On Wednesday May 19th, Heather W. from Better Homes and Gardens published an article titled “The 10 Commandments of Dining with Little Kids." Beginning the article with the phrase “Let me be clear: I am not anti-kid,” Heather W. goes on to list 10 ways that childrens' presence in restaurants “irks” couples hoping for a kid-free dining experience.
One of them was:
"THOU SHALT NOT BREAST FEED AT THE TABLE
Yes, I have seen table-side breast feeding at a four-star restaurant. If at all possible, take it to the ladies room. (Note: most upscale restaurants have really nice restrooms!"
People (breast-feeding ones mostly I gather) went NUTS on Better Homes and Gardens.
Let me share my experience. When we went to Portland for my brother's graduation from culinary school, he took us to this fancy rooftop restaurant so we could see the view of the city. We all sat down and shared a nice bottle of wine and enjoyed the view. We happened to have Mimi with us and she was 3 months old. Normally, I wouldn't bring an infant to a nice restaurant for a few reasons. But we had been walking around the city all day and this was a spur of the moment thing.
1. If i'm going to pay to have a really nice dinner, I want to enjoy the experience, I find tending to my kid 24/7 takes away from my dining experience, so for Mimi's sake and my mine, I leave her home for such occasions.
2. Other patrons are also paying money to enjoy the experience. I personally don't think a women should be FORCED to leave the restaurant or FORCED to go into the ladies room to nurse, but I myself felt uncomfortable whipping out the boob in such a place.
So I DID go to the ladies room, which had a lovely chair that Mimi and I sat in and nursed, then I returned to the table with a happy sleeping 3 month old and enjoyed my wine. I didn't' feel like I was forced to use the ladies room to nurse.
Having had a baby and nursed in public quite a bit, I truly believe there are some places where you should be MORE discreet than others. No on should ever tell you that you can't feed your baby in public, but please respect the comfort level of other people to and try to be discreet. It's all about respecting others. Just because it makes someone a little uncomfortable to see a portion of your breast doesn't mean they would want you to let your child starve--it just means they are not used to the situation, give people a break sometimes.