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Parents React After Eatery Bans Breastfeeding Moms and Kids Under 5

Indianapolis moms have already planned a breastfeeding sit-in in protest of the ban which violates state law.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published June 10, 2024
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Image: Iryna Inshyna | Shutterstock

It’s 2024 and parents aren’t putting up with breastfeeding discrimination anymore.

The vegan restaurant Plantastic Indy recently sparked controversy after banning breastfeeding mothers and children under 5. In a now-deleted post announcing the ban, the restaurant claimed it could "sadly no longer welcome toddlers, newborns, or anyone under 5 years old in order to maintain our sanitary standards.” The post further stated, “We know many moms will be upset. Do not get upset at us, just at the ones who have left dirty diapers on the table and breastfed uncovered in public. That’s not the Plantastic Indy experience we want for our customers.”

Within hours, parents expressed their outrage, criticizing the restaurant’s decision. “A vegan spot opposing a baby’s most natural and ethical food source is astonishing. The disconnect is astounding,” wrote one commenter. “Simply ask customers to change their children’s diapers in the bathroom, assuming you have a changing table. If not, that’s on you. Do better,” added another Instagram user.

The restaurant’s owner later posted a video doubling down on her decision stating that she was “not against breastfeeding, but against dirtiness,” a comment parents took issue with as well. “They are comparing a mom breastfeeding her child to placing a diaper on the table,” wrote one user. “How is breastfeeding unsanitary? It’s literally a baby’s farm to table,” added another.

Parents in the comments also discussed plans to stage a breastfeeding sit-in once the restaurant—which has now closed for the day in light of the backlash—reopens. Others brought up that the restaurant should be sued for discriminatory practices and infringing on the legal rights of breastfeeding mothers. Indiana along with all 50 states has enshrined the right to public breastfeeding. According to Indiana Code §16-35-6, “a woman may breastfeed her child anywhere the woman has the right to be.”

This isn’t the first time a local establishment has experienced backlash after refusing a woman’s right to breastfeed in public. Last year a Georgia waterpark made headlines after kicking out a breastfeeding mother and women staged a “nurse-in” at a local Chick-fil-Ain 2020 after a breastfeeding mother was told to cover up. While breastfeeding discrimination persists, it is heartening to see parents standing united for breastfeeding rights. Learn more about your breastfeeding rights in public, at work and beyond at USBreastfeeding.org.

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