To cover or not to cover, it's a mom's choice and nobody else's.
Mom of two and 24-year-old Ashley Kaidel posted a photo of her breastfeeding her 6-month-old son in a restaurant on Facebook. She appears to be looking into the distance but she’s actually looking back at a person who’s staring at her, shaming her for breastfeeding in public without a nursing cover.
“She is looking at me with disgust and shaking her head with judgment in an attempt to shame me and indirectly tell me without words that I am wrong and need to cover myself.”, she wrote.
In a lengthy post accompanying the photo, she defended the rights of mothers and their babies to freely breastfeed anywhere and anytime. “You should not ever feel shamed, belittled, embarrassed or wrong for feeding your baby the way nature intended.
Breasts were made to sustain your baby's life before they were made to bring pleasure to any other man, woman, partner or spouse. Their sole purpose is to make food and dispense it straight into a baby's mouth. There is nothing weird about this and there's no difference in me feeding my baby with my breast than you feeding yourself with a spoon,” she added.
She isn't just talking about moms who choose not to cover up. She's standing up for all breastfeeding moms. “If a mother is more comfortable covering herself because SHE feels better doing so, then I totally support that,” she said.
People, and moms everywhere, are responding well with Kaidel and her stance on no-shame breastfeeding as the post, published only last Nov. 25, has been liked and reacted to near 400,000 times, has been shared over 120,000 times and has received over 2,000 comments.
Kaidel’s passion for breastfeeding stems from the arduous journey she had to undertake in order to breastfeed her son. Shared on the Facebook page Intactalactivst Mama, which Kaidel manages, she recounted her long arduous journey to breastfeeding. Kaidel’s first attempt at breastfeeding her now 4-year-old daughter only lasted two weeks as she was ill-equipped and uniformed at the time.
Wanting to be more prepared for her second child, Kaidel educated herself on labor, birth, breastfeeding and attachment parenting. Unfortunately, the journey was rough. She and her now 6-month-old son had to go through tongue and lip ties, and mastitis, and overcome nipple confusion.
“My sweet, patient boy and I have been through way too much to ever be anything other than proud of our breastfeeding journey and will never be shamed into hiding in a bathroom stall. We worked HARD to be able to breastfeed and bond. I am so thankful and blessed to be where I am today,” read the post.