On September 15, Dawn Holland was nursing her
baby in an Applebee's in Covington, Georgia, when she was approached by a
female manager. The manager told her she needed to nurse her child in the bathroom or exit the premises. When Holland sat still and stated her right to breastfeed, the police were called.
In support of Dawn Holland, a group called Mother's Right to Choose is staging a nurse-in at Applebee's across the country. The event will take place at various Applebee's from 1 to 3 p.m. this Saturday. Nursing moms everywhere are asked to show up, grab a booth and a "sizzling skillet" and let their baby (or toddler) go to town on his/her milky lunch, too.
We had the chance to speak to one of the event's sponsors childbirth educator and organizer for Breastfeeding Peaches of Georgia Nirvana Jennette. "This is a huge problem and the general public is not seeing this; and neither are the corporations. We get phone calls all the time from people finding our information. Somewhere around 1/3 of these incidents get reported, but we're finding that it happens all the time."
Applebee's issued an official statement earlier this week, "We're in the business of welcoming guests to our restaurants and our top priority is always to provide a friendly and comfortable environment for everyone, including nursing mothers who have the right to nurse in public. This was an unfortunate misunderstanding and we hope the guest will give us another chance to demonstrate that to her personally."
This was not the first breastfeeding episode for Applebee's. The chain experienced similar public backlash in the wake of a 2007 incident in Kentucky.