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AIBU to feel sad about being asked to stop beastfeeding in a restaurant because the restaurant is attatched to an old people's home.

(76 Posts)
honeytea Fri 22-Mar-13 18:54:10

There is a restaurant which is inside the building of an old people's home, both the home and the restaurant are owned and run by the local authority, many people from the local community use the restaurant as it is open to the public.

I went for lunch with a friend today, it was lovely, about 60-70% of the customers were residents of the old people's home, the other 30-40% were just local people and people that work in the nearby local authority buildings. We had so many ovely comments, lots of the older customers came up and had a little chat with the babies and gave us some advice and told us how many grand children they had, one lady even came and asked if she could hold my friend's baby so my friend could eat her lunch.

When we had finished we went and sat in some chairs out of the way and (breast) fed our babies (they are 3 and 4 months) one older lady came up and said how lovely it was to see them feeding like that and asked if she could look at DS feeding, I moved my arm a little so she could see his adorable sleepy little face whilst he fed.

When we had finished and were packing up to go (boobs away, babies fed and asleep) a woman came and said to us "It's lovely that you come here but next time if you want to feed could you tell us and we can put you in a private room so you don't offend anyone"

I feel really sad about this, I feel very sad to think I may have offended people, I wonder if the older members of my own family take offence when I feed DS. AIBU to feel worried that I have offended people? Maybe I should just ask the older members of my family if they mind.

We live in a place where the community is very mixed, for example I was in a baby massage class (run by the local authority again) and an old lady came and sat in and just said she was just there to watch, she just loved babies and her grandkids were grownup now.

exoticfruits Fri 22-Mar-13 19:29:42

The phone call is a good idea. My mother and PIL are elderly - I bfed in front of them all. They would be annoyed if someone was spouting ridiculous nonsense in their name.

Where do you live? If you live in Scotland you are allowed to breastfeed ANYWHERE you like, no one is allowed to prevent you, or ask you to stop.

Sallyingforth Fri 22-Mar-13 19:33:33

Breastfeeding is a normal, natural activity. If anyone complains about it then it it they who are in the wrong and should move into a private room.

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Fri 22-Mar-13 19:34:33

Yes, it sounds like the woman was covering her arse in some way, quite possibly not offended herself but following some rule to the letter rather than interpreting the spirit of it.
Agree with the others, go back and repeat. If anyone challenges you, challenge them back.
You sound very lovely thanks

Oh, and if someone is offended, just tell them to stop looking. If you don't like it, don't look!

exoticfruits Fri 22-Mar-13 19:35:23

Same in England.

GloriaPritchett Fri 22-Mar-13 19:37:27

I am only going on personal experience, but my poor old granddad got terribly embarrassed when women fed their babies. It's all very well saying that there's nothing to be embarrassed about, but, well, it's hard to change things when you're in your 80s!

exoticfruits Fri 22-Mar-13 19:41:21

My FIL is 90yrs now. I bfed in front of him- we saw them a lot and I wasn't going out of the room! I never asked him- he was fine. If they have gone a lifetime without changing , then now is the time! They can move further away if they don't like it. ( I bet they were fine anyway)

honeytea Fri 22-Mar-13 19:45:57

My grandparents are very pro nudity, they have no problems with breastfeeding or general nudity at all. I go and visit my dp's grandparents at least once a week and we stay for the afternoon, I feed DS without leaving the room. DP's grandparents allways make me commit to the next time I am going to visit so I think that would suggest I don't offend them.

PlasticLentilWeaver Fri 22-Mar-13 19:58:02

I don't know about Sweden but in the UK, most of the positive feedback and support that I received was from 'older' people. I can't imagine it would be so different in Sweden and I would certainly enquire as to whether there had been a complaint.

I guess its a bit trickier if there's no legal protection, but if you weren't flashing the flesh and no complaint was made, I can't see why you should have to go somewhere private.

INeedThatForkOff Fri 22-Mar-13 20:01:12

Well my 83 yo granddad is also embarrassed around breastfeeding ... so he can leave the room if he chooses to. I think the needs of a baby trump the sensibilities of an old man.

exoticfruits Fri 22-Mar-13 20:04:09

Older people are often far more encouraging. I once felt a bit shy bfeeding on the train and the elderly lady told me not to worry, she bfed on an early morning commuter train going into London in 1948, and all the men retreated behind their newspapers!

GloriaPritchett Fri 22-Mar-13 20:06:14

And what if that 83 year old man is in a wheelchair and struggling to walk? And, if like my granddad, he doesn't get out much.

A mum with a baby can move. She doesn't have to, but in some circumstances it's not really the end of the world if she does.

GloriaPritchett Fri 22-Mar-13 20:06:39

Sorry, he doesn't get out much, so he would like to enjoy the time that he does get out.

MajaBiene Fri 22-Mar-13 20:08:16

Can he not turn his wheelchair around, or look in another direction?

I am astonished there is no legal protection for BF in Sweden.

GloriaPritchett Fri 22-Mar-13 20:09:46

When he's sitting at a table in a restaurant?

(well, my granddad has actually died, but hypothetically).

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 22-Mar-13 20:11:20

Op breast feeding is protected in Sweden under your equality legislation, think its gender equality but not sure.

MajaBiene Fri 22-Mar-13 20:12:15

Yes, why ever not? If there is something he doesn't like in his eyeline then move.

GloriaPritchett Fri 22-Mar-13 20:14:09

If OP doesn't like him being embarrassed then she can also move, by that logic.

sherazade Fri 22-Mar-13 20:15:51

yabu to feel sad. I'd be enraged.

MajaBiene Fri 22-Mar-13 20:18:35

How about if your grandad doesn't like seeing gay couples, or people with learning disabilities, or those with facial abnormalities? Should they keep out of sight to spare his (hypothetical) embarassment too?

One person's embarassment should not prevent other people carrying out their perfectly legal, natural, necessary normal lives.

Shagmundfreud Fri 22-Mar-13 20:21:26

Well said Maja!

My 80 year old FIL used to kiss ds while I was breast feeding him, shock and ask whether I was going to offer both breasts or just one....! He is from Guyana though - a culture where breast feeding is utterly normal (or was when he was young anyway).

GloriaPritchett Fri 22-Mar-13 20:23:54

Overextension much?

Breastfeeding is an action, not a physical condition.

Sometimes we adjust our legal, natural, necessary, normal lives to spare other people's feelings.

honeytea Fri 22-Mar-13 20:43:00

I did feel sad that perhaps I had offended people, I can go to the coffee shop chain a little walk away and buy lunch there but maybe some of the older people there couldn't go out (it's very icy at the moment.)

I don't really know what the solution would be, the easiest thing to do would be just choose somewhere else to eat lunch, I don't feel confident putting DS under a blanket to feed him because I need to see what he is up to i think he'd think it was a big game if I started covering him up, I don't really want to ask for a room, it was purely chance that we had finished lunch when the babies needed feeding, what would I do if I was mid eating and had to leave my food to find a private room.

It is so strange that it was an issue because mums breastfeed in public anywhere here with no attempt to cover up.

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