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London Hotel Under Fire After Telling Breastfeeding Mother to Cover Up


A London hotel is under fire after making a mother cover up while breastfeeding her 12-week-old child during Christmas tea.

Claridge’s, a luxury hotel in London, is facing intense criticism after telling Louise Burns, 35, to cover up while breastfeeding her infant. Burns was at the hotel with her mother, sister and child for Christmas tea when the 12-week-old needed to be fed. Once Burns began to feed her child, a waiter came to the table with a large napkin and said it was policy for mothers to be covered up while breastfeeding at the hotel.

“My initial reaction was to burst into tears,” Burns told The Guardian. “This was my third baby. I had trouble breastfeeding the first two but this was going well. I didn’t expect to be admonished in a central London hotel.”

Although the waiter and a supervisor were both polite, Burns said she still felt humiliated — and she took to Twitter to prove it. She tweeted images of herself breastfeeding with and without the napkin shroud, noting that without the napkin, it was much more discreet.

Claridge’s has since received heavy criticism from the public, blasting the hotel for making a breastfeeding mother feel ashamed and for potentially disregarding the 2010 Equality Act which prohibits businesses from discriminating against breastfeeding women. The hotel has not commented on the incident, save to say that it is in fact their policy to cover up while breastfeeding — although the practice is completely welcome at the hotel — and asks mothers to be discreet around other guests.

Burns and her family have enjoyed Christmas tea at Claridge’s for the past few years, but according to her Twitter, she does not plan to return in the future.

[Photos: Louise Burns’ Twitter]

Comments are Closed.
PHLisa December 4, 2014

Frank, you must have X-ray vision. You can't see her breast in the first photo because there's an infant's head in front of it. How about you cover your ignorance by not posting? I don't want to see it. This "be discreet" crap is old and tired and needs to go. I hope they lose money on their outdated policy.

frankmai December 4, 2014

Cover up your exposed breast so others can't see it.