Oops, they did it again.
Here’s the scenario. A mom goes to McDonald’s where she breastfeeds her child. Mom gets kicked out of the restaurant and the story hits the media. Other moms get angry, form a group “nurse-in,” and there's more media attention. A spokesperson says the fast food giant made a mistake, apologizes, and says “it will never happen again.”
Phoenix-area mom Clarissa Bradford and her children were asked to leave their local McDonald’s when Bradford began nursing her 6-month-old child on Aug. 11. "I was completely covered, I was wearing a T-shirt, he was covering anything that was exposed, and my T-shirt was draped across his face," Bradford said in an interview with KPHO-TV. "I'm on my third baby. I've gotten pretty dang good at nursing discreetly."
McDonald’s issued a public apology in a statement from restaurant owner Dorothy Stingley. "As the owner of this restaurant, I would like to apologize to this customer for her recent experience at my restaurant. As a mother myself, I understand why this is upsetting," the statement read. "Rest assured, it has never been our policy to ask nursing mothers to leave our restaurant. This was a mistake. All employees are required to comply with local, state and federal laws.”
The state of Arizona, and 43 others have laws with language specifically allowing women to breastfeed in any public or private location. Five states have implemented or encouraged the development of a breastfeeding awareness education campaign.
Despite the apology, area moms decided to stage a “nurse-in” at the same McDonald’s on August 21. Demonstrators said public reaction was upsetting, especially people who said moms should breastfeed their babies in public restrooms. The media was not allowed inside to cover the protest, but participants said the event was peaceful and they were treated well.
This wasn’t the first time McDonald’s faced a protest for kicking out a breastfeeding mom. After the same thing happened in the U.K. in 2008, Maddie Reynolds returned with five friends to stage a mass feed-in at the same restaurant.