A mother of two from Florida is encouraging all mums to defend their right to breastfeed in public despite ‘shaming’ from other people.
Ashley Kaidel posted a photo to her Facebook page showing her breastfeeding her five-month-old son in a local restaurant.
In the picture, the mother explains that as she ‘discreetly’ pulled down her shirt to begin feeding at the table, she noticed another woman was staring.
The 24 year old, who also has a four-year-old daughter, said; ‘[The look] was so disgusting and full of hatred that I could feel her looking into my soul.’
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Ashley’s brother, who was out dining with her, captured the photo; ‘I stood my ground by giving her the same exact stare in return. My stare said – I won’t be moved. I’m not sorry.’
‘She was trying to shame me, degrade me, judge me and make me feel like I was doing something wrong and should leave or cover myself and my baby.’
It was only later that evening when the young mum returned home and looked at her brother’s photo that she decided to take action.
‘I decided to be the voice for all other mamas that may not have as strong of a voice (or stare) as I do.’
Since posting her story to the social media platform, Ashley’s photo has gone viral – she had over 250,000 notifications in the first night alone.
‘My post and story gave them encouragement and the ability to grasp their inner strength and mama bear that we all have.’
The activist says that she didn’t post for attention but to give ‘encouragement’ to others who feel they have been shamed or alienated into not breastfeeding.
Advising the ‘shamers’ to avert their eyes next time they see a nursing mother whom they disapprove of; ‘Is it not certainly easier to avert your eyes from a displeasing sight rather than suggest or demand a mother and child remove themselves from your presence? Just look away.’