This Viral Note Shows Why It's So Important To Support Breastfeeding Moms

In a twist on the typical stories we hear about nursing in public, one mother got a sweet surprise from her server after breastfeeding her baby in a restaurant. The act of public breastfeeding can be a fraught one for parents. They may get stares, glares, comments, or harassment for trying to feed their child.
The uncomfortable reactions are Arizona mom Isabelle Ames was so touched when her waitress, Erica, handed her a free pancake and a note while she nursed her 10-month-old daughter, Charlotte. Ames posted shared the note, along with her reaction, on Instagram.
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I am still teary eyed writing this hours later. While at breakfast this morning I was doing my usual thing- trying to wrangle a very active ten month old while trying get at least one sip of my coffee. When Charlotte got hungry, I started breastfeeding her. It went okay, but lately it's been extra difficult. She has a total of 6 teeth now, and we have both been sick for a week. When she finished, my server came over and said, "this pancake is from me, to you. Here is a little note to explain why." She then began to tell me how "us mommas gotta look out for each other". Instant tears. I gave this incredibly sweet stranger a hug and cried again. For those of you who don't understand why this is meaningful, I will put it into perspective. Breastfeeding is one of the hardest things I have done, next to labor. No one prepares you for it, but everyone expects you to be excellent at it. You feel like a complete failure when it doesn't happen right away. For the first two weeks after Charlotte was born, I could only pump and cry because I was so broken-hearted that I couldn't get her to latch. Then for the next 4 weeks, I could only breastfeed with a nipple shield. It was better than pumping but still not the same. It was not until about 6 weeks after she was born that she latched for first time and I was able to successfully breastfeed. I cried tears of relief and ecstatic joy. Even at 10 months old, it is still hard some days, without even talking about breastfeeding. I haven't slept in days because she is sick. I am beyond exhausted. Yesterday I got so frustrated I screamed fifty curse words into a pillow. That's #momlife some days. But for a complete stranger to see me, and say "thank you". I felt like she was there on my journey the whole time, and she knew how many times I wanted to give up but I didn't. So often, before I feed Charlotte in public I get a twinge of fear. "Okay, this is the time. Someone is going to harass me. They are going to yell at me. Someone is going to tell me I can't do this here." But not today. Today I got love, respect and a free pancake. Thank you to my fellow momma, Erica ❤ #normalizebreastfeeding #lovewins

A post shared by Isabelle Ames (@mrsalexanderames) on

Ames explains that she was breastfeeding Charlotte, who has been harder to nurse now that she has six teeth. When Charlotte was finished eating, Ames writes that "my server came over and said, 'this pancake is from me, to you. Here is a little note to explain why.'" The note thanked Ames for breastfeeding her daughter at the restaurant, Snooze, An A.M. Eatery. Ames said she was "teary eyed" and "gave this incredibly sweet stranger a hug."
She goes on to explain why she was so overcome with emotion at this small gesture from her server. "For those of you who don't understand why this is meaningful, I will put it into perspective," she wrote. "Breastfeeding is one of the hardest things I have done, next to labor. No one prepares you for it, but everyone expects you to be excellent at it. You feel like a complete failure when it doesn't happen right away."
Ames goes on to detail the struggles she had trying to establish a nursing relationship with Charlotte when she was small. She explains that Charlotte had difficulty latching when she was first born. It wasn't until she was six weeks old that Ames was able to latch her and breastfeed for the first time. She spent the first six weeks of Charlotte's life pumping and struggling with a nipple shield.

BB squirrel 💕 I love this girl 😘 #momlife #coffeelover

A post shared by Isabelle Ames (@mrsalexanderames) on

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As a fellow breastfeeding mom, I relate to Ames' post. My first child didn't latch right away, either, and it took two weeks of pumping and crying and putting her to my breast before she finally did. There were so many times I wanted to give up, and no one would have blamed me if I had. I was either pumping or feeding around the clock, never sleeping more than an hour at a time. When my daughter finally latched, I cried with relief. For something that's supposed to be natural, the lack of education and support nursing parents receive can feel isolating and devastating.
Ames says that lately, being a mom has been hard. "But for a complete stranger to see me, and say 'thank you'. I felt like she was there on my journey the whole time, and she knew how many times I wanted to give up but I didn't."
Finally, Ames addresses how frightening it can be for parents who nurse in public. "So often, before I feed Charlotte in public I get a twinge of fear... But not today. Today I got love, respect and a free pancake."
The world needs more servers like Erica.
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