A passionate breastfeeding advocate has found herself the target of breastfeeding shaming when she was told to “cover up” while trying to feed her daughter. What made it even worse was that the man who told her to cover up was her own father.
Kelly Stanley, 32, from Tennessee, said she was “shamed” and “humiliated” when her parents failed to support her breastfeeding choices.
Kelly Stanley, her husband Luke and Maya. Image Supplied.
She told The Daily Mail that her parents, visiting from out of town took her and her husband to dinner.
“I nursed my child before leaving the house in hopes that she wouldn't need to nurse while we were at the dinner table, but in the middle of the meal she started to get irritable and was reaching for me and grabbing at my shirt.”
Kelly Stanley with her daughter Maya. Image Supplied.
She wrote on Instagram:
“So of course I pull my shirt down to feed and comfort her. Someone at the dinner table then grabs one of those cloth napkins and tries to toss it over me. I asked him what he was doing, and he said he was trying to cover me.”
She says that her family felt the restaurant she was in was “too nice" an establishment “to nurse a baby uncovered”.
She said she threw the cloth back at her father and told him to “never to touch her, when she was feeding her child”.
She says he then said she was being watched by other diners and that she should go out to her car to feed Maya.
So. I was at dinner last night and, as always, had my baby with me. Maya (9 months) was getting irritable, and I knew what she needed. She needed to nurse, so of course I pull my shirt down to feed and comfort her. Some one at the dinner table then grabs one of those cloth napkins and tries to toss it over me. I asked him what he was doing, and he said he was trying to cover me. We were at Bonefish, and apparently that is too "nice" of a restaurant to nurse a baby uncovered. I wish I could say I was polite and respectful about the situation. Actually, I lied. I don't wish that. I went off on him and I'm glad I did. You know why? Because the gesture was humiliating. Because no woman should ever feel like she is being inappropriate or immodest by feeding her baby, anywhere, ever. Breastfeeding is NOT indecent exposure. It's not inviting men to gawk at my breasts. EVEN IF GOD FORBID THE BABY UNLATCHES AND THEY SEE MY BARE NIPPLE. No, I'd rather not pull my shirt down in a public place or a nice restaurant. I'd rather people NOT see my stretch marked breast or scratched nipples. But you know what? We can't sit here and tout that breast is best and then have a fit about how inappropriate it is to feed a baby in public. You can't expect women to WANT to breastfeed and then shew them to the car when their baby gets hungry, or expect them to let the baby wail in hunger or need. Babies are notorious for wanting to eat (or comfort) at the most inconvenient and AWKWARD times. And most of them hate to be covered! Breastfeeding is a normal and natural thing, and if someone has a problem with me feeding my child whenever and wherever, that is THEIR problem. It should NEVER be the breastfeeding mom's problem. They continued to say that I needed to be considerate of those who might be offended (men who sexualize breastfeeding )and I'm over here thinking it's the men who should be considerate and not sexualize breastfeeding. We need to stop making excuses for men and start expecting them to act like mature human beings who are capable of being in control of themselves. Grrr don't poke the mom bear...... . . . leggings by @omgiyoga