Moms Harassed for Breastfeeding at IHOP Say Cops Shamed Them Instead of Helping

Breastfeeding/nursing mom inside a cafe with her baby.
iStock.com/lolostock

Whether or not you're disgusted by the sight of nursing moms, women have a right to breastfeed in public in pretty much every state. That should make public breastfeeding a non-issue -- or so most of us thought. Tiara Wilson and Hailey Verge are two breastfeeding mothers who say they were harassed by restaurant onlookers and cops at an IHOP in Aurora, Colorado, after they reported a family for taking pictures of them and making disgusting faces at them while they tried to feed their babies. Um, what??

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Wilson shared her now-viral story on the Breastfeeding Mama Talk Facebook page, and it sounds like what should've been a fun mommy outing during IHOP's International Pancake Day turned into an utter nightmare.

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"We were enjoying ourselves, not bothering anyone. We ate our food, laughed, talked, etc.," the mom mentions in her Facebook post. "BUT ... a family walked in and sat down next to us. No big deal right? Wrong."

In an interesting turn of events mixed with WTF feels, Tiara says the adjacent family of three -- including an unnamed teen boy who was a part of the trio -- started to take pictures of three of the seven mothers as they breastfed their kids. That's very ... disturbing.

"Then his family decided to take photos and decided that they would sit there the whole time and mean mug and make nasty faces as everyone FED their babies," Wilson notes. 

Sadly, things only got worse from there.

The mom continues:

A mom friend that was with us decided to get the manager because this family was truly just so disgusted by us feeding our littles, so much that it was obviously picture worthy. Well, the manager decided to call the police because he said it's illegal for this family to sit there and take pictures .... The police came and this part is what TRULY disgusted me.

The Aurora Police Department COPD said: 'GO TO THE BATHROOM or USE A COVER if you don't want to be bothered or have pictures snapped while feeding.' This caused one of my mama friends to break down in tears because this horrible family is snapping pictures of her breastfeeding and that was their response.

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So just to recap, a family thought it was okay to harass a group of mothers -- some of whom were nursing their babies -- and the police officers called to help them allegedly ended up berating this mom group, basically saying you deserve to get photographed for not covering up or going in the bathroom?

What in all the freak?? I truly wish this story was somehow a bad dream resulting from indigestion from a stack of blueberry pancakes.

I don't care if the officers who responded to this IHOP manager's call had an issue with women breastfeeding in public: They should know the Colorado law on breastfeeding, which "allows a mother to breastfeed in any place she has a right to be."

This is not okay at all, and shows we have so much work ahead of us as a society -- and, at the very least, as families who are raising our children not to denigrate moms who breastfeed in public.

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Since this unthinkable incident, the Breastfeeding Mama Talk Facebook page has provided an update that states the Aurora Police Department is "looking into the matter." Hopefully, that will yield some progressive results.

Breastfeeding Mama Talk provides update to Aurora, Colorado, IHOP breastfeeding incidentBreastfeeding Mama Talk/Facebook

These moms are better than I am, as my response to the family wouldn't have been so pleasant. (Kudos to them for getting the manager involved.) I'm so thankful I never ran into situations like this, though that's mostly because I was too afraid to nurse in public and often cowered in a bathroom stall.

Public breastfeeding is legal for a reason, and no mother should be expected to jump through hoops to feed her baby just because some people might be appalled at the sight of a nursing mother. It's great there are people, organizations, and groups -- like Breastfeeding Mama Talk -- who help hold others accountable for their actions, because this type of f*ckery needs to stop.

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