Public bre-astfeeding is one issue that is constantly talked about in society. Most mothers engage in this act, as it can be unavoidable sometimes, but the issue of covering their bodies while at it has left many tongues wagging, and this story proves it.
Brea-stfeeding is one of the many enchanting experiences of motherhood. It is well known to mothers that babies cannot be put in a corner, especially when they are hungry.
Regardless of what time it is, what a mom is doing, or how public a place is, when a baby wants their breast milk, the mother must be quick to answer the call.
However, despite the benefits of and need for brea-stfeeding for both the mother and child, the issue of bre-astfeeding in public has sparked a lot of controversies to date.
Although it is becoming more accepted, it seems to attract a lot more attention than bottle feeding — and unfortunately, not always the “aww, sweet” kind.
The above was the case of a nursing mother whose story went viral in 2018. While brea-stfeeding her little son in public, a stranger walked over to her spot and asked her to “cover up.” But the woman’s reaction to the stranger’s words made her story even more enjoyable.
INSIDE DUDLEY’S ORDEAL WITH THE STA-NGER
For Melanie Libson Dudley, a native of Texas and a new mom, bre-astfeeding was an act she tried to do discreetly. Even while brea-stfeeding her three-month-old son, in the corner of a restaurant, she had her back facing the other diners.
Furthermore, Dudley had a nursing cover on, but the scor-ching weather made her take it off. Recalling the in-cident, the mom of three confessed to Yahoo Lifestyle thus:
“I was on vacation in Cabo San Lucas with my entire family, and a man asked me to cover myself. I’m usually discreet but we were seated in the back of the restaurant.”
“I did have the cover on, but it was so hot. It was like 95 degrees, and my little boy was sweating. I said, ‘you know what? I’m on vacation, I’m taking this off,’” she further told Today. According to Dudley, after taking off the nursing cover, a male stranger walked up to her and asked her to “cover up.”
The mom of three revealed that she was “stunned,” and immediately, she had an unusual response to the stranger’s words. Dudley asked her husband for the nursing cover, and after getting hold of it, she covered her head with it.
“I just put it over my head. I don’t know why. It wasn’t like a salac-ious fi-ght or anything. That was just my response. I had no words, so I thought, I’ll just cover my head instead,” the woman explained.
THE INC-IDENT GOES VIRAL
After covering her head, Dudley’s husband took a snapshot of the funny moment, which was eventually shared on Facebook on July 30, 2018, by his mother’s friend, Carol Lockwood. Lockwood captioned the photo:
“A friend’s daughter in law was told to ‘cover up’ while feeding her baby, so she did 🤣 I’ve never met her, but I think she’s AWESOME!!! (Please Share! With permission, I’ve made this post public — I’m SO over people shaming women for nursing!!! ❤👶❤.”
Lockwood also revealed that the stranger was a man, adding that Dudley was not in a Muslim country, disr-especting traditions. After the Facebook user uploaded the post, it garnered over 136 thousand reactions and 224 thousand shares. Many netizens took to the comments section to air their thoughts about the in-cident.
A user wrote: “If you want to brea-stfeed in public, do it. If you don’t like that, don’t do it and don’t look at others who do. I’m sure your sensibilities can withstand a few seconds glance at a woman bre-astfeeding her baby without permanent psy-chological in-jury before looking away.”
“I think she is brilliant. If someone does feel the need to cover, try a pretty handkerchief pinned to your top to lightly cover the babies head. That way, you don’t get too hot. I think those bre-astfeeding covers are over the top,” wrote another user.
A third respondent noted: “OMG, I FREAKING LOVE that woman! No woman should be shamed for nursing their babies! I’ve seen moms doing that in public, and I have never thought it a sexual or shameful. I think is the most amazing and loving contact from mother to son/daughter. GOOD FOR HER!!! ❤❤❤.”
On the other hand, some respondents condemned Dudley’s public bre-astfeeding and her reaction. “I believe bre-astfeeding is a beautiful thing. However, I also believe there should be a level of modesty. Sorry, I’m old fashioned,” a Facebook user replied.
Another netizen explained: “I just don’t know why her entire br-east has to be on display. Feeding your baby doesn’t excuse decency or having respect for other humans.”
“I find it incredibly dis-respectful for a woman to pop out her bre-ast and feed her baby in public. What is a shame is that so many people have lost the sense that some things should be left intimate and private,” a third user confessed.
DUDLEY’S THOUGHTS ON THE VIRAL POST
After the post bro-ke the internet, Dudley mentioned that she believed it went viral because public bre-astfeeding was a topic that resonated with many women, and they were tired of it being up for discussion.
With the following month after the in-cident being National Brea-stfeeding Month, Dudley hoped that mothers would focus on what was best for them and their babies. To the mom of three, the larger message was to support nursing mothers, whether they chose to cover or not.
— The Bump (@thebump) September 21, 2017
Dudley is only one out of many women who have been sub-jected to criticism for public nursing. In 2017, Nicole Blackman faced a similar situation when a female str-anger asked her to cover up while bre-astfeeding her son.
Like Dudley, Bla-ckman gave a creative response. The same was the case of Avery Lane, four months earlier, who was asked to cover up with a towel while bre-astfeeding her baby.