A mum asked to cover up with a large napkin when breastfeeding her baby at Claridges hotel in London has said she felt “humiliated”. Louise Burns was enjoying a Christmas tea treat at the luxury hotel with her mother and sister when her 12-week-old baby needed a feed. She started to breastfeed when a waiter “hurried over” and asked her to cover up with a “huge napkin”.
“I started feeding her very discreetly when the waiter hurried over with a huge napkin, knelt down and said it was policy to cover up,” she told the Guardian. “My initial reaction was to burst into tears. This was my third baby. I had trouble breastfeeding the first two but this was going well. I didn’t expect to be admonished in a central London hotel.”
Louise felt so embarrassed that she wanted to leave, but her mother and sister had come all the way from the Midlands to enjoy the Christmas treat. “I felt so humiliated,” she added. “I was being so discreet. No one should be made to feel like that in this day and age, especially when mothers are under pressure to breastfeed.”
The mum-of-3 then shared a picture of herself breastfeeding with and without the napkin on Twitter.
“SO much more obvious with it than without! Such a shame I can never go back,” she tweeted.
Louise then received a number of supportive messages on Twitter. “If you don’t like what I’m (naturally as a mother) doing, then don’t stare. 1920s attitudes,” one supporter tweeted.
The next day, Claridges posted a response. “We didn’t intend to upset you & we regret that you left the hotel feeling disappointed,” it tweeted. “We do embrace breastfeeding & we are looking into better ways of communicating this moving forward.”
Do you think Louise should have been asked to cover up? Let us know in the comments below…