Request rankles mums

Jessica Dawson with her baby Summer and Sarah Lehmann with her baby Lucy. Picture: Jon Hewson d408270
Jessica Dawson with her baby Summer and Sarah Lehmann with her baby Lucy. Picture: Jon Hewson d408270

However, as their mothers Jessica Dawson and Sarah Lehmann found out, some adults do care about when and where they should breastfeed.

Australian law protects women from being discriminated against for breastfeeding.

Despite this, Mrs Dawson and Mrs Lehmann said they were shocked when the owner of Barragup business Decadent C’s asked Mrs Dawson and Mrs Lehmann to cover up while they were feeding their daughters.

‘It was the first time the mothers group had a public outing together,’ Mrs Dawson said.

‘She said we were making some of her other customers uncomfortable.’

‘She said it quite rudely and authoritatively,’ Mrs Lehmann said.

‘I was a bit shocked and surprised another woman would say this.’

Decadent C’s owner and manager Jenny Todd said it was a family business and they loved seeing families at the cafe. ‘I had asked one of the breastfeeding mothers if she could cover a little,’ she said. ‘I never used the words ‘Would you mind covering up’.

‘I never asked the mother to stop breastfeeding.’

Mrs Dawson said she did not expect that sort of attitude from a ‘family business’.

‘Ninety per cent of the customers there were women,’ she said.

‘It’s the first bit of negativity I’ve experienced since I had Summer.

‘I make sure I’m always dressed conservatively. I always think, ‘How will this outfit look to feed?”

Ms Todd said she was considering the comfort of everyone when she asked the women to ‘cover a little’.

‘There was never a statement about making other customers uncomfortable,’ she said. Mrs Dawson and Mrs Lehmann said they were proud of the fact they breastfeed.

‘I only made a complaint because I would hate for this to happen to someone less confident,’ Mrs Dawson said.

For more information on the legal rights of breastfeeding go to breastfeeding.asn.au.