Breastfeeding outrage ... "She said 'It is offensive' … and as she was walking away from me she said over her shoulder, 'It's an offence to humanity'"

Breastfeeding outrage ... "She said 'It is offensive' and as she was walking away from me she said over her shoulder, 'It's an offence to humanity.'"

A Sydney cafe is facing a breastfeeding backlash after a nursing mother was told to stop, with staff saying breastfeeding in public is ''disgusting'' and ''an offence to humanity''.

A nurse-in protest has been organised for lunchtime Tuesday at Newtown's Satellite cafe after word of the weekend incident spread on Facebook.

Regan Matthews said she was initially approached by an apologetic waiter and asked to stop breastfeeding her nine-month-old son while at the Wilson Street cafe on Saturday afternoon.

<b>Sydney, NSW; January 2013 </b> - Up to 200 women protest outside the Sunrise studios on Jan 21, 2013 after host David Koch said that women should be ‘more discreet and modest’’ when breastfeeding in public. Picture at left from Twitter, at right from Sunrise Nurse-in Facebook page. Click for more photos

Breastfeeding protests around the world

Sydney, NSW; January 2013 - Up to 200 women protest outside the Sunrise studios on Jan 21, 2013 after host David Koch said that women should be ‘more discreet and modest’’ when breastfeeding in public. Picture at left from Twitter, at right from Sunrise Nurse-in Facebook page.

  • <b>Sydney, NSW; January 2013 </b> - Up to 200 women protest outside the Sunrise studios on Jan 21, 2013 after host David Koch said that women should be ‘more discreet and modest’’ when breastfeeding in public. Picture at left from Twitter, at right from Sunrise Nurse-in Facebook page.
  • <b>Woonona, NSW; January 2013 </b> Mums in in the Illawarra region show their support for the Sunrise nurse-in by breastfeeding at the picturesque Woonona pools. Picture: Ellen McNally, Facebook.
  • <b>Bribie Island, QLD: January 2013 </b> approximately 30 mothers breastfeed around the pool at the Bribie Island Aquatic Centre after mother Liana Webster was asked by a staff member to cover up or move when breastfeeding her baby several days earlier. Picture: Channel Nine
  • <b>Costa Rica, Brazil; January 2013</b> Around 50 mothers attended a 'mamaton' in a shopping centre food court, sparked by one woman's run-in with a security guard - she had been asked her to stop breastfeeding her 11-month-old in public, being told she should move to the parents' room. It set off a social media storm, with even the president adding his voice to the support for the women.
  • <b>Georgia, USA; September 2012</b> Mothers around America joined in nurse-ins at different Applebee's restaurants last year. The events were sparked when a woman, who was breastfeeding her 20-month-old in a back booth of a Covington Applebee's, was told to move to the toilets or leave. She refused to do either, and the manager called the police. There was widespread support for the Applebee's nurse-ins.
  • Other images from the Applebee's nurse-ins.
  • <b>Dublin, Ireland; June 2012</b> As part of their rule against hosting nude photos, Facebook regularly removes images of women breastfeeding from the site. A group of 40 women attended a protest at Facebook's Dublin office while other women gathered at offices around the world, all campaigning to have breastfeeding photos allowed on the site. Facebook didn't respond to their requests.
  • <b>Bristol, UK; July 2012</b> More than 200 breastfeeding mothers descended on a cafe to support one woman, who had been berated by a waitress for feeding her baby at a table. 'You see girls in nightclubs barely wearing any clothes all the time, so why would someone have a problem with me feeding my child?" the mother said.
  • <b>Columbia, USA; March 2012</b> In Columbia, Georgia, anyone caught breastfeeding in public face charges of indecent exposure and a maximum fine of $1000. When mum Nirvana Jeannette was asked to leave her church for breastfeeding her 4-month-old, and police told her she could be arrested for indecent exposure, she organised protests across the area. Signs read "Breast Milk: The Original Happy Meal" and "If adults can eat in public, so can babies."
  • <b>Brighton, England; December 2011</b> Claire Jones-Hughes was breastfeeding her 4-month-old daughter in a restaurant, after having "gone to a lot of effort to be discreet", when another group complained it was "unpleasant" and that she "should cover up more". To raise awareness of breastfeeding laws, she organised a nurse-in in a local public square, which was attended by 40 breastfeeding mums.
  • <b>Texas, USA; December 2011</b> One mum's bad experience at a Target store - while breastfeeding, staff surrounded her and told her she'd have to do it in a changing room - led to a national nurse-in in other stores in the chain. Around 50 women attended the event in Webster, Texas, where the original incident had taken place.
  • <b>Forest Park, Georgia, USA; May 2011</b> In 2011, this city council passed a public indecency law, saying women are unable to breastfeed in public once their child turns two. Around 200 women showed up for a nurse in in front of the city hall. "Breastfeeding women have to take a stand against laws like this or the laws will become even worse," said one woman. "Next, they'll say you can only nurse infants up to the age of one."
  • <b>Montreal, Canada; January 2011</b> Shannon Smith was shopping in a children's store when the youngest of her three children was hungry. She moved to a corner to feed her five month old, covering her with a blanket, but was asked to leave the store. After Smith wrote a blog post detailing her experience, around 100 mums held nurse-ins at shopping centres in protest.

"I immediately said 'No, that's illegal to ask me that' and he just said 'Oh, OK', and backed off," she said.

The owner then approached Ms Matthews and told her she was using her manager's discretion to tell her to stop. "She said 'It's offensive'," said Ms Matthews, who then asked if any of about four other customers were offended. None said they were.

"So I was like, 'Look no one else is offended, what's the problem?'"

"And she said 'It is offensive' … and as she was walking away from me she said over her shoulder, 'It's an offence to humanity'.

"We were shocked and gathered up our things and walked out and she was muttering all the time and basically berating me from behind the counter in front of everyone.

"As I was walking out the door I said 'You haven't heard the end of this' And she went 'OK, good, bye'."

In one of two apologies posted online, which were removed after a third apology was emailed to Ms Matthews, the cafe's owner said she deeply regretted the incident, and blamed a lack of awareness about the legal rights of breastfeeding mothers.

"We at Satellite are not mother-haters nor children-haters, however, when complaints are received on any matter, we do have a duty to act on them," it said.

The cafe's owner refused requests for comment.

The protest follows a similar nurse-in at Martin Place in January, when about 100 nursing mothers gathered outside Channel Seven's studios in protest at comments by Sunrise host, David Koch, who had said women should be ''more discreet and modest'' when breastfeeding in public places.

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