Stanley told Scary Mommy that the people shaming her at the dinner table were her own parents, particularly her father, who tossed the napkin over her breast.
Stanley also wrote that she "went off on him" and is glad she did, because "no woman should ever feel like she is being inappropriate or immodest by feeding her baby, anywhere, ever," she wrote. "Breastfeeding is NOT indecent exposure. It's not inviting men to gawk at my breasts."
So. I was at dinner last night and, as always, had my baby with me. Maya (9 months) was getting irritable, and I knew what she needed. She needed to nurse, so of course I pull my shirt down to feed and comfort her. Some one at the dinner table then grabs one of those cloth napkins and tries to toss it over me. I asked him what he was doing, and he said he was trying to cover me. We were at Bonefish, and apparently that is too "nice" of a restaurant to nurse a baby uncovered. I wish I could say I was polite and respectful about the situation. Actually, I lied. I don't wish that. I went off on him and I'm glad I did. You know why? Because the gesture was humiliating. Because no woman should ever feel like she is being inappropriate or immodest by feeding her baby, anywhere, ever. Breastfeeding is NOT indecent exposure. It's not inviting men to gawk at my breasts. EVEN IF GOD FORBID THE BABY UNLATCHES AND THEY SEE MY BARE NIPPLE. No, I'd rather not pull my shirt down in a public place or a nice restaurant. I'd rather people NOT see my stretch marked breast or scratched nipples. But you know what? We can't sit here and tout that breast is best and then have a fit about how inappropriate it is to feed a baby in public. You can't expect women to WANT to breastfeed and then shew them to the car when their baby gets hungry, or expect them to let the baby wail in hunger or need. Babies are notorious for wanting to eat (or comfort) at the most inconvenient and AWKWARD times. And most of them hate to be covered! Breastfeeding is a normal and natural thing, and if someone has a problem with me feeding my child whenever and wherever, that is THEIR problem. It should NEVER be the breastfeeding mom's problem. They continued to say that I needed to be considerate of those who might be offended (men who sexualize breastfeeding )and I'm over here thinking it's the men who should be considerate and not sexualize breastfeeding. We need to stop making excuses for men and start expecting them to act like mature human beings who are capable of being in control of themselves. Grrr don't poke the mom bear...... . . . leggings by @omgiyoga
Since Stanley shared her story on Instagram, it has resonated with her followers, going viral and earning over 6,000 Likes at the time of writing.
"Well done on sticking up for yourself," another Instagram user commented. "I wish any form of breastfeeding was a non-issue."
Stanley also told Scary Mommy that, while her father hasn't changed his stance on breast-feeding in public, he says he understands her position and accepts it. While we may have a ways to go towards cultural acceptance for public breast-feeding, it's good to know that there are moms like Stanley who are willing to fight the stigma — even if they shouldn't have to.