Mum Wins Apology After She Was Ordered To Stop Breastfeeding In Cafe

14/08/2014 17:01 | Updated 20 May 2015

A smiling woman plays with baby in a coffee shop.

A mum has received an apology after she was ordered to stop breastfeeding her baby son by a security guard in a café.

The guard at the Apostrophe café in north London's 02 Centre in West Hampstead insisted he was just following rules after a complaint from a single customer.

But the mum refused to leave, and immediately tweeted her disgust, prompting apologies from the cafe's manager and the O2 Centre.

Mum Jenny Kleeman, a journalist for Channel 4's Unreported World and Dispatches programmes, was breastfeeding her six-month-old son Benjamin when she was told by the guard to stop and instead use 'a folding chair next to the nappy bins in the baby changing cupboard'.

She told the Evening Standard: "I was feeding my son, incredibly discreetly, with a friend of mine when a security guard approached me.

"I said I was fine at the table, and he said it was not allowed. When I challenged him saying it was against the law to try to prohibit me, he said it was private property and he did not make the rules.

"As soon as I told him I was a journalist however, he became very sheepish and said he was 'just doing my job'."

Jenny said she was later told the guard intervened after a fellow cafe user complained.

She said: "I find it amazing that some people would rather listen to a screaming hungry child than a woman feeding him.

"I think the security guard did not really know who he was picking on. I know women who may not feel confident enough to stand up to something like that. I was not going to use a poo-filled box feeding ghetto.

"There is so much pressure for women to breastfeed, and then you do it and you are made to feel like you shouldn't. It is totally bonkers."

In an email, Deborah Jones, retail operations director for Land Securities which owns the O2 Centre, told her: "On behalf of The O2 Centre I would like to apologise personally for the situation you encountered when feeding your son.

"I want to assure you that it is not our policy to prevent breast feeding anywhere within the O2 Centre, or indeed any of our shopping centres, and the security guard who spoke to you did not act in line with our policy.

"I assure you that we will be working with all staff in all of our centres to ensure they are fully aware of our policy."

A spokesman for Apostrophe UK apologised, saying: "This was an O2 security guard and not a member of our staff or one of our policies. We would never prevent a mother from feeding her child."


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