Breastfeeding has always been a controversial topic,usually to the detriment of the breastfeeding mom. In this case though, karma ran its course and a mom received a free pizza for breastfeeding her child at a restaurant.
Mom-of-three Jackie Johnson-Smith was celebrating her birthday at Fong’s Pizza in Des Moines when her 12-month-old baby started fussing.
“I usually don’t go downtown for dinner because lots of places aren’t family-friendly but I had heard good things about Fong’s,” the overwhelmed mom recalled. “It was chaotic—I had one kid licking the honey container on the table, another standing on his chair, and my baby was fussing.”
After some hesitation, Jackie threw on a cover and began breastfeeding the tot.
“I usually don’t like to breastfeed in public because people can be judgmental,” she added. “The waitress kept walking by, and I was worried she didn’t want me nursing in the restaurant.”
When the bill came by, Jackie’s husband was dumbfounded.
“He handed me the dinner receipt and at first I was confused—why is he showing me how much my birthday dinner cost?” Jackie later said.
To their surprise, the waitress left a note on the paper, “I bought one of your pizzas. Please thank your wife for breastfeeding!”
“I was in total shock and started tearing up,” the mom said. “After dealing with people’s reactions for so long, it was like the universe was giving me a pat on the back. I was too stunned to go back inside and thank the waitress.”
When they got home, Jackie posted a photo of the receipt to her Facebook page and wrote, “I have breastfed three children… I have breastfed them in a countless number of places both pleasant and unpleasant, discreetly and out in the open. I have gotten many looks and stares, but tonight erases any negativity I have ever received. I ate at Fongs for the first time tonight. Having a fussy baby I nursed him for awhile in the booth and eventually left the table early as to not disrupt the restaurant. The waitress gave this receipt to my husband. I was speechless and emotional. Although I don’t need a pat on the back for feeding my child, it sure felt amazing. It is amazing how we women can make each other feel when we empower each other.”
Yahoo Shine later contacted the Smiths’ server Bodi Kinney. “I noticed Johnson-Smith nursing and was so thrilled she did it,” Bodi said. “I tried not to stare because I didn’t want to seem creepy or make her feel uncomfortable, but I felt like doing jumping jacks.”
So why did she do it? “Although I nurse my baby no matter where I am—at the supermarket, in clothing stores—people often react negatively,” Bodi sincerely said. “Recently, I had to leave my daughter’s school play to nurse my 8-month-old for fear of offending someone. I wanted to let this woman know in some shape or form, that she was doing the right thing.”