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Applebee's Ticks off Nursing Moms or "I Won't Be Eating Good at THAT Neighboorhood"

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It somehow seems fitting that I found time to sit down and write a post just as another national nursing fiasco is coming to light.

Apparently, "Eatin Good in the Neighborhood" does not include breast milk. At least not if your neighborhood is the Nicholasville Road Applebee's in central Kentucky. I saw the story about Brooke Ryan and her run-in with an Applebee's manager over breastfeeding in the restaurant pop up on MDC and had a few emails about it yesterday. As I sat down to write about it, I saw that it's made it's way into the mainstream press as well.

Here's the synopsis:

The dispute with Applebee's began June 14. Ryan chose a booth in the back of the restaurant away from other customers. When her baby, Michael, got hungry, she began to nurse him discreetly, she said.

But a waitress came over and said that if she wanted to breast-feed, she had to cover the baby with a blanket. Ryan said it was so hot that she didn't have a blanket. The waitress then repeated her request. Ryan said she then asked to see the manager and handed him a copy of the 2006 Kentucky law that prohibits interference with a woman breast-feeding her baby in public.

The manager said he knew about the law but a customer had complained about indecent exposure, so she had to cover the baby with a blanket.


So wait...the manager...KNEW about the law, but decided he didn't have to honor it because he didn't feel like it? Really? How do you think that line of logic would stand up in other areas of life?

"Sorry Officer, I saw the speed limit sign, but it was taking so long to get there."

"Sorry dear, I know we're married and all, but she was SOO hot!"

"I'm sorry teacher, I realize that the answer to 2+2 is 4, but that answer is so boring!"

I didn't realize that in Kentucky, you can pick and choose which laws to obey.

Kentucky's state breastfeeding law is pretty darn clear on the fact that breastfeeding is NOT considered "indecent exposure." It reads, in part:

...requires that breastfeeding may not be considered an act of public indecency, indecent exposure, sexual conduct, lewd touching or obscenity

Oh yeah...it's also pretty clear that mom has the right to nurse in public.

Permits a mother to breastfeed her baby or express breastmilk in any public or private location

So what did Ryan do?

Well, she did exactly what I'd suggest a mom do. She got the manager's name and she worked her way up the chain of command to see a remedy. Her lawyer sent a letter to Thomas and King, the company that operates the central Kentucky Applebee's. They had no response.

So they sent a second letter.

The response will make your blood boil.

After a second letter, a Thomas & King lawyer said the restaurant chain would consider keeping blankets in the restaurant so that breast-feeding women could cover themselves.

Wait...what now?

Seriously, do companies really think things through before they issue statements? Especially ones on paper? To lawyers?

Apparently not.

Mike Scanlon, president of Thomas & King told the Lexington Herald Ledger that he was not aware of the incident, but did share his thoughts on breastfeeding in the company's restaurants.

"It is perfectly legal to breast-feed in public and we support that," Scanlon said. "I'm not sure the manager said cover the baby's head, I think he said cover yourself modestly. This was by no means intended as interference, but a request to do it modestly, which I believe is an appropriate response."

Even better, he goes on to imply that Ryan was intentionally looking to stir up trouble, citing the fact that she carried a copy of Kentucky's breastfeeding law with her.

"I note with interest that she had a copy of the statute with her," he said. "I'm glad to let this become a matter that we can all learn from."

I note it with interest as well. Though from my prospective, I find it to be an incredibly smart move to carry with you the legal statute that allows you to defend yourself when uninformed businesses try to trample on your rights as a mother.

While Applebee's still has not stepped up to the plate with an apology and plans for properly training its employees, there has been some good to come of it.

Firstly, Kentucky Senator Tom Buford, R-Nicholasville, who sponsored the state's breastfeeding bill has backed Ryan completely. Buford told Ryan that he would not only support her in plans for a nurse-in at this point, but would do his best to show up personally to log his support. He even suggested that mothers hold up signs reading "small children are not allowed to eat in this restaurant."

As such, Ryan has organized two events. The first is a "nurse-out" at a nearby mall to raise awareness for Kentucky's breastfeeding laws. The second is a "nurse-in" outside of Applebee's to protest their policies toward breastfeeding moms.

-------------------------------------
NURSE-OUT SPEAK-OUT
Applebee's violated KRS 211.755 Educate Lexington that KY law protects public breastfeeding and mothers should never be asked to move, hide, cover up, or leave. Decorate posters and display them at a peaceful Nurse-Out.

THEME: Breastfeeding in public is Legal

DATE: Saturday, September 8, 2007

(in case of rain date 9/22/07)LOCATION: 4009 Nicholasville Road
Lexington KY

On the public sidewalk in front of Applebee's
Exercise caution and do not block the right of way.
News crews will be reporting.
Do not park in Applebee's parking lot!
-------------------------------------

While readers know that I'm not always a fan of nurse-ins (despite having been involved with planning and attending them myself) I feel this is one that I can really get behind.

Brooke Ryan did not run screaming to other mothers the moment this happened. In fact, from the timeline I can put together, she devoted more than two months to trying to work her way through the system. She gave Applebee's every opportunity to work with her to come to a resolution. It was only when the company made it clear they did not get it OR had no interest in fixing it, that she took it to the public.

Good for her!

If you live in the area, I strongly encourage you to show up to offer your support.

Labels: ,

  1. Anonymous jessica | 1:25 PM |  

    Well, add me to the list of people who won't be patronizing Applebee's establishments...

    and I've been carrying cards that state Ohio's law on breastfeeding for 6 months now. Thankfully I have never had the need to use one.

  2. Blogger Cagey | 2:04 PM |  

    Interesting. I've breastfed many times in an Applebee's here (Kansas City area) with no problems. However, the corporate response to this is disappointing and frustrating.

  3. Blogger Judy | 2:22 PM |  

    These things usually annoy me more than anger me. This one has me really riled up though.

    Anyone have the contact info for the Corporate Headquarters of Applebee's? I'm off to look it up right now. My 3 year old got a card for a free kid's meal at Applebee's through our local library's summer reading program, and I'm mailing it back to Applebee's with a letter expressing my feelings on the issue.

    And I'm even more sure of carrying the statute for whatever state I'm in with me at all times.

  4. Blogger ~jenn | 2:27 PM |  

    well if the only good thing that comes from it - is thousands of woman carring the statute for jerks like applebee's - its a small battle won.

    I'll be printing ours out tonight and tossing it in the diaper bag ~ where i don't keep blankets.

  5. Blogger Lightfinder | 3:07 PM |  

    I am SO there!!! It's just down the road from me!

  6. Blogger Keith & Sarah | 5:54 PM |  

    Wow.

    I'm 4 hours away from Lexington. This makes me want to drive up there and participate. Ugh.

    I will definitely be writing a letter.

  7. Blogger Heather | 5:57 PM |  

    Hmm. They don't have an email address so I will be calling them tomorrow to tell them what I think of them.

  8. Blogger Azuroo | 7:26 PM |  

    Thanks for covering this. I was hoping you would. I will be at both nursing events!
    Brooke Ryan attends the same LLL meetings that I do, and they have passed around copies of the breastfeeding law to carry with you. Maybe that's where she got her card from and why she was carrying it, not because she had a "hidden agenda".

  9. Anonymous SmocknMama | 9:23 PM |  

    Applebee's in Shreveport, LA had a similar response to a breastfeeding mother here last year. I believe they told her to go to the bathroom to nurse or leave. This is the 4th time I've heard about Applebee's pulling this stunt. I've never been a big fan of their food (it all tastes the same to me) and this just keeps from trying them again.

  10. Blogger alisaterry | 11:40 PM |  

    I still can't get over his accusation that she had an agenda because she was carrying around copies of the law. What a jerk!

  11. Anonymous Anonymous | 6:16 AM |  

    I've nursed my baby at our local Applebees several times and never been treated like that.....I'm appalled that they would do that to her! geesh!

  12. Blogger Fat Lady | 6:45 AM |  

    I'm continually amazed that these things keep happening! What are people thinking when they take it on themselves to harass a woman with a baby?

    I've nursed both of my children in Applebees in the NYC area and have never gotten comments, thank goodness. So, it can't be a chain-wide problem. Though, I think Applebees would do well to have some materials available to send out chain-wide about breastfeeding.

  13. Anonymous Becky | 7:43 AM |  

    I'm off to visit the newspaper page and find a way to post a comment about the article.

    The article has a great nursing pic.

    Any reasonable person can see there's nothing exposed or scandalous about this Mom nursing her babe.

  14. Anonymous Becky | 7:45 AM |  

    Here's the link to the applebees website for "manager complaints"...

    http://www.applebees.com/GuestContact.aspx?t=Complaint-manager

  15. Anonymous Rebecca | 9:31 AM |  

    When I was nursing my first child several years ago there was an article in a mainstream parenting magazine about nursing in public that said you should know and carry with you your state's nursing law. Florida had passed one relatively recently at the time and I have always had a copy of it in my diaper bag. To date I haven't had to use it. It just makes sense to know the laws of the areas you live in, it isn't a sign that you are looking for a confrontation.

  16. Blogger Ali | 9:36 AM |  

    Brooke Ryan is apparently planning to bring this to the national level, and has said a press release is forthcoming. A lot of mothers on the board are jumping ahead, though... I really hope this doesn't go the way of Colorado. Brooke Ryan has worked very hard on this.

  17. Blogger Brandee | 10:21 AM |  

    I am saddened that in this day and age nursing in public is still and issue. We seemed to have gone backwards in regards to the rights of women and children. We are certainly not a society that is afraid of breasts, we see them all the time in the media, we just don't know how to deal with a child being attatched to them. Breasts are really old news with the myriad of stars now refusing to wear underwear, we have a real problem when that causes less public distaste than a women breastfeeding her child.

  18. Blogger Irmgart | 11:09 AM |  

    She doesn't have a "hidden agenda" she has a blatant agenda... being able to nurse her child when- and wherever she needs to, as the law allows her to do.

    Stupid people. :(

  19. Blogger JudyBright | 12:31 PM |  

    Plus their food sucks.

  20. Blogger Chloe | 5:34 PM |  

    This makes me sick! My first baby isn't due till January so I'm not breastfeeding yet but I plan on it. I may drive up from Nashville to provide moral support. Ironic that this is such an issue here in the Bible Belt. What do they think Mary nursed Jesus with? Similac or Enfamil?

    On the flip side of this issue, is anyone aware of any chain restaurants or stores that are breastfeeding-friendly? Where you've either been ignored or given an encouraging smile from the staff? Maybe even a designated area to nurse or pump? I believe in buy-cotting as much as boycotting.

  21. Blogger Nicole | 7:58 AM |  

    Sheesh! Here's an idea, Applebee's.....move the person who complained so THEY feel more comfortable and let it drop. Why attack breastfeeding women?

  22. Anonymous Anonymous | 12:13 PM |  

    Livid. Just livid.

    Here's his e-mail address
    mscanlon@tandk.com

    (http://www.tandk.com/lists/copy/contact.aspx)

  23. Blogger Brandy | 12:30 PM |  

    I live in Indiana (about 4 hours away) and really wish I could drive down. That is infuriating and I won't be visiting any Applebee's any more.

  24. Anonymous Carla | 12:57 PM |  

    I'm no longer a nursing mother, but I have to say, carrying your state's law on a card in a diaperbag is ingenious. Its not that she was picking a fight, she was protecting herself.
    When I was still nursing my little ones, I absolutely lived in fear of nursing in public and getting a dirty look. And at that time I lived in a pretty progressive city which for the most part accepted public breastfeeding as "the norm".
    I'm going to blog about this at some point today, and I've also stumbled it (stumbleupon.com) so hopefully this news will get a little bit more exposure.

  25. Anonymous Anonymous | 3:31 PM |  

    Amazing! My husband loves the 1/2 price appetizers and we are actually getting one built close by... it's a shame I'm going to have to tell him I'm not interested in eating there until this has been resolved. Luckily for me, he supports breastfeeding!

    And come on, it's not like we don't have a million other things to worry about as a mother then to worry about feeding our babies! We shouldn't have to be the protective momma bear just to eat in public! WOW!

  26. Blogger Danielle | 3:15 AM |  

    I hate to say it, but sometimes it really does seem like women want to start trouble with this. At my place of work, recently I had a woman seriously trying really hard to manipulate me into saying she was not allowed to breastfeed. She asked where she could go to nurse the baby. I said, she could nurse him anywhere, but if she would prefer a more quiet place, she could go to X location or X location, or X location.
    She then said, "So I can't nurse him here?" I said, you absolutely can nurse him here. I was really kissing her butt and being very sweet to her. I quoted the law, I was using all the lactivist lingo, and basically bowing down to her. This conversation lasted several minutes with her continuously prodding me to say something against nursing in public, but I refused because I knew what she was doing. As soon as I mentioned the law, she gave me a really dirty look and walked out. Her baby, by the way, was fast asleep. He was not hungry at all.
    Sometimes, it is important for you all to see the whole picture instead of just one side. There are very valid reasons why someone would think a mom was just stirring the pot. The fact that she had the statute copy with her, yes, that does scream, "I want trouble". Sorry, but it does. I think sometimes that some people actually enjoy getting riled up that they look for reasons to do so.

  27. Blogger The Lactivist | 8:14 AM |  

    Danielle,

    I have no doubt that there are some women who go looking for trouble. Every movement that has ever existed has had radicals that fall outside the line of normal reason.

    We've seen it happen here, when moms call for a nurse-in at the slightest perceived misstep.

    If the situation you described happened that way, then yes, it does sound like the mom was looking for trouble.

    On the other hand, accusing a mom of looking for trouble simply because she carries her state law with her shows a profound lack of understanding of the cultural perspective on nursing in public. Unfortunately, women DO need to protect themselves in this way. Simply stating "the law is on my side" is rarely enough to stop harassment. Being able to cite the exact statute will often remedy the attack.

    In fact, some states are now issuing laminated cards with the law printed on them to all new moms. It's THAT much of an issue in some areas.

    I doubt you'll find any reader of my site that honestly believes no woman has EVER tried to bait someone into harassing them... But I also know that none of the regular readers here will agree with you that a mom who carries the law in her pocket is "looking for trouble."

    It's a silly, and somewhat insulting assumption.

  28. Blogger Eilat | 9:44 AM |  

    since when does knowing your rights = having an agenda?

  29. Blogger Chris | 10:18 AM |  

    I'm guessing the Kentucky is one of the many states with a NIP law that doesn't have any enforcement provision, otherwise, this mom and her lawyer could've have called the state's Attorney General office and have them deal with Applebee's rather than write letters and organize nurse-ins, etc. I appreciate the reasons why people want to do nurse-ins, but really, we should focus our energy on the boring legislative work that will give families an actual remedy when they experience such discrimination.

  30. Blogger JudyBright | 2:43 PM |  

    Since no one else has addressed it...

    Who the heck would use a blanket that's been sitting around a restaurant for who knows how long and used to cover other random women and babies without being washed to cover their baby and breast?

    Eewwwwwwwwwwww!! Cooties!!!1!!!11!

  31. Anonymous Steven Rushing | 11:14 PM |  

    It is truly unfortunate that business owner's rights to the rules in their establishments have been completely forgotten. It is their business! Not the government's.

    I am not a smoker, and never have been. Smoking disgusts me. But it is a business owner's right to allow or disallow smoking in his establishment. If you don't want to eat there, don't! If you don't want to work their, don't!

    Same for breastfeeding mothers. I think that breastfeeding mothers should be able to breastfeed in public places. But what is a public place? Sidewalks, parks, government buildings, public swimming pools that receive community funds. Heck, anywhere that receives any government subsidies.

    But not private businesses. Like I said, I think businesses should allow discrete breastfeeding. (of course, I would define discrete breastfeeding as being covered, as they requested.) But it isn't the government's job to tell business owners what can and cannot be done in their establishments.

  32. Blogger JudyBright | 10:58 AM |  

    Dear Steve #31

    Did you miss the Civil Rights movement? The government does have the right to say that a business that is considered a public accomodation (such as a restaurant or store) can not discriminate and disallow service to people who are of protected classes such as race. The municipality where this restaurant is has a law which states that breastfeeding mothers are allowed to breastfeed wherever they are otherwise allowed to be.

    Why would you compare smoking - something unhealthy and totally unnecessary- to breastfeeding a baby, perhaps one of the most innocent, natural, and necessary acts known to humankind? I agree with you that a restaurant should be able to decide if they allow smoking or not; I've vocally opposed the anti-smoking law fascist do-gooder movement sweeping the country. However, these two activities are not in the same class. It would be better to compare breastfeeding to something like coughing. Should someone who coughs be kicked out of a restaurant? What about a disfigured burn victim? Because they look funny and cause me a bad feeling.

    There are certain things in life that make me uncomfortable that probably shouldn't. Chalk it up to upbringing or human nature. But I'm also a thinking adult that can recognize that certain things are ok even though they cause me discomfort or make me feel awkward. I might me criticized for admitting it, but someone breastfeeding in public still makes me feel weird. I'm too scared to try it myself. But if I'm in public and see someone breastfeeding, I get over my discomfort with stranger's nipples and go on with my day. It's not that hard. I also just look the other way, or maybe at the woman's face or something or at my friends or at my food.

  33. Blogger Mrs. Sara | 12:07 PM |  

    "The government does have the right to say that a business that is considered a public accomodation (such as a restaurant or store) can not discriminate and disallow service to people who are of protected classes such as race."

    That's true, Judy, but as of yet, nursing mothers are NOT a protected class.

  34. Blogger Mrs. Sara | 8:01 AM |  

    "That's true, Judy, but as of yet, nursing mothers are NOT a protected class."

    Which means, basically, that if a private company wants to ban you from entering their establishment for any reason OTHER THAN race, sex, religion, age, or disability, they have a right to do so. Night clubs are a perfect example. They practice LEGAL discrimination ALL THE TIME. A bouncer stands at the door and judges who's too ugly, too fat, or too poorly dressed to enter. And you could try and sue them for not letting you in based on looks, but you have no case. Now, if you went to the door and the bouncer said, "Sorry, no Jews," or "Sorry, no old people," then you'd have a discrimination case. But though women are protected, their actions once they're inside the building are NOT protected. So breastfeeding, though it IS a natural thing and perhaps should be more accepted, is not protected by anti-discrimination laws.

  35. Blogger The Lactivist | 8:16 AM |  

    Well actually...that's not entirely true Mrs. Sara...

    Just because it's not written into the law that way doesn't mean there's no legal ground.

    Earlier this year, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission agreed to hear the case of a mom who was told to leave an establishment because she was breastfeeding. In their agreement to hear the case, they set a case law precedent that in Ohio, you CAN file suit on the basis of discrimination against a protected class if you are discriminated against for breastfeeding in public.

    The case ended up being settled out of court, so no new laws will come of it, but it did open the door to new possibilities, a door that had been slammed shut many many times over the last few decades.

  36. Blogger Mrs. Sara | 8:33 AM |  

    Well, that is definitely an exception that I was not aware of. I guess we'll see where these developments lead to. But until breastfeeding women become an official protected class, if that ever happens, lactivisits will continue to struggle against the fact that business owners still do have a right to refuse service to anyone they like, as long as that person's not a member of a protected class.

    Sorry if this is a repost, I'm having bad luck with the word verification today. :)

  37. Anonymous Anonymous | 6:08 PM |  

    Protesters will be at Applebee's restaurants tomorrow, (Sat. Sept. 8th) due to a woman being asked by the manager of a Lexington Ky. Applebee's to cover herself/baby while breastfeeding in the restaurant. Articles I've read on the matter are trying desperately to SOUND as though the manager asked her not to FEED her baby. This is of course not the case. He simply asked her to cover herself, that's it. One article I read on a blog states that Ms. Ryan and her family left the restaurant in tears. Earlier in the text however it states that when the request was made by the manager, Ms. Ryan recited the Ky. law protecting nursing mothers and when finished, produced a copy of it and handed it to the manager?? Tears? Really? It sounds to me like another case of someone looking for a free ride at the expense of the productive. That is just my opinion of course. What is amazing me more about this story is that Ms. Ryan has decided not to even attend the protest?

    Let's get something straight. The people organizing these protests are saying that breastfeeding is natural. I agree, I nursed all three of my children. However, I always covered myself whenever in the presents of others. All others, at home or away! I was never so RUDE to expect someone to sit in view of myself and my child while I whipped out a breast and then dare them to be uncomfortable!! It's called courtesy, manners or common sense. Is it legal to whip out a tit and feed your kid in public? It is. But I can't help but to ask myself, "What kind of person has no problem with all of society seeing that tit?" It is also perfectly natural, as well as legal to let out a big loud fart, or belch in public. But I certainly wouldn't want the person at the next table to be so rude if it could be helped. My point is that just because it can be done doesn't mean it should be done. I guess technically I could sit in a restaurant across from one of these less than modest women and in full view of her, pick my nose or clean my ears, I could clip my toenails if I wanted to. I guess I could talk with a mouth full of food or chew with my mouth open. I guess I could talk about subjects that one really wouldn't want to hear about while trying to eat.

    I think I've made my point. I have always believed that nursing a baby is the healthiest way to go, as long as the mother doesn't consume unhealthy things. But ladies, cover yourselves! We don't want to see your boobs, even if you want us to.

    Those of you who are going to protest, know what it is you're protesting. If you think you are protesting a store manager and a company who is against nursing your baby, you're wrong! If you are in fact protesting being asked to cover yourself, well you are protesting the correct policy; however I will have to add you to my "Stupid People" list, and don't be surprised if when you're in public with your tit out, someone does one of the things mentioned above in your presents! I know I will.

    I have personally called the manager of the Applebee's in question and thanked him. I have emailed the company and given my support. I urge all who do support this simple request to do the same for I'm certain that all who oppose aren't keeping quiet.

  38. Blogger The Lactivist | 6:21 PM |  

    Anonymous #37 (I call you that because so many speaking out against nursing in public here choose not to reveal their names, so I need a way for folks to know who I'm speaking to.)

    You gave a quite lengthy response. I apparently feel quite passionately about your side of the issue.

    I'd respond with just three quick comments.

    1.) Knowing your legals rights does not equate to asking/fishing for/demanding a "free ride."

    2.) I would never be so rude as to ask anyone to eat with a blanket over their head when I could simply avert my eyes.

    3.) I have a hard time taking someone seriously that choose to refer to a breast as a "tit" in order to make it sound like something dirty.

  39. Anonymous Linda | 11:08 PM |  

    I still can't BELIEVE the responses of some people to a baby nursing in public...which is why I recently wrote about my own experiences in an eGuide -- "How You Can Be Comfortable Nursing In Public." Check it out on eBay by doing a search for "Nursing In Public."

  40. Blogger Strawberry | 11:37 AM |  

    I have emailed a link to this blog to every person I know,and have also put it on my blog. I've included the address of Applebee's corporate HQ, so that people can explain to Dave Goebel (President & CEO) that Applebee's is unlikely to be your restaurant of choice until they clarify to their employees and the public exactly what their breastfeeding policy is. After all, who can relax over lunch if they know they might be publicly embarrassed by a member of staff if their baby needs to be fed?

    Well done you for publicising this!

  41. Anonymous Anonymous | 7:24 PM |  

    Seriously, why is being “discreet” such an imposition? Everyone ought to just mellow out a bit, and recognize that in a communal environment, making a huge point out of one’s “rights” can make life less, rather than more, pleasant. No one wants to see babies wilting from hunger, but many of us also do not want to see a live breast while we're eating. I for one would quietly mention to the waitress that I would be leaving, right now, because this makes me uncomfortable. No scenes, just a quiet chat with the manager on the way out.

  42. Blogger Eilat | 7:44 PM |  

    To Anonymous #37

    "I will have to add you to my "Stupid People" list, and don't be surprised if when you're in public with your tit out, someone does one of the things mentioned above in your presents! I know I will."

    I will have to add you to MY "Stupid People" list for not knowing the difference between "presents" (gifts?) and "presence" (the state of existing).

    Also, while your comparison of breastfeeding (a beautiful, natural, nourishing act) to passing gas or clipping toenails at the dinner table (crass bodily functions) is offensive and inappropriate, I have *never* heard of a person being asked to leave a restaurant or otherwise suppress their actions for doing such things. I know, the law is ambiguous about farting in public, but thankfully, it is not ambiguous about nursing in public (that includes asking a woman to cover up).
    If I am at a restaurant nursing and you decide to make good on your threat to release lots of foul smelling gas, I will ask to be moved to another booth. Similarly, if the lady in the booth next to yours is nursing (did anyone miss the tiny detail of Ms. Ryan moving to a remote booth to nurse?) I suggest you look the other way.

  43. Anonymous Leigh Hughes | 1:27 PM |  

    Where can I get a copy of Ohio's Breastfeeding laws?? I'm nursing my 3 month old now... AND live in OH - I need to have a copy of that with me at all times. Thank you!!

  44. Blogger The Lactivist | 1:35 PM |  

    Leigh,

    Ohio Rev. Code Ann. Sec. 3781.55 (2005) A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location of a place of public accommodation wherein the mother otherwise is permitted.

    I'm in Ohio too. :) Just north of Columbus.

  45. Anonymous Abby | 1:48 PM |  

    To #37:
    I'm not saying I ever have (or ever will) been indiscreet in public when nursing, but I find it hard to believe that 99% of mothers aren't when they nurse.

    I was terrified of nursing in front of my family when I had my first daughter, but we did it in the mall, restaurants (even maybe Applebees) or the church lobby all the time. And no one ever said a word or cared, even if I was really obvious about it.

    The woman in question in this incident was most discreet. She couldn't have been more discreet according to the description given, remote booth in the corner, facing the corner. No one should have been able to see what she was doing in the first place, even if her shirt was up a little.

    It is insulting to our intelligence to tell nursing moms to "be discreet." Duh. Who really wants the world to see their breasts? I mean, besides strippers and Pamela Anderson! We already are discreet. It's the people who don't want us to breastfeed that have the issue.

    Anyway, the only thing I really liked at Applebees was a salad and their onion soup, and Panera has both!

  46. Anonymous Anonymous | 1:15 PM |  

    I am so happy that the people in this country have their priorities straight. IT's okay to bare your breasts on Tv, eg; the Oscars,The Ennys etc if they are bared for the sole purpose of display and titilation. However, if they are bared for a utilitarian purpose such as providing nourishment to a child, such display is obscene and offensive. After all, breasts have a single function, and their display for any other purpose goes against any sense of decency.

  47. Blogger Zaburi | 11:03 AM |  

    Another attempt at a lawsuit. I don't know anybody who wants to see breast feeding in there face while trying to eat. This is total abuse of law and resources. This lady is just trying to get paid, and get attention. I can't wait till people start wearing thongs to applebees's lol. I think she has a right to breast feed...just use some common sense and realize not everybody wants to see it while eating. Be courteous Ryan!

  48. Anonymous Anonymous | 9:43 PM |  

    I think this is being taken WAY to far. Restrooms are made for a reason. PRIVACY. This isn't a case of a manager being in the "wrong" this is a case of people being inconsiterate of others while trying to enjoy a meal. Breastfeeding should be done privately no matter if you are in the comfort of your own home or at the mall around 1000 others. Yes, breast-feeding is a part of life, but so is pooping. I don't feel the urge to poop while sitting at my booth regardless if it is in the back of the restaraunt. Both acts are natural, and both should be done privately and discreetly.

  49. Blogger Krissy | 11:28 AM |  

    I really can't believe some people equating breast feeding to pooping or smoking!!! Ms. Ryan WAS discreet! I myself have a 3 month old and am discreet when I breast feed...I usually cover up but at the same time and most mothers I know do. How DARE you say that a bathroom is used for privacy and that is where one should feed her child? I can't believe you would want a child to feed in unsanitary conditions (as well as uncomfortable for a mother) just so you don't feel uncomfortable! I often feel embarrassed in public because I am a very modest person and I have been known to go to the bathroom. I don't do it for others-I do it because I don't want the world to see my breasts. Some peoples' responses tick me off and are the reason I feel uncomfortable in public nursing my son! From now on, I won't worry so much what you think and feel as you obviously don't care about those things for a nursing mother!

  50. Anonymous J | 11:12 PM |  

    Krissy - Good to know that you can't be bothered to care how your actions make others feel. I think that's 100% acceptable.
    Also, just because something is different for one reason does not mean it can't be compared to another thing it has something in common with, for the record. Case in point, natural actions, which both examples given were.

    This issue really doesn't offend me personally either way. I believe mothers should be discreet (seems impolite not to, to me), which it sounds like the woman in this story was, and I don't think this big of a deal should be made over it. Saying you'll never eat at a restaurant chain again because one employee and/or manager didn't know how to react to a situation seems a little stupid to me. Staging a protest, likewise.

    If you refuse to accept that some people would be bothered by this in a public setting, and refuse to care about it, you are selfish.

  51. Anonymous Anonymous | 11:40 PM |  

    NO, she didnt get the result that she desired....this is a "for profit" organization that can refuse service to anyone causing a "disruption".....VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET....get off your soap box and go to another restaurant....the "pepsi generation" is going to be the demise of us all. MR

  52. Anonymous Anonymous | 1:28 PM |  

    I think it is funny that all of you are soo offended because other mothers YOU KNOW are discrete. Do any of you actually know Ryan? And you are basing her discreteness on what is now probably a 10th hand account of what happened.And many of you refer to her as being refused service...even in though it was never said that happened. Everyone needs to stop looking for something to argue about and get over it. If you don't want to see it look away. If you are doing it use a blanket and stop trying to say it was too hot, this is 2009 resturants unless your on a patio are always so over airconditioned they feel like igloos anyway.

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