Restaurant Manager Tells Woman No Breastfeeding in Public

10:06 AM, Sep 18, 2012   |    comments
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COVINGTON, Ga. (WXIA) -- A Douglas County mother says the manager of popular restaurant chain demanded that she breastfeed her son in the bathroom or leave the restaurant altogether.

Dawn Holland says she was breastfeeding her 20-month-old son Connor in a booth near the back of the Applebee's restaurant in Covington on Saturday. Holland says the manager gave her uncomfortable ultimatum -- either move to the bathroom to breastfeed or leave the restaurant.

Holland says she refused, trying to explain that nursing mothers had rights under the law.

"It's completely natural. It's not like I'm exposing myself to anyone," Holland said. "I don't think I should have to go someplace else to breastfeed."

Holland says the manager eventually called the police and she did as well. An officer responded to the restaurant talked to both sides but ultimately decided not to file an incident report.

Holland says she felt humiliated, singled out and demeaned and left the restaurant without eating.

A spokesperson for Applebee's says he believes the incident was largely a misunderstanding. The company released a prepared statement saying, "We're in the business of welcoming guests to our restaurants and our top priority is always to provide a friendly and comfortable environment for everyone, including nursing mothers who have the right to nurse in public."

"This was an unfortunate misunderstanding and we hope the guest will give us another chance to demonstrate that to her personally," the statement said.

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