A very good friend sent me this article from SF Scoop written by its famed food critic Michael Bauer. This guy has been dining and dishing for more than 30 years but just recently noticed a women breastfeeding in a restaurant – in SF of all places. Michael's response was kind - he had no issue with the mother nursing, but it did pique his interest as to what his fellow diners thought. My jaw dropped as I scrolled through some of the comments to his article. See below.
I don't pick my nose in a restaurant or take a dump in public. I would expect a mother to discreetly disappear to the bathroom and do the rest of us a favor by not having to witness this. (This comment received 14 thumbs up and 11 thumbs down – WHAT?!)
Cover it with a cloth if you're at Applebys. At fine dining establishments it is a no-go. It also depends on location. SF is fine with it wherever. High class NYC dining, no way. And try not to make a scene if someone objects.
Manners are about making others feel comfortable. In a restaurant dining situation, we generally have consensus that cell phones, ipads, laptops and other electronic devices shouldn't be used. These don't directly intrude on anyone else's dining experience, yet they are things people don't care to see in a dining room. Breastfeeding is along those same lines. It may not affect the diners at other tables, but most people do not care to see it while they are at dinner. So, no, it is not okay. It may be legal, but it's also very poor etiquette.
You get the picture. Wow, some of these people…well, I have no words. I will to say that many defended nursing in restaurants but there were still a healthy number of responses similar to the above. What kind of society have we created when feeding a baby disgusts people and makes them lose their appetites?
Ok, I probably shouldn’t put my opinion so out there because I want you to share yours. Are you offended by nursing in restaurants?