As progressive as the Quad Cities are, I am still surprised by how backward some people's thinking can be.

According to WQAD, local mom Elizabeth Herzog was recently breastfeeding her five-month-old daughter Georgia at the Davenport Red Robin when a manager approached her and asked if she could "cover up."

Herzog says in the story that her daughter was born premature and is still underweight, so it's important for her to see Georgia's face when she's nursing, and she has to nurse often. As a former breastfeeding mom of a preemie, I'm sure that has a lot to do with making sure the baby has a good latch. Plus, it's uncomfortable for a baby to have their face covered, as I also know from experience.

Herzog left the restaurant after feeling shamed by the Red Robin manager. She mentions in the story that in contrast, Ross' Restaurant in Bettendorf is encouraging of breastfeeding mothers and has gone out of their way to be accommodating, which I'm glad to hear.

Even if your personal feelings conflict with Herzog's, public breastfeeding is completely legal in Iowa. A corporate spokesperson for Red Robin told WQAD in a statement that  "It was not the restaurant management's intent to deny any right for the Guest to nurse -- nor did they deny that right -- or make her or any of our Guests feel uncomfortable, awkward or unappreciated."

As polite as their mea culpa is attempting to be, I think the apology is too little, too late for Elizabeth Herzog and her daughter. They might not have denied her the right to breastfeed at their restaurant, but they embarrassed her while she was doing so. There's not much of a difference in my mind.

I can't even tell you the struggles I went through nursing my daughter, and I'm sure Herzog has had constant days and nights full of worry, hoping her daughter gains weight. The fact that she is able to nourish her daughter with breastfeeding should be applauded, not ashamed. Being a mom is hard enough, let alone being a mom of a preemie who has to nurse round the clock. She should be able to go out to dinner and feed Georgia her dinner at the same time.

Bottom line: All moms should be encouraged and uplifted, whether they breastfeed, formula feed, exclusively pump, or otherwise.

Read more of the story here.

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