Breastfeeding mom upset over restaurant’s order; Friendly’s says it wasn’t the skin that bothered them

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NORWICH, Conn. –  A Connecticut mom claims a restaurant told her to cover up while she was breastfeeding her baby and now, a group of moms is planning a nursing demonstration at that establishment this weekend in protest.

Tabitha Donohue said she was nursing her eight-week-old daughter inside the Friendly’s restaurant in Norwich when she was allegedly asked by the manager to cover up.

“I was offended. They came over and asked me if I cared that I was offending other people,” Donohue said. “No, I don’t care if I offend other people, I’m feeding my baby.”

“Our rights as nursing mothers according to Connecticut Statute is that we could nurse as we see fit,” friend Liz Linehan said. “We do not need to cover up and we do not need to be moved to a restroom, which is you know if you’re a nursing mother that’s disgusting.”

The Connecticut state law on breastfeeding states mothers do not have to cover the baby with a towel or blanket.

Officials at Friendly’s restaurant said they welcome breastfeeding moms.

“The guest was breastfeeding the baby while the child was lying on the restaurant’s dining table. The manager did not ask the mother to stop breastfeeding,” Friendly’s statement said. The restaurant its goal was to offer the mother a more comfortable place to breastfeed.

There was no further comment or reaction from Friendly’s corporate office.

“It was never can you pick your baby up off the table, it was can you cover your breasts,” said Amber Pendleton, who was eating lunch with Donohue when the incident occurred.

Pendleton said she is glad their story is being discussed because all they want everyone to know about is a mother’s right to breastfeed in public.

“Any woman who goes to Friendly’s should be able to feed their baby the way they want to as the law says they can,” Pendleton said.

Dozens of mothers, who nurse their infants are signing up for a “nurse-in” this Saturday at the Friendly’s. Organizers said it’s a positive campaign to make restaurants and patrons alike aware of the state law.

“What I am surprised by is the outcry and the loving support I’m receiving from the nursing community,” Linehan said.

Source: WFSB


  • jul

    I m sorry, the only person not uncomfortable when this happens is the Mom.. I love that they think the world revolves right around them.. have a little consideration for other people, it may be a ‘natural’ thing to do, but so is peeing and pooping and people arent doing that in the middle of a crowded restaurant….I dont care if they do it, but a little discretion goes a long way, it is a very intimate thing between a mother and child…

    • Aaron

      get over it, there is nothing that can be done about it… and if a woman gets kicked out of a place for breastfeeding in the open then guess what they are the ones breaking the law. I have seen someone get asked to leave for doing it and the lady refused and said call the cops. The cops got there and plain out to the restaurant manager that she couldn’t make her leave for that.

      • Terry

        Its a private place. There are many legal things you can not do in private establishments that yo can do right outside the door. They kicked out those idiot open carry nuts when it was legal to do so. My wife breastfeeds in public, however she does it with a nursing cover because she does not feel everyone should see you do so. Yes its natural, but taking a shit is natural, doesnt mean you should do so in an open area for everyone to see.

      • sw

        It has nothing to do with legal or not Aaron. It has to do with common decency. I am a mother of 5 and a grandmother of 4 and I am all for breastfeeding but there is no way in hell you need to throw it in someone’s face. Have a little self respect. You can feed your baby all you want but you don’t have to slap your body parts out of the table for the other diners to have to have in their face. No restaurant should have to cater to one specific group and lose business because of it.

    • Smarty Pants

      I agree completely with you… its becoming ridiculous… I hope some perverts start snapping pics and posting their breasts so they can get the picture that it is not appropriate in public.

    • Deeandria

      Please to not compare something as beautiful, intimate and bonding like Breastfeeding to peeing and pooping, only ignorant people like you use that comparison.
      As mom we have the right to defend the NATURAL way of our babies/toddlers eat. I’m disgusted out how people sexualize and see Breastfeeding the same way as the shit.

    • Mel

      I had a medical reason for why I could not cover up when I nursed. I don’t understand why it’s so uncomfortable to have a lady use her breasts for what they were intended for anyhow.

  • Angela

    I have no problem with breast feeding in public as long as it’s done respectively. She said in the article that she had her baby on the table and they asked her to cover up her breasts, as in two. Why would you have both breasts exposed to breast feed and have the baby up on the table??

  • Smarty Pants

    Its called respect… if I am at a restaurant , I do not want to see an exposed breast… let alone my husband see it as well. Use a blanket or go somewhere else to feed…. point blank! This world is coming to a point where there is not modesty, or decency…. what’s next… you feel like you should change the baby’s diaper in the open of a restaurant or public place???

    • BabiesArePeople

      If you don’t want your husband to see a baby breastfeeding, put a blanket over his head. That way he won’t behave indecently by staring at another women’s breast.

      • Amanda R.

        Perfect response. If you can’t stand your husband looking at a woman breastfeed her child, that makes me think you’re self-conscious and scared that it’s gonna turn him on or something. If breasts weren’t hyper-sexualized, none of the many stories so similar to this one would be written. Breasts are for FOOD. I’m so sick of people comparing breastfeeding to taking a shit. There’s a proper and decent way to breastfeed in public, should the need arise. But I’ll be damned if someone tells me it’s gross.

  • kdoumlele

    I am a mom & I nursed my son but I have to admit that it does make me uncomfortable whenever I see a mother nursing out in public with no cover. We live in a world full of perverts & camera phones. I don’t give a rip what the law states, a little common sense goes a long way as well.

  • cherrycougar

    Good for the mother to breastfeed but as a woman and mother myself show a little consideration for others. We don’t need to see your breasts while we are eating. This is at the top alongside blowing your nose at a table around others eating. It’s just called consideration something obviously this mother doesn’t have.

  • ReallyPeople

    This breastfeeding thing is way out of control. It is not offensive but respectful to yourself and others to put something over you while you breastfeed in public. If I see a woman flop out her big fat tit while I am out in public and not do anything to cover up or be respectful to those around her I am going out of my way to make her feel uncomfortable.

  • Becky

    Anyone notice that some have exclusive rights and others have their rights assaulted?
    Awaiting timing restrictions, censorship, and black balled lift.

  • brandyelkins

    I am sorry it’s not sanitary to leave a baby laying on a table while you breast feed it, and even I as woman with kids don’t want my kids seeing you uncovered. I am sorry but that kind of behavior is for in your own home not out in public.

  • greg

    looking at her hair she is clearly a attention ho so she got what she was askn for.Just gross,whats next changing diapers at the table.get over yourself

  • Janet Martin


  • sw

    I am really getting tired of these attention seekers making nursing mothers look bad. Have you noticed the type of people who are always in the news for this? Have a little self respect. No one wants to look at your breast while they are having their lunch with their family.

  • sw

    This tactic was already tried at Chic fil a and it got the woman nowhere. People are really sick of it.

  • jen

    Tabitha, please have photos taken of you in this activity, taken from the views possibly seen by other patrons. Post them with this article. —- We don’t want to live in a world where all of our behaviors have to be legislated. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should push it to the limit. Sometimes that means that you lose that freedom.

  • Magenta

    I thought breastfeeding was supposed to be an intimate moment of bonding between mother and child, NOT a public spectacle. No one’s saying not to feed her child, but at the very least, she could have considered the flip side of the situation and covered up or went somewhere private for the sake of not having her baby’s feeding time disturbed. If you already know people out there aren’t open to the idea of a woman publicly breastfeeding as if she’s right in the confines of her own household, then why the heck would you subject yourself to the torment? I just don’t get it…

  • Debbie

    I to breastfeed both my children. I had respect for myself , my baby and others. Breastfeeding is a personal bond between a mother and child. Its not a bond between you and the world so if you are in public cover or go to a room provided for privacy. Please dont take this act of Love from a mother and a child and force other that are not a part of your life to witness, Please RESPECT yourself, and your child

  • Liz

    They are just boobs. Don’t look if it makes you uncomfortable.It is out in public, if you want to control everything your eyes see don’t go outside. There will always be things that gross you out and not others, stop trying to control it and just quit looking. I don’t like seeing man boobs at the beach but i just look the other way. I don’t want to see somebodies kid who played in the mud all day at the table next to me but i get over it. So what some lady doesn’t want to throw a blanket over her boob while she breastfeeds.

  • Deborah Fochler (@libragirl14)

    First I think breastfeeding a baby is wonderful But, we were in a very nice restaurant on a Sunday after church and had some young boys with us – 7, 11 and 12. This lady literally removed her shirt and bra – folded it and placed in the chair and kept smiling and laughing at the boys staring while she breastfed her baby.

  • Jen

    Try having some morals and respect!!!! Used to be breastfeeding was an intimate time between a mother and child!! You HELD your baby close to you and did so DISCRETELY by using a blanket or some kind of cover , you did not PLOP them on a TABLE and whip your breast out!!! Mothers like this have no respect for themselves or anyone else for that matter! No one ever taught them correctly!! Makes me sick at where this world is at today and their ways of thinking! No one has any shame or decency anymore! Disgusting!

    • Mel

      Yep it used to be that way…back in the 50’s when men weren’t allowed in the delivery room and women were put under to give birth and women like Mary Tyler Moore were only allowed to wear 1 pair of pants per episode for fear of offending men that ran the home. Yes those were the good ol’ days when we really knew how to handle women’s lives…

  • Dara

    How big are this girl’s breasts that her 8 week old is able to lie on a table and still reach them?
    As I am still nursing my 18 month old… I nurse in public when necessary but plan my trips around her schedule not mine.
    I’m with Friendly’s on this one.

    • Neutral Party

      My thoughts exactly!!! She’s a big girl, and no one wants to see that while they’re eating.

  • mandy

    I support breastfeeding 100%. As a friend of mine put it, saying “I support____, BUT____,” means you do not actually support. There can be no exception. I support breastfeeding. Full stop. Not when there’s a cover, or attention won’t be drawn, or it’s convenient to me. I support it always. We don’t get to decide what other people do with their bodies, it’s quite simply, none of our business.”

  • Neutral Party

    Look at her! She couldn’t stop eating long enough to feed her baby that she had to lay her on the table to breastfeed? I’m all for breast feeding your babies (I did it). She could give up a meal or two….even long enough to cover her obeast self up to feed her baby. smh Some people are just nasty….and she is N-A-S-T-Y!!!

  • BreastFeedingMom

    I dont understand why you would want to draw attention to something so personal. Smh and why did she have them both out. The baby only needed one breast. And why was the child laying on the TABLE. Was something wrong with her that she coouldnt hold her child.

  • krista

    I believe this was more a case of exhibitionism than nursing a baby. I nursed two babies and never displayed them on a dining room table in a restaurant. I frankly believe this required a contortionist method to do this. As far as the woman mentioned previously, taking her entire shirt and bra off and laughing at the young boys, again another exhibitionist. These actions make it hard for other nursing mothers.

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