Restaurant Owner Uses Dish Rag To Cover Breastfeeding Mom

A mother in Alabama went out with her husband and their daughter for some pizza. As the parents were waiting for their food, their three-month-old child got hungry as well. The mother began to nurse her, but was interrupted by the owner. The mom says the owner insisted she cover up, and even threw a dirty dish rag at her.

Katy Bullard is a nursing mother who attempted to feed her daughter at Giovanna's Pizzeria in Phenix City, Alabama. In the state of Alabama, women are legally allowed to breastfeed anywhere, public or private, so Bullard didn't think there would be any problems. She nursed her daughter using her t-shirt as a cover.

"Unless you were really looking, you would only think I was holding her,” the young mother tells WRBL.

About 20 minutes after she started nursing, Bullard says that the restaurant owner came over to her and told her to cover up because the sight of a nursing child offended her.

“She told me that I needed to cover up,” Bullard said. “When I told her I wouldn’t, she came over with a dishrag. I’m not sure where she got it from. And she tried to cover me and my daughter up. I told her no, I didn’t want to be covered and she tried again to cover me up, and that’s when I took the dishrag and moved it, and I told her that we would leave.”

The owner said the family didn't have to leave the restaurant, but said if they stayed the mother would have to cover up. The woman told Bullard that she was a Christian, and the nursing mom offended her beliefs.

“I told her that I have rights, and that I’d rather just leave and try not to make a big scene out of it.”

Nelson Rodriguez, co-owner and husband of the woman who tried to get Bullard to cover up, says his wife thought she was trying to help the customer by giving her something with which she could breastfeed more discreetly. He insists it was all a misunderstanding, and that the restaurant doesn't discriminate.

“Giovanna’s doesn’t discriminate against anyone and most certainly not individuals wanting or needing to breastfeed. We would never intentionally embarrass a client. We were honestly acting in goodwill,” Rodriguez said. “We are very sorry this customer felt we intentionally embarrassed her and apologized to her at the time. We never asked her to leave. In fact, we told her she didn’t have to leave. My wife was simply honestly trying to assist her. It was clearly a misunderstanding. We are a family business and always have our customers best interest at heart.”

Even though her rights were allegedly violated, Bullard says she has no intention of taking legal action against the restaurant. She doesn't plan to return there either, though. She is hoping to raise awareness of laws that protect breastfeeding to save women in the future from any discomfort or embarrassment.

“My goal here isn’t to have them shut down or receive any monetary gain. I just want them to be aware that what they did was wrong,” she said. “And there’s nothing sexual or indecent about feeding a baby. From a Christian standpoint, Jesus wasn’t fed by a bottle.”

Bullard wants to remind everyone that even Pope Francis encouraged mothers to nurse their babies in church. “You mothers, go ahead and breastfeed, without fear. Just like the Virgin Mary nursed Jesus," he said.

The pope calls breastfeeding a 'language of love'.

Source: People
Photos : Screenshot/em>

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