Social media showdown: Breastfeeding mom vs. Big Woody’s

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Chesapeake, Va. - A Labor Day family outing for dinner and drinks at Big Woody’s in Chesapeake has turned into a big social media mess.

A mom seen with a shot and a beer while breastfeeding prompted patrons to complain. But when she was confronted by the manager and cashed out, the incident blew up on Facebook as a business "unfriendly to breastfeeding moms."

Crystal, a breast feeding mom, took to Facebook claiming the business gave her the boot because she bared her breast to feed her baby.

Related: Chesapeake mom facing social media backlash over boozing while breastfeeding

“That treatment was wrong,” she said.

Co-owner Jeff Leroy was out of town but says his manager told him it was less about breastfeeding and more about feeding the baby while also consuming alcohol.

“It's not easy to go and talk to someone and say you’re breastfeeding but you’re drinking too,” he says.

Crystal admitted to NewsChannel 3 that she did have alcohol but that she didn't plan on drinking it until after she was finished nursing.

"I had a huge water I was downing. I had a beer and a shot of Fireball in front of me but that was for after I was done. And I had one sip of beer and I'm not planning on the rest until after I'm done nursing," she said.

People on Facebook have taken to the restaurant’s page to air their feelings on the situation. Most of the posts are about the rights of mothers to breastfeed but not much is mentioned about the objections the patrons made about seeing a mother consume alcohol while breastfeeding. Needless to say, the posts have gotten very ugly on both sides.

Crystal says she was told by the manager to be more discreet, so as far as she was concerned, breastfeeding was the only issue.

“I said there is no law that says I can't breastfeed and drink. I'm not doing anything wrong, and he then proceeded to say, you know what it’s also my right to refuse service. I'm going to be cashing you guys out, you can leave,” she says.

Crystal isn’t planning to let this go.

“Next step is I’m trying to organize a nurse-in. I’ve got so many people just waiting to,” she says.

Jeff and his partner are open to turning this negative Facebook nightmare into a positive post. He says he would like for the two parties to get together.

“I would like to see this be turned around and end up being positive. We're willing to sit down and talking with them and see if we can turn this around and see if we can make something positive - on educating people on how to breastfeed in public. Because again, we don't have a problem breastfeeding in public. Women are allowed to breastfeed in here,” he says.

Crystal says she is a degreed chemist and has done her research and that the amount she drinks does not affect her breast milk.

The co-owners plan to retrain their staff to improve their approach if and when these sensitive matters come up.

Is it OK to drink while breastfeeding? Click here for more information.


  • Kesa Hopkins

    It takes about a half hour for alcohol to get into the breast milk, depending on whether you’ve eaten. According to the Mayo clinic, you should wait 2-3 hours before breastfeeding after having a normal amount of alcohol.

  • Bob

    This woman is full of BS. As for you folks saying this was all about breast feeding are also full of BS. I guess the welfare of the child means nothing to you drama queens. How do you know this was his first drink?
    She is nothing but a drama queen looking to make a fast buck by suing these hard working business owners – all because she drinks alcohol while nursing- a pathetic mother – at best.

    • Sue

      I agree with you Bob,first she shouldn’t be drinking at all while breast feeding .What kind of mother does that.A mother that shouldn’t have children .

  • Dana

    I agree with Bob. The bar is NOT against breast feeding. If she can’t wait to even order her drink then she has a problem. It appears to me that she is seeking attention and $$$$.

  • Mary
    Experts like Dr. Jack Newman, author of The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers are working hard to dispel these myths. Nursing while you are drunk or frequently nursing when you’ve been drinking — those are problems. But, according to Newman, “Reasonable alcohol intake should not be discouraged at all … Prohibiting alcohol is another way we make life unnecessarily restrictive for nursing mothers.”

  • She's lying

    This woman should get her story straight if she’s going to lie like that!

    First she complained that the manager told her to be “more discreet” while breast feeding. If that’s true, why would her response be: “I said there is no law that says I can’t breastfeed and drink. I’m not doing anything wrong”?
    She obviously knew that they were complaining about her drinking while breast feeding.
    And…she’s so angry that she will bring more business to the bar by organizing a “nurse in”. Ok lady. . .

  • Shannon Withrow

    Here’s the deal, a woman who was pregnant ordered alcohol at a resturaunt and they refused to serve her. She sued and won $2m. You can refuse to serve a drunk patron or an under age patron but not a pregnant or breastfeeding patron. Do I agree? That’s a different discussion all together, the law is not on the side of the restaurant.

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