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Society

Starbucks Barista Defends Woman Berated For Breastfeeding In Store

| by Dominic Kelly

A woman was berated by a fellow customer at Starbucks for breastfeeding her child in public, and when the angry patron asked a barista to take care of it, the barista shocked everyone with his response.

Julia Wykes says she was in an Ottawa Starbucks ordering a drink when her infant son started to get fussy. She decided to sit down and feed him while she waited for her drink, but her breastfeeding made one customer so uncomfortable that she complained to an employee.

“While I was feeding him, this woman walked up to the counter and said really loudly 'Could you get that woman to stop doing that in public, it's disgusting,'” recalled Wykes.

The teenage barista reportedly smiled at the upset customer, walked over to Wykes, and said something that shocked everyone.

"He said really loudly so the woman could hear 'I'm sorry you had to deal with so much unpleasantness today,'" said Wykes, who added that the customer heard his comment and abruptly left the store.

“He took care of it -- by offering me a free refill, a voucher and an apology for the unpleasant experience as the complainer fled the scene,” wrote Wykes in a Huffington Post piece.

Wykes, who works as a midwife, says she was surpised and flattered by the male barista’s reaction and made sure to tip him well before she left.

"I was really, really happy about this, because I thought this was a really great attitude to have, especially from a young, teenage man,” said Wykes.

A Starbucks spokesperson confirmed that the incident did take place and commended the employee for what he did.

"In this particular case, our [employee] was using their good judgment and wanted to improve this customer's experience and make sure she felt welcome in our store," said spokeswoman Laurel Harper in a statement.

Wykes wants other women to know that it is alright to breastfeed their child in public and says she hopes that those who are against it will eventually come around.

“If a woman feels comfortably trying to nurse in public then she should. It is a legally protected right,” said Wykes. “As a midwife I always say to my clients, 'Just feed your baby, because the best thing for your baby is for them to be happy, loved and fed…However you want to do it, feed your baby.’ If you don't like looking at it, just look away.”

Sources: Daily Mail, Jezebel, CTV News, Huffington Post

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