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.

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