Breastfeeding mum-of-three Melanie Dudley was on holiday in Mexico when a perfect stranger decided to get all up in her – and her baby’s – business.
Please cover up
A photo of Melanie’s brilliant response has gone viral, with many applauding her sass and others pointing out that it’s a woman’s gosh-darned right to breastfeed. (Breastfeeding in public without covering up is legal in all states of the US.)
“I love my daughter-in-law so much!!!” Melanie’s mother-in-law Kitty posted on Facebook. “Someone told her to “cover up” while she was feeding my grandson #5 in a restaurant!!”
Kitty also posted a photo of Melanie feeding her baby boy, with a blanket thrown over her own head.
I love my daughter-in-law so much!!! Someone told her to “cover up” while she was feeding my grandson #5 in a restaurant!! ????????????
The photo was posted on the cusp of World Breastfeeding Week, and Melanie explained her cover-up was a kind of funny “eff you” to a nosy diner.
“I was on vacation in Cabo San Lucas with my entire family and a man asked me to cover myself,” the brilliant mum told Yahoo News.
“I’m usually discreet, but we were seated in the back of the restaurant.” No explanation necessary, Mel! Hungry babies need feeding. *nods*
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“I’m SO over people shaming women for nursing”
Proud mother-in-law Kitty was not the only one to share the “cover-up” shot. One of Kitty’s mates shared the image too, noting that she was sick to death of women being harassed and humiliated for simply feeding their babies.
“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! I’m SO over people shaming women for nursing!!!” Kitty’s buddy Carol posted.
“To reduce speculation: it was a man who asked her to cover up, it was 90 degrees and extremely humid, and, no, she wasn’t in a Muslim country disrespecting traditions,” she added.
While lots of intelligent people laughed along and defended Melanie and her baby’s rights, a ridiculous amount of Facebook commenters asserted public breastfeeding was disrespectful, gross and attention-seeking. Honestly, the mind boggles and you should definitely NOT read the comments. Sigh.
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…
Mums need encouragement, not shaming
For what it’s worth, we could not love Melanie’s funny response more. (Well, we would love it more if she’d simply been permitted to go about her mum business without being heckled, but it is what it is.) With breastfeeding rates dropping across the globe, women need all the support they can get, should they choose to feed their babies this way.
A little over 15 per cent of Australian babies are exclusively breastfed up to six months, the 2010 Australian National Infant feeding Survey found – and it’s a similar story in other countries.
So if you’re a breastfeeding mum don’t let dorks like this restaurant gent make you second guess your choice. Heck, perhaps you’d like to make like Melanie, if someone asks you to cover up when you’re feeding your baby, knowing that you’re part of a brilliant gang of proud breastfeeding mums?
If you’re keen to be better supported or find out more about your breastfeeding rights, pop over to Breastfeeding Australia.