Breastfeeding. It feels like everyone now has an opinion about it. Some are for it; some are against it, and some don’t want to see a woman breastfeeding her child—ever. Up until a year or so ago, women were not allowed to post pictures of themselves breastfeeding on various social media platforms without it being flagged as inappropriate. Women’s bodies are being regulated.
They can wear very revealing clothing and no one bats an eyelash, but women do what their bodies are naturally designed to do—produce nourishment for their child—and it seems like the masses’ delicate minds can’t handle it.
With the rise of social media, many women are publishing their stories about a time when they were shamed for breastfeeding in the hopes that it will embolden other women to breastfeed. They also hope that by making breastfeeding more noticeable in everyday life, it will help desexualize women’s breasts.
The more society learns about breastfeeding and the act of nursing openly being destigmatized, the fewer women who breastfeed will be harassed. That is the ultimate goal of women who champion other women breastfeeding in public. When mothers are supported, society as a whole will reap the benefit as mothers will feel more confident.
15 Ulta Isn’t Always Full Of Beauty
One teen took to YouTube to recount a story she had witnessed in Ulta. She was in line behind a group of mother’s and one of them was breastfeeding her child. The cashier could be heard asking the woman, “what are you doing?” The woman replied, “I am feeding my child.”
The cashier apparently went off on the mother saying that what she was doing was inappropriate. She said they didn’t want to see that, and berated the woman for openly breastfeeding. The mother responded back that she was perfectly within her right to breastfeed her child and then asked to speak with the manager.
The manager came out and the employee went into the back and wasn’t seen again by the witness. The teenager who witnessed this said that the manager refunded this woman’s purchased. After the woman left, she took to Facebook to talk about her experience. The mother is a “lactavist,” which is part of a group that is working towards normalizing breastfeeding.
14 Mall Security Sure Can Make You Feel Insecure
A mom was taking her children to the local mall to have their picture taken with the Easter bunny—nothing nefarious about that. Her eight-month-old child started crying because she was hungry. Her mother took her to a bench in the corner of the mall to breastfeed her. As she was breastfeeding her baby, mall security came over to the woman and asked her to stop breastfeeding and move to the mall’s designated breastfeeding room.
The mother retorted that she is within her legal right to breastfeed wherever she likes and she doesn’t have to go into the nursing room. After the incident, the woman went to the mall’s guest services to complain about what had occurred. The head of security apologized and said that they would start incorporating breastfeeding into their training. We can’t help but wonder if this was just good PR on their end, or if they really followed through with their supposed intent.
13 Threatened With Arrest
A woman in Georgia was at a local convenience store trying to purchase some items when her one-month-old baby started crying. She started breastfeeding her child because she was hungry. Moments after she began breastfeeding, a police officer came up to her to inform her that she must cover up.
She pushed back. She said that Georgia law allows her to breastfeed wherever she wants. He asked her to cover up and if she didn’t, he would arrest her for indecent exposure. She continued breastfeeding her child until she was finished and then continued with her purchase.
The police officer did not arrest her. The mother did go to the police department to file a complaint. The local department then issued a public apology to the mother saying that this officer’s view on breastfeeding does not reflect the department as a whole.
12 Grandfather Does Not Know Best
A mother was out to dinner with her father at a local Tennessee restaurant when her baby—his grandbaby—started crying. She then took out her breast and began feeding her baby. Her father then took his napkin and tossed it onto his daughter in an attempt to cover her up.
His daughter became very upset with him and began scolding him because she found the gesture to be humiliating. She took to Instagram to discuss what had happened between her and her father. She later went on to say that women who breastfeed should not be made to feel immodest or indecent.
By breastfeeding, she is not inviting men to stare at her breasts, as breastfeeding is non-sexual, and went on the say that there is a double standard. If breastfeeding is best, why are people getting mad about breastfeeding in public. There can’t a push for women to do it just to then restrict where mothers can.
11 Target On My Back
While completing her transaction at the café inside of Target, a woman’s four-week-old baby started to cry. She quickly finished, found the closest available chair to sit herself down in, and began breastfeeding her crying baby. Moments after she began doing that, a man who was in line at the café asked her why she had to do that there and whether she could find somewhere else to do that.
She said that she was allowed to do it there and her baby was very hungry. He became louder and louder to the point that he was screaming at her. She turned her back to him and he began yelling expletives at her. She began to film the situation and later posted it to Facebook where it then went viral. A Target employee eventually stepped in between the mother and the man to protect the mother and child. They asked him to leave.
10 Not So Playful At The Park
Someone recorded a woman who was breastfeeding her baby when she was being harassed by a man and another woman. The man said that there are kids at the park and they shouldn’t be exposed to a woman’s breasts. He asked her to go home to breastfeed.
She retorted that it was very natural, to which the other woman responded that it wasn’t if men and boys were watching her. The man told her she was being irresponsible for breastfeeding openly.
The woman began shouting at her that she needed to leave. At one point, the woman refers to the mother as “nasty”. The man then spits at her and calls her nasty, too. The woman never breaks her latch, but gathers up her things to leave. The pair is seen continuing to berate a woman who was trying to feed her child.
9 Breakfast, Not Breastmilk
A group of moms went to IHOP for International Pancake Day. What should have been an awesome experience was ruined when a family sitting next to them started making faces, making very rude comments, and taking pictures of the women when they were breastfeeding.
One of the mothers in the group went to the IHOP manager to report this family. The manager called the police and wouldn’t give them their check until the police arrived. When the police arrived, they told the woman that they either should go to the bathroom or cover up if they didn’t want to be harassed or pictures taken of them.
The police officers did not reprimand the family that was bothering this woman. When the mothers filed a complaint, the department said that they would consider it but never apologized for the incident. Who else is feeling very SMDH right now?
8 Subway Is Supposed To Support Eating Fresh
A woman decided to eat at Subway for lunch because she didn’t have many options as to where to go that day. While she was waiting for her sandwich to be made, her six-month-old was wanting to be nursed. She took a seat at the booth and began nursing.
Not long after she started nursing, a Subway employee came up to her saying that she wouldn’t be able to do breastfeed there. She was told that she could continue to nurse in the bathroom, but couldn’t continue to breastfeed out in the open as people were eating and that what she was doing was indecent exposure.
She tried mentioning that it was her legal right, but the woman wouldn’t leave her alone. The woman kept insisting that what she was doing was indecent. Sadly, the mother took her things and left.
7 Hypocrisy Among The Charitable
A Canadian woman attended a charity function with her two-month-old son. She went into the hallway outside of the event to breastfeed her little one. According to a staff member, people were complaining. He took a table cloth to shield the dinners from the breastfeeding mother. Then, he escorted the mother to the basement so she could finish breastfeeding without anyone seeing her.
After the incident, the mother took to Facebook and posted a picture of herself being forced to breastfeed in the basement. The mother later demanded that they apologize as she was in her right to breastfeed and the staff should not have forced her to relocate to the basement. She insisted that their employees should receive sensitivity training on the subject. The mother went on to state that society wants women to breastfeed because of the great health benefits, but they don’t seem to understand how it works if they are outraged at seeing a woman do such.
6 Dining Out, Girls Out
When a woman tried to shame another woman for openly breastfeeding in public, this mama was not going to take it lying down. The woman was seen shaking her head and making a face of disgust. While there was no verbal altercation between the two women, it is obvious that this woman was judging her harshly and shaming her for breastfeeding without a cover as she breastfed her baby in public.
The mother took to Facebook to write about her experience. She then went on to discuss how women should never feel ashamed for doing something that their bodies were intended to do: provide nourishment for their children. She goes on to write how it is unfair to ask breastfeeding women to exclude themselves from society because someone might be uncomfortable with breasts being used for what they are designed for.
5 McDonald’s… Not Lovin’ It
During an outing to McDonald’s, a woman started breastfeeding her three-month-old son. Another woman approached her and insisted that she cover herself. She said that her husband couldn’t stop staring at the woman who was breastfeeding her baby. Her response to the woman was to cover her head in a muslin cloth without covering her child. The woman reacted by grabbing her husband by the arm and leaving McDonald’s.
When the breastfeeding mother was asked about the incident later, she said that she did notice her husband looking but it seemed like the wife was more concerned than the husband. She also stated that she wouldn’t cover up because it affects her sons breathing as he tends to hold his breath when he is covered. The mother decided to share her story with the hope that it will encourage other mothers to find the confidence to breastfeed without fear. Do not let another woman’s insecurity about her man hinder your child’s breastfeeding relationship.
4 Modeling Perfection
The Victoria Secret model—Candice Swanepoel—took to Instagram to share her story of being shamed while breastfeeding. The model opened up about feeling shamed while breastfeeding in public so much so that she felt she couldn’t go out in public anymore.
Directly after that, she said that she doesn’t feel any such shame when posing topless for editorials. While the model did not give an instance where she was shamed, she made it seem like it was many trivial things that culminated into something larger.
She went on to write that breastfeeding isn’t sexual and that maybe a society that is so desensitized to the sexualization of breasts could benefit from destigmatizing breastfeeding. Those who feel that breastfeeding in public is wrong need to educate themselves on the topic, according to Candice.
3 Let’s All Be Virgin Mary’s
One mom took to Facebook to post a live video to discuss her breastfeeding incident. She was approached—not once, but twice—by church workers while she was trying to breastfeed her child. They asked her to cover herself up as it made other people feel uncomfortable.
She went to this church to drop her daughter off at the kids’ room. Her baby started to fuss. So, she decided to feed the baby in the hallway. People working at the church started acting weird and uncomfortable.
When offered a cover, the mother refused. More church staff came over to her to ask her to move into the church’s nursing room, as it was the churches policy to direct women to this room—to which she also refused. She hoped her message would encourage women to breastfeed in public more to help negate the oversexualization of women’s bodies.
2 Not Even In The Hospital
Motherhood is stressful enough, but pile on what society expects from her and it can be overwhelming. A mother was nursing her ten-month-old son in the waiting room at a hospital when the receptionist said she could go to a private room to finish nursing.
The mother politely declined. She continued to nurse her baby with the woman standing there for five to ten minutes. She then demanded the woman go in the room, because she had work to do.
At this point, the entire waiting room was staring at them. She still declined to go into the other room. After the incident, the mother filed a complaint with the woman’s supervisor. The hospital issued a public apology to the mother for what had transpired and said what had occurred is not in line with their standard of care.
1 Trampoline Parks… Where Boobies Bounce
On a Monday afternoon, a mother decided to take her two daughters—one which was eight-month-old—a to the local trampoline park. She started breastfeeding her baby without incident. After she had finished breastfeeding, the manager of the trampoline park came up to her saying that people had complained to them.
They did so in a very respectful manner and neither party was upset about what had transpired. She then moved to another part of the park that was more secluded and nursed again. This time, another mother came up to her saying that she was a bad mother and that her breasts were sexual and she was exposing children to them. The mother hit back by telling the complainant that she could educate her family about breastfeeding, leave, or get used to her breastfeeding because she would not be leaving. Score!
Sources: YouTube, People, KXAN News, WPXI News, Redbook Magazine, Glamour Magazine, Women’s Health Magazine, Metro, Today’s Parent, Role Reboot, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Normalize Breastfeeding, Today, People