Man fired for taking pictures of woman breastfeeding in restaurant

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SAN ANTONIO, Tex. (CNN) – A San Antonio mother may think twice before breastfeeding her child in public after she caught a restaurant employee taking pictures of her.

Jamie Gustafson said she’s never had a problem nursing her 2-month-old baby boy, especially in public.  But she said that all changed Thursday at a Jason’s Deli off 410 when she claims she caught an employee snapping photos of her as she breastfed.

“I was so mad, but I didn’t know how to confront him,” said Gustafson.  “I mean, what am I going to say? ‘Give me your phone?’ I wanted to take his phone and smash it.”

The woman’s sister confronted the employee and told management.

The company responded with this statement:

“We cherish families and value the many wives and mothers who work here, and the wives and mothers who are our guests dining here. Their right to breastfeed their babies is something we support and believe in.  We were deeply troubled by this employee’s conduct and not only was his conduct an explicit breach of written company policy, it was a violation of the values we care about deeply.”

“It’s a natural way to feed your baby,” said Katherine Velasquez of the La Leche League, a non-profit that promotes breastfeeding as healthy for newborns and natural for moms.

She said she’s heard of moms being criticized for breastfeeding in public, but nothing like this.

“Well, I’m surprised that somebody would take a picture of a woman breastfeeding,” Velasquez said.  “I couldn’t imagine why someone would do that.”

And Jamie Gustafson is left wondering the same thing.  She said she plans to continue breastfeeding in public, but she might not be as comfortable next time.

“I’m nervous about it. I’ll probably bring a blanket, or a cover and take a little more heed in it, but I’m not going to take my kid to the bathroom to eat,” she said.

18 comments

  • Jessica LeAnn

    Damn straight I wouldn’t take my baby to the bathroom to eat. If you whip your tit out in public, expect some stares. But, if you pull out your cover and feed your baby while you’re seated at your table, there should be no problem. No one can complain about that as there’s nothing to even see!

  • Michael

    I don’t care if women breastfeed in public. All I ask is a little discretion. Throw a blanket over it or something. Yes, it’s natural but there is also some other things that are natural you sure as heck wouldn’t want to see me doing in full public view…

  • Michael

    I don’t care if women breastfeed in public. All I ask is a little discretion. Throw a blanket over it or something. Yes, it’s natural but there is also some other things that are natural you sure as heck wouldn’t want to see me doing in full public view…

  • Timothy roberts

    Ya he shouldn’t have took a pic but how would you fill if you was eat beside her with your kid and she just pulls out her boon and might I add its not to small and your kid was watching. She admits she didn’t even try to cover it up.

    • Red

      Yes, of course. The sight of a tit could traumatize a kid, for sure. But that’s IF he sees a tit BEFORE the age of 12 or 13 and can access any sort of pornography imaginable online (and people… a naked femal body is NOT pornography) or before he can turn on the TV and see a zombie bite the face off of a person or see somebody take a high-powered round in the head… HEADSHOT… blood splatter, guts, explosions…. all fun stuff. But the sight of a mothers breast and a baby eating… terrifying, traumatizing, and morally problematic.

  • Chandler

    What one chooses to do in public is just that….a public display. There is discretion and modesty, these women should use some. They make special small covers just for the purpose of public breastfeeding. They should not be so selfish and consider the feelings of the other people around them. They have rights, too. These ladies just trample all over the other people’s rights, so if one of these other people choose to take a picture, so what! People take photos of police officers, firemen, and other strangers doing things in public and no one ever raises a ruckus about these picture taking moments, so suck it up ladies, or cover up……the choice is yours.

  • common sense

    She should a been using appropriate wear ( blanket, special bras, special shirts) and people wouldnt be acting trifflin. Im kinda glad women are realizing this fact. Thats exactly what ive been saying to women but yet i get yelled at. Like really, protect your self hello!! Sorry for the rant jen. Im all for breastfeeding, just saying respect yourself and others.

  • Just Sayin'

    Gotta use some common sense, ladies. They make tops that allow you to breastfeed without exposing everything–perfect for the baby who won’t nurse under a blanket. The baby’s head covers most of the breast. But if you wear a tube top and pull it down to expose most of your chest, don’t be surprised if a perv stares. I saw a woman do this at a theme park one time. She sat there naked to the waist feeding her child in a high traffic area. When you dress to leave the house, just ask yourself if you’re dressing to facilitate the feeding of your child or to make a point to the world. Remember– if you flaunt it, they will stare.

  • Tammy Lynn

    If you do anything in PUBLIC, it is UNDERSTOOD that it’s public viewing. So, now you are going to arrest someone for taking a picture? This world is getting to be ridiculous. It’s still a free world, right? If you don’t like people taking pictures of your breastfeeding, then don’t put yourself on show. If you are concerned, go find a private place. If you are in public, it’s open to all eyes. Hello….use some common sense people! Breastfeeding is a right, but DO NOT take other people’s rights away either! I do not think the person should have been fired. Reprimanded, yes, but not fired. SO, WHAT IF…he was taking a photography class and was taking candid snapshots to be used for honorable reasons. Again, if it bothers you, take your baby somewhere private. The world does not revolve around YOU!

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