Restaurant Owner Asks Breastfeeding Mom To Use Bathroom For Privacy

| by Karin Sun
Courtney Canela with her 4-month-old daughter, MiaCourtney Canela with her 4-month-old daughter, Mia

A woman breastfeeding her infant daughter in a Georgia restaurant was reportedly asked to move to the restroom for privacy.

Courtney Canela said she and her 4-month-old daughter, Mia, were enjoying lunch at her favorite restaurant, the British Pantry & Tea Room, in Centerville, Georgia, on Feb. 10 when the owner, Jan Francis, asked her not to breastfeed in the establishment, WMAZ reported. 

"I asked her, I said, 'Courtney, you know, I prefer you not to, you know, feed the baby,'" Francis told WMAZ about the incident. "'Would you like some privacy? Why don't you go to the bathroom?' Well, she didn't like that."

Canela said she was so upset after being asked to move that she left the restaurant.

"I just wouldn't feed her in the bathroom anyway, and we shouldn't have to," she told WMAZ.

"You can have a baby being nursed or you can have a screaming baby," she added. "It's up to you which one you prefer."

Canela said that she had covered herself with a blanket while breastfeeding in the restaurant. She added that Mia refuses to take the bottle so she has to breastfeed the child whenever she gets hungry.

Francis said she had no problem with breastfeeding women, but she believes there is an appropriate time and place for the activity.

She added that she hopes Canela, who is British, returns to eat at the pantry that reminds her of home.

"This is probably the only place that she can get the stuff that she likes, so yes, I have no problem with Courtney," Francis said. "It was just a situation that happened and I just voiced my opinion. I didn't expect it to go blown out of proportion."

Canela, however, said should be able to breastfeed her baby anywhere she liked.

"A lot of moms feel like they can't feed their babies when they're out and about," Canela said. "And it's sad because I think it's perfectly acceptable and society kind of needs to open up to a newer generation where it's gonna happen. There's going to be women doing it."

Women responding to the story on WMAZ's Facebook page seemed to agree with Canela's assertions.

"As a nursing mother myself it's disheartening that we are made to feel we are doing something wrong by providing for our children," one commenter wrote.

"The 'there is a time and place for breastfeeding' comment made by the owner baffles me," another Facebook user posted. "You feed your baby whenever they are hungry."

Georgia law allows women to breastfeed in any public place, WMAZ notes.

Sources: WMAZ, WMAZ/Facebook / Photo Credit: WMAZ, A Grandma's Blessings

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