Eatin’ Stupid in the Neighborhood
A woman walks into an Applebee’s, and… No, it’s not the start of a joke. It’s the story of a woman who went to a Kentucky Applebee’s restaurant, got a booth in the back, and eventually began breastfeeding her son when he got hungry.
…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.
The Lactivist points out that Kentucky law explicitly states that breastfeeding in public cannot be considered indecent exposure, and that “No person shall interfere with a mother breastfeeding her child in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be.”
After writing two letters to the company that manages the KY Applebee’s location, the woman received a response that “the restaurant chain would consider keeping blankets in the restaurant so that breast-feeding women could cover themselves.”
The President of the management group went so far as to suggest that the mom was seeking controversy because she had a copy of the Kentucky law on her. Except, carrying such a card is exactly what many organizations recommend, such as the Kansas Dept of Health, the California Dept of Health.
The mother is asking for an apology from Applebee’s, and for them to train employees on the rights of breastfeeding women. If you live in the area (Lexington, KY), a nursing event has been scheduled for September 8th, coming only after the woman spent two months attempting to address the issue up the Applebee’s chain of command, only to be offered the “we’ll stock blankets” solution.
You can contact Applebee’s “guest relations” using this form.