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-- Husband Astonished At Bold Move From Waitress After His Wife Had To Leave Dinner

Heading down to your local pizza joint to grab a bite to eat is rarely a momentous occasion. Yet for the family you’re about to meet, it was life-changing. Jackie Johnson-Smith, her husband, and her three young children decided to treat themselves to a meal out on a day that had been filled with all the frantic activity young families are used to. Little did they know, this simple decision was about to lead them into an event that would affect not just them, but the world at large. 
If you’re curious to know what could possibly happen at a pizza shop that would captivate people across the globe, you’re not alone. This story fascinates everyone who hears about it. And with a life-improving message contained in its conclusion, this is one of those times when satisfying your curiosity is truly worth it. Read on to learn how a heat-of-the-moment decision by a pizza shop waitress changed this young mom’s life. 
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At The Restaurant

When Jackie and her family were enjoying dinner at a local restaurant, her youngest child began getting finicky. Picking up on what the baby needed, she began to breastfeed at the table without thinking twice. After all, they were at a family-friendly restaurant with kids and parents everywhere and her tiny infant was just a few months old.
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However, Jackie noticed one of the waitresses was keeping an eye on her. Feeling self-conscious, she decided to continue feeding her baby in their car. While she was gone, the waitress slipped a note to her husband with the check. This letter, according to Jackie, left her in “total shock” with tears in her eyes. Read on to learn what the waitress did and why it left Jackie so shell-shocked.  
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The Couple Was In Desperate Need Of Quality Time Together

Jackie and her husband hadn't left the house for anything other than work in ages. This was why they decided to go to the restaurant that day. Having three children requires a lot of work and more time than anyone has in a day. The couple needed a break from the endless stress, even if it was just for an hour or two. 
They chose to dine at Fong’s, a pizza place situated on 4th Street in Des Moines, Iowa. Fong’s had the perfect combination of being close by and having super-tasty food. However, their youngest was getting fussy, making it hard for Jackie to appreciate her meal.
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The Baby Was Hungry Too

While the other two kids were having fun at the restaurant, the youngest had just woken from a nap and so was restless. This put Jackie in a frustrating situation because she could not focus on her food while her little one was upset. Fortunately, she knew there were only three likely causes for his crankiness (she is a mother after all).
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The most likely cause of his restlessness was hunger. However, she hadn’t brought formula with her. Jackie’s motherly instincts took over and started breastfeeding him on the spot. However, this soon led to an awkward situation.
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Should Breastfeeding Only Be Done In Private?

Not everyone is open to the idea of breastfeeding in public. Jackie and her family were at Fong’s which, despite being family-friendly, is a public space where you need to be considerate of other people’s needs as well as your own.
On the subject of breastfeeding, the world is divided. There are those who see it as natural and, therefore, okay to do anywhere; then there are those who will judge mothers who do it in public, insisting it should be conducted behind closed doors. Jackie soon felt the need to leave her family’s table and find a more secluded breastfeeding spot. But what could be the reason?
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Breastfeeding In Public Should Be Normalized

Indeed, there are mothers who proudly insist that breastfeeding their child in public is natural and should be normalized. They believe anyone who takes issue with this just needs to be given more information on the subject so they can be more understanding. 
Though they may be sexualized, a woman’s breasts are responsible for nurturing new lives. Jackie had felt self-conscious and uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public with her first two kids. But by the third, she was far more laid-back. With three kids, it’s just not practical to care too much what strangers think of you! Yet, at Fong’s, something happened to bring back those old insecurities. 
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Jackie Chose The Restaurant For A Reason

Jackie was the one who chose Fong’s that day, not because she anticipated breastfeeding there but because she knew it was a place where her older kids would have fun. She explained, “I usually don’t go downtown for dinner because lots of places aren’t family-friendly.” 
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Indeed, the other two children were loving the food and having a brilliant time. Unfortunately, the youngest was harder to please. Knowing most (if not all) of the people around her had raised kids and so were familiar with breastfeeding, Jackie thought nothing of engaging in this nurturing act.
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“people Can Be Judgmental”

Still wanting to be conservative and considerate, Jackie covered herself and started breastfeeding the infant. She would have thought twice about it if she was in another downtown restaurant, but the vibe at Fong’s made it feel fine.
“I usually don’t like to breastfeed in public because people can be judgmental,” Jackie shared. However, soon after her little one started feeding, something caught her attention and urged her to get out of there. 
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Why Was She Being Watched?

There was someone suspiciously watching Jackie as she breastfed her baby. She brushed it off at first, assuming it couldn’t possibly be malicious while also feeling relieved that her youngest has stopped fussing. Then, she noticed a waitress looking at them from across the restaurant.
Once again, Jackie tried to brush it off. But eventually, it made her uncomfortable that she decided it would be best to finish breastfeeding her baby in the car. So, she got up and left.
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The Waitress Kept Circling

In an email interview, Jackie shared, “The waitress kept walking by and I was worried she didn’t want me nursing in the restaurant.” Jackie herself was raised on formula, but breastfeeding for her was a journey that she considered to be “deeply personal with endless woes and triumphs.” 
Despite her strong feelings about breastfeeding, in that moment, Jackie just wasn’t in the mood for fighting for her rights. At the end of the day, she didn’t own the establishment, and they’re free to set their own rules.
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Jackie Went To The Car

Jackie was not about to become a social justice warrior – she and her husband just wanted to relax with their kids. So, she voluntarily got up to continue feeding her child in the car. She was more concerned about preventing the family from being kicked out of the restaurant. 
If going to the car meant preventing a scene and preserving the happiness of their fun family outing, it was worth the sacrifice. Jackie didn’t even want the waitress to finally come up to her and ask her “kindly” to stop breastfeeding her baby. She just wanted her family to enjoy their food in peace.  
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The Waitress Left A Note

The baby was restless as Jackie collected herself before heading to the parking lot, but he settled down as soon as she started walking. Nevertheless, she was intent on her plan to head for the car and avoid the unpleasant words she felt brewing if she continued breastfeeding in the restaurant. 
Little did the family know that the waitress had something different on her mind, and she revealed her plan in a note left on the family’s receipt. Jackie was gone by that time, so her husband was the one who received it, and he was shocked. 
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“it Was Like A Pat On The Back”

Jackie’s husband rushed out of the restaurant with their two other kids after paying the bill. He needed Jackie to see the note. After she read it, the pair looked at each other in astonishment. “I was in total shock and started tearing up,” Jackie shared. 
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Far from being judgmental, the waitress thanked Jackie for breastfeeding and even paid for one of their pizzas. “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,” Jackie went on. 
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Positive Feedback

It’s uncommon to receive positive feedback for breastfeeding in public. Though, if you think about it, this should not be out of the ordinary because nursing a child is a natural and wonderful thing. Of course, this doesn’t mean we should all start interrupting breastfeeding mothers to congratulate them! 
Bodi was the waitress’ name, and she explained later on, “I noticed [Jackie] nursing and was so thrilled that she did it. 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.”
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The Story Soon Went Viral

Jackie appreciated Bodi’s gesture so much. She took to her Facebook account to express her gratitude to the waitress. “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,” she wrote. 
“I have gotten many looks and stares, but tonight erases any negativity I have ever received. I ate at Fong’s for the first time tonight,” she added. Little did she know that her pleasant experience would strike a chord. Once again, she was astonished as her simple “thank you” went viral. 
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“It Felt Amazing”

Jackie continued in her viral post, “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.” 
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There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child, and the empathy that came from this stranger is evidence of the truth in this old adage. This also poses a reminder that random acts of kindness can have immeasurable value.
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Kindness And Empathy In Moderation

Of course, this action can’t be taken as a general rule. Under different circumstances, you could come off as creepy if you make a habit of thanking and rewarding breastfeeding women. If it’s natural, great, but never force the issue. 
Bodi’s situation was unique and well-handled. She opted not to approach Jackie and instead commend her by paying for one of the pizzas! The note then expressed support, gratitude, and empathy.
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Boid Knew What Jackie Was Going Through

Bodi, who was also a mom, knew exactly what Jackie was going through. She explained, “I nurse my baby no matter where I am.” She added that she could be buying groceries or shopping for new clothes – if her child needs nourishment, it’s getting fed. 
“People often react negatively. 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,” Bodi continued.
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More Acceptance, Please?

Breastfeeding moms want acceptance. You may have been raised in formula or fed your child in this manner, but breastfeeding an infant is still a natural method. Women who take this path want to be respected, and they want the needs of their children respected too. This was why Jackie felt the urge to return to Fong’s after her husband handed her the note. 
She didn’t do this right away, though. Instead, she found a better way to thank Bodi in person: She found Bodi’s husband’s account on Facebook.
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Jackie Reached Out

After coming across Bodi’s husband on the platform, she did not hesitate in sending her thankfulness. She reached out and told him, “Please thank your wife for me. I should have re-entered the restaurant and thanked her in person. I still should.” 
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Jackie added, “[She] touched me in a place in my heart that is so tender, so raw and rooted and so very proud. Unbeknownst to her at the time it was also my 33rd birthday.” Indeed, what’s a more wonderful gift to someone celebrating his or her birthday than kindness and free pizza?
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Bodi’s Small But Powerful Gesture

Jackie was able to tell Bodi that her small, genuine gesture managed to touch the hearts of women from all over the country. According to Jackie, society has put breastfeeding in jeopardy, and this was why her simple post became such a viral sensation.
Most breastfeeding women feel the public should change their views regarding nursing children. Not only should the act itself be normalized, but mothers should also be made to feel comfortable when they need to nurse in public. Women can work towards this by empowering each other.
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“I Have Had People Leave The Room”

Jackie was interviewed about her viral post and shared some unpleasant experiences from the past. “I have definitely been made to feel uncomfortable and unwanted. I have encountered countless stares and obvious looks of distaste and [discomfort].”
She added, “I once overheard a woman mentioning how there were nursing rooms available in the mall while I sat near her nursing my son with a cover on. I have had people leave the room because they were so uncomfortable with me nursing in their presence.” This was rude, but this is just a small chunk of a much larger issue.
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Society Has Scared Mothers

Jackie further pointed out that “there are more and more nursing mothers every day, but do we see them nursing in public? Society has scared these mothers to be afraid to nurse in public.” 
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She revealed the inner workings of a breastfeeding mom’s mind: “Will they be the next woman to be asked to stop or leave? Will she get confronted by a stranger who disapproves of how or where she is feeding her child? Nursing mothers are often seen as self-righteous as we band together.”
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“We’re Often Misunderstood”

In the email interview, Jackie expressed hope that breastfeeding women will receive more acceptance and that her fellow moms will one day be able to be worry-free when nursing a child in public. “We're often misunderstood. Do we think breastfeeding is best? Of course we do, but it isn't a ‘we're better than you’ thing, it's very much an equality thing,” she wrote.
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“I would never want to make a woman feel inferior or uncomfortable about her parenting choices. It is our right and our choice, yet we're always scrutinized for it. Society has made breasts sexual and people cannot cope with normalizing them,” she continued.
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Women Don’t Get The Same Support

Jackie’s email revealed her confusion regarding how people view breastfeeding in public. She said, “It still astonishes me how something so natural and rooted in nature can be so [mis]construed by society. Society doesn't bat an eyelash at any other mammal nursing her young.” She certainly has a point there!
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“It's often oohed and aahed about even at zoos and petting farms. But women don't get that same support.” Nonetheless, she shared that her experience at Fong’s was special. “I may have been longing for it for far longer than I could have realized,” she revealed.
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Inside Her Message For Bodi

Jackie shared in her email a special message she sent to Bodi, relayed through the latter’s spouse. “I felt an amazing sense of belonging and optimism that day because of your wife's beautiful sentiment that is still carrying me days later. I couldn't even fathom two nights ago how many people my post would and could touch.”
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Women across the country are tearing up and being touched by it because breastfeeding is so innately personal and society has made it so vulnerable.” Indeed, Jackie’s wonderful experience was empowering and relatable to a ton of women who are experiencing the same distaste.
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The Viral Post Is A Testament To The Need For Solidarity

Indeed, Jackie’s post taking off is proof of the need to normalize breastfeeding in public. And all of this took off because Bodi had the heart and courage to make a sincere gesture to a random mom. “Women across the country are tearing up and being touched by it because breastfeeding is so innately personal and society has made it so vulnerable,” she wrote. 
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Though Bodi's gesture may have been small, it had a monumental impact. Her act of kindness was as beautiful as it was refreshing. And it carries with it a message for the rest of society – imagine what our lives would be like if we all suspended judgment and decided to support and empower each other instead?
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“no One Is Offended By A Bottle”

Jackie added that formula feeders can nurse their children anytime and anyplace. Of course, this is because nobody gets offended by a bottle. “No one thinks our babies shouldn’t be fed either, but they are often quick to let us know that they want us to take it somewhere else where they don’t have to see it,” she continued. 
However, Jackie believes that formula feeders aren’t excluded from this movement. The most important part is when everyone supports both and respects a mother’s choice to do what she feels best.
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Breastfeeding In Public: Reactions From Around The World

In the Philippines, breastfeeding is protected by laws like the “Milk Code,” which aims to promote and protect breastfeeding practice through the regulation of the use of formula milk, breastmilk substi­tutes, and products like feeding bottles and teats. Breastfeeding moms are also protected by the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009. 
Employers must allow breastfeeding employees to take breaks when their child needs to be fed. The laws also state that public places like schools, shops, and offices must provide stations where mothers can nurse their baby or express breastmilk. An interesting and important feature of this legislation is that these areas must be separate from bathrooms. 
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America’s Take On Breastfeeding

Almost all of America’s states (including Washington DC and the Virgin Islands) have laws that allow breastfeeding women to nurse their children in public. Breastfeeding mothers from Virginia and South Dakota are also exempted from nudity and indecency laws. 
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Idaho has enacted the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), giving mothers the right to breastfeed anywhere. The act offers workplace protection for breastfeeding workers, although there are no state-level breastfeeding laws (yet). 
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Breastfeeding Legislation In The UK

Enacted in 2010, the British Equality Act legislates against discrimination towards breastfeeding moms. Discrimination includes declining to provide service, providing service on different terms, and providing a lower quality service. 
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So, for example, a restaurant owner cannot legally refuse to serve a breastfeeding woman, and they are not permitted to ask her to stop or leave the premises. Women in the UK are free to breastfeed in public transport, sporting facilities, parks, restaurants, shops, theatres, hospitals, petrol stations, and most other public spaces.
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European Breastfeeding Rules

In most European countries, public breastfeeding is legal and widely accepted. In Ireland, breastfeeding whenever necessary, although not directly mentioned, is protected under the Equal Status Act (2000). The law aims to protect people from harassment and discrimination. In Germany, breastfeeding in public is widely accepted since the so-called “Movement” of 1968. 
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In addition, the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany states that the care and upbringing of children is the natural right of parents, and "entitles every mother to the protection and care of the community.”​​​​

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