A young mum has been shocked to be publicly shamed for breastfeeding by her own dad.

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.

The first time mum wrote on Instagram that while at a restaurant with her family her nine-month-old daughter Maya was getting fussy and in order to soothe her she went to feed her.

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.”

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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

A photo posted by Kelly Stanley 23 yrs (@kellymarie_yoga) on

She writes: “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.”

Ms Stanley, a yoga teacher says "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.”

“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.”

She told The Daily Mail: “'My mom stated that I was being inconsiderate of people who 'don't want to see that' but I feel like I was being considerate of the other customers by not forcing them to listen to my crying infant during their meal”.

Stanley took to her public Instagram page to remind her followers:

“You can't expect women to WANT to breastfeed and then shew [sic] 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 mum's problem. “

“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.”

She ended with: "Grrr don't poke the mum bear.”

I find it really sad that our society finds the need to censor a woman feeding her child. This morning I woke up to find this post had been reported and somehow Instagram found a reason to delete it from my page. There are pages flooded with images of women in pasties (not that I have a problem with that, just pointing out the hypocrisy here) and no one bats an eye (or at least Instagram doesn't remove those pictures). However, the moment a woman shows an ounce of flesh (and not a speck of areola) while feeding her child, people start shouting to the heavens that she better cover up. Originally captioned, "Why are boobs only taboo when they are feeding a baby? Is it possibly because giving them a biological function discredits the objectification of them? ????"

A photo posted by Kelly Stanley 23 yrs (@kellymarie_yoga) on

Sadly, Ms Stanley said what hurt most was that this reaction came from her own parents.

“I was shocked to have someone so close to me not respect my right to breastfeed my child freely. It hurt more than if a stranger had done it.”

“I just didn't understand why he cared more about the customers than the comfort of his own daughter and granddaughter.”

On social media Ms Stanley has been asked why it is such a big deal and why she wouldn't just “cover up”.

She responded:

“I personally wouldn't enjoy being forced to eat my meal with a blanket smothering my face, either. So I don't make my baby do it.”

She says she is so passionate about breastfeeding because she struggled with it so much.

“For me struggling through those early days made me extremely grateful and proud of our breastfeeding relationship because it didn't come easily for either of us. So the fact that we were able to power through successfully was a major accomplishment for us,” she told The Daily Mail.

She says that her father has not apologised, but he does understand her point of view.

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