A Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu restaurant has apologized after a customer was asked to cover up while breastfeeding her baby on its outdoor terrace.
A friend who was dining with the mother at the time turned to Facebook to express her anger with staff at L’Imprévu Restaurant who allegedly presented her dinner companion with a dish towel and asked her to cover her daughter while she fed.
Marie-Michèle Parisien wrote on Facebook that the waitress said the act was disturbing other customers.
Parisien said she asked another waitress to identify which customer was disturbed. The waitress told her that openly breastfeeding in a public establishment wasn’t appropriate.
Though shocked by the waitress’s request, Parisien said her friend reluctantly agreed to cover her baby.
Parisien told CBC News that the request made both her and her friend feel uncomfortable and unwelcome.
“I lost my appetite,” she said.
Her Facebook post has since been shared more than 700 times.
In at least two other cases, the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that preventing a woman from breastfeeding in public was a violation of her rights.
L’Imprévu posted an apology on its own Facebook page early Sunday morning.
The restaurant said it was never the staff’s intention to prevent Parisien’s friend from breastfeeding in public.
“L’Imprévu recognizes the right of women to breastfeed in public, and has done so for 30 years.”
The restaurant’s Facebook post also called breastfeeding “a normal and natural act.”