UK Cafe Offers A Breastfeeding Pit Stop, Causes ‘A Storm In A Teacup’

Brasserie Blanc’s Cheltenham cafe is enjoying internet fame this past week for offering “breastfeeding mums” a pit stop. No need to order the Cucumber Gaspacho Soup or even a chocolate mousse, the welcoming sign announced outside the British cafe. Breastfeeding mothers were invited to relax and nurse their babies without even ordering. As a bonus, the breastfeeding mothers also receive a complimentary cup of tea.

Someone walked by and took a photo of the public invitation. RefreshMe, a breastfeeding non-profit organization in the UK, posted the photo to its Facebook page, and the image quickly gathered thousands of likes and shares. Huffington Post featured a story about the cafe’s invitation to breastfeeding mothers. That article was liked by over 33 thousand people, but the restaurant’s name was not mentioned.

RefreshMe gave credit to the Cheltenham Brasserie Blanc later in the comments. After all of the attention, the “home of simple, hearty French cuisine,” wrote on its Facebook page:

“Snapped at our Cheltenham Brasserie & doing the rounds on FB & twitter. If it is your pic please let us know*. We think a little bit of love is a simple thing.”

Soon after, they edited the post to say were able to find the original photographer who was named as Sophie Vaughan of Dursley. The photo, which appears to be credited differently on Twitter, has now gone viral:

Of course, it wasn’t long before arguments erupted over bottle feeding and breastfeeding. Women began questioning if moms feeding their babies from bottles were also welcome to stop into the Brasserie Blanc to relax without having to make a purchase. Would moms feeding their babies from bottles also get free tea? Brasserie Blanc was accused of discrimination, but the free tea policy was backed by most nursing moms:

One mother seemed amazed that the breastfeeding welcome sign could be taken as discrimination. Lorna Drew-Mullans wrote:

Discrimination? Really? Tell me, when was the last time you were asked to leave a restaurant because you were feeding your baby? When was the last time you were asked to feed your baby in a toilet? When was the last time you were asked to cover up whilst feeding your baby? These things happy to breastfeeding mums everyday but I’ve never heard about them happening to bottle feeding mums.

Penelope Gwynne countered:

You can bottle feed anywhere?! Ever tried? Ever needed a sterile surface to put your lid on while you make the bottle? Try finding one of those out and about. Baby needs to be comfortable in exactly the same position as breastfed. The only difference is I have to make it, get it to the right temperature and then sit to feed him. I have to get up in the night to go and make bottles because they can’t be stored. Breastfed can just get their boob out and go. No one looking at you wondering why you are still faffing with a bottle when your hungry baby is disrupting their coffee. Lucky ladies. Someone stops you tell them to get bent the law is on your side. There is no law saying they must have bottle preparing facilities.

Brasserie Blanc may be feeling some heat for the offer of free tea and a pit stop to breastfeeding women, but over all, the sign outside the cafe has been greeted with messages of thanks from nursing moms around the globe.

[Photo via RefreshMe on Facebook]