A mom shamed for breastfeeding at Chick-fil-A gets a massive show of support

A crowd of angry moms showed up to stage a nurse-in at the restaurant.

A mom shamed for breastfeeding at Chick-fil-A gets a massive show of support
Jessica Gaugush

When Samantha McIntosh's 7-month-old daughter needed to be fed at a Georgia Chick-fil-A a few weeks ago McIntosh didn't think twice about nursing her. She went to a booth in the back of the restaurant and sat down to feed, with her nursing tank and long-sleeved top helping to keep everything under wraps.

But it seems that wasn't enough for the eatery's manager—who grabbed a jacket and told McIntosh she needed to cover up with it, "because of the other children." McIntosh was shocked and angry, especially since she considered Chick-fil-A a family-friendly restaurant.

It's a scene that's played out way too many times in way too many places. Despite the fact that moms have the legal right to breastfeed in public, they're often shamed for doing so.


According to McIntosh's now-viral Facebook post, a fellow mom sitting behind her "watched the entire scene play out got mad also. She called another manager over and began asking about policy, inclusion and corporate contact information. That manager quickly gave her corporate's number and ran back behind the countertop. So the original manager that approached me now noticed it has caused a problem with another customer and comes back TO ME to inform me that they have every right to ask me to cover up when I'm nursing my child and that I should just leave it at that."

McIntosh didn't leave it at that, and neither did the mothers in her community. After McIntosh's post about the incident went viral on Facebook, a crowd of angry moms showed up to stage a nurse-in at the restaurant.

"I do not actually know Samantha personally," Jessica Gaugush, one of the moms who organized the nurse-in tells Motherly. "I saw her post and followed along. Like most other mothers I was outraged and felt a call to action. Many others were throwing around dates and times so I hopped on the soonest created an event and started spreading it."

McIntosh told TODAY that she was completely overwhelmed by the support. "There was one mom that drove two hours just for the nurse-in," she told the show. "I never in a million years thought the support would be so far and so wide." She also said that her embarrassing ordeal ultimately led to an apology from the restaurant's owner—and turned into a teachable moment. "He seemed very open to training his staff and having a lactation consultant come in," she said.

Gaugush tells Motherly some of the Facebook comments left under the TODAY article were very disheartening, with Facebook users suggesting moms should not breastfeed in restaurants.

"This wasn't just a problem with Chick-fil-A ... If you read Samantha's story, truly I believe that the [customers] around that had reported it in the first place are also part of the problem. We need to normalize breastfeeding and make sure that mothers are as comfortable as possible feeding their kids however and wherever they decide," Gaugush tells Motherly.

If you're not already Team Samantha, it should also be noted that her original viral post started out with a firm reminder that she supports her fellow moms in all forms of infant feeding. That means that not only was McIntosh standing up for nursing moms—she was standing up for moms everywhere who have dealt with public shaming over their child-rearing choices.

Motherly reached out to Chick-fil-A for a comment. The following statement was provided on behalf of Jason Adams, Owner Operator of Chick-fil-A Mullins Crossing: "I am truly sorry for the experience Ms. McIntosh had in our restaurant. I have reached out to her to personally apologize. My goal is to provide a warm and welcoming environment for all of our guests."

Good on Chick-fil-A for apologizing, but like Gaugush says, this isn't just a Chick-fil-A problem, it's a societal problem. A survey from Aeroflow published last year found 28% of women do not believe new moms should be allowed to breastfeed (or pump) in public, and 22% of men agreed. We're glad mothers like McIntosh and Gaugush are working to change those minds because when a baby's gotta eat, a baby's gotta eat.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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