Ashley Kaidel wasn’t deterred when a woman stared her down for breastfeeding uncovered in a restaurant. Instead, she used the incident as an opportunity to increase awareness for breastfeeding mothers, and her a Facebook post has gone viral.
“Earlier today I posted this picture of my son and I breastfeeding uncovered in a public restaurant,” the mom of two wrote last week. “In the picture, it appears I’m staring off into the distance. 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.”
Along with the picture, Kaidel, 24, wrote a lengthy post about why it’s important not to judge women for breastfeeding in public, covered or uncovered.
“I don’t mean to say ‘Everyone should breast feed without a cover. Show the world your boobs!’ If a mother is more comfortable covering herself because SHE feels better doing so, then I totally support that,” Kaidel, who has a 6-month-old son and a 4-year-old daughter, wrote.
Now, Kaidel is getting the support she wants for all moms. Her post has almost 121,000 shares and 384,000 likes, and that number continues to soar. Meanwhile, commenters are offering their own experiences with public breastfeeding.
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In another post, Kaidel said it was difficult to breastfeed her son at all because he had a severe lip-tie, which is when there is tissue connecting the lip to the gums that inhibits ability to latch properly, according to Breastfeeding USA. After getting the lip-tie removed at 10 weeks old, it took another three weeks before she was able to get her son to breastfeed.
“We worked HARD to be able to breastfeed and bond,” Kaidel wrote. “I am so thankful and blessed to be where I am today. My son gets the optimal amount of love, security, comfort and nutrition all from his mother.”
“My goal here is to let breastfeeding mothers know they matter, they have a right and they’re supported by federal law AND by mothers like myself all over the world,” she said.