Breastfeeding Shaming

Breastfeeding Shaming

I was shamed by my mother for breastfeeding in public. Breastfeeding shaming from strangers is something I have experienced before. This was for bottle feeding breast milk and breastfeeding WITH a cover, but breastfeeding shaming by a family member was by far the worst.

Look, today we live in a society where breasts are an object of sex and many people forget that breasts were intended to feed a child. The act of breastfeeding uncovered is a natural thing all over the world.

Now, all 50 US states actually protect breastfeeding mothers!

Breastfeeding shaming is a real issue facing many moms today. You can find stories about breastfeeding shaming all over the news and going viral on social media everywhere!

Women, especially other mothers, should be lifting each other up and not putting each other down. I was once breastfeeding my baby uncovered while trying to push my two other children in the stroller when a kind older woman came up to me and told me I was doing a great job! These are the kinds of things mothers should be told. They should not be shamed, judged and criticized for loving and nurturing their child the way they choose.

That said, I was shopping with my mom and sister for my sister’s wedding when my daughter was getting fussy and hungry. It was 90 degrees outside and I found a comfortable area in the shade to feed her. I was even turned away from the rest of the seating area facing the back of my chair.

My mother, standing above me asked, “you don’t use a cover when you feed her?” so I said, “no, not in this heat. Why?” And she replied, “I don’t think it’s polite.” Breastfeeding shaming is real!

I held back tears, I hid behind my sunglasses for the sake of my sister trying not to ruin the day. I was deeply offended, humiliated and hurt. What am I doing wrong by feeding my baby in the way that is most comfortable for my daughter and I? Why do I need to cover her face in 90 degree weather? Should I eat with a blanket over my face too?

I couldn’t help but shut down, get quiet and not smile for the rest of the day. In fact, my mother probably sensed I was upset and acted as though it didn’t happen.

As soon as I got into my car to drive back to my home an hour away I burst into tears since I couldn’t believe I was a victim of breastfeeding shaming in public by my own mother. The one who is supposed to support me, the one who should have my back.

Why are breastfeeding mothers expected to use a cover? Use a bottle? Why can’t mothers nurse their child in the way they feel most comfortable?

Look, I support other moms and will never question or shame them for the way in which they decide to feed their child. It’s not my business and it’s not harming me and it’s not harming the child. Breastfeeding shaming is wrong.

Have you ever witnessed breastfeeding shaming or been a victim of breastfeeding shaming by a stranger, family member or friend? Please share your breastfeeding shaming stories in the comments below.

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