Louisiana mother asked to leave restaurant for breastfeeding without cover

LEESVILLE, La. (KALB) - Louisiana law allows breastfeeding in public and private places, but a Leesville pizzeria showed one mother the door for not being covered up while feeding her child.

News Channel 5's Noelle Bellow spoke with both sides who stand by their decisions.

When you go to enter Crossfire Pizzeria, you're met with a sign you wouldn't normally see. It reads, "If you breastfeed, you will need to cover up!!! If you do not, you will be asked to leave!".

The note is signed by the owner, Tammy Birchard.

"I nursed, I have three children, I nursed them. It's a very beautiful thing, I don't oppose it at all, but I am a restaurant owner, therefore I have to accommodate everyone involved," explained Birchard.

Young mom Allie Raby said, "My response to that is, we're here customers too, and we just want to feel comfortable as well."

The sign was put up this week, after Raby decided to breastfeed uncovered, while dining at the restaurant.

"At first I always thought I would use a cover, because that's just what I thought you did," Raby said. "But then I started breastfeeding, and nobody has time for that! Unless you want one!"

Birchard said she asked Raby to cover up, or use the restroom to feed, and when she refused, Raby was asked to leave.

"I asked her politely to leave," Birchard explained. "Being as I have other customers in here, I need to respect the wishes of everyone concerned."

"We've never had a negative experience there. Actually when our baby was born, she made a blanket for her and she had always been amazing. That's why we loved going there, but I guess I've never had to feed her there," said Raby.

Since the incident, Crossfire has decided to create an area inside the dining room for mothers to breastfeed more comfortably.

Birchard explained the floorplan, saying there will be a wall added, there will be a rocking chair and a new changing table. "It's just a little more room for them, that way they're more comfortable and we don't have to have this happen again."

Raby doesn't want it to happen anymore either. "I think if a mother feels more comfortable covered, or in a separate section of a restaurant, then that's awesome that she's accommodating to those mothers. But I also feel that we shouldn't have to be put in a corner if we don't want to be. If we're comfortable feeding wherever we are, then that should be that."

Allie is a part of the Fort Polk breastfeeding community. She says she has no plans on taking legal action against Crossfire Pizzaria. However, some in the community are planning a "nurse-in" at the restaurant next month.