Regular customers with young babies at the Brewers Fayre in Butterley Park, Ripley, Nottinghamshire, said they were “humiliated” by an incident at the pub.
They said staff moved them from their table to an area at the back of the pub near the toilets, explaining that men who had come in to read newspapers had complained about noise.
But the mums claimed they feared the real reason they were moved was that some of them had breast-fed their children in previous weeks.
Whitbread, the owner of the Brewers Fayre, insisted that the company “always welcomes breast-feeding mothers, parents and carers with young children”.
A spokesman told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser: “We were disappointed to learn this claim had been made, as they visit regularly with their friends and young families and we always do our utmost to look after them.
“We do everything we can to give a first class service to all, so are keen to speak to the guests as a priority and reassure them that they are always welcome.”
One of the group wrote a letter of complaint to Whitbread.
'We are not hooligans'
Marie Barron, 35, told the Derbyshire Times: “We are not loud, hooligan types. We were not there to get drunk. We are working mothers, on maternity leave with seven-month-old babies.
“We were told that there are men who come in and read newspapers who don’t want to be disturbed by women and babies and it was better if we were out of the way.
“We chose to meet there as our babies are not of an age where we can let them play amongst toddlers and, seeing as we don’t get dinner dates as frequently as we used to pre-children, it’s nice to eat a hot meal in good company.
“However, the treatment we received was unacceptable and left us feeling extremely embarrassed as well as discriminated against and ruined what is otherwise a perfectly lovely place to dine with friends and family.”
• Whether or not to accommodate children can be a predicament for licensees, as was highlighted by a study last year, which found that badly behaved children was the top complaint for pubgoers.