Mom Breastfeeds In Olive Garden, Gets Free Dessert From Stranger

 Image: Sara Collins

Image: Sara Collins

Breastfeeding can be a serious struggle.

Whether you’re talking about clogged milk ducts, uncomfortable breast pumps or teething babies, there are plenty of reasons why breastfeeding — as wonderful as it is for you and your child — is no walk in the park.

That’s why, in my head, I always cheer for women when I see them nursing in public. I know it’s a hard thing to do, and I admire them for persevering. But to be honest, I never actually tell these strangers that because … well, they’re strangers. That’s the sort of situation that could easily get awkward. (Imagine me trying to fist bump a woman with a partially unbuttoned shirt and her nursling cradled in her arms. Like I said — awkward!)

Clearly, I could learn a thing or two from an anonymous woman who recently visited an Ohio Olive Garden restaurant. Sarah Collins, 25-year-old mom from Erie, Penn., was dining with her parents at an Olive Garden restaurant in Mentor, Ohio when a waitress surprised her with a note. It said:

“From one Breastfeeding mama to Another … your [sic] doing an AWESOME Job! Your [sic] feeding 2 so here’s some dessert.”

 Image via: olivegarden.com

Image via: olivegarden.com

The message came from a restaurant patron who identified herself in the note as the mother of an almost 12-month-old baby. Evidently, she had seen Collins nursing, ordered her a dessert — tiramisu! yum! — and left before Collins could thank her.

Collins posted a picture of the note to a Facebook breastfeeding group to which we both belong, generating nearly 1,000 likes and comments like “Made my day!” and “Proof that there IS still goodness in the world.”

Collins said she’s putting the note in her son’s baby book and wants “to pay it forward.” Other moms in our group said they, too, were inspired by the note and might start purchasing desserts for other nursing moms.

It’s a delightful development at a time when nursing moms still get flak for breastfeeding in public. Let’s have less shaming and more sweet encouragement like this.