Quad Cities woman says she was shamed for breastfeeding at a local restaurant

BETTENDORF - Being a first time mother isn't easy and Elizabeth Herzog has had a little more to worry about because her daughter, Georgia, was born premature.

"She was born at 32 weeks at 3.5 lbs, she is now 5 months old and just an ounce away from 10 lbs," said Herzog.

Herzog says Georgia breastfeeds often and was embarrassed when she was feeding her at Red Robin in Davenport on Monday, August 28, 2017.

"I was sitting, breastfeeding her just like this and the manager comes over and taps me on the shoulder and just says hey can you cover up a little bit," said Herzog.

After being confronted, they got up and left. According to Iowa law, "a woman may breast-feed the woman’s own child in any public place where the woman’s presence is otherwise authorized."

"It doesn't seem like that big of a task (to cover up) but especially for her (Georgia), I worry, I worry a lot if I can't see her face," said Herzog.

Herzog says she wishes more places were open to breastfeeding like Ross' Restaurant in Bettendorf is.

"They talk to me, they don't worry about the fact that I'm breastfeeding, they don't comment and if they do it's hey good job, you're doing great, keep it up," said Herzog.

Ross' staff knows about the law and makes sure they accommodate any women who need to breastfeed.

"We just want to support any mothers, wherever they are, the babies hungry and they can take care of the baby," said Cynthia Ross-Freidhof, owner of Ross' Restaurant.

For Herzog, she wishes more people were accepting of breastfeeding. "I'm doing the best I can and I realize to some people it might look a little weird and I realize to some people, they might be shocked by it but all I'm trying to do is nurse my infant."

News 8 reached out to Red Robin and was told by corporate spokesperson Kevin Caulfield, "We are aware of a complaint by a Guest at the Davenport, Iowa, Red Robin who claimed that she was made to feel uncomfortable while nursing her child during a recent visit to the restaurant. We are still looking into the details of what happened and attempting to obtain contact information for the Guest so we can talk with her about her experience. It was not the restaurant management's intent to deny any right for the Guest to nurse -- nor did they deny that right -- or make her or any of our Guests feel uncomfortable, awkward or unappreciated. We value each and every Guest and our goal is to make each Guests' experience a positive one. While we gather more information, we've spoken with the restaurant management to make sure the restaurant team understands public nursing laws in Iowa and the team is prepared to take care of Guests who wish to nurse in our restaurant."