Mom Breastfeeds Hungry 4-Month-Old While Driving in Traffic & Sparks Major Debate

Raquel Reynolds
The Daily Mail

A mom of four from Australia fueled a major internet debate this week, after she posted a video of herself breastfeeding her baby while stuck in traffic on a highway just south of Brisbane. In the video originally shared on Instagram, Raquel Reynolds breastfed her baby behind the driver's wheel while waiting for cars to clear, after an accident on the road ahead caused a traffic jam. Despite her defending this decision, some experts are speaking out saying that what the mom did was dangerous -- regardless of the circumstances.

  • While she was driving, traffic to come to a standstill after a crash with a tanker truck ahead.

    Reynolds slowly inched the car through the traffic, but when it came time to feed her daughter and things had still not cleared up, she felt forced to improvise. Apparently there was no safe place she could pull over, and as they inched along, her baby became increasingly hungry.

    The video itself is no longer up on Instagram, as Reynolds has since changed her profile to private. But in it, the mom can be heard going over her options aloud to herself.

    "We're sitting in traffic and baby's hungry ... it's so dangerous [and] it's a bit crazy," she said in a version shared by the Daily Mail. "But what am I supposed to do, hey bubba?"

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  • Finally, Reynolds decides to go for it and breastfeed her hungry baby while behind the wheel.

    The mom can be seen quickly positioning her 4-month-old daughter against her chest as traffic continues to inch forward at a snail's pace.

    The mom uploaded the video on Instagram, and she asked her followers in the caption what they would have done if they were in her shoes.

  • The comments quickly blew up, as many other woman admitted that they would have reacted similarly.


    "I would have done the same," one commenter wrote on the post. "Glad you're OK."

    "I would have done the exact same anything for our babies," a second commenter added. "I would move mountains for my son and step-daughter."

  • But other people were absolutely horrified the mom would potentially put her baby in harm's way.


    Some suggested that the mom should have prepared a bottle before getting in the car that day (though obviously, they have no insight into her feeding practices and whether she exclusively breastfeeds).

    Other experts seemed to think Reynolds had done more harm than good. In fact, Lauren Ritchie from the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland was strongly against the decision, according to Kidspot.com.au.

    "To not have a child properly restrained is risking their lives," Richie said. "That’s how serious an outcome it is. Even a small crash can injure a child.”

    Dr. Alisa Baer, a board certified pediatrician and co-founder of The Car Seat Lady, agreed in a blog post that breastfeeding while driving is bad, bad news.

    “I’m very pro breastfeeding, but nursing has a time and a place," she explained. "A moving vehicle is not the time or the place. Nursing your child while the car is moving puts both you and your baby at significant risk of unnecessary injury."

  • The pediatrician explained that in the case of a car crash, the force of impact will make things worse for a baby than just being hungry. 

    "The mom put this child unrestrained in front of an active airbag -- an airbag that can deploy in even a low speed crash and instantly kill the child," Baer writes in an email to CafeMom.  "This baby was undeniably hungry -- but certainly would not have died from hunger during this car ride."

    She also notes that just because the mom was stuck in traffic doesn't make it any safer for her baby or other drivers. 

    "Many of us have seen how stop and go traffic can result in relatively minor crashes -- but for this baby a minor crash could have easily turned into a fatal crash," she writes to CafeMom. "Breastfeeding a baby while driving made this mother incredibly distracted -- which endangers everyone else on the road as the driver is at increased risk of hitting another car."

    Although some can understand why this mother might have felt that breastfeeding could be a quick fix in the moment, we hope parents listen to the experts. It's just too big of a risk to take with a little one.

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