Woman asked to stop breastfeeding in restaurant, now planning demonstration

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A Connecticut mom claims a restaurant told her to cover up while she was breastfeeding her baby and now, a group of moms is planning a nursing demonstration at that establishment this weekend in protest.

Liz Linehan, of Cheshire, said she was outraged about an incident involving Tabitha Donohue, where she was nursing her 8-week-old daughter inside the Friendly’s restaurant in Norwich. But she was allegedly asked by the manager to cover up.

“I was offended. They came over and asked me if I cared that I was offending other people,” Donohue said. “No, I don’t care if I offend other people, I’m feeding my baby.”BreastfeedingDemonstration

“Our rights as nursing mothers according to Connecticut Statute is that we could nurse as we see fit,” Linehan said. “We do not need to cover up and we do not need to be moved to a restroom, which is you know if you’re a nursing mother that’s disgusting.”

The state law on breastfeeding states they do not have to cover the baby with a towel or blanket.

Officials at Friendly’s restaurant responded to the Eyewitness News story and said they welcome breastfeeding moms.

“The guest was breastfeeding the baby while the child was lying on the restaurant’s dining table. The manager did not ask the mother to stop breastfeeding,” Friendly’s statement said.

There was no further comment or reaction from Friendly’s corporate office.

“It was never can you pick your baby up off the table, it was can you cover your breasts,” said Amber Pendleton, who was eating lunch with Donohue when the incident occurred.

Pendleton told Eyewitness News that she is glad their story is being discussed because all they want everyone to know about is a mother’s right to breastfeed in public.

“Any woman who goes to Friendly’s should be able to feed their baby the way they want to as the law says they can,” Pendleton said.

Dozens of mothers, who nurse their infants are signing up for a “nurse-in” this Saturday at the Friendly’s. Organizers said it’s a positive campaign to make restaurants and patrons alike aware of the state law.

“What I am surprised by is the outcry and the loving support I’m receiving from the nursing community,” Linehan said.

The nurse-in event on Saturday begins at 3 p.m.




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  • Mav

    "Pendleton told Eyewitness News that she is glad their story is being discussed because all they want everyone to know about is a mother’s right to breastfeed in public".

    Its not public, it is in the private establishment.

      • Lois

        Breastfeed in public but do it with a bit of class. You do not have to expose your breast to feed your child! It is so easy to throw a small towel or blanket over your breast and it does not cause an discomfort to mom or baby. Part of the benefits of breastfeeding is the close contact between mom and baby……having baby lay on table defeats the purpose!

      • Seriously

        Then your fine with clipping finger nails and pulling hair from the nose and ears while eating too then!

  • Margie

    Happy to have you breastfeed whenever and wherever. Would just appreciate it if you covered it up in a restaurant.

  • Lynn

    As a Mom I am all for breastfeeding a child.The problem here was it could have been done more discreetly and respectfully.The Manager had every right to ask her to cover up but in a respectful manner.

  • Eve

    I'm sorry, but why do I need to cover up my baby and create a stuffy and hot environment under a blanket when she can breathe fresh air and YOU CAN JUST DIVERT YOUR EYES AND LOOK THE OTHER WAY!!!

    • Tia

      Stay at home where you can do what you want without offending everybody. If you are really concerned about your child you will do that as she is in a comfortable zone…her home!

      • Ven

        You can't tell ppl to stay home. She just should not have had her baby on the table. That's just rude. Moms can't just say home bc u want them too. She can breast feed anywhere, just don't get wild for the attention.

  • Don

    The manager should have asked her to cover her face…..ugly green hair and multiple piercings. Obviously somebody searching for attention!

  • seriously

    Im offended by the sight of it. I support breast feeding but not having to watch it while eating.

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