Café owner throws mother out for breastfeeding her child
Although breastfeeding in public in Germany is in principle allowed, café or restaurant owners can at any time exercise its domiciliary rights and discriminate against breastfeeding mothers.
Johanna Spanke was just minding her business in a Berlin café when her three-month-old baby grew hungry and began to fuss. When the owner saw what she was doing, he approached her and told her to leave; breastfeeding is not allowed in his show.
“I never thought that breastfeeding in public in Germany is a taboo until I had to leave a Berlin cafe with my three-month old baby,” German mother Johanna Spanke said.
Refusing to cause a scene, Johanna left. But now she decided to fight for her right, and the right of all the breastfeeding mothers.
She started a petition calling for the normalization of public breastfeeding, addressing German politician Minister Manuela Schwesig. “We demand a law to protect nursing in public!" her petition reads.
"Unfortunately I realized that there is no legal protection in Germany to protect women from being expelled or shamed if they want to nurse in cafes, restaurants, ice-cream parlours or museums.”
Although breastfeeding in public in Germany is in principle allowed, cafés or restaurant owners can at any time exercise its domiciliary rights and discriminate against breastfeeding mothers.
"It is part of a society that's friendly to families and children that nursing in public shouldn't be taboo," she added. "Nursing women have the right to take part in public life."
It's not forbidden to nurse in public in Germany, but also not explicitly allowed. In public spaces, house rules apply. The owner can use that to expel a mother from the building if nursing bothers him.
Breastfeeding is quickly becoming one of the most talked about and fraught issues today, not only in Asia but across the globe, with incident after incident being shared on social media.
Breastfeeding advocate Stephanie Karch said, “Nursing mothers are often discriminated against. I honestly don’t know why people have such a problem with this.”