Despite this being the 21st century and laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia that protect breastfeeding mothers, they’re still shamed when they nurse their babies in public. One woman had a perfect response when she was asked to “cover up” at a restaurant — she did, but put the blanket on her head.
The internet loves the response. A photo Carol Lockwood posted on Facebook shows Melanie Dudley nursing her 4-month-old baby in a hotel bistro with a blanket over her head. Between likes, loves and laughs, shares and comments, it has received nearly 300,000 interactions on the social media site.
The woman was the daughter-in-law of a friend of Lockwood, who wrote that though she’s never met the new mother, she thinks what she did was “awesome.” She said she made made the post public so it could be shared, and wrote that she is “SO over people shaming women for nursing” in public.
The post noted the photo was taken on a scorching hot day with high humidity, and that it wasn’t taken in a country where breastfeeding in public would have violated religious or cultural norms.
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Many people commenting on Lockwood’s post sided with the mom and thought her response was perfect. Why didn’t the man who complained just look the other way, some wondered.
“As a man I could never understand how people are fine with all kind of nudity, when breasts are displayed as sexual objects but disgusted when they are displayed for their natural use,” one man wrote. “Feed on breastfeeding women. Your child will thank you.”
Mother’s milk is the single best source of nutrition for infants, and breastfeeding can also reduce the risk for some short- and long-term health conditions in both mothers and babies, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
RELATED: Breastfeeding Moms ‘Humiliated,’ Asked To Leave Public Pool
“Good for her!” one woman wrote. “The most basic thing to be able to nurse your baby, I think men don’t like to admit that a woman’s body is basically the most creative organism, ensuring that the human race continues … “
Someone else pointed out that while most women “do slightly cover up,” they don’t cover their babies’ heads, leaving part of the mother’s breast exposed.
“As everyone says, would you like to eat with a cloth over your head? No. So why make a tiny baby,” the woman wrote. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a woman with her whole breast out (apart from perhaps before baby is attached correctly). But then it’s not something that offends me or attracts my attention, so maybe I’ve just missed these women causing such a stir with their breasts on full display
YOUR TURN: Patch readers, what do you think? Is society too uptight about breastfeeding in public, or was man who asked the woman to “cover up” right? Go to the comments section below.
“If only this world wasn’t all about sex this wouldn’t be a problem. No one really moans about women out for the day or night with their boobs on display or on music videos and films. But a baby feeding is a problem.”
Others shamed the mom, including one woman who called her a “I have the right to display my boob in public and nobody can stop me” mom. “No you don’t,” she wrote. ” … Let’s keep it between you and your little one.”
In rebuttal, one woman who breastfed four of her kids said they’re healthier because of it and she’s proud of her achievement. But, she wrote, “I never once thought of my beautiful connection with my baby as ‘displaying my boobs.’ “
Others were less harsh, but called for discretion.
“Exactly!” another woman wrote. “Kate Middleton breastfeeds, but do you think she would show her chest in public? No. Feed baby but have some class.”
Another woman wrote that nursing mothers shouldn’t have to cloister themselves to feed their babies.
“Good on her,” she wrote. “She was obviously making a point and yes, I agree you can be discreet breastfeeding in public.
“I fed my kids everywhere and was discreet so much so people would often come up to see the baby and have a chat until they heard a gurgling noise and realized I was feeding,” she wrote. “They were most embarrassed. I wasn’t. I was very discreet and happy to chat and not be stuck in a room away from friends and conversation.”
It’s unclear where the incident happened, but Lockwood’s Facebook profile identifies her as living in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Photo via Shutterstock