I breastfed Cherry for 18 months and was really lucky to have not encountered any negativity during that time.
Unfortunately that’s not the case for everyone.
Last week I heard about a Bristol mum, Kelly Schaecher, who had been asked to move into the corner of a cafe for breastfeeding her baby, as apparently doing so where she was sitting was ‘impolite’. After leaving the cafe she was followed by a lady in a car who hurled abuse at her out of her window, warning her not to come back and get her ‘effing tits out again’.
Luckily Kelly didn’t just go home and let this affect her, she used the powers of social media to get together a large group of breastfeeding supporters to go back to the cafe and let them know that what they did was unacceptable.
I live near Bristol and have always felt very strongly about this subject so although I’m not breastfeeding anymore I wanted to go and show my support.
Had this happened to a breastfeeding mum on the first time she fed her baby in public then it could have really affected her confidence, I know that I was very apprehensive about someone saying something to me when I fed Cherry in public for the first time. I actually stopped feeding in public altogether when she was about ten months old as I just felt too self-conscious, I rarely see mums feeding their babies in public, let alone their toddlers, even though the WHO recommends feeding for two years.
I really feel that more needs to be done to support breastfeeding women in this country, I just don’t see how something so natural can be so frowned upon.
I mean what do people think our breasts are for?!
I have said this before but again I want to clarify that this isn’t about breast versus bottle, I know that not everyone can nor chooses to breastfeed their baby and that is a choice that women can make these days, this is about women who want to breastfeed but don’t feel like they have the confidence or support to do so.
This is about women being able to do what they feel is best for their babies without being made to feel like they are doing something wrong.
The amount of women who turned up today to support Kelly was amazing. The cafe manager has apologised and has now put a ‘Breastfeeding Mothers Welcome’ sticker in his window. It is still unknown who the woman that hurled the abuse was but apparently something will be done about it.
It was a really inspiring day and I don’t think any other cafes will be upsetting a member of the Bristol Mother Suckers in a hurry!