While we hear repeatedly that breast is best, there is still a lot of stigma about giving our babies the breast in public. Time and time again we hear of stories telling women to go and feed their children in the bathroom or to cover them and their babies even in 90 degree weather, but often these instances of shaming are by strangers.
So when one mom received an invitation to a wedding that included a special note about feeding her children, you can imagine that it sparked some outrage.
One mom, who has chosen to remain anonymous, shared a note she received as part of a wedding invite specifically asking to not breastfeed her baby at the wedding. Instead, it indicated there would be an "option" to feed her baby in the bathroom. While the note originally sounds to be sympathetic towards breastfeeding moms, it became clear that wasn't the case pretty quickly.
“To all our mommies who are breastfeeding,” it reads. “We are thinking of you; we are sensitive that you may need to breastfeed during our event, therefore, we have designed an appropriate space for you to feed your baby so that you do not have to do so in public in front of our Family and Friends.”
While the note says that they are "sensitive" to a breastfeeding mom's needs, they also made it clear that they don't want these babies to be fed within view of another guest.
How this mom reacted is perfect.
The anonymous mom, who has both a 2-year-old and 3-month-old, shares that the wedding was for her husband's best friend, where he had the role of best man. She recalled that she had actually been shamed about breastfeeding by him and his fiance before.
“I personally feel that I was the only person who ended up with this ‘note’ and when my husband opened the invitation and found it that’s exactly what he thought too,” she shared with Babble. “His best friend had previously said something about me not being able to breastfeed at the wedding to my husband way before this but I really and honestly didn’t think she would make it this big of deal,” she said.
Being torn about bringing her kids to the wedding, this note made it clear about what she should do.
“I honestly had so many mixed emotions on whether to take them or not,” she explains.
So reaching out for help, Facebook followers had a lot to say about the situation.
With her youngest child refusing to take a bottle, the mom had little choice about leaving her baby at home.
“If I had taken my youngest, I would have nursed her at my table,” she said. “I honestly don’t see why I would have had to move anyway.”
In the end, she chose not to take either of her children to the wedding, and after seeing the "nursing set-up" she was glad she did!
“I know the note said bathroom, but I wasn’t prepared for it to literally be in front of the stalls!” she said. “I’m not going to be ‘shamed’ and pushed to a bathroom to FEED my child.”
The mom also indicates that she is discreet whenever she does nurse in public.
“I always used the two shirt method and always try to be modest and discrete about it,” she says. “I have just recently (since having my youngest and still nursing my oldest) started going over the top of my shirts. This is the way I see things: you don’t make it a big deal, I won’t make it a big deal. I’m not gonna be like, ‘Hey look everyone I’m nursing, come look … my boob is out!’” she said.
In the end, while she left her children at home, the mom was still outraged by being singled-out.
“I still can’t see why a nursing mom is ‘banished’ to bathrooms or other areas unless she chooses to go there for HER and BABY comfort,” she says. “If I as a nursing mom has to go to a bathroom or other room to nurse then I think moms who bottle feed should have to go too.”
What would you have done if you received that note?