A Georgia mom took to Facebook to share her outrage after a Chick-fil-A manager asked her to “cover up” while breastfeeding.
In the now-viral post, Samantha McIntosh claimed she was quietly nursing her 7-month-old daughter, Scarlett, when a female manager appeared at their table with a jacket.
“She said, ‘We received a complaint and we would like for you to cover up because of the other children in the restaurant,’” McIntosh, 24, told TODAY Food.
McIntosh, who insists no skin was showing, refused to take the jacket. But not wanting to make a scene, she stopped feeding her baby.
Later that night, after McIntosh had collected her thoughts, she wrote about the encounter on Facebook in hopes of educating others.
What happened next is a testament to the sisterhood of mothers.
A local parent named Jessica Gaugush read the post and quickly got to work organizing a “nurse-in” at the restaurant. Though Gaugush had never met McIntosh, she knew she had to do something. It's legal to breastfeed in public in all 50 states.
“I felt called to action,” Gaugush told TODAY Food. "So I created the event and put it on pretty much every Facebook group in the community."
On Jan. 21, just one day after the incident, more than 50 families gathered at Chick-fil-A in Evans, Georgia, for a peaceful protest.
“We had moms nursing and moms bottle feeding, there were women there who didn’t even have children themselves,” she told TODAY Food. She said that the Chick-fil-A employees were “respectful” and handed out stuffed animals to all the children.
McIntosh was overwhelmed.
“There was one mom that drove two hours just for the nurse-in,” she revealed. “I never in a million years thought the support would be so far and so wide.”
Jason Adams, who owns and operates the Chick-fil-A where McIntosh was told to cover up, told TODAY Food in a statement, “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."
McIntosh appreciated the apology. "He seemed very open to training his staff and having a lactation consultant come in," she said. "I'd be happy come in and talk to them too."