Breastfeeding mom upset about treatment at Chesapeake restaurant

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Chesapeake, Va.--- A mom is upset over the treatment she received while breastfeeding at IHOP on Battlefield Boulevard.

Samantha Copeland says a manager put a dishtowel over her three month old son's head in order to cover-up her breastfeeding.

"I would have never thought that someone would lay a dishtowel over my kid's face," Copeland said. "I was speechless. I couldn't believe anybody would do that."

Copeland says she breastfeeds in public all the time.

"I was partially covered. There was only one other couple in our section and it was an elderly couple sitting behind my husband that could not see anything," she said.

She left the restaurant and posted what happened on Facebook. Her post was shared and has gotten hundreds of comments, many in support of the mom.

A spokesman for IHOP said the employee made a mistake and the owner has called to apologize. Copeland hopes this will be a learning experience. "At least educate their employees that this is not something that can be done," she said.

Copeland says she plans to continue to breastfeed in public.


  • for real

    To much about all of this……Feed the baby before or after going to eat is a real simple solution. Mothers pretty well know the baby’s eating schedule.

    • Alicia

      For real, please educate yourself before speaking about a subject you clearly know nothing about. Nursed babies don’t typically have a feeding schedule. Breast milk and formula are nothing alike. Breast milk is lighter and more easily digested, which is why breastfed babies eat more. So, to tell a mom to feed her baby before or after may not be a reality because baby may be hungry in between. Also know, some babies nurse so frequently that, for example, this mother eating at a restaurant may have been her first sit down meal in a long time. It’s not as simple as you people think! Get over it already!

    • Lindsay Morse

      Yes, make sure when your BF baby has a growth spurt and needs to eat more than normal you never go out in public. Also if you do not have a feeding schedule and neither does your baby because you feed them when they’re hungry you also never go out in public, because you are clearly too incompetent of a mother to learn how to plan! Just let them scream through your meal if they would only snack beforehand or were not interested in eating. And let them scream if you plan to feed them after you eat. Oops we must have forgotten how PATIENT babies are!


    • Emily Morris

      Because scheduling is so reliable?

      Many professionals recommend feeding young babies on demand and doing away with scheduled feedings.

    • Abbey

      Bull! My baby eats on demand and has NO schedule whatsoever! Also I always feed my baby before I go out but I’m not just out for 30 minutes, sometimes it can be all day. I seriously doubt you eat breakfast before going out and then don’t eat ALL day whilst you are out!! Breastmilk is the perfect nutrition for babies and is easily digested in 90 minutes so breastfed babies eat all the time. You cannot make them wait hours until they are home to eat because that would be negligent!

  • Alicia

    Offended by a child eating the way nature intended? I’m offended that some of you uneducated fools expose your stupidity! :-)

  • Tabatha

    When any of you are willing to put a blanket over your own heads and eat your entire meal, then we’ll talk. Otherwise, be mature adults and allow the poor baby to eat however it is most comfortable. If you don’t like it, feel free not to stare like children.

  • Deborah Jones

    I feel this may have happened because the manager was not informed in breastfeeding ways and needs. Breastfed babies nurse whenever they want and as often as they want. Everyone would who like to learn more can visit La Leche League. Wishing each and every nursing mother and child a great nursing experience.

  • Lolka

    It’s truly sad that most of the negative comments are coming from WOMEN! You’ve never seen breasts before? What the hell is wrong with all of you???

  • Emily Morris

    What I find ironic is the very people who complain about public breastfeeding have zero problem with full cleavage revealing outfits.

    I might take them more seriously if they complained about all breast stings equally.

    • BF mama

      Because Janice, pumping is not that simple! For instance, my baby will NOT take a bottle. Some mothers do not respond well to pumps. Pumping is inconvenient and there is risk of contamination using a bottle. When you give the baby a bottle you need to pump at the same time to replace that missed feeding. Washing pump parts is so annoying, you try finding time to do all that with a baby! It’s a lot easier said than done. Also, why should a mother have to pump to make some weird stranger watching her feel comfortable? It’s her right to feed her child and if you don’t like it look away instead of making a very uneducated remark!

    • Aiken

      that is too much common sense for her. seriously, she could’ve planned better. I hope she steps up her A game and starts to use her brain and plan better or she’s going to be a mess of a parent and the kid will have to suffer for ill planning.

  • NC RN

    Next time y’all are at IHOP, feel free to take your pancakes and eat them in the toilet. What? You would be disgusted? Hmmmm….

    • Catherine

      So… you eat in the toilet too? Mothers should have to take their babies into germ-infested toilet stalls to make you feel comfortable? No, just no.

  • karen

    I used to breast feed in public But I was discreet about it..I made sure I was covered completely..I didn’t want to make anybody feel uncomfortable

  • rebls

    It is so disheartening to read comment like this. Is it really 2014? Breasts were designed for feeding. The human race survived because of breast feeding. It wasn’t even until the 1950’s that bottles and formula became popular and breast feeding was seen as something “lower class” women did, because they couldn’t afford bottles. To the woman who stated she didn’t want to hear about “the old ways”, are you serious? Look at any “old” information, pictures, works of art, and you will see women openly breast feeding because there was NO stigma attached. Our society has sexualities breasts in such a dramatic way that it is only acceptable to see a breast when it is in a low cut shirt or a bra in an advertisement. I breasted my daughter for 13 months and I was terrified of nursing in public. I have read so many comments and so many stories online and I never wanted to deal with anyone bashing me for breast feeding. Granted, I should have realized then that people seem to have a set of steel balls on the internet and would probably not have uttered a word to my face. My daughter hated a cover, she would get overheated and scream whenever I tried to use it. I removed myself from so many situations, fed her in the car, dressing rooms, a bedroom at a relatives house, etc. it was isolating and I felt like I was doing something wrong. If I could go back and do it again, I would stand strong and feed my daughter without being afraid of judgement. It’s not my fault or my problem that you have an issue with a hungry baby. I seriously hope that the women who have commented are just trolling and are bored with their lives. Aren’t we supposed to support each other??

    • Epiglotus jones

      Then I guess it wouldn’t bother you if I as an adult male breast fed off of my girlfriend in a public setting

      • bree

        Seriously? That’s such an ignorant thing to say. Even if you took advantage of her actually making milk (bc some people do drink it bc of all the benefits opening a can of worms) but you as an adult can control yourself and communicate and can actually eat food. Where as a baby/toddler can not convey what they want in advance and when they are hungry they are hungry. You can’t convince them to wait til a more convinent time. A baby should not have to hungry bc people are ignorant and only think its exceptable to have grown men play with them behind closed doors after oogling them all day as they either fell out of a low cut shirt or swim suit top all day. Bc you know that what breasts are for. Men to play with…. (*<— heavy sarcasm)

      • rebls

        Right. Because an adult breast feeding and a child breast feeding are the same thing. I also like you tried to sezualize the act of breast feeding by using the word “male”. Trying to sezualize something that is inherently in sexual says a lot about you as a person. Logic…you’re doing it wrong.

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