You're out on a beautiful, sunny day with your baby. You stop and sit for a sandwich and realize someone else is also hungry. So you decide to breastfeed your child, discreetly of course, thanks to your stretchy t-shirt. This is how Emily Slough innocently spent an afternoon. Little did she know, a stranger photographed her breastfeeding her 8-month-old daughter Matilda and then posted the photo on Facebook with a nasty caption: "I know the sun is out n all that but there's no need to let your kid feast on your nipple in town!!! Tramp." Honestly, what is wrong with people?
Tramp?!? You can't see so much as an inch of skin. In fact, the only way you can even tell she's breastfeeding is from the position of Matilda's head. Slough was outraged, of course.
The mentality of the individual that attempted to shame me for feeding my daughter makes me so angry. I am very confident and comfortable with my breastfeeding, but I know plenty who aren't and don't even humour the idea of nursing because of some ridiculous stigma attached to it and fear of embarrassment, humiliation, and non-acceptance.
Even the owner of the restaurant, where Slough was seated outside on the steps, was embarrassed on her behalf. He suspects the photo was taken by a young man who looked to be 18 years old. "It's some idiot with a phone," says Gavin Houston. Is it pathetic that I'm relieved this was probably some ignorant kid at least, and not a prudish adult or -- God forbid -- another mom?
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Anyway, I was completely creeped out by this incident. All the times I've breastfed my son in a public space, it never occurred to me that a stranger could snap a photo. And post it online. With some horrible, crude comment! It would be easy for anyone to hear this story and be shamed into never breastfeeding in public, ever.
But then, it kind of makes you feel defiant, too. Right? Like, no creepy little twerp is going to keep me from feeding my baby wherever I want to! (Not me literally -- my kid is 10 now. But you get what I mean.) I hope that's the reaction most breastfeeding moms have when they hear about this public shaming. The only person who should be ashamed is the kid who posted that photo.
Would this incident of public shaming make you think twice about breastfeeding in public?
Image via Jenny Elia Pfeiffer/Corbis