A mother who experienced public shaming for breastfeeding uncovered in a restaurant has issued a powerful response to those who have judged her and other mothers.
Ashley Kaidel posted a photo to Facebook on Nov. 24 which shows her breastfeeding her baby without a cover. She appears to be casually staring off camera, but clarifies that that isn’t the case.
“It appears I’m staring off into the distance,” Kaidel wrote in her Facebook post. “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.”
Kaidel shared the photo and accompanying post to encourage other mothers to breastfeed in public and not to worry about judgmental people around them. She explained that she didn’t want to put pressure on mothers who don’t want to breastfeed uncovered, but that the post was to encourage mothers who want to breastfeed uncovered to do it without shame or fear of judgment.
"The reason I post these types pictures is for 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,” Kaidel wrote. “Breasts were made to sustain your baby's life before they were made to bring pleasure to any other man, woman, partner or spouse. Their sole purpose is to make food and dispense it straight into a baby's mouth. There is nothing weird about this and there's no difference in me feeding my baby with my breast than you feeding yourself with a spoon.”
Kaidel also said that she wants children to learn early on that it is normal for babies to breastfeed in order to get rid of the stigma deeming it inappropriate.
Kaidel’s post has been shared well over 100,000 times and liked by over 375,000 people, and it has received over 2,500 comments.