She's standing up for angry moms everywhere
Among the plethora of controversies that are being discussed every day is the age-old debate about breastfeeding in public. Groups on either side argue about whether or not moms should be forced to go into a bathroom stall, cover their chest, or have the right to do whatever they want.
According to the Huffington Post, almost every state in the U.S. has a law that allows public breastfeeding. However, that doesn’t cover what can be done inside of a private establishment. That also doesn’t cover what ordinary citizens will do or say to a mom just because they don’t like what she’s doing.
Nicolle Blackman needed to feed her two-month-old son Cameron, so she did breastfed in the farthest corner of a McDonald’s in Federal Way, Washington on September 2. Despite the restaurant being nearly empty, another couple took a seat quite close to Nicolle and her family. Soon enough, that couple would intrude upon Nicolle over a completely natural biological function.
Where Fault Lies
Camron had recently undergone a lip-tie and tongue-tie surgery because he needed the pieces of flesh that connect his lips and tongue to his mouth clipped. The baby couldn’t take a bottle and needed to be breastfed. Nicolle told DailyMail, “There is nothing wrong with covering up if that’s what you choose to do. Nobody knew that my son had surgery and wouldn’t take a bottle. People are judging before they know the story.”
Nicolle took great care not to reveal her nipple before Cameron latched on and had retreated to a far away area for some privacy, but the couple who chose to sit near her couldn’t let her nurse her baby in peace. The unidentified man was “staring” at her. Nicolle believes that enraged the unidentified woman, who eventually got up from her seat to ask Nicolle to cover up the child with a blanket or stop feeding him because her husband was distracted by it.
Nicolle explained, “I was very annoyed when she said that. Why would I cover up my son? He holds his breath when he’s covered. I was surprised. I think she was upset because her husband was looking. He didn’t seem to pay her any attention when she was talking.”
Offended that she was told to cover herself while feeding her child because a man couldn’t stop staring at her, Nicolle covered up something else instead. She stated, “You could only see the side of my boob so I was like ‘okay’ and covered my face. She grabbed her husband and left. My 11-year-old daughter, Kaymaii, said she looked mad.”
Because they wanted to expose the reality of being a breastfeeding mom, Kaymaii took pictures of her mother breastfeeding with her face covered up. Mothers who choose to breastfeed in public are constantly told that they are doing something wrong or are grotesque despite a huge movement toward breastfeeding in public.
Nicolle said about her own experiences, “I have been told many times that I should feed him in the bathroom and I said, ‘That’s disgusting, would you eat in the bathroom? Why would I feed my child in the bathroom?’”
Stand Up For Moms
She hopes that her story and the stories of countless others being shamed for breastfeeding will encourage other women to do what’s best for their baby… regardless of what anyone else thinks about it. She continued,
“One time when I was feeding in a park a woman came up to me and said she would never have breastfed in public if she hadn’t seen me. It was encouraging and it felt good that I could give someone the strength to do it. I’m hoping to help other women by speaking out about it to encourage them to stand up for their children. Just do whatever is best for them. If they want to cover that’s fine, if they don’t that’s fine too.”
In 2008, six moms staged a breastfeeding rights protest at a U.K. McDonald’s after one of the women was approached by the manager and told to leave. McDonald’s spokesperson Alison Purves said about the situation, “This manager was working unilaterally and not following company policy at all. If another customer ever expressed their discomfort about breastfeeding we would encourage them to move rather than the mum. What we don’t want to do is to make mums feel as if they have to hide away.”
Do you think that women should be allowed to breastfeed their babies anytime, anywhere? Let us know what you think about the breastfeeding debate in the comments and SHARE this story!