A man has been thrown out of a restaurant after making negative comments to a mother who was breastfeeding her son.
Keely McMahon-Perry was dining with her family for her daughter’s fourth birthday when she overheard a man at another table making comments about her feeding her son.
‘I noticed the gentleman looking at me and muttering, saying things like “I’m trying to eat”‘, Keely told Wales Online. ‘I knew what he was trying to get at so I asked him “Do you have a problem?” He looked straight at me and said: “Yes – it’s disgusting”. I said: “Well I’m not going to stop.”‘
The mum-of-two tried to stand her ground, but was overcome by emotion and went to the bathroom to avoid the man’s continuing remarks, while her husband, Chris, chose to confront the man.
‘It was my daughter’s birthday celebration and, like most parents, we don’t go out for meals much, and I told the man he’d ruined it,’ Chris explained.
‘It was awful for my daughter to see her mum in tears and her dad shouting.’
Staff quickly came to the family’s rescue and asked the man to leave – although he still refused to apologise for his actions.
The manager of the restaurant insisted that breastfeeding mothers were ‘always welcome’, with Keely adding that all of the staff were ‘brilliant’.
Images: Keely McMahon-Perry
Speaking to GoodtoKnow, Keely said that although it’s difficult, she’d advise other mums in a similar situation not to let negative comments stop you from doing what’s best for your baby.
‘Try to summon the courage to stand tall and stick up for yourself and your baby,’ she said. ‘You are quite within your rights and the law to feed your baby whenever and wherever they need it and no one should prevent you from doing so.’
‘A lot of people still do not realise that they have the law on their side. I’ve been struck by the number of women coming forward and saying that similar things have happened to them but also equally amazed by all the positive support out there – our experience at the Brook Bistro demonstrates this perfectly.’
‘Together, if everyone takes a stand against this kind of nonsense we can help to again make breastfeeding normal and stamp out the negative attitudes that still surround this emotive issue. The underlying message is that no mother should ever be judged for how and where she feeds her baby.’