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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.

MajaBiene Fri 22-Mar-13 18:55:46

YABU, you haven't offended anyone and the woman who spoke to you was acting illegally.

Call the local authority and make a complaint.

WaitingForMe Fri 22-Mar-13 18:57:53

Please complain as MajaBiene says.

TigerseyeMum Fri 22-Mar-13 19:00:13

No you are not being unreasonable, the person spoke out of turn.

Did you ask if a specific complaint had been made because you seemed to have got only positive feedback?

And what a shame that 'old people' (whoever they are - old age spans a good 50 years) are excluded from
Natural normal family life by well-meaning do-good ers intent on protecting them from being offended. For this reason alone I'd raise it with the local authority - its a patronising attitude towards older people never mind offensive to mothers.

tiredlady Fri 22-Mar-13 19:02:38

You shouldn't feel sad. You should feel pissed off and angry.
You were feeding your baby ffs not running around topless waving your boobs in pensioners' faces.
Being old is no excuse for being thick.
My mum and my in laws are in their 70s and 80s. They don't have any problem whatsoever with women breast feeding

Smartiepants79 Fri 22-Mar-13 19:02:51

Who exactly did she think you'd offended?
Personally I'd ignore and just go again and do exactly what you did last time.
It is illegal to stop you.

foslady Fri 22-Mar-13 19:03:32

Another YABU - you should be angry and offended - complain!!!!

HenriettaChicken Fri 22-Mar-13 19:05:45

Yup - complain. It sounds like a lovely place with the exception of one person...

CartedOff Fri 22-Mar-13 19:06:44

Madness. The elderly aren't some foreign species that are all offended by something like that, they're people just like you and me with a variety of opinions and feelings. There's absolutely no reason for that woman to assume that they would be offended by a mother feeding her child.

stormforce10 Fri 22-Mar-13 19:07:18

Yes complain. The staff broke the law. My DD is 7 and my DS is 7 months and I've noticed a really different and far more positive attitude to breastfeeding this time round.

honeytea Fri 22-Mar-13 19:07:40

I wonder if maybe there had been a complaint.

I don't live in the UK but I live in Sweden where you would think breastfeeding would be protected by law but it isn't.

I was pretty shaken, I never expected to have negative bf reactions.

KurriKurri Fri 22-Mar-13 19:08:43

I don't think the old people actually complained did they? - Most of the older people I know wouldn't bat an eyelid at anyone breast feeding, old people are not weird and bonkers in general. It sounds as if this officious woman took it upon herself to be rude.
I would also complain.

(I shouldn't say it because this is a serious thread, but the typo in your title made me smile - I felt like I was beastfeeding sometimes grin

SnotMeReally Fri 22-Mar-13 19:09:11

While it's great that they would offer you a private space to BF in if you requested it, it's not great what they did - you should be able to Bf anywhere so long as you are not stripping off and shouting look at me folks!

anotheryearolder Fri 22-Mar-13 19:09:52

Beastfeeding grin that sums up DS perfectly!

I doubt that they were offended just she is narrowminded

b4bunnies Fri 22-Mar-13 19:10:46

i doubt if you've offended any of the elderly people. many of them/us are very sensible!

Booyhoo Fri 22-Mar-13 19:10:55

i think people have odd ideas about what other people might be offended about. surely older people are more likely to have grown up with babies being breastfed than bottle fed and so would be less likely to be offended by it?

honeytea Fri 22-Mar-13 19:12:33

Oh gosh, I hadn't even noticed that! I'm not even on my phone so I can't blame predictive txt! My DS is a bit of a beast, he's on the 98th centile and when he is hungry he headbuts my shoulder so hard he gave himself a nosebleed yesterday.

OxfordBags Fri 22-Mar-13 19:15:33

The point is, none of the customers complained. Sounds like she was using them as an excuse to push her discomfort onto you. Whenever I've Bfed in public, I've found older people to be the least judgey; old men because they've seen it all before and hey, it's a flash of breast, and old ladies can get positively teary-eyed watching and you can sometimes see the memories unfolding behind their eyes. I've had a coupleof old women very politely ask me if they can watch/have a look, and then they've sat and talked a out how Bfing was the best time in their lives, stuff like that. Older people usually love to see babies eating, be that Bfing, FFing, or gumming on a spoon of purée.

OP, don't worry about having inadvertently offended older members of your own family, etc. For a start, if they were offended, then that was up to them to tell you, plus it'd still not mean you should not do it. This really sounds like this one woman has issues around it, or was being a jobsworth. Don't feel that everyone feels the same way as this silly woman. You and your child go on enjoying that Bfing smile

exoticfruits Fri 22-Mar-13 19:16:34

I would write and complain. The old people won't be offended- it is unfair for someone to decide they will be.

AwkwardSquad Fri 22-Mar-13 19:17:20

Complain. The manager needs a refresher in the Equality Act 2010. See, diversity courses aren't a waste of money - this is what they are for.

SauvignonBlanche Fri 22-Mar-13 19:17:28

Sounds like just one person with a bad attitude - ignore, ignore, ignore!

INeedThatForkOff Fri 22-Mar-13 19:19:07

YANBU to feel sad, especially as you made an elderly woman very happy by allowing her to watch your DS feed. I think it must be sad enough to be reminded that the days of motherhood are long gone without misguided fools shielding you from the pleasure of sharing in a new mum's enjoyment of her baby. How depressing.

ubik Fri 22-Mar-13 19:22:34

OP - I'm sorry you had this experience. I love watching babies being fed too, it is lovely to see them so content. That lady must have really appreciated you being there. I would make a phone call and just explain what happened, see what they say.

And.. ahem..I know this not the point of the thread but 'OLD AGE SPANS A GOOD 50 YEARS??'

I am near 40 and am not yet approaching 'old age' am i?

apatchylass Fri 22-Mar-13 19:23:27

YANBU to feel sad, but I would ignore her and continue to feed in public. BF-ing is the most natural thing in the world and breasts should not be treated as smutty indecent objects that the public can't handle.

PopeBenedictsP45 Fri 22-Mar-13 19:27:19

Perhaps the woman who approached you was over thinking a bit and perhaps a bit officious and thought she'd pre-empt any perceived offense? From what you've said it sounds like you were a bit of a hit there!

I wouldn't necessarily complain but I'd go back and do a repeat performance and when and if the woman approached I'd ask very nicely what she found to be so offensive about feeding a little baby.

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