An upscale UK hotel has come under fire for forcing a woman to drape herself in a giant napkin while breastfeeding her baby.
Louise Burns tweeted pictures of herself and her 12-week-old baby at Claridge’s in London, where she was asked to cover up with what she described as a “ridiculous shroud” while breastfeeding so as not to cause offence.
Burns, who is married to actor Nick Burns, known for playing comedic character Nathan Barley, tweeted that it was a shame she could never go back to Claridge’s after the embarrassing incident.
The 35-year-old mother of three told The Guardian that she was having Christmas tea with her mother and sister when she needed to feed her baby.
“I started feeding her very discreetly when the waiter hurried over with a huge napkin, knelt down and said it was policy to cover up,” she was quoted as saying.
“My initial reaction was to burst into tears. This was my third baby. I had trouble breastfeeding the first two but this was going well. I didn’t expect to be admonished in a central London hotel.”
She told The Guardian that both the waiter and a supervisor were polite and apologetic but told her it was the hotel’s policy for breastfeeding mothers to cover up.
Burns’ tweets about the incident were met with a barrage of supportive comments and Claridge’s tweeted her, saying it didn’t intend to upset her and regretted that she left the hotel disappointed.
“We do embrace breastfeeding and we are looking into better ways of communicating this moving forward.”
@Andysrelation We didn't intend to upset you & we regret that you left the hotel feeling disappointed.— Claridge’s (@ClaridgesHotel) December 2, 2014