Singapore mum shamed for breastfeeding on MRT speaks to theAsianparent on life after those pictures went viral...
It’s been 5 days now since pictures of this Singapore mum breastfeeding her baby openly on an mrt went viral. The dust seems to have settled down now, or has it really? We speak to Cheryl Lee, stay-at-home mum of 3, on how life changed for her within those few hours.
Was it the first time you were breastfeeding your baby openly, without cover? If not, how have the reactions from people in Singapore been before?
“No, I have always been breastfeeding my baby openly ever since my second child was born”, says Cheryl, whose kids are aged 7, 4, and 21 months, “I gave up using a cover when he kept struggling under it. I do have a nursing cover with me but as kids get bigger, they start to struggle and stop drinking if I cover them.”
“I have actually never had any problems breastfeeding openly before. No one has ever approached us to stop breastfeeding. People usually just ignore me when I am feeding.”
Just curious, has your husband ever shown reservations about you breastfeeding in public without cover?
“No. He is supportive of it. He feels that it is alright, as long my baby and I are comfortable.”
This particular incident, were you aware that someone had taken a picture of yours on the MRT?
How did you and your husband feel when you saw your picture all over the Internet?
“Frankly, it didn’t really bother me or my husband. I didn’t really know what to say.”
What about family and friends? Were they all supportive or was there unexpected criticism?
“So far, most of them have been supportive, except for some who probably didn’t like me in the first place.”
I read your super bold post on Facebook (see above), but frankly, did you ever feel weird, embarrassed or nervous about going out after the incident? Have you breastfed your baby publicly without cover after that?
“No. Life goes on as usual. I still breastfeed publicly without a cover.”
In your opinion, what needs to be changed about the breastfeeding scenario in Singapore, regarding nursing rooms, attitude of people etc?
“People should just respect each other. Since it is legal to breastfeed openly in public, respect the mums’ choice on whether they want to cover or not.”
“If mums are comfortable, they are more likely to enjoy breastfeeding and to continue breastfeeding. I would encourage more people to breastfeed in public, whether they choose to cover or not. This would help normalise breastfeeding, and encourage new mums to breastfeed, and to breastfeed longer. At the moment, I don’t see many mums breastfeeding in public. Most choose to hide somewhere.”
“Having to hide when breastfeeding makes it a chore. Being able to breastfeed in public is one of the best things a mum can have as it makes feeding a baby much more convenient. No need for any bottles, formula and flask. All I have in my handbag is a change of clothes, baby wipes and diapers for my baby.”
“Frankly, I do not use nursing rooms much as they are hard to find and always occupied. Oh, and breastfeeding is much cheaper. People complain about the cost of formula milk. Breast milk is free. I have never bought a tin of formula milk before.”
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