Ashley Kaidel shared her story in an attempt to stop the stigma around breastfeeding
Breastfeeding in public is a legal right in the U.S., but some people continue to shame mothers for feeding their babies. Don't breastfeeding moms deserve better than being asked to cover up and hide while they're taking care of their infant? Ashley Kaidel is one of many moms who have faced scrutiny for breastfeeding her baby in public. While enjoying a meal at a restaurant her baby starting showing signs that he was hungry. So, just like any mother, Ashley began to breastfeed her child. One woman did not like that Kaidel was doing this at the table and kept shooting her looks of disgust.
Ashley was not going to give in. She chose to continue feeding her child and also faced the stranger head-on. Describing the incident in a Facebook post, she first paid tribute to "the mother that tried breastfeeding uncovered once and she got shamed, she got stared and pointed at, she got nasty comments, she got asked to leave the room, she got asked to cover up." Elaborating her own story, she wrote: I posted this picture of my son and I breastfeeding uncovered in a public restaurant. In the picture, it appears I'm staring off into the distance. In reality, I'm staring into the eyes of a woman staring at me. She is looking at me with disgust and shaking her head with judgement in an attempt to shame me and indirectly tell me without words that I am wrong and need to cover myself.
The frustrated mom went on to list a number of reasons as to why women should be allowed to breastfeed in public without such stigma. She noted: Number one, breast feeding mothers are protected under law to breast feed any way, any how and any where they're allowed to be in all circumstances otherwise. Number two, you should not ever feel shamed, belittled, embarrassed or wrong for feeding your baby the way nature intended. She also says "it is exponentially unfair and selfish to ask a mother and baby to exclude themselves from a table or event or gathering because you're for some reason uncomfortable with how she feeds her child." and that "our children need to see breastfeeding for the same reason you do. They need to acknowledge, comprehend and appreciate that breast milk and breast feeding is and should forever be the first and best choice for both mom and baby. Formula and bottles are a trend. Breastfeeding is not."
Many people came out in support of the strong mom. One user said: EVERYBODY Else in that room is eating! Why can't your baby? Another added: It's amazing how an image of the lovely bond between a woman and a baby can be so upsetting and attract so much hate. When I see a woman breast feeding I usually have time to thing, a beautiful scene, a beautiful woman, a beautiful breast and a beautiful baby. Then I think: Look away and let them enjoy their moment. Why is that so hard for some people?