Bryony Esther had to breastfeed while standing on a train when men refused to give up their seats.
Now the mum is being attacked online for breastfeeding a one-year-old.
Four days ago, Essex mum Bryony Esther was catching a train home from a London hospital after visiting her sick son. She had her daughters, aged five and one, with her.
When she asked a group of men sitting with a suitcase if she could sit where the suitcase was, and her request was ignored, she breastfed her one-year-old standing up. Then she took a selfie and posted it on Facebook.
“Having to stand on a train whilst breastfeeding my baby thanks to the lovely bunch of charmers giving more priority to their suitcases and rolling joints!” she wrote.
“It stinks. Plus the cyclist with a fancy bike that keeps rolling into me, sat in the disabled seat. Please share ’cos I’d love it if their mothers, girlfriends and wives got to see how they behave.”
More than 36,000 people did share the post. But not all were supportive.
“I’ve had some messages saying, ‘Your baby looks too old to be breastfeeding,’ ‘That’s disgusting – put it away,’ ‘Exhibitionist!’ and things like, ‘Get a car!’” Esther added.
“I could lecture them on being eco, saving congestion in London and on WHO [World Health Organisation] feeding guidelines but been a bit busy with Zak at GOSH [Great Ormond Street Hospital].”
She went on to explain that the reason she took a selfie was that it wasn’t the first time this had happened.
“I’ve posted about this issue before, the last time being April last year when I was eight months pregnant, doing the same journey to visit my sick son at Great Ormond Street Hospital (just like I was the other day), and last time my friends told me, ‘Next time you should take a picture and post on Facebook so their mothers can see,’ so I did.”
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Another woman told her she should have told the men to move their suitcase, and if they didn’t, she should have made a complaint. Esther explained that she didn’t want to make a fuss in front of her five-year-old and risk upsetting her.
“I was attacked when I tried confronting someone about their unsociable behaviour back in 2009,” she added. “Once bitten, twice shy.”
But the “baby-wearing, natural parenting, eco-friendly” mum is happy her post has attracted so much publicity.
“I must say it’s given me something else to think about – a welcome distraction from hospital.”
Do you think was being reasonable? Should women be able to breastfeed on public transport?