A young mum has hit back at bullies who said her nine-month-old baby boy is too old to be breastfed – while others made sexual remarks about how she feeds her boy.
In a show of solidarity for the #NormalizeBreastfeeding movement on social media, Leah-Marie Britton proudly shared a video of herself breastfeeding her adorable son Luca-James online last week.
But the 21-year-old, who lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland with her partner, Jordan Ashley, said she was shocked after receiving a cruel comment from a stranger who said her baby boy was ‘too old’ to be breastfed and should be given a bottle instead – while another suggested the move was just about men ‘looking at some t*tty’.
Now she’s speaking out against the bullies to help break down negative attitudes towards breastfeeding and help other mothers who have experienced similar hurtful backlash.
“During the course of breastfeeding I have experienced many unexpected comments and remarks,” beauty therapist Leah-Marie said.
“I have gotten foul looks when feeding in public, especially the older he gets, and online, people are even worse as they have a screen to hide behind.”
After posting the video of her breastfeeding her baby to her social media account, Leah-Marie said one person commented saying: “Tad too old to be breastfeeding don’t you think, why not just give him a bottle?”
She also received a comment from a person saying: ”‘I think it would just be some blokes looking at some t*tty, why post a video of something like that in the first place?”
After uploading the remarks she had received from people to her page, Leah-Marie said she has had hundreds of messages from other mums who have experienced similar incidents while breastfeeding their babies.
“Many women commented saying they have been told to feed their baby in the toilets or they need to cover up, or that baby is old to be breastfeeding,” Leah-Marie said.
“Some even said they gave up breastfeeding due to such incidents, which I feel is so unfair on both mother and baby.
“I was initially very angry that people can make remarks about a woman feeding her child.
“New mothers shouldn’t be afraid to feed their baby whenever and wherever they need, just because some uneducated individuals disagree.”
Since posting about her experiences online, Leah-Marie said she has been inundated with messages of support from other mothers online.
Not letting the hateful comments stop her, the mum said she is posting more than ever about breastfeeding to help normalise and break down the stigma
“The breastfeeding journey for me has definitely been difficult to say the least but is extremely rewarding,” she said.
“As for any new mother it can be quite difficult from trying to learn about correct latching and constantly wondering if your little one is getting enough milk.
“You’re also learning to be comfortable with breastfeeding especially in front of people and feeding in public is also very difficult.”
Leah-Marie said as a new mother she also experiences cracked nipples and a severe case of mastitis and she’s proud she’s managed to feed her boy for nine months and will do so until he’s ready to wean.
Reporting by Caters News