We were living in Southern California in 1998 when my son was born. When he was about six weeks old, we went out to Red Lobster in Victorville to have our first "real" out-to-eat meal since his birth. We were eating, my son got hungry, so I nursed him. He would never stand for a cover of any kind, so I wasn't using one. I'd picked a table that was kind of out of the flow of traffic, mainly because I was just really getting comfortable with the mechanics of nursing.
SO, my son was nursing happily. While I fed him - fairly discreetly, I thought - I felt a rather insistent tap on my left shoulder. I turned my head, half twisting my neck off, to look at an obviously irritated man. He asked me, "Shouldn't you be 'DOING THAT' in the bathroom???"
I looked at the man and calmly said, "I'm not going to ask my son to eat his dinner on the toilet, but I'm sure if you'd like to take yours in there to eat it, no one here would mind. I know it would be fine with me if you choose to do that!"
I turned back around and proceeded to burp my son and then let him nurse on the other side! I couldn't see the man, but my husband said his eyes got big... and he stomped over to the hostess station and evidently talked to a manager and left, still irritated.
That was the only time I ever had a complete stranger say anything negative to me about nursing - in public or otherwise. To be honest, I am still kind of proud of how I handled it, even though I can't take credit for coming up with the reply. The same thing had happened to a friend of mine, and I completely plagiarized her response. What surprised me was that, in all our travels, the only negative comment I received was in Southern California, where the attitude is supposedly "anything goes"!
Breastfeeding in Public
© 2004 Cecilia Mitchell Miller, unless otherwise specified. All rights reserved.
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