his could very well be the most viral breastfeeding photo of all time. [Photo: Facebook/Ashley Kaidel]
All power to one mum, who has gone viral after staring down a woman who gawked at her as she breastfed her son. Ashley Kaidel was nursing her son in a restaurant when she noticed another diner was obviously judging her for opting to breastfeed in public without using a cover-up.
Kaidel, a 24-year-old mum from Florida, posted a photo of herself staring down the onlooker while continuing to feed her soon on Facebook and it’s quickly become one of the most talked about breastfeeding snapshots of all time. In fact, with almost 400,000 likes and over 120,000 shares, it could well be the most viral breastfeeding pic to date.
“Earlier today I posted this picture of my son and I breastfeeding uncovered in a public restaurant,” Kaidel captioned the photo on Facebook.
“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.
“Let me make my reasoning clear on why I post pictures of my son and I publicly breastfeeding 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.
“With that being said, the reason I post these types pictures is for the mother that tried breastfeeding uncovered once and she got shamed, she got stared and pointed at, she got nasty comments, she got asked to leave the room, she got asked to cover up (sic).”
Kaidel continued her public essay, discussing a woman’s right to breastfeed – and a baby’s right to eat.
“No person should be isolated and shunned because they’re eating, especially when you yourself are eating while ridiculing how someone else is eating,” she continued. “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? How pompous and selfish is this? Just look away. It’s simple to do so. No harm done at all.”
She also explained why she believes children need to see breastfeeding take place. “They need to acknowledge, comprehend and appreciate that breast milk and breast feeding is and should forever be the first and best choice for both mom and baby,” she wrote.
Kaidel’s post may sound impassioned and even be described as a rant, but breastfeeding is something that’s close to her heart. The mum created her Inactalactivist Mama Facebook page so that she could speak out about breastfeeding and provide support for other mums who’ve faced the same judgement, Babble reports.
She struggled to get to grips with breastfeeding her four-year-old daughter when she was a baby and consequently made sure that she was more clued up when her second child arrived. Kaidel overcame huge hurdles including tongue-tie and mastitis to breastfeeding her six-month-old son and plans to keep nursing without shame.