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Ottawa Starbucks barista makes breastfeeding mom’s day

Nadine Kalinauskas
Shine On
June 27, 2014
mom and baby

A barista at an Ottawa Starbucks recently made a breastfeeding mother's day. The story of his act kindness is now going viral.

Julia Wykes had planned on getting a drink to go at the Trainyards location of the coffee chain, but when her five-month-old boy grew fussy, she sat down to nurse him.

Another customer approached the counter and, in a loud voice, asked the young male barista, "Could you get that woman to stop doing that in public? It is disgusting."

Also see: Why is breastfeeding in public still so taboo?

The barista walked over to Wykes, but instead of asking her to stop, he instead apologized for the grumpy customer's behaviour — in a voice loud enough for the complainant to hear.

"And here's a voucher for a free drink next time you're in here, I am so sorry that you had to deal with such unpleasantness today," he told Wykes.

"At first I was flabbergasted by the woman's response to public breastfeeding," Wykes tells SheKnows. "To have a young man be more kind and informed than a middle-aged woman who may have had children herself was a shock."

Wykes shared her story with a friend in her parenting group who runs the popular Facebook page, PhD in Parenting. The friend posted the story online.

Almost immediately, the story went viral. Thousands of "awesome" Facebook comments poured in, praising the barista for his respectful and generous actions.

Also see: Toronto mom's Instagram account shut down over breastfeeding photo

We often hear the not-so-great breastfeeding-in-public stories, like this one. (And this one. And this one.) So this story offers a refreshing change.

Shine On reached out to Wykes and Starbucks for comment and have yet to hear back. However, on Thursday, Wykes said this about the experience:

"I just hope that experiences like this can show women that nursing in public is normal. If you are hungry when you're running errands, you eat," Wykes tells SheKnows. "Why should we think that our babies are any different?"

Moms, have you ever encountered opposition (or support) from a stranger when breastfeeding in public?

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