Fast food restaurant chain Chick-fil-A, best known for their fried chicken sandwiches, can’t seem to stay out of the headlines—this time, for embarrassing a breastfeeding mom.
Samantha McIntosh was nursing her 7-month-old daughter at lunch with her 9-year-old niece at a Chick-fil-A in Evans, Georgia, when a manager approached her, letting her know there had been a complaint about her breastfeeding. She handed Samantha her jacket and asked her to cover up because of the other children in the restaurant. Samantha was wearing a nursing tank under a long-sleeved shirt, sitting in a booth at the back of the restaurant, showing “absolutely no skin.”
The mom stopped, feeling embarrassed that the manager had brought all of the attention to her. After sitting for a few minutes, her embarrassment turned to anger. A mom sitting behind Samantha who had watched the entire scenario was mutually outraged and asked another manager about the policy on breastfeeding as well as corporate contact information.
A few minutes later, after Samantha’s niece had repeatedly asked why anyone would be offended by the mom feeding her baby, the original manager returned to let Samantha know that it was completely in their rights to ask her to cover up, and that she ought to leave it at that, to just let it go.
Outraged at the manager choosing to embarrass her yet again in front of an entire restaurant, Samantha packed up the kids and left the restaurant, letting her niece know that she had done nothing wrong. She took to Facebook with her now-viral story, reaffirming her disappointment in the establishment’s management and asking if nursing mothers make others uncomfortable.
The overwhelming majority of commenters on the post, which now has over 1.1K reactions and 2.2K comments, shared that breastfeeding doesn’t make them uncomfortable—not that it matters—and that she had every right to feed her baby in the restaurant.
A day after Samantha shared her story, a group of more than 40 breastfeeding moms came together to stage a “nurse-in” at the franchise, some driving over an hour to participate.
The franchise’s owner-operator, Jason Adams, issued a statement: “I am truly sorry for the experience Ms. McIntosh had in our restaurant yesterday. I have reached out to her to personally apologize. My goal is to provide a warm and welcoming environment for all of our guests.” Maybe start with educating staff that moms are allowed to breastfeed there without throwing a blanket over themselves.