Breastfeeding is a completely natural thing. When women have a baby, they have the option to breastfeed for a certain period of time. Their baby needs nutrients from the milk, and breastfeeding is just an obvious choice for many mothers, respectfully.
When a mom breastfeeds in her home or a family member's home, it's no big deal, right? No one seems to say anything. In public, however, it's a different story. Unfortunately, there is often a lot of chatter about why moms shouldn't breastfeed in public, and it seems to be a subject that has a lot of passionate opinions on both sides. This turns something that is essentially very innocent (a baby and mother bonding while feeding) into a controversial topic.
There are a lot of moms who have been shamed for breastfeeding in public, whether at a restaurant or in a clothing store, and they have shared their stories and been honest about why they feel that breastfeeding in public should be no big deal. It's safe to say that many moms can relate to that opinion and are glad for their honesty on this topic.
Here are 20 best comebacks from moms who were judged for breastfeeding in public.
20 There's No Reason To Judge Moms
A mom named Brittni Medina from What to Expect was at Disneyland when two women complained that she was breastfeeding in public and said that she should go to the washroom. Her response? There's no reason to shame moms for doing this. It shouldn't be a problem at all.
She has said, "I was standing in a very long line to get our picture taken my son got hungry and I wasn’t going to wait in another line again. So I took off my first top and nursed. These women were making snarky comments so I moved from my spot to catch a picture with these characters. Not for attention for me but attention to the fact NO WOMEN SHOULD BE SHAMED FOR FEEDING THEIR BABY UNCOVERED."
19 News Flash: People Don't Have To Look!
Celebrities get shamed for breastfeeding in public, too, and it happened to actress Mila Kunis. Thanks to Babble.com, we can read her very relatable comments on this subject.
Mila was interviewed by Vanity Fair and she said, “I literally breastfed everywhere. There were many times where I didn’t bring a cover with me, and so I just did it in a restaurant, in the subway, in the park, at airports, and in planes. Why did I do it in public? Because I had to feed my child. She’s hungry. I need to feed her whether it’s out of a bottle or out of my boob no matter where I was."
She added an awesome point: "If it’s not for you, don’t look."
18 No Mom Should Be Embarrassed
Kelly Stanley is a mom and yoga teacher who was breastfeeding at a restaurant and a man motioned that he wanted to give a cloth to her to act like she should put that over herself and the baby.
She posted on her Instagram account of this experience: "I wish I could say I was polite and respectful about the situation. Actually, I lied. I don't wish that. I stood up for my right to feed my child and I'm glad I did. You know why? Because the gesture was humiliating. Because no woman should ever feel like she is being inappropriate or immodest by feeding her baby, anywhere, ever.” She also said, “Grrr don't poke the mom bear.”
17 It's Not Weird
There are a lot of stories of moms being shamed for breastfeeding in a restaurant. That's what happened to a mom named Ashley Kaidel posted about her experience being shamed for breastfeeding at a restaurant on Facebook and her post got a lot of attention: 118,000 shares and 375,000 likes.
She had a really good comeback and she basically said that it's not weird, which is something that it's safe to say that every mom agrees with. She said, "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.”
16 Don't Be Afraid To Make A Joke
Forums, where parents can swap stories and ask advice about what is a typical parenting experience (and sometimes vent or just want to chat with other parents), are super useful. One such forum is What To Expect and there's a great thread about breastfeeding in public.
One mom shared her own story: "Once I was in the mall and a lady said to me 'can you please not do that in public my husband is watching' I said to her 'well after I’m done feeding my baby I’ll feed him too if that’s his concern.'" Isn't that such an awesome comeback?!
15 It's Beautiful
Emily Locke posted on Facebook about her experience of being shamed for breastfeeding on her very own sister's wedding day. That is hard to believe since weddings are such amazing, happy, magical occasions, and who would be upset or in a bad mood on someone's wedding day? But this is really what happened to her.
She posted about her experience online along with a picture: "I have posted this with my photo. You can decide for yourself if it was a beautiful family moment or a disgusting act of exhibitionism." It was definitely a "beautiful family moment" as she put so perfectly.
14 No One Would Want To Eat Lunch In A Restroom
One major complaint about moms breastfeeding their babies in public seems to be that moms should go to a nearby washroom.
In a post on a forum called Essential Baby, a woman shared her friend's epic comeback: "Wait 'till you breastfeed in public. I had a friend who while breastfeeding in a shopping centre was asked if she would be 'more comfortable' in the feeding room. She told them to grab a sandwich and they could join her for lunch in the public toilets LOL."
This is so great because no one would want to eat lunch in a bathroom, so there's no reason to suggest that a baby should.
13 Why Do People Care So Much?
A mom named Aidan Johnson took to Cosmopolitan to say she was breastfeeding at an eatery in her gym and was asked several inapt questions; the point being that she should go to the washroom or feed her child elsewhere. Her response: "Why should feeding my son be a concern to anyone?"
This is a perfect comeback since it's honest and straight to the point. There is really no reason that people should care about breastfeeding in public so much — or, really, at all. It shouldn't affect anyone at all and people should just respect a mom's right to do this and that should definitely be the end of the discussion.
12 You Don't Need To Care What Anyone Thinks
A mom posted on Reddit that they decided that they needed just one comeback to being shamed for breastfeeding: "It was something like, 'I'm protected by law, and I don't care how you feel about it.' That one was a lot easier for me."
She was "inspired" by her co-worker: "she was talking about how TOOOOOOOTALLY supportive she was of breastfeeding but 'seeing it in public just made [her] uncomfortable.' I just looked at her blankly and said, 'I don't care.' She kind of stepped back and said, 'What?' And I just said, 'That it makes you uncomfortable. I just....I don't care.' And I walked away."
You go girl!
11 If Someone Is Offended, It's Their Problem
There are several celebrities who have spoken out about this topic and Kristen Bell is one of them. She believes that moms should definitely breastfeed their babies in public.
As she said, "When it comes to breastfeeding your baby, if you are too nervous to do it in public I think you are part of the problem. Women should own the fact that we are superheroes for the first however many months of your child’s life. It is your opportunity and your duty to feed your baby should you choose to breastfeed and be proud of it. I’m not saying you need to shove your boobs in everybody’s face, but there are tons of cover cloths. Breastfeed your baby with pride. If somebody is uncomfortable, that’s their problem."
10 You Have To Stand Up For Yourself
The best comeback when a mother is shamed for breastfeeding their baby in public would definitely be just standing up for themselves and knowing that they're not doing anything wrong (despite what others might say or think).
According to Self, when a mom was shamed at a museum for breastfeeding her baby, she posted on social media about the experience that she had, and she made it clear that it was pretty ironic to be told not to breastfeed in a museum where there are tons of statues and pieces of art featuring a woman's nude form (including, yes, the very body parts that she was being told shouldn't be seen).
9 It's Better Than A Crying (Or Yelling) Baby
People often complain about crying and screaming babies in grocery stores or on airplanes, and it makes sense to explain that if your baby isn't fed, they are most likely going to cry (and scream, too).
A mom made this very good point on Reddit: "Whenever I breastfed in public I always felt like I was doing people around me a favor because I swear that a hungry newborn will scream this high pitched very loud cry until it is fed." She is totally right and any moms who are shamed for just doing what moms do should use this as their response.
8 It's Your Right As A Mom, No Matter What Anyone Says Or Thinks
Another good comeback? Stating that breastfeeding your right as a mom.
When Conner Kendall told Parents she was breastfeeding her baby at a restaurant, a man actually took a picture and put it on Facebook, along with his complaints. She defended herself and wrote to him: "violated the rights of not only me but my child.... I get that you felt uncomfortable looking at my breasts. Here is a novel idea, don't look at them."
She continued that the man "inspired me into a call of action. Rest assured, there will be action. Not only by me, the one you violated, but others like me who feel you violated them and their rights. Those that you are degrading by shaming the act of feeding their child."
7 You Need To Feed Your Baby, Period
When you think about it, a mom is breastfeeding her baby to literally feed it. That's it. Why would that upset people so much and become such a big issue?
Another amazing comeback by a mom who was shamed for breastfeeding in public: you're feeding your child and there is nothing wrong with that.
Brie Thiesen posted on Facebook about getting shamed for breastfeeding at a pool: "I was confronted by the manager of the facility saying that I needed to cover up and be more discreet because I was offending people. Am I supposed to starve my child because someone is uncomfortable with themselves...?"
6 Say You're Not Going To Talk About It
It sounds simple in theory and is tough in practice, but if you're a parent and you don't want to discuss anything related to your parenting beliefs or your child, you have that right. You don't have to talk about anything that you don't want to, and that's another way to respond if you are shamed for breastfeeding in public.
This advice from KellyMom.com is really helpful: if you're confronted for doing this, just say, "This is my child and my parenting choice and I will not discuss it anymore.” After all, this is what you're doing and no one should be so interested or care.
5 You Are Not Too Old To Do This
Stefani Giraldi was shamed for being "too old" to breastfeed. Yes, really. It's hard to believe that people would say something like this. She definitely had an awesome comeback, though.
Stefani Giraldi is 44 years old and she heard two women talking about how some women are "too old" to breastfeed because their milk isn't the same high quality. She told The Daily Mail, "Obviously the ladies noticed I was breastfeeding (I wasn't hiding), I turn to them and I tell them: 'By the way, I am 44 years old, 45 next June and my milk is perfect!' The look on their face, priceless."
4 Breastfeeding Is Legal
The truth is that breastfeeding is legal in the U.S. and so no one can say that it isn't or that a mom needs to cover up or breastfeed somewhere else. (Well, they can say it, of course, and they do, but there's no legal ground for that.)
Thanks to a story in the Huffington Post, we know about a mom named Avery Reukauf who had the experience of being shamed for breastfeeding on an army base. When the manager asked her to use a towel, she said, “I was completely shocked, so I raised my voice slightly and said, ‘No but I have a muslin if you would like to cover your face. You must not know Georgia’s breastfeeding laws."
3 Your Daughter Always Comes First
Many moms are shamed for breastfeeding in a restaurant, and it has also happened on a plane, which might not be something that one would think about. After all, if a mom is traveling with her baby, of course she needs to feed her child. Why would she need to think twice about?
Juliet Thomson was shamed for breastfeeding on a plane. She said on her Instagram account, "I'm sorry this offends you, but the well being of my daughter will always be more important to me then your thoughts and public shaming." It's such an amazing way to stand up for breastfeeding moms.
2 There's No Reason To Be A Hypocrite
Wittney Hope was breastfeeding her baby in a store and was actually told that she had to leave. One of the best ways to stand up for yourself (and other moms) is to post about your experience on social media, and that's exactly what she did.
She posted on Facebook, "I'm sure my hungry child would understand that we have to take a journey to somewhere more secluded where she can eat ... NOT... As we were leaving the store I passed by this advertisement for bras. I mean seriously the lady's face is not even in this. Why is it acceptable for a giant picture of BOOBS to be on the wall but I cannot feed my child?" She continued, "Pissed off Mommy who will never be shopping at Dillard's again."
1 You Don't Have To Feel Like You Need To Cover Yourself
Nicolle Blackman was told to cover herself when she was breastfeeding her baby in McDonald's and her response was to cover her face with a cloth instead of her baby. That's definitely an awesome way to respond to being shamed for breastfeeding in public.
It's a great comeback for another reason, too: it proves how silly it is to suggest that a mom needs to cover herself and her baby when she's just trying to feed her baby and be the best mom possible. It would be great if people could stop shaming moms for breastfeeding in public, but until then, these comebacks are all perfect.