Tavern clarifies stand on breastfeeding

Feeding mothers welcome: High Wycombe tavern manager Rob Cinanni with wife Tracey and their seven-month-old son Hayden.
Feeding mothers welcome: High Wycombe tavern manager Rob Cinanni with wife Tracey and their seven-month-old son Hayden.

A weekend misunderstanding prompted him to remind patrons of the tavern’s family friendly atmosphere.

Mr Cinanni said he received a complaint on the tavern’s Facebook page from an outraged patron who claimed she was asked to move by a bouncer about lunchtime on Sunday, March 10 while she was breastfeeding her infant while sitting on the tavern floor.

He said he apologised to the woman in a private Facebook message and posted a public apology on the tavern’s page, but it was a huge misunderstanding.

‘We wouldn’t mind if we had a tavern full of breastfeeding mums,’ he said. ‘I spoke to the bouncer, who is also a father of young children, and he explained to me the situation.

‘He told me that the woman was sitting on the floor in the tavern breastfeeding, so he asked her friend if the mother would be more comfortable in the bistro area where there was plenty of seating and also parenting facilities.

‘No complaint was made to the bouncer or management on the day about his suggestion and we did not know there was an issue until I read the Facebook comment.

‘We believe the mother and her friends interpreted the suggestion for her to move as a no breastfeeding policy, but our bouncer assured me that he made the suggestion for the safety and comfort of the customer and had nothing to do with the fact that she was breastfeeding.’

Mr Cinanni said he gave the bouncer a stern warning but saw no sense in letting him go over what he described as a simple misunderstanding.

Australian Breastfeeding Association WA spokeswoman Kirsten Tannenbaum said she could not comment on the incident but said it was illegal to discriminate against someone for breastfeeding.