What a boob! Rochester Coffee Company in backlash after mother told to breastfeed baby in toilets
by Lynn Cox
A coffee shop has said sorry after asking a mother to
breastfeed her baby in the toilet.
Hundreds of complaints were posted on Facebook following the
incident at the Rochester Coffee Company this week.
The High Street cafe was even removed from the Medway
breastfeeding network and Medway Council list of
The company later posted a message saying it offered a "full and
frank apology" to the mother.
And manager Stephen Ruffle said as a gesture of goodwill, 50p
from every cup of coffee sold next week will be donated to a breast
Outraged Nic Hughes wrote on Facebook: "I will never use
your coffee shop, & neither will anybody I know due to the
breastfeeding woman who was banished to the toilet!
Many other people left similar comments, saying it is natural
for women to breastfeed their babies. Even people as far away as
Australia had their say.
The list of breastfeeding-friendly venues is compiled by mums in
Medway and on Wednesday, Ma Needles posted a link via Facebook to
the list - saying it had been updated with a list of venues for
family looking for a new place to frequent.
The row centres on
Rochester Coffee Company in Rochester High Street
However, Sally Bennett, who lives in Medway and is a voluntary
breastfeeding counsellor for the Association of Breastfeeding
Mothers, said this type of incident is rare.
Sally, a mother of three, said: "I have breastfed in the coffee
shop and have never had a problem. I've seen other mothers
breastfeed in there as well, perhaps a staff member just got into a
bit of a tizz.
"I wouldn't want this incident to put off new mums who are
breastfeeding. I would not want them to be afraid to do it as there
are many breastfeeding friendly places out there."
Rochester Coffee Company has now offered a full apology to
the mother concerned.
It has since removed the hundreds of negative comments
originally posted on its Facebook page, but left its
The Rochester Coffee
Company's Facebook page was flooded with comments
It is understood staff at the coffee shop
received complaints from other customers about the mum who was
Helen Treacy said on Facebook: "As I understand it, the mother
was asked to move 'because there had been complaints': she wasn't
asking for a quieter area and was happy to feed where she was until
your member of staff asked her not to."
Suze Cooper, who is a peer supporter for the Medway
Breastfeeding Network, said: "It is natural to breastfeed babies
and the mum was doing just that.
"It is a normal thing to do and I would support and encourage
feeding mums to do it in public, so people can be educated about
Coffee Company's statement on Facebook said: "Sorry we have
been quiet, we felt it right to investigate the happenings fully
before we add comment.
"We have always been a breastfeeding friendly company and offer
a full and frank apology to the mother who was affected by a moment
of lapsed judgement by our management.
"We have reminded all our colleagues of our policies and will
ensure this never happens again in the future.
"We have firmly reminded all our colleagues that all are welcome
in our coffee house and welcome breastfeeding mothers.
"The suggestion of using the toilet was placed forward as a
quieter or more secluded area for the mother and was never intended
to cause any discomfort or distress."
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