Brave Mums Take A Stand Against Breastfeeding Shamers
"I can breastfeed my son wherever I want. And I'm fine right here," said one of these courageous mums!
It’s amazing to think that even a few days removed from Mother’s Day we still come across stories of women who are being shamed for breastfeeding. When will people realise that breastfeeding is part of motherhood? Furthermore, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon!
In spite of this, there are still those who not only detest women embracing their breastfeeding experiences, but strive to shame them for doing so. It’s always hard to hear that there exists people out there that do this, but it’s the sad truth.
Thankfully, women are strong and enduring and won’t just sit back and take unfair treatment and shame. Take for example the mums featured in this article. They used social media as a platform to share their incredible stories. Each of these women stood up to those tried to discriminate, shame, or devalue a woman’s right to breastfeed publicly.
Emily Locke (Cleveland, Ohio)
After a long day of participating in her sister’s wedding photos, Emily Locke took time to nurse her son. She sat down and began to breastfeed her son in the museum in which the photos were being taken. After a while an employee addressed Locke, saying “You can’t do that here.”
Locke didn’t take lightly to the female employees comment. She knew she had to stand her ground and she knew what she had to do. Locke looked the employee in the eye and said, “Actually, legally, I can breastfeed my son wherever I want. And I’m fine right here.”
Since the incident occurred and Emily Locke’s post on social media, the Cleveland based museum has reached out to Emily and the breastfeeding community and formally apologized. They now offer educational programs to businesses in the Cleveland area about how to support and accommodate nursing mothers.
Elle Bradford (Cleveland, Ohio)
In case you were thinking the location was a typo…it’s not. There’s evidently a lot to learn in the Cleveland area. Anyway, the story of Elle goes as so:
Elle and her son Harper were attending a Bernie Sanders political rally when Elle decided that it was feeding time for her 6-moth-old. Even though there were fervent, and excited spectators occupying the rally (Elle not excluded), a mother knows when it’s time for her baby to feed. In her words, “There is no, ‘Oh, let me feed you in 10 mins,’ ” Elle said. “It’s, ‘I’m feeding you right here right now or you’re screaming.’ A hungry baby is a hungry baby.”
Though she wasn’t asked to stop or shamed, per se, she was still brave enough to carry out her motherly duties despite the situation. The photo better illustrates my point:
The photo, before being shared by the likes of Ellen DeGeneres, went viral. Due in part to noteworthy support from people like Bernie Sanders and his wife, Jane O’Meara. The couple even publicly thanked Bradford for displaying strong motherly instincts and embracing her right to breastfeed.
Annie Muscato (Gainesville, Florida)
This tale of a mother’s struggle with shamers is a bit different from the last few entries, but is just another example of the courage and strength associated with motherhood.
Annie Muscato, who has had struggles breastfeeding her baby for a number of reasons, went to a local Target store to pick up a can of formula that her baby will willingly take in. Muscato had picked out the formula in the store when a fellow shopper shamed her by telling her, “breast is best.”
As I said, her story is a bit different. For Annie, her baby simply won’t take her breastmilk. And when her daughter does take it, she’s left, “writhing in pain”. So what’s a mum to do? She has to provide for her daughter in some way. If it’s through formula feeding, so be it. She can certainly do without being shamed for not forcing her baby to feed naturally.
“What I know that you don’t is that breast ISN’T always best. I know happy, healthy baby is best. I know FED is best,” Muscato wrote in her post.
Read the full story in her post:
Mums certainly don’t have it easy. It seems they must endure criticism and unfair treatment from every direction! These mums are just a few examples of the courage it takes to stand up against shamers and critics out there. With their attitude and spirit, mums everywhere can work to eliminate the unfair treatment that exists in the world!
Way to go, ladies! You’re an inspiration to us all!
If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them with us!