Humiliated, she tweeted this photo:
“I was just so shocked and appalled," the 35-year-old told The Post. “I can’t believe we are having this debate in 2014. Women shouldn’t be made to feel shameful or like it’s a dirty secret to be hidden away."
In an e-mailed statement, the hotel said: “Of course Claridge's allows breast-feeding. We just ask our guests to be discreet.”
Debates around breast-feeding in public are not limited to the U.K., of course. Similar tussles have bubbled up on a local level in the U.S., and breast-feeding in general prompts controversy of all kinds — my colleague Emily Wax-Thibodeaux recently highlighted how, even after a double mastectomy, she faced judgement for not being able to breast-feed.
But the debate here ratcheted up a notch Friday when U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage told a London radio station that some people feel “very embarrassed” by breast-feeding and suggested that nursing mothers could “perhaps sit in a corner.”
"I think that given that some people feel very embarrassed by it, it isn't too difficult to breast-feed a baby in a way that's not openly ostentatious,” he said.
The Twitterverse lit up. Farage’s political rivals were having a field day, while others wondered what “ostentatious” breast-feeding might look like. And there were, inevitably, many references to the famous "Dirty Dancing" line, “Nobody puts Baby in corner.”
Taken aback, Farage himself took to Twitter, saying he had no issue with women breast-feeding “wherever they want."
He’s not the only high-profile British politician to raise his views on breast-feeding this week. On Thursday, Nick Clegg, Britain’s deputy prime minister, told the same London radio program that: “We should create an environment where moms feel it is okay to breastfeed.” When asked about the rights of old men in a cafe sitting near a breast-feeding mother, Clegg said that moms listening to the program would be “spluttering with indignation at the implication that it is somehow, that it’s a kind of in-your-face thing to do in public.”
The issue has clearly hit a nerve here, with nearly 100 mothers set to hold a “nurse-in” at Claridge’s on Saturday, according to the “Free To Feed” Facebook page.