Employees at a New Jersey Dunkin Donuts allegedly called the police to report two moms who were breast-feeding their babies — even though breast-feeding in public is totally legal in New Jersey.
I say allegedly because the donut chain now claims the employees were reacting to an unspecified other disturbance. Here's their statement, via Consumerist:
We have looked into the matter concerning 2 moms at a DD store in NJ & have confirmed an employee was responding to another customer's complaint that wasn't related to breastfeeding. None of the DD employees challenged the guests about breastfeeding & all DDs must comply w/ local, state & federal laws w/ regard to nursing mothers. Our top priority is always to provide an excellent experience for our guests.
One of the moms, however, tells a different story:
A friend and I were just told not to breastfeed in Dunkin Donuts because there are "other people there". I was going to leave and just write a letter to Dunkin Donuts headquarters suggesting that they educate their employees better. The police were called, though. [...]
I'm mostly angry that this happened in front of my friend's four year old son who loves the police. My friend was told to "shut up" in front of her children.
It's hard to tell what the full story is here, but I'm not sure why a police officer would feel the need to tell a woman to "shut up" if he was dealing with an unrelated issue. It's also not clear why a mom would claim she'd been hassled by an employee if, as Dunkin claims, nobody said anything to her. One of the moms, Sarah Sprague, clears things up slightly on Facebook, where she writes that police and Dunkin Donuts are now claiming her offense was changing a baby's diaper "on the table." She admits to doing so "at the table," though not on its surface (here we get into some serious diaper semantics), but says nobody talked to her about it until after the fact, and all that was addressed at the time was breastfeeding. Changing a diaper and feeding a baby are, as many Facebook commenters have pointed out, two different things, but it seems like Dunkin Donuts could have solved a lot of problems by providing a changing table in its restroom (that's apparently lacking at this location) and educating its employees about New Jersey law.
And just in case you were worried there wasn't enough mom-shaming in this story, another commenter writes, "Stupid question but why would anyone breastfeeding want to drink coffee anyway isn't caffeine in an infant a bad thing? Again I have no issues with breast feeding I just find it odd that breast feeding women are going to boycott DD when maybe that would be a good thing anyway for the babies." Moms, you'd better just stay out of coffee shops entirely. It's for the babies!