I covered him and everything and we sat facing the wall," the distraught mother said, adding that the owner called her and her family "animals" for breastfeeding.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on September 20, 2021. It has since been updated.
The mother of a three-day-old baby and her husband went out for dinner to celebrate the birth of their newborn baby, but little did they know that breastfeeding their child would be an issue at the restaurant they chose to go to.
Ruby Meeden and her husband Aaron planned to meet their family for dinner at Greek Islands Restaurant in Anacortes, Washington, with their newborn son Rhett, and their two-year-old son, according to PEOPLE.
Just as they were about to make their way into the restaurant, baby Rhett cried, to indicate that he was hungry. So, Ruby started to nurse him, per KOMO News. "I made sure to get a good latch before we went in, and then I covered him and everything and we sat facing the wall," she told the outlet. Once inside, the family noted that the owner of the place was busy and that he took over half an hour to even get to their table.
But, once he did, instead of noting down their order, he simply kicked them out from his reastaurant. "So we were asking him, 'What's wrong? Is everything okay?' and at that point he said, 'Never come back,'" Aaron alleged.
Upon getting home from a rather disappointing experience, Aaron shared a negative review on Google. The father shared on Facebook that they got a response from the owner, who "proceeds to tell us why we got kicked out. Apparently he had an issue with my wife breastfeeding my 3 day old son.. My wife feels horrible and ashamed. I won't be going back and I hope this actually makes a difference."
"He called our kids 'snot-nosed brats,' and that to 'never come in and breastfeed again.' He called my wife an 'animal,' " Aaron said. "My choice to breastfeed my child in that restaurant was the reason my entire family was thrown out," Ruby said.
Here's the thing: breastfeeding in public spaces — including restaurants — is legal across the United States. And, per to the Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington, "it's unlawful for someone to request that you stop breastfeeding, cover your child, move to a different area, or leave."
After Aaron shared his experience on social media, nearly two dozen breastfeeding mothers in the area got together and held a protest outside of the restaurant. They had even planned to confront the owner, but on the day of the gathering, he opted to only offer take-out ordering, before shutting the restaurant down early.
He has also removed their Facebook and Instagram pages. But, the women gathered outside are determined to make him answer. “He's going to have to answer for it one way or another because it's illegal to kick a woman out for breastfeeding," said Megan Stevens, one of about two dozen nursing moms protesting.
Cover Image Source: YouTube | KOMO News (Breastfeeding mother told to leave and 'never come back' to restaurant)