Breastfeeding in Fort Worth café causes social media backlash

A mother who needed to breastfeed inside a Fort Worth café took to social media to vent her frustration. She said the manager told her to ‘cover up’ while breastfeeding her child.

Both the owner of the restaurant and the woman who was breastfeeding say they underestimated the huge backlash the issue would have on social media.

The West Side Cafe on Camp Bowie Boulevard is known for its chicken fried steak. Rebecca Olson is a regular and on Sunday morning just after being seated she began breastfeeding her 4-week-old son.

A manager at the popular restaurant tapped her on the shoulder and asked her to cover up.

"And she was like, ‘I know that it's normal but could you put a towel or something?’” Olson said.

"It looked like it was bit more exposed than what we were normally for,” said café owner Tracey Sanford.

Sanford said the manager, who is a mother herself, was trying to be polite and discreet.

"We welcome all nursing mothers,” the café’s owner said. “We get them in here all the time. We've never really had an issue."

"I mean, I was really upset and mortified and everybody kept staring at me,” Olson said. “I just honestly wanted to leave, but my kids were eating."

Olson posted her frustration on Facebook and got a lot of reaction.

"Everybody was talking about it and I was getting so many messages,” she said.

People from as far away as California and Florida posted negative reviews about the restaurant.

Sanford reached out to Olson to apologize and she accepted.

"I told him I was sorry for him kind of getting attacked and that's not what I meant,” Olson said.

On Saturday, nursing mothers are invited to a nurse-in at the West Side Café – a peace treaty of sorts.

"We misjudged the emotional nature of the very sensitive subject,” Sanford said. “We didn't anticipate it and certainly it's something. We regret anybody being offended by it."

The nurse-in begins at noon on Saturday. Although it started out as kind of a protest, it isn’t anymore. Olson wants it to be peaceful and raise awareness.