Breastfeeding is completely normal but unfortunately as soon as it’s done publicly it seems to become controversial. A growing amount of supporters are telling naysayers to get over it.
In a recent breastfeeding incident at a regional Rockhampton cafe, owner Jessica-Anne Allen ended up asking a customer to leave after he told a nursing mother to ‘cover up’.
Miss Allen said asking the man to leave was the right thing to do and that more people should stand up and defend the right of women to breastfeed in public.
“I was really angry and appalled that someone would try and dictate someone else’s behaviour, especially feeding a child,” she said.
“It took me a little while to calm down because I just thought ‘how dare someone have the audacity, not just to judge someone, but tell them how to behave in public.”
Cheese and Biscuits Cafe would like to reiterate that we are a breast feeding friendly cafe. We do not in anyway believe that to breast feed a baby is anything to be ashamed of and we will not ask customers to cover up. We would appreciate it if you would respect our choice and not ask our customers to cover up yourselves. We were mortified this morning when someone asked us to say something to the young mother, when we politely declined and informed the customer that we were breast feeding friendly, they then took it upon themselves to say something. As you can imagine we politely asked the offending customer to leave, but it still left the young mother embarrassed. It was a situation that did not have to arise at all. Cheese and Biscuits Cafe supports breast feeding mothers and we will not tolerate any bias towards them.
In Australia a mother’s right to breastfeed her child in public places is protected by law both federally and in every State and Territory.
But unfortunately there is still some stigma attached to public nursing.
However, with the help of bystanders like Miss Allen and the rallying cry across social media – we have slowly begun to peel away at society’s cultural fixations with women’s bodies.
A prime example of this can be drawn from an incident in the US that happened on Thursday where a new mother was photographed and shamed on social media for breastfeeding her child in a restaurant.
But it was young mum, Conner Kendall’s fiery response to the post that went viral and had thousands on social media also coming to her defence.
“While I in no way, shape, or form owe you any explanation I would like to clarify a few things,” she wrote in reply him.
“I did nothing wrong, I turned away to latch my son and pulled my shirt back up when he was finished out of respect for others in the restaurant.
“I do not use a cover, because my son fights them, screams, and doesn’t eat at all while under them.”
“You have given me a platform and a drive to advocate breastfeeding ferociously.”
“You’ve inspired me into a call of action.”
Mums, how would you react if someone told you not to breastfeed in public? Has this happened to you? Let us know in the comments below!