that 75 people have posted on this subject within 12 hours shows that it is very emotionally charged, and moreso for the fact that women nursing are doing nothing wrong, especially in the OP's situation.
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from spinzgirl. Show spinzgirl's posts

    Re: Breastfeeding Discrimination

    Take pre-measured powdered formula in the bottle and warm water in a small thermos.  Mix when needed.  Problem solved.