LIFESTYLE

Café Apologises For Asking Groups Of Mothers To Breastfeed In Disabled Toilet

20/11/2014 11:25 GMT | Updated 20/11/2014 11:59 GMT

A café owner has been forced to apologise after putting a sign in the window - asking mums to breastfeed in the disabled toilets.

Because when breastfeeding their most prized possession, there's nothing mothers want more than to be banished to the bogs.

We're firm believers that breastfeeding should be allowed everywhere. But the thought of it being unwelcome in a café - an establishment designed for eating and drinking - is baffling. Babies need to eat too, dammit.

Tillings Café came under fire from angry mums nationwide after a customer put a picture of their 'polite notice' on Twitter, asking customers to use the disabled toilets for breastfeeding.

The family-owned coffee shop, in Gomshall, Surrey, was forced to make a public apology after their ill-advised note was slammed by the National Childbirth Trust - the UK's largest parent charity.

The laminated 'Polite notice for the comfort of customers' read: "We have baby changing facilities in our spacious disabled toilet.

"There is also a chair nearby which can be taken inside for mothers who are breastfeeding.

"We reserve the right to ask GROUPS of breastfeeding mothers to use this facility instead of feeding at the table."

The Dorking branch of the National Childbirth Trust complained on Facebook after a member sent them pictures of the sign.

Local Hayley Kenway, who has a seven-month-old, said: "I have been there before and have never had any problems.

"But after hearing about this I am disgusted that they have requested babies to be fed in the toilets.

"Asking any of their customers to feed in the toilet is a breach of human rights."

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Mum Sophie Stone said: "It's laughable that they seem to suggest groups of mothers take it in turn to use the chair in the loo.

"I think the screams of hungry babies would cause more disruption than feeding them ever would."

The owners were quick to take down the sign and have issued a full apology, claiming the sign was meant to present an option for mothers, rather than an order.

Owner June Radford, who has run the café for three years, said: "Tillings can only apologise for a huge miscommunication.

"We have had many happy breastfeeding mums in our café in the three years we have been open and we continue to support breastfeeding.

"We have never and would never ask anyone to stop breasting in the café, nor leave the café.

"We are a small independent family-owned business and we try to do our best to look after all of our customers.

"Being human we can make mistakes and if we have offended anyone in trying to establish an option for more private feeding facilities we can only apologise and ask for your help in telling us what we might do to support the breastfeeding cause."