woman breastfeeding
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
May 27, 2024 ·  4 min read

Waitress Gives Mom Free Pizza For Breastfeeding

All too often, people point fingers at one another. Most of us have been judged for the things we say and do or the way we dress and look. Furthermore, most of the time, those judgments are openly expressed in a hurtful way. Several years ago, people came up with one more judgment to make. Women have been condemned for breastfeeding their children in public. Even so, this heartwarming story speaks volumes about how women can encourage and empower one another. 

Dinner is Interrupted

Jackie Johnson Smith, 33 at the time, was at dinner with her husband and three kids for her birthday celebration. The family was enjoying a pizza dinner at Fong’s Restaurant in Des Moines, Iowa when Jackie’s dinner was interrupted. She left the table because her youngest was getting fussy and she chose to breastfeed him to keep him calm. “I tried occupying him with various toys, but he wasn’t relaxing. So, I decided to nurse him. I grabbed a cover from my diaper bag, threw it on, and started nursing him,” Smith said.

Breastfeeding and Feeling Ashamed

At first, she was breastfeeding him at the table, but then made eye contact with the waitress. Assuming the waitress gave her a judgmental look, she began feeling self-conscious and decided to leave the booth to finish breastfeeding. “We were in a corner of the restaurant where nobody could really see us, but when the waitress came over, she noticed me nursing and she gave me this look,” Jackie continued. “I immediately started stressing out.” Jackie explained some of her previous experiences with breastfeeding in public weren’t great. “I’ve been stared at, given dirty looks. People said, ‘There are places for that,’” Smith said. “With my first child I really felt the pressure and fear. I hid in the car whenever I had to breastfeed.

When Jackie husband paid the bill, she got a wonderful and uplifting surprise. “My husband had this weird grin on his face, and he showed me the receipt our waitress gave him. It said, ‘I bought one of your pizzas…please thank your wife for breastfeeding,” she said. 

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Read: Police Called on Breastfeeding Mom at the Beach & the Officer Totally Had Her Back

In Support of Breastfeeding

Bodi Kinney, also 33 at the time, was the generous waitress from Des Moines. “As soon as I saw her nursing in the restaurant, I was in awe. I immediately thought, ‘Right on!‘ Kinney told ABC News. “She really lit up my night. Without making a big scene or making her uncomfortable, I really wanted to thank her for breastfeeding and tell her I supported her.”

A Stranger’s Kindness

Kinney explained, “That’s when I decided that I would pay for one of the pizzas she ordered. So, I paid for the pizza, and wrote a quick note on their receipt. I told the husband to thank his wife for me.” She explained that she, too, had been in a similar situation. “I was a nursing mother too, and we really need the support.” That was her reason for paying for the pizza. 

Jackie said of the touching encounter with such a kind stranger. “I kept reading the note over and over and over again in shock. She continued, “I teared up, I was emotional. I have breastfed for five years, on and off, and I never got such positive affirmation for what I was doing.” Jackie concluded with, “Breastfeeding is not black and white. I absolutely encourage it. However, any mother, whether they work or stay at home, breastfeed or use formula, knows what is best for her family and children. And every mother just should trust that.”

Empowering Women

Life is hard for everyone. We all face illness, disease, loss, and stress, not to mention war, famine, and otherworldly crises. Complaining about women breastfeeding their children seems trivial in the grand scheme of things. This story is both heartwarming and sets a positive example for people everywhere. The world needs more compassion, understanding, and support. We all face challenges and people waste too much energy being judgmental of how others navigate those challenges. Furthermore, breastfeeding is a natural part of life; women shouldn’t be condemned for feeding their children.

Keep Reading: Mom shamed for breastfeeding in public, refuses to cover up, and continues feeding baby like a boss

A Secret Life of Mom Highlight Story: Sometimes, there are stories that are just too good, too beautiful, or too unbelievable to keep locked away. That’s why we scour the archives and bring some of them back to enjoy again. They may make you smile or shed a tear, but they’re always meant to add a little positivity to your day.

Sources

  1. “Photo: Note on receipt left mom ‘speechless and emotional’. HuffPost. July 18, 2013.
  2. Breastfeeding Mom Gets Free Pizza”. ABC News. Geetika Rudra July 19, 2013.