A mother is upset because breastfeeding her baby in a restaurant became an ordeal.
"It's against your instinct as a mother to sit there and eat and deny your baby food," says Maggie Naas.
Maggie Naas from Laporte was feeding her 11-month old baby, Katie, at Olive Garden in Michigan City when a manager approached her. The manager asked Maggie to either cover up or feed the baby in the restroom. Katie said she didn’t have anything to cover herself with and did not like the second option, so she left.
"People just need to realize that it's not something sexual or something gross. It's just a mother taking care of her baby," Maggie says. "It's natural. It's not the same as just pulling your top down and flashing everybody. That's what Olive Garden seems to think that I did."
“We never asked her to leave,” says Olive Garden General Manager Matthew Madden. "We had numerous guests complain about her modesty. There were children in the dining room. If the mother were more modest, this would have never been an issue."
Madden goes on to say women are allowed to breastfed in the restaurant. In fact, he says a woman did just that Tuesday evening. But Madden says the difference is that Maggie wasn’t breastfeeding modestly enough.
"Culturally in the United States we do not accept breastfeeding as the norm, which we really need to because it is the norm in feeding babies," says Cindy Razo, a lactation consultant, LaPorte County WIC program coordinator, North Central Community Action Agencies.
"I think it probably made her feel ashamed that she was breastfeeding and she should not have been. Absolutely not," adds Tami Pray, WIC breastfeeding counselor. "It's very frustrating. I feel like we've come so much further in society than women being asked to leave a restaurant for simply feeding their baby."
Indiana state law allows women to breastfeed any place a woman can legally be.