Breast is best‚ says popular restaurant group Spur
Breastfeeding in public can be a touchy subject‚ with some people believing that it’s within their rights to complain or even try to prevent mums from feeding their babies where they can be seen by others.
Popular restaurant chain Spur is leading the fight against the moral police by actively encouraging breastfeeding at their branches.
“Spur is a family-friendly restaurant‚ which places a great amount of emphasis on families‚ especially children; hence breastfeeding is welcomed at Spur‚” reads their official policy.
Customer Chantell Witten praised the restaurant by sharing a photograph of their breastfeeding policy on Facebook on Monday.
The policy acknowledges that breastfeeding plays “an important role in early childhood development due to its health and well-being benefits.”
It adds: “No one may ask the women to cover up the act of breastfeeding‚ or ask women to breastfeed in a designated area [different] to the area they have chosen.”
Spur has told all their restaurants to display the “breastfeeding welcome” sign in a prominent place to “ensure that women do not feel they need to seek permission.”
They advise staff: “If the restaurant is busy and/or too loud‚ please prepare a quiet‚ secluded spot with suitable seating which women may choose as a breastfeeding spot‚ should they or their child want. No one may coerce or insist that women breastfeed in this quiet spot.”
Spur’s open-minded policy regarding breastfeeding has not always been in place‚ however.
Commenting on social media‚ Samantha Ferns recalled an earlier‚ “awful” experience at Spur that made her scared to breastfeed in public again.
“My very hungry twins must have been eight weeks old and I thought Spur would be an OK place to feed (covered up). I had eight waitresses wanting to watch and harass me. It was very traumatic for a new mom‚” she wrote.
Spur spokesperson Moshe Apleni said the new policy was implemented in January 2016 in all their restaurants. “Women are lawfully permitted to breastfeed a child in public in South Africa‚” he said.
Spur COO Mark Farrelly said South Africa can only grow by addressing its developmental challenges. “By normalising breastfeeding in our restaurants‚ we play our small part in contributing to the development of future leaders‚” he said.
• Note: an earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to Mark Farrelly as the CEO of Spur. The article has been amended to reflect that he is the COO of Spur.