Breastfeeding mum shamed after being asked to cover up

Breastfeeding mum shamed after being asked to cover up

"I know that breastfeeding is natural and it’s normal to do it, but this other passenger is really offended by it, so if you wouldn’t mind covering up."

It is atrocious that something so beautifully natural is deemed “disgusting” and “inappropriate” by the public. Why is it that seeing half naked women on billboards, magazines, and television hardly elicits any reaction, but the instant a mother decides to breastfeeds her child in public, people suddenly have things to say?

Californian mum Juliet Thompson found herself at the receiving end of this criticism when on a flight to Los Angeles, she was asked to cover up as she breastfed her daughter Charlie.


“I had finished nursing my daughter and had her resting across my chest. No skin was showing below my collarbone,” she said. “Another passenger was telling a young male steward, ‘Turn around and look at this girl. You need to go tell her to put some clothes on.’

READ: Hollywood actress Alyssa Milano defends public breastfeeding

“Two minutes later, a female steward came over and said, ‘I know that breastfeeding is natural and it’s normal to do it, but this other passenger is really offended by it, so if you wouldn’t mind covering up, it seems your child is sleeping.’ ”

Julie stood her ground, telling the flight attendant that she thought it ridiculous, and that the only reason her child was so calm on flights was because she was breastfeeding advocate.

The passenger who complained began shouting. “I made it clear that someone needs to tell the girl to cover up! It’s disgusting that you would let something like this go on.”

“I didn’t know what to do at the time,” Julie said. “People were looking at me, and I did exactly as the stewardess asked. For the next hour, I sat under a sweaty blanket trying to keep Charlie cool while she nursed.”

Normalize breastfeeding

In Tennessee, mother of two Tamara Perry was shocked when she saw talk show host Wendy Williams slammed mothers who breastfeed in public. Not one to take the criticism lying down, she wrote an open letter to give vent to her frustrations.

"Breasts are not ‘fun bags,’” she wrote. “They are meant to nourish a baby, protect a baby, give life to a baby.”

Her Facebook post, which has since gone viral, was picked up by the breastfeeding advocacy group Normalize Breastfeeding.

{ Timeline } "Dear Wendy, Millions have seen and shared the video of you attempting to shame Alyssa Milano on your...

Posted by NormalizeBreastfeeding.org - Candid Perspective Photography on Friday, January 8, 2016

Like Tamara, Julie decided to take matters into her own hands and raise awareness for public breastfeeding. She launched her hashtag campaign #MomsDontFlyUnited, addressing her experience with United Airlines.

Alyssa Milano said it best when she slammed society’s sexualization of breasts, from which the core criticism for public breastfeeding stems.

“Biologically [breasts are] not made for sexual things,” she said. “That's what we've done to them.”

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Written by

James Martinez

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