02/12/2014 13:00 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Breastfeeding Mum Told To Cover Up With Large Napkin In Claridge's

A mum who was breastfeeding in fancy London hotel Claridge's was told to cover up with a large napkin.


Lou Burns, 35, said she was enjoying afternoon tea at the five star London hotel with her mum, sister and 12-week-old baby Isadora when she started to breastfeed.

Waiters then rushed over to Lou and her family and asked her to cover up using a large napkin.


Speaking to the Evening Standard, mum of three Lou said: "My first reaction was to burst into tears. I was so shocked and humiliated.

"I have three children and this is the first time I have been able to breastfeed properly. Women are under so much pressure to breastfeed and it is not always easy. I did not expect to be made to feel I have done something wrong.

"My first reaction was to walk out, but my mum had organised it especially and it had been planned for three months. But I was appalled and told the staff I really did not feel I would ever be able to go back there."

Lou told the paper that the family hadn't even ordered when a waiter dashed over with the napkin, telling her that Claridge's policy was allow mums to breastfeed if 'covered up'.

Lou says she was feeding her baby discreetly at the table, and even a senior manager joined the conversation, but also refused to budge on the napkin rule.

Attempting to use the napkin proved unsuccessful as her daughter became distressed.

Well, wouldn't you if you tried to tuck into lunch while draped in a giant napkin - even a posh one from Claridge's?

Finally, the management allowed Lou to continue breastfeeding without the cover, providing there were no complaints from other customers.

"I felt so awkward. They said they were very sorry and wanted to see me back there, but I was so appalled by my treatment. I was not out there with my boobs out. I was so discreet one of the waiters did not even realise I was breastfeeding," said Lou.

"It was supposed to be a lovely day but it was set off on such a bad note. It was so upsetting."

After tweeting about her experience, Lou was inundated with messages of support, and quite rightly pointed out that a woman draped in a giant napkin drew a lot more attention to her table that a baby having lunch!

And Claridge's? Well, it isn't budging, saying: "Of course we allow breastfeeding, we just ask our guests to be discreet, that's all."

No problem then! Napkins for all!

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