A breastfeeding mum who was asked to ‘cover up’ at a restaurant did so with a comedic flourish that has the internet in hysterics.
Last week, Facebook user Carol Lockwood shared a photo of Melanie Dudley nursing her four-month-old baby in a hotel bistro with a blanket completely covering her head.
“A friend’s daughter-in-law was told to ‘cover up’ while feeding her baby, so she did!” stated the post with over 12,000 comments.
“I’ve never met her, but I think she’s AWESOME!!! (Please share! With permission, I’ve made this post public — I’m SO over people shaming women for nursing!!!”
“PS: To reduce speculation: it was a man who asked her to cover up, it was 90 degrees and extremely humid, and, no, she wasn’t in a Muslim country disrespecting traditions,” Lockwood wrote.
Dudley, a 34-year-old mother from Austin, Texas, who also has four-year-old twins, told Yahoo Lifestyle that the move was spontaneous.
“I’m usually discreet but we were seated in the back of the restaurant.”
In response, Dudley asked her husband to hand her a cover, then threw it over her face right before he snapped a photo.
Dudley said that although her photo has received some negativity, it’s also built momentum for mothers who choose to breastfeed publicly.
“Breastfeeding is hard enough,” she told Yahoo Lifestyle. “This is another layer we don’t need to deal with.”
Other women have issued creative replies when facing shame for public nursing.
In 2017, Nicolle Blackman gave the same response when a female stranger, concerned with her husband’s wandering gaze, asked her to cover up in a Washington McDonald’s.
“I was very annoyed when she said that,” Blackman told the U.K. Independent. “Why would I cover up my son? He holds his breath when he’s covered.”
“I’m hoping to help other women by speaking out about it to encourage them to stand up for their children,” she said. “Just do whatever is best for them. If they want to cover that’s fine, if they don’t that’s fine too.”
Four months earlier, according to Today, new mom Avery Lane of Fort Gordon, Ga., who was asked to “cover up with a towel or something” while nursing her newborn at H&R Block, responded, “No, but I have a muslin if you would like to cover your face. You must not know Georgia’s breastfeeding laws.”
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