Moms Stage 'Nurse In' At Chick-Fil-A After Woman Shamed For Breastfeeding There

by Madison Vanderberg
David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

New mom takes to Facebook to share story of how she was harassed by Chick-fil-A manager for quietly breastfeeding her daughter

Despite their recent announcement that they would stop supporting anti-LGBT charities, Chick-fil-A consistently falls on the wrong side of history. Earlier this week, a manager at a Chick-fil-A in Athens, Georgia told a nursing woman in front of the entire dining room that she needed to “cover up” and when the mom pressed the manager about it, she was publicly shamed for doing so and scolded until she left. However, the next day, the woman and a group of friends returned to the Chick-Fil-A and held a “nurse in,” proudly breastfeeding their children while eating chicken sandwiches.

Earlier this week, Samantha Dawn McIntosh went to Chick-fil-A with her 9-year-old niece and 7-month-old daughter. The family sat in a back booth while McIntosh nursed her young daughter and as the new mom later wrote on Facebook, “absolutely no skin was showing.”

Despite all this, and despite all of the tireless strides women make every day to normalize breastfeeding, the store manager stepped in, saying that McIntosh needed to “cover up.”

“Imagine my shock and surprise when I am sitting at Chick-fil-a yesterday with my 9 year old niece and my daughter (breastfeeding) and the manager walks up out of nowhere and tries to hand me her jacket saying someone has complained and would prefer if I cover up because of the other children in the restaurant…please keep in mind that I am wearing a nursing tank top under a large long sleeve shirt,” McIntosh wrote on Facebook.

McIntosh said that the manager’s note turned into a “scene,” so she decided to stop feeding her daughter. But as she sat there, she got angry.

“As I sit there in this family friendly restaurant I start to simmer. I’ll admit it. I got angry. Mostly because my niece started asking questions about why I couldn’t feed my daughter. Why would someone ask me to cover up? Why would a baby eating in any way offend someone to the point where it takes a manager approaching me about the situation?! So I got mad,” she added.

A fellow mom jumped to McIntosh’s defense and together they spoke to another employee, but the manager returned to break it up.

“[The manager] comes back TO ME to inform me that they have every right to ask me to cover up when I’m nursing my child and that I should just leave it at that. Which I planned on doing because I wasn’t going to make a big scene of it in front of my niece…until she came back to me and said that, because I wasn’t even causing a problem and she had now not only embarrassed me once by telling me in front of half the restaurant that I needed to cover up to nurse but CAME BACK AND EMBARRASSED ME AGAIN by telling me to let it go in front of half the restaurant!!”

The owner of that Chick-fil-A location has since apologized to McIntosh and the next day, McIntosh and a crew of local moms returned to the location for a “nurse in.”

A local ABC News affiliate in Georgia has photos of the moms casually breastfeeding their kids and enjoying some waffle fries, not bothering anyone. It is legal in this country for a mom to breastfeed in any location and on that night, those moms exercised that right.

“They pride themselves on their Christian beliefs and their family values,” one local mom at the Nurse-In told WJBF about the fast food restaurant. “Clearly some people disagree with publicly breastfeeding…It’s ridiculous because you see people with summer clothes, which is fine, but I can’t sit here and discreetly breastfeed without making someone uncomfortable.”

We love this show of solidarity amongst women. Chick-Fil-A, do better.