Woman Is Accused of 'Pushing' Breastfeeding by Donating Nursing Shirts to Her Coworker


woman breastfeeding

Don't tell us that we're the only ones who love a hand-me-down? Baby stuff is expensive, and if a friend or family member is willing to part with a breast pump or SNOO bassinet, most people would take it. That must be why when a woman on Reddit decided to pass along some old baby items, such as nursing shirts, to a coworker, she didn't suspect it would start a whole thing. Her coworker took the shirts to be a not-so-subtle push for her to breastfeed.

  • It's normal for the 32-year-old's group of coworkers to give each other hand-me-downs for their kids.

    She works with a nice group of women, and they're all pretty close, even outside of work, the original poster (OP) wrote on Reddit.

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  • The OP had her second (and final) kid last year.

    So, she was more than ready to part with some of her baby gear. One of her colleagues is pregnant with her first child, and she's "been overwhelmed with offers of baby clothes and items from coworkers."

  • The OP messaged her coworker and asked if she wanted some of her old maternity clothes.

    Anyone whose had to buy maternity clothes knows that they can be pricey, so of course her coworker was more than happy to say yes.

    Then the OP went home and loaded up a bag with goodies. 

    "The bag contained several smart maternity dresses and dress pants, a few smart sweaters and a set of nursing tanks/shirts," she wrote.

  • There's a major difference, however, between nursing shirts and regular maternity clothes.

    "For those who don't know, nursing clothes have slits in the side which allow you to breastfeed without having to lift up/remove clothing," she explained. "I wore these shirts and tanks during my second pregnancy, as well as when breastfeeding."

  • After the bag was delivered, her coworker went radio silent.

    The OP sent a text to check in, but still nothing. The next day the OP was in a stall at work when she heard her coworker come into the bathroom with another woman.

    "I realized that [my coworker] was complaining about me giving her nursing clothing," she recalled. 

    "She said I had put the nursing clothes in intentionally to push a 'breastfeeding agenda,' that 'breast is best Nazis' like me are 'the [expletive] worst,' that I intended to make her feel like a bad parent because she has already decided not to breastfeed and I should 'get off [my] smug breastfeeding high horse,'" she continued.

  • None of these things ever crossed the Redditor's mind.

    In fact, she didn't really care how her coworker fed her baby. She was just trying to be nice.

    "I put the shirts in the bag because I don't need them anymore," she continued. "Also, I don't believe I have ever given an opinion on breastfeeding in the office, beyond the fact that until recently I took breaks to pump."

  • If this wasn't bad enough, her coworker wasn't staying quiet about her feelings.

    The story quickly became the hottest office gossip. And it got back to the OP that her coworker was even considering going to their HR department "about me creating a hostile work environment and discrimination."

    So far, nothing has come of it because the coronavirus pandemic has shut down her office, but another one of their coworkers advised the OP to just apologize "regardless of my intention."

    "Was I wrong to assume a pregnant woman would want nursing clothes?" she wondered.

  • Redditors had one word to describe her colleague's reaction:

    "Your coworker is going to raise one hell of an a--hole," one person wrote in the comments.

    Someone who claimed to be an HR rep had this professional advice: "Uhhh, this isn’t actionable. You donated clothes. Nothing was done to shame her or push an agenda."

    Another person had this advice:

    "You didn't 'make her' feel like anything. You generously offered her clothes and she blew it up in her head. I'd probably get ahead of her and say something like, 'Oh, by the way, I know there were some nursing tops in the bag. I didn't know if you'd want them or not but I tossed them in since I definitely won't use them. Obviously, you won't hurt my feelings if you don't need them, though!'"

    In the end, the OP wrote that she was "kicking herself" for not sending a note with the hand-me-downs that relayed this type of sentiment, but the overwhelming support was just what she needed.

    "I was really second guessing whether I had been insensitive or rude," she wrote. "I'm glad I'm not going completely crazy!"