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Should Mothers Cover Up While Breastfeeding in Public? Mom Angry After Chick-Fil-A Incident

"They were made for a purpose, a God-given ability."

A Tennessee mother is planning a "nurse in" with other breastfeeding moms after she was approached by a Chik-fil-A employee voicing the concerns of patrons who wished she would not breastfeed in public -- or would at least cover up while doing so.

breastfeeding at chick-fil-a Jennifer say she herself was made to feel uncomfortable when an employee told her other parents were uncomfortable with her breastfeeding, something she was legally allowed to do without a cover-up. (Image: WBIR video screenshot)

Jennifer Day of Turkey Creek said she was in the play area of the fast-food restaurant when an employee approached her and "told me some of the other parents were afraid of allowing their kids to play in the play area while I was feeding her, especially without any cover," WBIR-TV reported.

"Any mother is allowed to breastfeed her child if she's in that place otherwise," she continued. "They were made for a purpose, a God-given ability. It's the best gift you can give to your child."

According to Tennessee law, Day was within her right to breastfeed in public, even without a cover.

Day also noted that she doesn't use a cover because her 5-month-old doesn't like it and would rip it off anyway.

The debate over public breastfeeding rights has been a reoccurring one, but given that Day was feeding her child without a cover-up at a restaurant where others nearby would be eating, does that change things a bit?

Here's are some of the comments from some locals on the topic of Day's public breastfeeding:

"It's fine with me," said Ariel Leach. "I mean, I don't have any issue with it."

Sean O'Donnell was sitting next to her.

"It's nature, go for it," he said. "My mom breastfed me in a public place, and that was the early '90s. So, why not?"

Nearby, Megan Burgess and her toddler were playing in the fountains.

"I breastfed, but I felt it was easier for myself if I was covered up. I also think it's more acceptable if you're covered up," she said. "We want to prolong breastfeeding and make sure moms are dong it for the health of the baby. So if we have to give a little bit for that, I think covering up is the best option."

Addarius Sanders wasn't so easily convinced.

"I don't think you should do it in public," he said with a giggle. "I think it's something you should do at home, or when everyone's not looking."

Watch WBIR's report:

Day said the "nurse in" at the same Chick-Fil-A is planned for Wednesday.

She also told WBIR that she's not trying to cause trouble but is hoping people understand that "saying something like that does make mothers uncomfortable."

This isn't the first time a Chick-Fil-A has asked a breastfeeding mother to cover up, resulting in a follow-up "nurse in" either.

In 2009, a mother similarly was breastfeeding in a play area of the restaurant when a manager suggested she cover up, offering towels to help, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The manager after the fact acknowledged that she had made a mistake in making the suggestion.

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